Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pine-Sol® with a pleasant hint of cherry

Endoscopic resect-a-whatsis?

The last time I weighed 125 lbs, the wind was rushing through my hair as I ran the 120 yd high hurdles for my high school track team. I wasn't the best hurdler out there but did make it to State only to fall over the third hurdle in the finals.

I now weigh 125 lbs and wind does not rush through my hair; it blows the hair right off my head. Any sort of confrontation with a hurdle these days would result in complete victory for the inanimate object (I know, I know; as a black belt, I've taught many students to walk away from confrontation but hurdles don't hit back!).

So, I've started an appetite stimulant called megestrol or megace which tastes like ... you guessed it ... Pine-Sol® with a pleasant hint of cherry. You'd think that by the taste, it would have an opposite effect on the appetite but we'll know in a couple of days.

Many of you know my oncologist recommended that we talk to the surgical oncologist about the possibility of surgery even though the CT scan showed no change in the size of the tumor. We met with the surgeon and he didn't say "No; the tumor is unresectable." Resectable just means removable though I'm unsure why it's used instead of remove or removable. Maybe it's a doctor thing. Instead, the surgeon recommended something called an endoscopic ultrasound or EUS. It's an outpatient procedure that I've had twice already; this time, it will provide the surgeon with more information before he decides whether the tumor can be removed or not. (See? Isn't that clearer than 'tumor can be resected or not.'?).

So, on Monday, August 26 at 6am, I'll be at Medical Center Plano for the EUS procedure and expect to be home before noon. Once the anesthesia wears off, I should be good to go. Which is a good thing because on Sunday, September 1 at 10:30am, I'll be preaching at my home church. We'll take a biblical look at the Art of Bouncing Back which has to do with being resilient in times of trial - a topic that resonates with me.

"Without suffering, how can one know Joy?" This was a common argument I found during my study on Joy in March. It's a dualist thought like day/night, light/darkness, good/bad. But is it true? Instead of being two sides of the same coin, I think suffering (trial) and Joy are two totally different coins altogether. The Joy coin is that old JFK 50¢ piece or that silver dollar (the big ones, not the Susan B or Sacajawea ones) that you've kept around because they're a little unusual, can't be used in a vending machine and was probably given to you by your Dad or Grandpa. It sort of hangs around in your pocket and when you pull out the change to pay for something, it's the last one to go. Suffering is more like that proverbial bad penny that you found (or found you). It gets placed in the same pocket, jingles around with Joy for awhile but you can't wait to get rid of it. Sometimes it goes away, sometimes it doesn't. The funny thing, though, is that when you put the bad penny on the 50¢ piece, you still see the Joy. Reverse it and all you see is Joy. Can one know Joy without suffering? Yes, I believe so. But even in the midst of trial, Joy can make it's presence known. It's always been there; I just have to take it out, focus and remember. And the things that are bad in my life are brought into sharp relief compared to the One whom Joy is. The bad stuff is still there but so is He.

Baby Eva Update
She's beautiful! Everything progressing normally and she's still due for surgery next year. And she's beautiful!

In the Palm of His Hands,

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