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Why Jesus Wept


I went into MDA today for my 3-month checkup, and in my case I am happy to say that my condition remains stable. Everything seems to be going well except for my weight, blood pressure, and a bit of arthritis in the shoulders and hands. In fact, Dr. Lambert said she has lowered the probability that I will need surgery in the next couple years from 50% to about 25%. So, on that count I should be happy, and I am truly grateful to the Lord for His mercy and my good situation.

But these visits to MDA tear at me. Cancer is still one of the most horrific diseases I have ever had to see attack people, and because you are never "cured" of the thing - in a best-case situation it just stops trying to kill you for a while, and you wait to see if and when it comes back for another go. And cancer almost never hurts just one person. It puts wives and husbands, parents and children, through absolute hell for years on end, as doctors fight an ongoing battle against malignant cell growth, side effects from the chemotherapy and the radiation and the drugs, and in some cases the damn thing mutates or becomes resistant to the best treatments we have available. Every time I go to MDA, I see people waiting for their first diagnosis and worried about what they will hear, I see people who have to learn a new way to live to deal with their condition, I see people who have to hear that there may a "lose" to this thing, but in many cases the closest thing to a "win" is that things are no worse.

I found out today that someone I met here in October, whose Leukemia treatment was going well, passed away last month. A couple other patients I knew have had to go into hospice care. I was in an elevator this morning trying to come to grips with this news, when another patient, whose face had been half-destroyed by a Stage III melanoma, saw my distress and tried to cheer me up. He thought I was worried about my PMP, and sympathized that he at least knew the worst of his condition, and he wished I knew how my situation would go. I thanked him for his kindness, frankly amazed that someone who had suffered so much would still pay more attention to someone else.

In the Bible, it is written that when Jesus came to the town where his friend Lazarus had died, He wept. At times this seemed strange to me, since the Scripture made clear He knew He would raise Lazarus from the dead. The suffering, however, by Lazarus and by his family, that was very real and did not un-happen even with Lazarus coming back to life. I believe that verse was there, so that we might understand that God cares about our suffering, that He shares our pain and that we are not alone in it. I cannot say I understand anything about the reason why this kind of pain should exist, but I do know that it is very important that we know we do not have to be alone in it.


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Comments (17)

DJ: Thanks fo... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:

DJ:

Thanks for posting your commentary. My wife is a patient at the City of Hope Cancer Treatment Center in California. So, I can relate to what you wrote, especially the part about cancer hurting the relatives of cancer patients.

DJ, very touching post. I'... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

DJ, very touching post. I'm glad to hear that you got a good report. I have to visit an oncologist on Thursday for the first time (not likely to have a malignancy, just need someone who can deal with a complicated surgery) and I was just thinking today of what it will be like sitting in the waiting room. What sorts of patients will be there? Your post touched on what I have been wondering about. I wish I knew what to say to you about what you're feeling. I can only imagine.

I think you are 100% right,... (Below threshold)
D. Doré:

I think you are 100% right, DJ. My prayers are still with you.

DJTake comfort in ... (Below threshold)

DJ

Take comfort in the fact that Jesus, Who was at once completely man and completely God, foreknew the suffering of Lazarus, the suffering of his family and Mary, and the resurrection of Lazarus.

There is also another aspect to the story of Lazarus that can be drawn from the bible even though it is not explicitly written. As you know, the Word says that Lazarus died and was dead for days. As a believer, we can conclude that Lazarus, upon his death, was immediately in the presence of the Lord. He was in heaven. Glory.

When Jesus summoned him from the grave, Lazarus came again to our world....a world filled with pain, disappointment and death. Can you imagine, with the briefest experience of heaven, what Lazarus thought of our world when Jesus brought him back? Some bible scholar's have referred to it as Lazarus' Laugh:....the laugh we hear from someone who has experienced something so wonderful that no earthly disappointment can silence them.

DJ,Congrats on the... (Below threshold)

DJ,

Congrats on the good news at your checkup.

I concur, Cancer hits family members very hard too. For most of 12 years, I been part of the Mel-l aka the melanoma mailing list. Founded by the father of a MM victim. Many of the people on the list aren't patients, but caregivers, wives, husbands, parents. Always been like that. While these weren't the people with MM, you felt their suffering.

