Well, now it's 11 down and only 1 to go!!!! It seems like a long time to get to this point, but obviously a lot has happened from the first diagnosis to now. Anne continues to amaze me with how incredibly well she tolerates the chemotherapy. She has had basically no complications from the chemo for a very long time. She's not even tired after the treatments anymore. And her spirit is high (praise God). Now we just have to get through the next chemo dose, and then a CT scan of the abdomen to see how things are going. Then, hopefully back to Mayo Clinic for her colon resection. That's our plan--we'll see what God plans for us.
We were able to get away--out of state this time--for a few days last week. We went together to a meeting in Boston for a new surgery that I have been wanting to do for a while. It requires going to an instructional meeting which included lectures, demonstration of the surgery on a cadaver, and then we were able to do the surgery ourselves on a cadaver. Thank God that people donate their bodies to science. The training is invaluable. You get "hands-on" experience with real anatomy (instead of plastic models), and if you make a mistake, the patient doesn't complain (or sue you). I actually had the surgery scheduled on one of my patients for this past Monday---and it went great thanks to the training. The best part of the trip was the fact that we were finally able to travel. We have been to Boston a few times in the past. This time we met up with a few friends. We had great fellowship and great meals. I tried to stay on my diet (really, I did). It was hard to pass up the Boston Cream Pie at Legal Seafood--so I didn't. We did a bit of sight-seeing as well. We went on a "duck-boat" which is amphibious and can go on land and sea. It's a leftover from WWII, actually, and was used for troop transport. We happened to be on a replica, but originals are still around. We drove around the city, then got into the Charles River for a tour that way. It was quite fun. We walked the "Freedom Trail" as well which is well worth it--there are a number of sites in Boston related to the Revolutionary War that are still standing--like the building where the Declaration of Independence was first read from.
At the meeting, I happened to mention that I needed to get back for my class on Creation and Evolution at church on Sunday night that I am helping to teach. I had to speak about Biblical Worldview and why it matters, which I am learning about in the Centurions program. One of the engineers overheard me talking and now we are new friends. He was involved in teaching the same subject years ago. It was great to speak with another Christian in a secular setting where you don't expect to hear about God. But, as I've found out, if you don't bring it up, you might never be able meet Christian friends, or start a discussion about God with a non-Christian.
Anne drove to London, Ontario on Sunday to go to her sister-in-law's baby shower. Rebecca and John are expecting their first child in a couple of weeks. It's very exciting as this will be the first baby in the family in 18 years. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new neice or nephew. They don't know the sex of the baby yet--I think that's cool. Anne and I were happy that we didn't know until the last moment. In fact, one of my patients told me today (who is also expecting in a month or so) that she knows she's going to go through a lot of pain, so to be surprised with the sex of the child is a bonus she is looking forward to and will help to take away some of the pain. Neat-o.
"Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it."
1 Peter 3:15, NLT
Yes, Anne and I have lots of hope, from hoping and praying that the cancer is all gone (I'm thoroughly convinced that it is of course) to the hope that someone who reads this blog will come to Christ because of the witness that this blog brings of God's greatness. I have gotten deeper and deeper into the word of God and feel reasonably comfortable speaking about my faith with others. I will bring it up frequently in the office (actually almost every patient). I guess I used to be embarrassed, but if I can help one person, it is worth it. So far, no one has said anything negative to me, so I will continue to plod along witnessing to others. And I said early on in the blog that I would shout from the mountain top when Anne is cured--so be ready.