A Day to Remember: July 14, 2020


I purposely have tried to walk away from talking about my cancer journey on this blog because – heavens! – that’s all I talked about! I’ve attempted different posts, but none really shined.


But today is rather special and I thought a short note would be appropriate.


July 14, 2020, was the day I had the last of my six RCHOP infusions; my chemotherapy was finished.

Every 21 days, oncology nurses (God bless them!) hooked me up with three consecutive IV bags which held cancer killing magic: rituximab, cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin (the “red devil”!), oncovin, and then that day and four days after, I’d swallow 500 mg tabs of prednisone.

I had circled all six days on the calendar. July 14 was the day the final salvo was to be fired at “Timmy the Tumor”.

Since then, thanks be to God: no evidence of disease.

I have already addressed to the best of my ability some of the lessons that I believe the Lord has given me. Here’s another one:


Having gone through this first (and I hope only) round of cancer, and then a painful bout of Covid, 2020 was the best year of my life.


I truly mean it. I have never felt closer to God, felt as helpless and dependent on other, been prayed over more, and experienced the joy of repurposed life. Before my diagnosis and infection, I “cared” about people with cancer and savagely acute viral-induced illness, but not as I do now. I’ve been given a nano-second glimpse of the shadow of what the Bible describes of Jesus as our sympathetic high priest (Hebrews 4:14-16). He knows - not just knows about - the frailties of the flesh because he’s had the common experiences we’ve had. To the writer of Hebrews, this should urge us to hold firmly to the faith we profess, for when we go to him, he can say, “I know exactly what you’re going through!” He knows not only because he is omniscient, but because he experienced it.


What kind of God does that?


Recently, Psalm 71:19-21 caught my attention:

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

Did you catch that? Wherever people came up with a Gospel in which there are no struggles and burdens, it is foreign to the one Jesus lived and taught! But here it is plain – and this may wreck your theology: “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter”. The Bible is firmly against God as the author of sin, wickedness and capricious villainy. But he is the Great Allower. This is a beautiful, terrible, fruitful, and painful paradox. And yet, this is exactly what he was willing to do, himself. Outside of his love, it sounds like madness.

But look again at the fruit: My life – if only for a year – has been restored! I have been honored with the opportunity to talk to people in ways that I never imagined; the privilege of being there with them at the most painful time of their lives. When they talk of pain, fear, anxiety, the many varied and varying intensities of the side-effects of chemo, hopelessness, depression, trouble communicating, trouble finding purpose, grieving the loss of abilities … I get it. It’s why Cancer with Grace, our church’s cancer support group is both an honor and a responsibility for me.


Will I observe July 14, 2022? Maybe. I’m counting on it … but if not, it changes nothing about the love of God, the power of God or the purpose of God.


Here's the truth: All healing is temporary on this earth.


The most important healing is the healing of our relationship with Him which Jesus already offers if we take it.

Have you taken that offer, friend? It’d be a shame to go through the trouble of an imperfect life, only to discover that God’s offering a redo. Let us look at that Psalm again:

Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.

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