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Monday, September 3, 2012

Pastorgraphs: “Tired of Hope”

E-Vangel Newsletter
September 3, 2012

Pastorgraphs: “Tired of Hope”

Todd, David and I are prostate cancer (PC) survivors. We are “brothers” who belong to an online PC survivors support group, HealingWell.

Todd’s prostate specific antigen (PSA) level, 3,216 when diagnosed in 2006, is the highest I have ever seen. Mine was 4.4 by comparison – yet still cancer. Anything over 4.0 gets the doctor’s attention. Todd had stage 4 prostate cancer, meaning it had spread to many other parts of his body. He is literally a walking miracle.

David’s prostate cancer diagnosis in 2008 was his fourth cancer diagnosis. To say he is a survivor is an understatement. However, his radiation treatment went horribly wrong, and he lives each day in excruciating pain. Plus, he has had a recurrence of prostate cancer. He is losing a pound of weight each day. Incredible – of course, that cannot continue much longer. Please pray for David and Todd.

Recently, Todd started a discussion, “Tired of Hope”.

Here are two men in the struggle of their lives reflecting on hope. I understand both of them – Todd’s frustration with hope, and David’s affirmation that hope is sometimes all we have left. I know they love and respect each other, and have the liberty to express two sides of their struggle. They graciously gave me permission to share their thoughts with you. Hope you find Hope in their sharing from the depths of their souls.

Todd: “Last night in my dream, I was the speaker before the luminary and I said this. 35 years ago President Carter declared war on cancer. Thirty five years later I walk in my 8th Relay for Life. I am a 7 year stage 4 prostate cancer survivor. When one considers my stats at diagnosis it is quite remarkable that I will walk my eighth luminary lap. I am happy to be here to do it. I am blessed when so many others have not had the same results.

“What bothers me however is that tonight will be the same as last year and the year before, and the year before. Halfway through the lap tonight the word Hope will turn to Cure. The only difference will be another hundred luminary candles lining the path.

“I am tired of hope.
  • I am tired of my friends and family dying from this disease.
  • I am tired of cat scans and bone scans.
  • I am tired of treatments that cost tens of thousands for a few months. 
  •  I am tired of clinging to hope that for me is month to month.
  • I am tired of looking to the horizon for the next treatment that will give me a few more months.
“When do we move on to CURE!!!!! WHEN DO WE SAY ENOUGH? 35 years ago war was declared on cancer not cancer patients. The time for a cure is not tomorrow. The time for a cure is now.” (Todd)

David: “Your subject says "Tired of Hope". I can't say that I would ever agree with that premise, assuming you meant that to be a literal statement.

“Hope is the only thing that keeps me going most days.
  • The hope that things might reverse with my cancer's growth.
  • Hope that my high climbing and fast moving PSA will either slow down or reverse before any metastasis show up.
  • Hoping I don't have bladder cancer or pancreatic cancer.
  • Hope that I can endure another 24 hours of pain.
  • Hope that my wife and family never give up on me.
  • Hope that I can stay strong enough to keep fighting.
“To me, being "tired of hope", would mean I am giving up on hope, or have become impatient with hope.

“Even dying needs to be embraced, it's a natural process in all living things. There is never any fairness in dying, so that rule shouldn't be applied. I find, that by accepting death, and even embracing it, makes it easier to accept.

“I don't hope I will live forever, but I do hope I can die a painless death with dignity. It bothers me when I read things like "we will all beat this thing", etc. We will not all beat death from PC. If we hang around HealingWell long enough, there will be names here that didn't make it. But that shouldn't bother or scare anyone, that is again part of the natural course of events. PC still kills nearly 30,000 men a year in this country alone, despite treatments, courage, and fighting the good fight until the end. Unless a cure is found, this pattern will continue over and over and over again.

“Never give up on hope; the opposite of hope, is hopelessness.” (David)

So if you are about to give up on hope, regardless of your life’s battles, you might be blessed, as I was with their sharing from the depths of their souls.

Verse of the Day: Hebrews 6:19: “Hope is the Anchor of our Soul.”

Bless you, one and all, Brother Bill

[Personal note: Please hold the Kawasaki family of Simi Valley, CA in your prayers. Mr. Tony Kawasaki passed away Saturday evening. Tony was my grandchildren’s other grandfather, and a wonderful person. He will be missed by all who knew him. Thank you.]

From the Quote Garden:
“Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases.”
~ Psalms 103:2-3 (Todd’s favorite passage)

Christ United Methodist Ministry Center
“Christ in the Heart of San Diego”
3295 Meade Avenue - San Diego, CA 92116 - (619) 284-9205

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