Tag Archive: biopsy

Day 90 -Just around the corner

Day 100 is just around the corner. I’m not sure exactly what that will mean. I certainly won’t be going home back to Sale in my current state. That’s many days away. I do know it means another bone marrow biopsy and a day of tests. Not much else has changed since my last post. The steroids continue to be reduced. One piece of good news is that I put on some weight: almost 1kg. Praise God! Thank you for those who have been praying. Please continue to pray that I continue to gain weight and strength and good sleep is always high up on my prayer list.


Day 84 – Sleepers

I’ve managed to be getting more sleep lately, but with the help of a lot of sleeping tablets. This leaves me groggy in the morning and I have to be careful of my balance and footing. The bonus is, though, I’m getting some sleep. My steroids have been reduced gradually by half over the last fortnight, but I’m yet to see any change, since the dosage is still quite high. It’s been great to have Dad back in the unit and I finally feel like I’m getting used to living here. We had great news from the last bone marrow biopsy. There was no detectable Leukemia in the biopsy, even with the most sensitive tests. This means my new immune system is fighting the Leukemia in my body and God-willing will do so for the rest of my life. Praise God for that! One concern is, though, I’m eating as much as I can pretty much possibly eat, but I’m still losing weight. Please pray that that situation reverses and I start putting on weight.

Back in the Ward

I came back into the ward on Monday and started chemo last night. Straight into a window seat, praise God. It’s starting to feel like a second home, which I don’t know is a good thing or bad thing. I catch up with some of the staff and also some of the patients. Some patients are on their death beds, some have gone home for a rest from chemo. The ward is a mixture of hope and grief.

They found some ‘blasts’ in my blood, which are immature white blood cells, which caused some concern for the doctors. One of the possible causes for blasts is active leukemia back in my bone marrow. I had a bone marrow biopsy two days ago and the results came back clear. I’m still in remission. It turns out the blasts were a good sign, a healthy bone marrow with aggressive regrowth following the last round of chemo.

Begarelli SculptureBecause of the delay between coming in and starting chemo I got to go out yesterday on some day leave with Simone. We went to chinatown (Little Bourke St) for some Japanese soup, the State Library, some coffee on Lonsdale St and another session at the NGV. (How can it be the National Gallery of Victoria?) I’ve included a picture of my favourite sculpture in the gallery. I’m not usually into sculpture, but this terra cotta sculpture about one foot wide by Begarrelli from around 1500 caught my attention because of the intense emotion and action that he captures in it. I personally haven’t found a sculpture like it. It’s three women consoling Mary after Jesus’ death.

I got just over a week at home, which allowed me to get to church twice. A great privilege. I improved slowly through the week. I felt quite weak and unwell at the start but was feeling quite strong by the end. It was good to spend time with the kids and particularly to hear them repeating to me the excellent teaching from their mother about my cancer, that perhaps God wants me in hospital because people in hospital need to hear about Jesus too. Praise God for a mature and supportive wife! Please pray that I live out this opportunity before me.

Reflections on Mark 9:14-29 Read the Passage

This passage seems to be about power and faith. The word for power or ability appears four times in the passage (v22,23,28,29) and the word for strength once (v18). The disciples didn’t have the power and the man asks Jesus to help if he might have the power. On the surface this looks like a faith healing passage. If those involved had enough faith then God would grant them the power. Closer investigation suggests otherwise.

Jesus takes issue with the man’s use of the word ‘if’ (v22,23). Perhaps he was giving Jesus an out clause given the failure of his disciples (v18). But Jesus will not allow such doubt. If the man is going to call on Jesus to act and show compassion he will be challenged to believe the corresponding things about who Jesus is. Jesus is God and wields the power of God. We’ve only just seen in the first half of the chapter Jesus’ divine glory displayed on the mountain.Now we see Jesus’ divine glory displayed in healing the boy of the demon.

Later on the disciples ask why they couldn’t drive out the demon (v28). Jesus’ response sounds like a technique issue – you must use the technique of prayer. But this interpretation is directly contradicted by the technique Jesus himself used. He didn’t pray, he just commanded (v25). So clearly for Jesus, this demon doesn’t come out by prayer. The real issue is the source of the power. The power belongs to God, so ask God in prayer to drive out the demon. So far from teaching faith healing, it teaches radical dependence on God in prayer. We pray to God, not naming and claiming, demanding that God do our bidding, and displaying an intensity of faith that then allows God’s healing power to flow. We pray to God as our heavenly Father, asking him to act if it’s his good plan to do so. We believe that God has the power to heal and does so when he chooses to. Even in the face of demonic possession we come to our knees and ask God to act, not relying on spiritual techniques that suggest the power lies in us.

The symptoms of demon possession sound very much like epilepsy. Some have suggested that it’s not really a demon possession issue at all but epilepsy. I think this point is moot. Jesus didn’t come to teach the crowds correct medical and demonic identifications. He came to seek and save the lost. He healed the boy of his malady, whether demonic or medical, immediately and powerfully. This doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a demon and it doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as demon possession, but just mental illness. We mustn’t let our personal experience decide what we will and won’t believe