Hello Friends!  Alan here: I’m up to bat for Round 14.  This will be the second time we’ve changed the chemo-bomb planned for ingestion at clinic.  Results the first time, looked good initially, but then we crashed and burned with mediocre results.  Now we’re throwing a new drug that has reported “miraculous” results on colon and liver cancer.  I’ve been working really hard to move my buttocks off my shoulders as they’ve been situated there for the last week sense the “not so great” report.

I mentioned earlier that faith or not…things start to move and I have a tendency to apply expectation and agenda-building skills to what God is already doing.  I keep thinking back to a moment in 1996.  I was living in Greenville, SC working for the US Oncology.  My office was in a oncology practice setting and one day when I was heading out to lunch, I saw a little man sitting on the curb.  He was a patient and he had a large Tupperware full of maybe 20 bottles of medicine.  He sat there on the curb and I could read him in the moment.  His face was distraught with his situation.  He was visibly perplexed by all the bottles of medicine.  I could see him fumbling through the medicine bottles somewhere between sad, confused, and mad as hell.  I had empathy for him at that moment.  Now, when I open up my Tupperware for drug time, I can see that little man on the curb.  I didn’t know him before he got sick but I know that he’d lost 50+ lbs and that he had that dried up look that I fear so much now.

This forum usually affords me time to write and visit with you on subjects that I hope call on us all to convict and challenge ourselves.  It’s been hard for me to get my keyboard going on this post because I sometimes my tank is dry.  In the midst of last week’s “put you in the fetal position” liver pain episodes, I found some comfort in passing time laid up in bed watching Man v. Wild on Discovery.  This is the show where they drop an EX-British Special Forces guy out of a helicopter into a place very likely to kill anyone that visits.  I watched an episode yesterday where they dropped him into Siberia.  Within 10-minutes, Bear (the star) had urinated on his hand (on purpose), skinned and fashioned a deer hide into a smelly security blanket, eaten same deer’s eyeballs, and demonstrated falling into ice-covered lake water.  I enjoy this show.  But if it’s really about survival, why is he doing all these ridiculous stunts.  The answer:  Ratings.

I don’t really know what, if any, point I’m making here.  I guess I’m interested in survival.  Check. Maybe I like it when one gets to do something that draws slightly weird attention.  Check. Perhaps I like the idea of a cool nickname like Bear’s.  Sure.

Bear talks a lot about core temperature and maintaining moral even if disoriented.  I’ve had a huge amount of problems with that this week.  Mentally, I’ve been trying to destroy my expectations of this battle.  Results are not going to come when I think they SHOULD.  There will be more disappointments.  Through all this I must tie my drive, my motivators, and the promises available to me tightly to my self.

Tomorrow we reenter the Octagon for Round 14.  I’m getting new drugs.  On my agenda I would be planning for them to >>>>>>>>>>>whoa!  Not my agenda, right?  New drugs tomorrow.  An army of nice folks continues to implore God to heal my body.  My butt?  I think I’ve got it off my shoulders and I’m ready to hit this hard…With a positive attitude.  Knowing that my God is bigger than any illness.  Knowing that the grief I’ve felt may feel cathartic for a couple moments, but really only robs the moment.  It’s time to hit the canvas hard and take the battle to the enemy.  I don’t know ALL of what that means, but I do know that rejoicing in my drought is part of it.  Tumor in my colon.  Tumors in my liver.  Family and friends that love me.  A home that is warm and safe.  God moving all around us.  So, into the Octagon.  I enter rejoicing at the blessings that God showers on me and my family.  Bear didn’t mention any of this about surviving in Siberia.

Thanks for your support and prayers friends.  A bunch of you have given me nudges and reminders.  God is good.  Let’s look hard to see what He’s doing in our lives.  Love,