January 2020

It’s a word I don’t often use. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I’d heard anyone use it. But that morning, when it was used to explain my husband Rick’s most recent PSA level, I was incredibly thankful for it.

Last Spring, after a routine check-up, Rick received the news that his PSA level was at 36. Normal is 4 or less. That launched a series of exams, tests, and consultations. Then, a pretty aggressive treatment plan was determined. A series of Lupron injections (hormone deprivation), then 22 doses of low radiation, followed by brachytherapy (high dose radiation implant surgery). The implications and side effects were discussed and we began to pray for healing as Rick braced himself for a long 7-10 months.

We will always look back on 2019 as the year that Rick battled his second bout of cancer. We still haven’t forgotten his melanoma diagnosis the summer of 2002. But now, as we approach the end of the first month of the first year of a new decade, we are thankful.

Health is something that we don’t take for granted. We both have auto immune diseases (I have RA and Rick has MS) and so we understand that every day is a gift. God gives and takes away and we both know that although we are moving a bit slower in this season of life than a few decades ago, we could be doing so much worse. Yes, every breath needs to be treasured.

When Rick’s oncologist said he wouldn’t require another Lupron injection my eyes welled up with tears. The side effects from that drug have taken a toll on him and I was ready to fight to keep him from another dose because of that. But I didn’t have to, thank GOD!

So, we will wait. Blood tests every 6 months seem like only a slight inconvenience in order to check levels for any increase in PSA. And we will pray.

If you are a parent you’re familiar with this persistent plea as a tenacious toddler pulls on your pant leg. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t eventually relent and pick the child up.

And what happens after we give in and the child is in our arms? The pleading subsides and the child is happy and comforted. Safe -protected from harm. Embraced in the arms of someone bigger, stronger.

I recently heard a pastor suggest that we visualize ourselves as that child when we raise our hands to worship. I’d never considered that before and I’ve been thinking about it for weeks now. What if I, like that tenacious toddler, consistently begged the God of the universe to “pick me up?” What if my heart and attitude cried out for Him constantly – even when my hands weren’t in the air and I wasn’t in the midst of a weekly worship service?

I believe my life would be transformed.

He would, without a doubt, hear my petition and welcome me in His arms. Although I know He is always with me, the desire to deny myself and be led by Him would sooth any sense of anxiety or temptation of self-reliance.

Take my life Lord…