Perspectives…

I’d be careful with that sort of thinking if I were you. After all, John the Baptist was executed  in prison while Jesus was just a few miles away. Things don’t always work out how we’d like.” One of my closest friends issued this warning to me a month ago after I shared how I didn’t think God was going to let me die from brain cancer, and how confident I was that I still have a full life ahead of me.

I do like to be careful, but I don’t think if my friend were me they would find that attitude very conducive for fighting a deadly disease. I’m well aware of things not always going how I’d like; just ask me about Amway, Forex-trading, or my immune system keeping my cancer from coming back.

I do understand where my friend was coming from.  After all, Jesus said “Whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.However, I don’t think David harbored this thought process when he said “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.” Kinda bold thing to say.

I’m thankful that we are all entitled to our own perspective. I’m even more thankful that God has an amazing way of putting things in perspective.

Last Tuesday I was bemoaning to myself how miserable life is right now; I had thrown myself a pity-party over my 12+ hour days of cancer therapy and how I cannot snowboard this season. That was when I recieved a FWD: text message from 918-902-9977.

I was told to to please pray for 22 Christian missionaries who were going to be executed in Afghanistan by Islamists. It also told me to ‘pls pass as fast as u can so that many will pray. Ptr Aguirre.’  Now I  don’t know Ptr Aguirre or how he got my phone number. I also don’t know why I got an urgent message how for something that apparantly happened in February, 2009 (googled it the next day).

All I knew at the time was that I didn’t have it as bad off as those poor people who were about to be executed  and I ended my pity-party.  I haven’t called the number yet to see who Ptr is: I’m kinda scared my guardian angel would pick up and I wouldn’t know what to say.

I do know to say THANK-YOU in a huge way to the incredible response everyone has shown Logan and I after this last post. To anyone who prayed,  shared encouragement, or passed this on, THANK-YOU!!! Please keep it up – I have no doubt that skipping Ativan for the last 5 days, WBCs of 3.8 (after chemo round #1), and a seizure-free medical trip to Vegas was due to God’s working through much prayer sent our way. Such are the thoughts of a weak and exhausted boy from Utah.

All the encouraging comments meant so much! Definitely more than sandwichv3@live.com’s comment to one of my posts six months ago, “you sound like a f*&%ing fag.  you dont even know what your talking about. i think your just the retard loser that cant get a job or a life at that.”

To be totally honest, knowing I’m having an impact on other people (good or bad!) sometimes really scares me. The other day I woke up at 1:30 a.m. and never went back to sleep. Combine insomnia, seizurish feelings, and over 16 hours since personal time with God/your Bible, and you have a recipe for worry. It was yet another opportunity to scare myself into pondering this familiar thought: If I’m making the biggest impact on others through my battle with cancer, will God ever let me get past this? Is this going to go on for years?

When plagued with my thoughts on previous sleepless nights, God has a tendency to place familiar lyrics in my head like Relient K‘s: “I made it through the year and I did not even collapse; Gotta say Thank God for that” Perspective strikes again. Everyone has their own; God’s is probably best.

I’ve had other well-meaning friends tell me I shouldn’t spend all my time researching cancer or doing coffee enemas. And while I’m thankful for the minor improvements our medical industry has made in ‘The War Against Cancer‘, I can’t reasonably put my faith in a system where more people make a living off cancer than people that die from it.

My oncologist scoffs at my Poly-MVA ‘nutraceutical.’ And numerous “natural people” have told me they’d NEVER do chemotherapy. I guess we are all set in our ways. Close-minded might be a better word.

Maybe I could avoid the flack if I simply explained how palmitate, an enzyme in caffeine (coffee) travel through the hemorrhoidal/hepatic portal veins to aid the liver’s bile in carrying away toxins; or how Poly-MVA’s palladium lipoic compound  donates an electron to a hypoxic cancer cell’s inefficient & anaerobic energy cycle, causing apoptosis.

I never did any research, nor did I use the “c word” during my first bout with a GBM. I was extremely close minded. I kinda thought my positive attitude would make it all disappear. Maybe denial is a better word. I didn’t want my life to be defined by cancer. My perspective didn’t allow me to realize that this type of cancer is not something that doesn’t define your life.

Before my diagnosis, my life was defined by what most of us Americans  are consumed with: MAKING MORE MONEY/GETTING MORE STUFF/ADVANCING A CAREER OR EDUCATION.The system we live in often seems to leave us close-minded to much else.

