Today is a new day and I feel great! Feeling great is especially significant today since I spent an hour yesterday afternoon from 4:30 to 5:30 pm in a Q & A session with my church family. I did most of the talking. It felt great to feel strong enough to pull this off and is a great indicator that I am making recovery progress. I have to admit that I prepped myself for yesterday’s time by resting prior to the meeting. I took two naps and reclined on the couch reading most of the day. Dottie and I went to Riverwinds Community Center this morning after dropping Brian off for work at Underwood Hospital. I walked a mile (14 min.) and stationary biked 4.3 miles (12 min., max heart rate, 105bpm). It is now 10:45 and I have just consumed the infamous “Dottie’s Green Drink”: 8 oz. of broccoli sprouts, snow pea sprouts, cucumber, collard greens, Brussel sprouts, green onion, garlic, and carrots. All has been juiced in our Twin Gear Green Power juice extractor that allows for juicing without heating the ingredients and therefore retaining maximum enzyme content.
Here is the tough news that I shared with my congregation yesterday. I have waited to publish this on the blog until they heard it from me first hand. Although, if anyone found their way to our new health information web site, Healthy Hints (www.healthyhints.org), you would have read about the type of cancerous tumor that was removed on September 30. The pathology report on my tumor indicated that I had a glioblastoma multiforme stage IV. This is listed as the worst type of brain tumor to get. It is the same brand of brain tumor that Senator Ted Kennedy has. The survival rate on this is not promising, in general. You can take a look at the web site information that I have collected in my Google Notebook on glioblastoma. We were given the statistics that there is a 1% survival of 5 years with chemo and radiation, 15-18 months without radiation. You can review my blog, “Change of plans” to see why we have chosen the strictly nutrition route instead of chemo and radiation. For my type of tumor, chemo and radiation is often mentioned as palliative care. Palliative care is what you do to make the patient feel as comfortable as possible when he has a terminal illness.
We do not know for sure whether we are on course to fend off any regrowth of this type of cancer. We believe we have been connected to some very encouraging resources and success stories. There is no guarantee that we will be among the success stories, but there is greater hope with our nutrition route. My MRI on December 1 and review with our neurosurgeon on December 3 will be a much anticipated meeting. I know what I hope the MRI will reveal. I keep reminding Dottie that if my health and well-being are any indications, I would hope that our very strict nutrition route is doing a great job of fending off cancer regrowth. It is a strange new world. We are not used to thinking that garlic, Brussel sprouts, wheat grass, and green tea are anticancer fighting agents. Cancer implies chemotherapy and radiation doesn’t it. Yes, sometimes. But there is a growing new alternate culture with some great medical science behind it, that is showing that there are some great natural nutrition routes to dealing with cancer (see the two books posted at Healthy Hints, Anticancer and Foods to Fight Cancer as two examples). It is a journey where the only absolute is the goodness and greatness of God. It will be His sovereign determination that will guide the outcome. We must trust in Him ... and I do ... most of the time.
My plan, with the elders agreement, is to lead the Thanksgiving service on November 26, start attending Sunday morning services, and return to the pulpit December 14. In December I will try to return to the office and other duties a little at a time as I continue to test my recovery strength. I am learning to be much more sensitive to listening to my body signals. I am used to pushing the envelope so this is a new world. I will always try to maximize my output. But I am reminded that it is neurosurgery that I am recovering from and that it takes time. I appreciate everyone’s patience with me in the process. I am not always so patient.
I am working with my secretary Karyn to edit and post the sound track from the Q & A session yesterday. Check our sermon audio site for this posting Southwood Current Messages).
Today is another great day!