They said Pedro was lucky. “If you’re going to get cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is very treatable.” A little CHOP-Rituximab (four chemotherapy drugs, the P stands for Prednisone, and Rituximab, a monoclonal antibody), lots of rest, and presto, the cancer disappears.
And it did. But then it came back after three short weeks of remission. But this time, it came back with a vengeance and snuck across the blood-brain barrier. The lymphoma cells multiplied with such rapidity that Pedro experienced excruciating headaches (similar to what someone with spinal meningitis would have) that took buckets of morphine to subdue (I’m not joking about the buckets of morphine—only it came in one liter bags).
The hospital in Bozeman didn’t have enough of the prescribed chemotherapy drug (methotrexate) to treat Pedro, so we had to wait a few days for his first treatment. Which did nothing. Fast forward five weeks and Pedro’s face has frozen entirely (the cancer cells attached themselves to his facial muscles. The doctor’s only option?
They drilled through his skull and installed an Ommaya reservoir in his head in order to administer rescue chemotherapy. We didn’t ask what it consisted of. Maybe we didn’t want to know. But it worked.
Twelve years later, Pedro enjoys great health and the Ommaya reservoir remains as a testament to the rescue chemotherapy and the total hospital bill of almost a million dollars. He has a Nike pump sized-lump on his head surrounded by a half-moon scar; slight paralysis in his face (mostly it looks like he had Botox on one side because there are no wrinkles), and his foot doesn’t quite function properly (due to nerve damage).
A handful of physical reminders of the rescue chemotherapy the doctors used so long ago. But they don’t bother us in the least. They remind us of the blessings, the miracles and the rescue. (tweet this)
But we all suffer from a form of cancer—sin nibbling at our contentment with its insidious lies and impulses. Sometimes everyone can see our cancer—addictions, wasted lives and deep unhappiness. Sometimes, the cancer lurks within us and even though we’ve become adept at hiding its presence from the world—it eats away from the inside out, clouding our vision and our hope.
The Great Physician stands by, ready to rescue us from cancerous sin. “God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating” Colossians 1:13-14 (The Message). This time the bill cost much more than a million dollars—it cost a life.
There’s hope for each of us—no matter how sunken in sin we might be. Whether our sin parades us through town or lurks in the alleys of our heart, God sent his Son to rescue us. (tweet this)
Sure, we might bear physical reminders as a testament to God’s rescue—but we need never feel ashamed. We have a Savior who will rescue us over and over again—as many times as it takes—because he loves us. And that inspires me!
Inspire Me Monday Instructions
What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:
1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).
2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.
3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer–just do it!
Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).
I found inspiration for my Monday at #InspireMeMonday. Join us! (tweet this)
So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!