Archive for July 20, 2008

Cancer’s Unexpected Blessings

A friend shared this with us.  It truly expresses our thoughts and feelings about Dan’s situation…
When you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change.
Tony Snow
July 20, 2007

Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow announced that he had colon cancer in 2005. Following surgery and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush administration in April 2006 as press secretary. Unfortunately, on March 23 Snow, 51, a husband and father of three, announced that the cancer had recurred, with tumors found in his abdomen—leading to surgery in April, followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in the White House Briefing Room on May 30, but resigned August 31. CT asked Snow what spiritual lessons he has been learning through the ordeal.

Blessings arrive in unexpected packages—in my case, cancer.

Those of us with potentially fatal diseases—and there are millions in America today—find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God’s will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence What It All Means, Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to answer the why questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can’t someone else get sick? We can’t answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.

I don’t know why I have cancer, and I don’t much care. It is what it is—a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.

But despite this—because of it—God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don’t know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.   (to be continued)

July 20, 2008 at 11:37 pm Leave a comment

Another Blessed Day

This is Dan writing.  I’m doing very well today.  We will see the surgeon Monday morning at 11:15 and he will look at the CAT Scan pictures, read the report, and examine me in person. Then he will tell us whether he thinks the mass can be surgically removed or whether we have to look at other options.  That will be the first time we can start to make any definite plans about what to do.  Please pray that God will make it possible for it to be completely removed by surgery here in Fort Worth.  

Now, this is Anne writing. I’m asking you to pray with us that God will heal the mass by His Word.  He is God and He can still heal if He so chooses. The mass is the size of a grapefruit and growing exponentially – doubling in size each time it grows.  The oncologist said Friday, “If the surgeon thinks it is too large to be removed, we will have to shrink it down to the size that can be removed by surgery.  We will probably use a combination of radiation and a ‘mild’ chemotherapy.”  He went on to say, “Even though it is ‘Mild,’  it is still chemo…and will have side effects.” I WILL WRITE AFTER WE SEE THE SURGEON MONDAY.

We have been blessed to be participants in a Missionary Re-entry Workshop led by Dr. Dottie Schulz.  It helped us a lot.  Dottie is a former missionary, and a very skilled therapist.  We are also deeply grateful for all the messages our friends have been sending.  In times of serious illness, support by friends is important. We are truly walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death spoken of in Psalm 23.  But with David, we can say, “We will fear no evil, for God is with us.  His rod and staff comfort us.” Ps. 23:4 adapted — Anne and Dan

July 20, 2008 at 3:39 am Leave a comment


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