Last week I was attending one of my (many!) specialist appointments to discuss results from my recent colonoscopy, possible treatment options for my ongoing colitis, and how they would interplay with my immunotherapy treatment. While in the waiting room, I opened up my daily bible reading app (ReadingPlan) and I just happened to be up to 2 Chronicles 21. Verse 15 was rather…err…interesting, but adds weight to my belief that God has a sense of humour!
15 “You yourself will be very ill with a lingering disease of the bowels, until the disease causes your bowels to come out.’”
This prophecy from Elijah was to King Jehoram, and sure enough came to pass. To rub salt into a very painful wound, the chapter finishes with:
20 Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.
“…to no one’s regret…” Ouch!
It’s enough to make me want to bowel down and worship!
I still remember quite vividly the unfolding nightmare that was my melanoma diagnosis in 2013. It was bad news after bad news after bad news. One kick in the teeth after another. First it was “There’s something big on your chest X-ray that shouldn’t be there”. Later that day it was that “it’s also in your abdomen”. A couple of days later it was diagnosed as melanoma. A CT scan early the next week showed it was also in my brain, which ruled me out of pretty much all of the clinical trials of new melanoma treatments. A follow up MRI a few days later showed it was even worse than the CT had suggested which meant stereotactic radiotherapy to the brain mets was no longer an option and I required urgent neurosurgery followed by whole-brain radiotherapy. There was one remaining hope in the form of a targeted therapy which had shown promise, namely dabrafenib, but again I was disappointed to discover that my melanoma didn’t have the mutation that this drug targeted so it wasn’t an option either.
This torrent of bad news was upsetting and frustrating for me and my family, and in amongst trying to wrap my head around each new piece of bad news, I was often left wondering where was God in all this? Did He really care? Why wasn’t He allowing me access to these treatment options? He seemed determined to just let me die, and quickly at that! Don’t get me wrong, there was lots of provision from God in other ways, such as the practical and spiritual support of my family and church, but I was still struggling with these darker questions as well, and wondering what was going on.
Continue reading “The “luck” of the draw”