Thursday, January 26, 2012

Results, Ramblings and God

I received the results from last Friday's blood work. My Kappa Light Chains dropped from 140 to 120 and the bilirubin fell to 1.0 from 1.70. Good news, particularly as the improvement occurred without treatment, other than a Zometa infusion.

The severity of multiple myeloma is mysteriously random from one patient to the next . Since being diagnosed ten years ago, there have been five or six difficult periods where the beast has interrupted my life. I have  recovered from each and returned to a relatively normal schedule because;

A) The Oncology Team at the Dana Farber has been spot on with their treatment.
B) The strain of multiple myeloma attacking my body goes into hiding after chemo.

Easy enough explanation, but not satisfying in the end because the questions remain; why do I have an easier time than so many others? More pointedly, why an easier time than the young people in the same fight? It may be that there are no answers but I'm tired of hearing, 'we must trust in God's mysterious ways.'

My concept of God continues to evolve but I believe He or She is smart enough to teach us a lesson, any lesson, without need of a young cancer victim as the mechanism. I do not believe He causes anyone to become sick or to be the victim of misfortune. God, perhaps, started the clock and gifted us a conscience and free will, then stepped back to watch how we would treat one another. Despite my current stance, however, I find myself speaking with God and the tone recently has become contentious if not heated at times. Although I believe He doesn't cause sickness I'm certain that He has power enough to stop it. Maybe just for the younger folks?

Religions, in my opinion, are exclusive clubs. They are made so by the requirement of obedience to leaders who have as their objective, domination over all other religions. A personal relationship with one's God is anathema within the rigid confines of institutional religion. Outside those boundaries it is the source of freedom, relief, and appreciation for the gift of life, as it might be lived in shared exuberance with folks we love.

If I could codify God's boundaries for me it would contain these four elements;

Be good to others, always.
Be kind to yourself.
Look for the beauty in each moment of existence.
Avoid the dark evil of despair.

God has no tolerance for despair. When I have felt the insidious creep of depression, due to the roller coaster ride of multiple myeloma for example, God reaches out to me. As long as I take His hand and allow His strength to hold me above the surface, we're good.

If I ignore Him in this, his anger is palpable, a searing intensity that focuses my attention. It is up to me to reach, and He will  pull me back from the hell of hopelessness. His miraculous gift is this life continued, with the beauty, love and pain it holds in store for me.

I  confront God with my anger that he allows children to suffer from disease, famine or the fire of exploding bombs, He laughs, and turns it back on me.

'It is not my doing,' he seems to say. 'You are the key variable in the most basic equation.'

 'Would you give away all you possess to save one tiny life?', he asks me.

'Will you leave the comfort of your home and family to care for the million babies, starving to death in their mothers' arms in the desserts of the Sudan?'

'Are you intending to go to those places where bombs rain down, to hold frightened children when there is no place to be safe?'

'You alone can be a force to save tens, hundreds possibly thousands from the pain you blame me for... Will you help?'

 I know the answers to His blunt, fundamental questioning of the depth of my convictions. I've calculated the cost of the truth. Thus I say nothing and remain silent as time ticks away and I settle into the corner of the darkness surrounding me.

Soon, He is silent as well.


  1. First, thanks for posting on my blogspot and you will see that I made a comment there as to my fumbling fingers... ooops.

    Second, I have to say that I share the concept that God is best experienced one-on-one and it sounds like you have established a pretty solid connection... my prayer/intention is that you are continuing to draw in that Highest Light and guidance for your well-being...

    and thanks again for sharing!

  2. Here's an article I think you might find interesting. I did.
    I find your point of randomness of severity to be spot on. It is something I really did not understand at all. Yesterday, I was contemplating to my husband at why the incredible mother of one of my students would pass away from Leukemia and yet I have to go to a mandated reporting seminar for parents who harm their children, on purpose. He said "it's one thing that's not prejudice I guess." And yet, also in response, I know that its not accident I'm in just the right place to be of comfort to this young girl, as a member of the body of Christ fulfilling my role.

    1. JH, thanks for the reference. I'll read when I've finished here. Bless you for the work that you do. It can't be easy, but you may be the only connection this child has to the love of Christ, through your heart.

      I'm very sorry at the loss of such a good woman.

      I'd never thought of it that way, but your husband has it right.