High-tech Care with Old-Fashioned Values

Faith and courage

I have not had the time or creative energy to do much writing of any sort lately. Winter does that for a doctor. There is lots of illness and work to be done but the days are short and by the time the day is over you have darkness. It's natural to start to feel down or deflated. My ability to be self-centered is boundless but at times God pulls me back to reality by showing me a glimpse of what he intends for us to experience as we walk in relationship with Him.

Last fall one of my brother's daughters was found to have a rare cancer in her abdomen. After a time of rapid evaluation and second opinions half way across the country, she was started on chemotherapy prior to what was possibly going to be a horrific surgery to try to save her life. The chemo and complications of it meant that her senior year in high school was to be very different that what she had thought it would be. A great athlete, she would have her basketball season cut short and her soccer season ended before one game.

Through it all she had a peace and faith that God was in charge and would use this event, awful as it seemed, to bring about great things. An outsider might say this was just innocence of youth or delusions of an old religion. That outsider would be wrong. Through her fight and her testimony she has touched literally thousands of people in her state and the love poured back on her and her family has been nothing short of astounding.

The day came last week for surgery and we all knew that this story was no longer one of cancer but of courage and great faith. When the surgeon opened her abdomen no new sites were found and those that had been there had been killed by the chemo. Now just a week after surgery she is eating some, walking and has been told she is cancer-free. Now this is all good stuff and worthy of great praise to God for His kindness and healing but my view was seeing a young woman, her family and her faith community coming together with love and support. As a result all who came into contact with them were blessed. To me that was the purpose and that was the miracle.

As a doctor I see the ravages of cancer but I also have seen how disease, especially cancer, can transform patients, families and communities. I have been blessed to witness such a transformation through my niece. Thank you Katie. Praise to our Great Father.