My wife is in a state of denial. If I talk my overall prognosis, she changes subjects. I love Leonita dearly, but she can't face the fact the stats say I won't be around in 2009. I try keeping busy, Leonita continues to work. She has to, we have my health insurance through my employer. Leonita may change, but I'm afraid it will hit her worse than our son's dying did.

Sorry if I ramble.

Friends and parrishoners get me back and forth from my house to where I go for chemo and radiation. It's a short drive, less than two miles. So Leonita can work. My mother-in-law is home to help care for me. God bless them all.

Bill

As always, DJ, an insightfu... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

As always, DJ, an insightful and inspiring post. Congrats from me also with your current results. Also inspiring is your openness and strength in trying times.

DJ,Praise God that... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

DJ,

Praise God that your visit went well!

My step-mom was treated at MDA 4 years ago. She had been cancer free since then until last fall. It came back and she is undergoing chemo again.

We were thankful then about any extra time we had with her and we are thankful now for every additional day she is with us!

Don't give up, you can get ... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

Don't give up, you can get past this. I was diagnosed as Malignant Large Cell Lymphoma, medium to high grade, stage IV in 1994. I was prounounced in remission in 1995 and in 2006 the oncologist threw me out of his office and told me never to come back.

Bill, I don't know what kin... (Below threshold)
COgirl:

Bill, I don't know what kind of cancer you have but my thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife. Be strong and have faith.

"I cannot say I understand ... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

"I cannot say I understand anything about the reason why this kind of pain should exist, but I do know that it is very important that we know we do not have to be alone in it."

It is an unfortunate condition of the human existence that some of us do not grow closer to our Creator until we experience hardship in our lives. In that sense, pain and sorrow can be immense blessings for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). All flesh meets its eventual demise, but those who know, love and obey their Creator enjoy great purpose in their lives regardless of its duration. I do pray that you overcome this horrific disease... and are able to thoroughly cherish each and every day while doing so.

So good to hear the right p... (Below threshold)
epador:

So good to hear the right person went to the right place at the right time.

And there are other survivors out there to cheer you on.

Remember your doctors, nurses and other support personnel put on a a tough veneer every day to go out there and help you. Its not easy for us either, but we tend to do our weeping in private. Every thank you and smile you offer them is welcome. But hearing folks like you being able to share like this is even more assuaging.

My prayers to you and your ... (Below threshold)

My prayers to you and your families, DJ and Bill.

And prayers that all will g... (Below threshold)

And prayers that all will go well for you, too, COGirl.

I have been reading posts and comments from all 3 of you for so long, I feel like I know you, even though I have been mostly lurking at my favorite blogs for a long time now. DJ & COGirl & I go back to the bygone days at PoliPundit, when I actually commented a lot more often instead of just lurking. Anyway, I'm still here and thinking about you all.

All the best to all of you, always.

Had my cancer survivor supp... (Below threshold)
DL:

Had my cancer survivor support group meeting last night. Don't we wish for one day when we didn't have to think about cancer? Stay well DJ.

DJ, as a fellow Houstonian,... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

DJ, as a fellow Houstonian, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Three weeks ago I lost my kid sister. She was 45. Way too young. She put up a fight like nothing I ever saw. There are good stories out there that will encourage us no matter the outcome. God bless you. ww

We are so attached to this ... (Below threshold)
linda Tarricone:

We are so attached to this world and the people we love in it, that we often forget it is all so temporary here. God calls us home in many different ways,most of which we don't understand. You are right DJ, we are never alone in any of it. I pray that along with God's love, you are surrounded by people who help hold you up and carry you through.God Bless, Linda

Skin cancers and melanomas ... (Below threshold)

Skin cancers and melanomas are the curse of God against white people for their skin sins and continued evil of today. In Daniel, Isaiah and Revelations God warns He will curse the evil with the Sores That Do Not Heal. Skin cancer and melanomas are these sores. Based on their skin color, whites exalted themselves above everyone else on the planet and called everyone else: ugly, evil and inferior. Now, that giving everyone else life burns whites' skin. That giving everyone else life is God. The sun is God. The sun hates white people. God Hates White people. God has fixed His holy light to discriminate between black and whites so that it burns the whites. Ultraviolet light is the fire of the 2nd Rapture burning evil from the earth.




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