Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Grace is that power granted one who does not deserve it. The grace of the Christian Faith, the "amazing grace" we sing about and the theology of grace puts it more in the definition of the life given us in Christ that we do not deserve. It is given us not because of what we have done to deserve it. Rather it was promised to us by God and freely granted. Bonhoeffer described it in much more details in his famous book "The Cost of Discipleship". He came up with the notions of cheap grace vs costly grace. Many of his writings are very difficult to read, not because of how he says it but because of what he says. Like Christ, he calls us to a life of discipleship, not as a means to an end but as the end to the means. We are expected to, required to live according to Christ because we are saved from even death and given eternal life. When we freely accept this grace but do not live a live worthy of that calling, we cheapen it. To live in Christ is costly and to that end we are his people, you and I.

Recently my mortal life was extended, once again. Honestly, I never thought I would survive more than a year with my condition as serious as it was. We were told I had between six and twelve months without treatment. After some very difficult treatment times with unsuccessful results things were looking very bleak. I was heading for a stem cell transplant or I would likely die in a few months. I even feared the procedure and it's heavy doses of chemotherapy would do me in anyway. What a change the past five months have been under the experimental drug we know as AG-221. An amazing grace of life when I deserve much less than most people has happened to me. If that doesn't make your skin crawl, it sure does for me. If you are not prone to believe then call it creepy. But if you believe in miracles you know that God has given me new life.

So this reflection ends with a new beginning. What is God calling me to do now? What does he expect us to be doing with the rest of our lives? More importantly, will we be like Joanah or will we do what he calls us to do? Will I go where I want to go, not where he wants me to be?

Prayer:  Father God.  Please call me to serve you wherever you need me the most.  Open my heart to you and clear my ears.  Amen.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Complete Remission

Yesterday Dr. Kadia said I am in "complete remission" from the MDS/AML we have been battling for over a year. This was not unexpected news because my test results this past month to six weeks were pointing in the remission direction. Last month Dr. Kadia used the word "remission" but not like he did yesterday. He believes I'm doing better than any of his patients with my condition. How relieved and excited we are!

We know this is not a cure. I will likely be on this drug for as long as it continues to keep me healthy. For now we are very grateful for this news and look forward to more improvement in the future. I need to get more strength, strength that comes from nourishment. My appetite continues to improve, slowly. It is a cycle of change I am trying to endure. I'm learning to eat different things that are high in protein and calories. Since my sickness begain I have lost over 40 pounds. This is weight I did not have to loose, so getting my strength up is closely connected to eating.  These are side affect issues for how my system reacts to this treatment. It is a learning process not without challenges. But all and all I am so happy to be producing good blood cells that appear cancer free, for now.

Thanks again for your continued prayers for us both.