Medical Oncologist

Leanne and I met with the medical oncologist today. The doctor took pity on me and did not do a rectal exam this time. She did give us some insight on her plan for my chemotherapy. I will be starting on 3 chemo drugs as soon as she sees the results of a genetic mutation test done on the biopsies taken during my colonoscopy. The samples were sent earlier this week and are expected back within 3 weeks. The mutation test will help determine the best drug to fight my specific cancer. 

In the mean time they will be installing a port under my skin to make delivery of all the drugs easier. I hope the port is as cool as it sounds. I am picturing a Matrix-style Headjack. The other option was to install a PICC line in my arm but that would mean I could not get it wet or even lift my kids.  

Prayer Requests

Please continue to pray for my doctors, especially when they get together to discuss my case, likely this Friday or next.

Pray that there are no complications when I get my port installed.

Pray for Leanne. She is still working part time, taking me to my appointments, and homeschooling the kids. The many appointments are kinda nice actually; they are like little dates.

Thanks!

We are so encouraged by all the comments we receive. I regret that I just don’t have time right now to reply to them as I am incredibly busy with balancing work, appointments and family. I do read each and every comment and look up every scripture reference. I am planning on re-reading them all again, as I fear there are some dark days ahead.

I wanted to mention a special piece of encouragement I received from my friend Adam Padfield. Upon reading the news of my diagnosis he sat down at his piano and recorded one of his songs from his Psalm 23 “You are my Shepherd” album. 

Radiation Oncologist

I feel strong. My state of mind is usually pretty stable but I think God is giving me an extra boost this week in response to all the people praying for us.

Thank you all so much for praying! We keep receiving messages from so many people saying they are praying for us and we find each message very encouraging.

Today I met with a radiation oncologist. It was just an initial introductory meeting and an excuse for another rectal exam of course. We are still waiting on the doctors to get together to discuss my case and come up with a treatment plan. It sounds like radiation, chemotherapy and surgery will all be involved.

I have another oncologist appointment on Wednesday.

Please pray for wisdom for my doctors.

Physically: 9.5/10
Mentally: 10/10
Total number of rectal exams: 4

God is Good

Do you know what’s worse than being told you are going to die? Being told you are going to die and then having a rectal exam immediately after.

Unfortunately I experienced both this past week. I wasn’t quite expecting my cancer to be that bad. I only learned that I had a tumour on Dec. 19, 2018, and that it was cancerous on Dec. 24, 2018. (Merry Christmas!) I was led to believe I had a curable cancer and that my tumour could probably be removed somewhat easily, so I was a little surprised to see how much it had spread as the doctor scrolled through my CT and MRI scans pointing out the various “lesions consistent with cancer”.

I have stage 4 rectal cancer and it appears to have spread to my liver and lungs. The tumour in my rectum is a T3 in case you are curious. The doctor did not give me much hope, but so what? I know God can fix me.

Death is not to be feared for a Christian. I am not afraid of death; in fact, in some respects, I am looking forward to it.  One of my first thoughts after the diagnosis was that I get to hang out with my Dad again and meet our first little baby that died in the first trimester of pregnancy. But then I remembered that I have a few people here on earth who would prefer that I live for at least a few more decades. Being a husband and father was one of my primary goals in life and I want to be with my wife and kids as long as possible.

We are going to fight this disease as hard as we can and for as long as necessary. Our number one plan of attack is prayer. 

Before my diagnosis I had been learning a lot about prayer. I found John MacArthur’s sermon Pray Boldly particularly helpful and inspiring. The parable Jesus tells in Luke 11:5-13 is incredible. I don’t like asking people for anything, never mind asking the Creator of the universe over and over to do something. But Jesus tells us to pray boldly, to pray without ceasing, and to be shameless in our prayers.

Pray boldly for God to heal me and pray without ceasing.

This week I meet with two oncologists. Please pray that God will guide these doctors in their treatment plan for me.

I don’t want to give people the wrong impression. Lest you think I am bed-ridden in pain or something like that, I am not (at least not yet). With the exception of depositing blood into the toilet every few hours, I feel surprisingly fine right now considering what is growing inside my body. I have a little discomfort (not pain) in my rectum but that is it. I still work full-time (between appointments) and am fortunate to work two days a week from home. I am still doing other contract work on the side. I feel pretty good physically and excellent mentally.

I am excited to see how God will use this situation to His glory!