Late in the afternoon on Friday, October 7, I received a call from my family doctor. He had the results from the CT scan that had been done earlier in the day. The sonogram that was done on Thursday showed some abnormalities with the lymph nodes in my abdomen and he wanted to get a better look at them.
I had noticed a knot in my abdomen last year. We had a CT scan done at the time and there was nothing out of the ordinary showing up. Not long after that I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In JuIy 2015 I had my prostate removed. This July I celebrated one year of non-detectable PSA levels.
Around this time I began to notice the knot in my stomach again. There was no pain associated with it at first, but it started becoming more noticeable. Then it started causing me some discomfort so it was back to the doctor to find out what was going on. This eventually led us to the CT scan on October 7. The doctor confirmed that the lymph nodes were very suspicious, meaning that a biopsy would be in order to verify that I had lymphoma.
No one wants to hear the words, “You have cancer.” This is our second time around. More tests followed including a PET scan. The biopsy showed the presence of follicular lymphoma. On the scale of the over 60 varieties of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, follicular is on the better end of the scale. However, there was something in the PET scan that didn’t add up. The lymph nodes in my abdomen did not have the characteristics of follicular lymphoma.
Another biopsy. The initial reports seemed to indicate the possibility of a double-hit transformed lymphoma. Back to the scale…this one is on the opposite end from follicular. Although there are treatments that are showing promise for this type, the treatment is successful in about 1/3 of the patients. However, after further analysis, the doctor verified that I have transformed large-cell B lymphoma, not the double-hit.
There were times in this process where I wondered if I would ever get any good news. It seemed that every time we talked to the doctors we received bad news. Then it hit me...
I already have the “good news.” God, in His mercy and love, provided a way of reconciliation for a sinner like me through His Son Jesus Christ. I have a relationship with the Living God and my name is written in Heaven. THAT is the GOOD NEWS! My eternal future is secure in the inheritance that I have in Christ.
This is the hope that I have in this life. Nothing can separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. That means that in this life I don’t receive good news, or bad news. I just receive “news.” Any “good” news in this life pales in comparison when held up to the relationship I have in Christ. And any “bad” news is swallowed up in victory by the work done by Jesus Christ on the cross.
As you pray with us, my prayer is that God will be glorified in this journey of mine. I pray that people will learn to trust fully in our Heavenly Father and rely on His mercy and grace to help us in our time of need. I am not defined by any disease that may be in my body. I am defined by the transforming work of God, who has called me, and has justified me, and will one day glorify me, to the praise and glory of His name.