The Dr. Felt "Something" - Pappy’s Pen #01
Well, this Friday was not an easy or pleasant day for us. Back in late September I had my annual checkup, and my Dr. “felt something” while doing my prostate exam. Not “felt something” in a good way or even weird way. “Felt something” that in addition to my rising PSA numbers made him refer me to an urologist. So I knew something was up.
On the 19th, I had my referral appointment and this Dr. also “felt something”. He outlined the possibilities for me, not sugar coating anything, and without directly saying so strongly suggested I prepare myself for a diagnosis I would not like. He outlined three possibilities: one that it was a benign growth; two that it was cancer but slow growing and treatable; three that it was cancer and a fast growing and many times fatal.
We scheduled a biopsy for December 17th with the results coming just in time for Christmas. Ho Ho Ho. I was pretty calm and at peace while hearing the possibilities he was looking for, but when he described the procedure I got nervous and bothered. I don’t like needles. I don’t like pain. He is going to stick an ultrasound probe “directly into the rectum”. From what I read online that is just what the aliens do when abducting people. He will then numb me with the same stuff the dentist uses in my mouth. (Or maybe numb me before the probing, which is more than the aliens do at least.) The over the next approx. 5 minutes he will remove “12-15 bits” of my prostate for analysis. Not a pleasant day by any means and still gives me the chills whenever I think about it.
My wife and I decided to wait until after Thanksgiving to tell the immediate family, meaning our kids. We didn’t want to ruin Thanksgiving and we were getting together Friday for my daughter-in-law’s birthday. We didn’t want to ruin this day for her either, but it was the best time to tell them. We waited until the celebrating was over then called a conference. It was really sad to see their faces, note their concern. I was very grateful that instead of having a family pity party they offered encouragement and heartfelt prayers.
Over the next 2 weeks we will tell close trusted friends, church leaders, and some extended family what is going on. Others we will wait until after we get the results. I will be asking for prayers for God’s will to be done; for peace, grace, and humor for me; for peace and comfort for my family. Of course I want to be healed, and praying for healing is part of praying for God’s will. But I also know that sometimes God’s answers are different than what we are looking for. Just today I read Psalm 30:2. “O LORD my God, I cried to you for help and you restored my health.” Very encouraging.
When I first gave my life to Christ I heard about the rapture and thought that was really cool. I prayed that I would be raptured and felt a confirmation that the answer was yes, I would see the rapture. I have spent the rest of my life believing I would not die but be raptured. My family would look at me funny every time I would mention that. Just a couple of weeks ago I was reading in Thessalonians about how first the dead in Christ would rise and then the remaining saints. I realized then that dead people get raptured too. Sometimes God really shows a sense of humor. All this time I thought it meant that I would not die, but just when I need and want that confirmation God shows me my assumptions were wrong.
I really am at peace over whatever happens right now. That may change by Christmas, but right now I am only worried about my wife and worried about the procedure. Did I mention I don’t like needles or pain? But I am not worried about me or my place. To paraphrase Paul, doesn’t matter if I live or die as long as I am living or dying for God. I have been blessed with a mostly trouble free life, a wonderful family with 4 kids anyone would be proud of, great spouses they have chosen, and 8 grandchildren that I completely enjoy. I am content. And I have a hope beyond this life.