Is it possible to have spiritual growth in your life without experiencing spiritual deficiencies and setbacks along the way? Realistically, I know better as we all fail at many of life’s endeavors no matter how sincere the effort. I know it’s not always going to be smooth sailing but I was at least hoping for a level playing field. Sin has stacked the deck against me and I continually succumb . A malaise pours over me and I fail to nurture my desire to be close to God. It seems if I’m not traveling in the one true direction I suddenly turn and start to travel even run faster in the wrong direction. Spiritual growth always seems to feel like I’m going up a big hill and spiritual droughts always seem to go easy and even picks up speed going downhill the wrong way. I wish it were the other way around … perhaps if I persevere some day it will be the other way around. Unfortunately, changing one’s attitude and direction is not as easy as applying brakes to a car to slow down enough to turn back in the other direction. Instead, it requires almost continual brake pressure on life’s distractions to ensure we don’t turn down the wrong street or go the wrong way because there are just so many opportunities to do so. Things of this world seem so bright and shiny and I often times feel like an insect flying towards the light, fascinated by it’s brillance, but instead of it being the light of God it’s a bug zapper instead and I’m often shocked when I hit it and find out there was nothing there after all but my destruction.
Time does pass … although when we are going through difficult ones it appears to stand still. Reached a milestone the other day and I’m now free of my tether (catheter). What a terrible week with that horrible but necessary device, for any Prostate Cancer Surgery patient, to endure. Now that it’s behind me I feel like I have really turned a corner and am hopeful it is all downhill from here. Life being the adventure God planned it to be one never knows. Kind of exciting in a way and scary in the way us humans think. Dr. Smith called and provided my pathology report on my prostate now that it has been extracted and gone over in detail with a microscope by those in the know. He says my cancer was sightly worse than what the biopsy had shown. My Gleason score based on my pre surgery biopsy was 6 (3+3) but this report upgraded that score to a Gleason Score of 7 (3+4). I’ve researched and read until my eyes are bleary what that all really means in the end but I’m no wiser by that analysis. God is in control and where he takes me I will go. From the human perspective he tells me July 15th is when I will get my next blood work done to determine what my PSA levels are. If they are “0” (zero) that the best news and probably means I’m now cancer free … like there is any certainty in such a statement. If it is anything but zero then it’s a sign that there may still be some cancer cells that made there way outside the prostate before they got it out. He did say that they found cancer cells on the edge of part of my prostate which could mean it wasn’t all completely contained within. If that is the case it will mean “salvage” radiation treatment daily for 6-8 weeks and the saga will drag on. Doesn’t sound like fun but I have friends that had similar results, had the post surgery radiation treatment, and has been clean for 10 years or more now. I feel sore down there but good overall and incontinence doesn’t seem to be an issue so far. That was wonderful news in and of itself as that is one of the chief draw back to having surgery that many men experience. The other being sexual disfunction which is a TBD right now for me. More twist and turns to come but I know God is there waiting to catch me around every turn. Not to worry … time for a walk and to just give thanks for this day.
Hard to put into words exactly the experience of having prostate surgery and beginning recovery without delving into some areas most people don’t want to hear about. Not even sure I want to write about them. Suffice to say this is not a fun time at all and still a time of great uncertainty and anxiety. Anytime surgery reconstruction in a man happens below the belly button it’s just not a good thing. Everything is affected in one way or another. This is my 3rd day at home and it’s not a pretty sight. I wonder sometimes how would it be possible for me to feel any less helpless and vulnerable. My angel is my wife, Yong, who’s constant attention and love provides all the loving care a partial invalid could ever ask for. I’m walking gingerly a little each day and taking my meds but the only real game changer is TIME. I’ve never been a patient man and patience is exactly what you need to get through something like this. I only have to remind myself that there are far worst things in life and in relative terms this is a cake walk compared to the trials others must face. Nevertheless … being as self-centered as we are nothing seems more important than what’s happening to us at any given moment. I’d like to say each day is gradually getting better but I’m not sure that would be accurate. There are ups and downs each day and I try not to focus to much on any one thing. The mind can still bring me to my knees sometimes and fears still seem to kick in from time to time. My next milestone will be having the catheter removed on June 6th. Follow-up with my surgeon won’t be until July 15th which right now seems like an eternity from today.