My daughter encouraged me to share this part of my journey, and this seemed to be a good time. A number of people have commented on the fact that I have an extraordinarily rare disease—one almost never diagnosed until it has seriously compromised vital organs. Yet my disease was discovered when only my kidneys were affected—and even they actually show “normal” functioning on tests. So, how is it this disease was discovered?
Answer: In December of 2014 I shattered my leg in a motorcycle accident. I underwent surgery five days later to rebuild it. With the added fluid of the IVs, I experienced systemic edema (swelling) which has never disappeared. Finally, almost a year later, a doctor determined I should be tested for the cause of the edema—and the cancer was found.
In other words, had I not shattered my leg, it is very likely I would still not know about my disease. It is most likely that the disease would have progressed until such time as it compromised my organs so much that my prognosis would have been grim. If I am able to achieve remission through treatment, my life may well have been saved by my injury and suffering over the last year.
There is another connection between my accident and my current Adventure. Since starting to walk again, I have worked very hard to get into better physical condition. My goal: the removal of the steel plate and screws still in my leg. If I were able to be strong enough—active enough—the surgeon was willing to remove the steel. I designed and followed my own physical therapy, working within the limits provided by my doctor. I pushed myself. I hurt. I worked very hard for months. I gained strength. I gained stamina. I lost over 40 pounds. And I was scheduled for surgery.
Of course, that surgery had to be postponed (I have been told I can have it done if I achieve remission). But the strength and stamina showing up in all the tests I have undergone—the strength that my doctors believe will give me the chance of achieving remission—is a direct result of my injury. Had I not been injured, I would not have been so motivated, and I would not be in the condition I am in today.
Romans 8:28 tells us that God causes all things to work together for good for those called according to his purpose.
He didn’t cause my accident—that was caused by carelessness and an unwarranted desire for Jack-in-the-Box. What he did is use it. Not just for my physical safety, but for spiritual strength and the ability to serve Him. Because of this experience:
I am ready for life or death.
I have no fear of meeting my King physically—only anticipation.
I have a renewed awareness of how God can use me—and have had many opportunities to share my faith.
I have an extraordinary appreciation for the love and partnership I have with others—most particularly with the amazing woman with whom God has allowed me to share life.
I have been able to encourage and strengthen others.
I have peace (though still not jazzed about sharp tools).
I don’t know what you will face—because of your sin, or simply because we live in a fallen world. I do know who faces these things with you. He didn’t cause them, but he will use them for your good. If you—we—are willing to let him!
For updates on my Adventure go to www.caringbridge.org/visit/theadventure