Being told at 21 you have around a 4% chance of surviving five years has a way of waking your mind up to what really matters in this short life. And it’s not what we are all so focused on.

I sold my car last Friday for 100 bucks and a Christmas tree. That’s it. The sinking feeling I felt after leaving the transaction is probably similar to the sinking feeling countless people will feel on a soon-coming, brighter-than-normal day, when they realize they were too close-minded to discover the rest of Relient K’s song:

Jesus Christ, it’s blessed my life to know just who you are.

You are my hope

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6 Responses to “Perspectives…”

  1. Daniel, always look forward to your updates. You and Logan have been in my prayers every day. In regard to this post, I specifically remember having conversations with my mom a few years ago about how we’d “never do chemo.” Then my mom was diagnosed with GBM. She started taking Temodar when my baby boy (her only grandson) was 6 weeks old. He’s now well over 2 and she spent the day yesterday taking him to buy new shoes & playing with him & his Hot Wheels cars. I thank God for this. There have been many ups & downs between then & now, but we gotta keep hope! The perspective I have gained from reading your blog has changed me. I’m still praying for you & Logan and the rest of your family too. I know going through this affects everybody who loves you.

  2. Daniel,
    Great update. I seriously appreciate the transparency. I also wanted to just mention that it’s obvious throughout Jesus’ ministry that people he came across all had different stories. Jesus didn’t use all the people as the same example. You WON’T know what God’s plan is, He won’t tell you. You CAN count out Him using you for His Glory, just be open to that.
    Thank you again for being so honest.
    Prayers,
    Erik

  3. Stefanie Elkins Says:

    Hi Daniel,
    I have been faithfully reading your posts and and wondering how such a young man who was once my student has now become my teacher! Sweetie, you and Logan are so blessed, not only to have each other, but to be able to use this horrific ordeal to bless others.

    Upon reading your comments all the “helpful” advice you have gotten from friends, it made me think about my mom’s battle with breast cancer a few years back. While her cancer was nothing compared to yours, she too decided to go the alternative route and refused chemo. She has become a huge advocate of natural therapies and I along with her. All the research we have done has convinced me that natural remedies are far more effective in the long run. However – I have also learned that everyone is different. Some people respond positively to chemo, radiation, and the plethera of drugs that are prescribed. Therefore I no longer judge. Everyone has to make their own decisions about treatment. I applaud you and Logan’s influence for choosing a more natural approach.

    Keep up your faith. It has inspired mine. This in turn creates a chain reaction I think. Faith builds faith. The more faith we all have, the more powerful our prayers. Don’t let well-meaning friends use the biblical accounts against you. Jesus approaches us all differently and for various reasons. I completely believe He has the power and desire to heal you and give you a full and happy life. Then again, I could get hit by a drunk driver tomorrow. All of us only have today. You are living for that now and in the end, no matter what happens we can all say that Daniel Harper lived a full life for God. My prayer is that we can all hope to have that said of ourselves.

    You and Logan are in my prayers daily Kiddo. Know that you are much loved and prayed for. God is so close.

    Sincerely,
    Stefanie

  4. Colene Graham Says:

    I have read all of your blogs…I work with your mom, but you may not remember me. But, I remember you, and pray everyday for you and your whole family. YOU are an inspiration to me and many others. I don’t know whether I could have the same attitude that you have after all that you have been through, but it is such a blessing to read your story. God is in the business of miracles….He is able. Please know that there are many people out there praying for you and Logan and all your family!

  5. Joanne Harper Says:

    Daniel, it was wonderful to visit with you and the rest of the family. I really enjoy your perspective on life & we continue to pray for your renewed health & vitality. While visiting with my sisters, Tues after our visit, My sister Laura who works for Tahitian International (Morinda, Inc) suggested that you do some research on their product. She says they have done studies & research & that it has reduced cancer in other people. I tried to look up some things to send to you but alas, I am no researcher. If you are interested, my sister will talk to you (I can give you her number) and she can explain all the medical terms. Please do not hesitate to let me know. Love Joanne, Doug & the cousins

  6. MarTez the Messenger Says:

    Daniel,

    Here it is, 2011 and I just non-intentionally come across your blog. I was actually looking for some decent Christian pics to share with people…and wowww, there were your posts. I have to honestly say that I am always grateful to come across such powerful testimonies and encouragement as well as informative topic matter. I pray that you are still here with us and still sharing you faith and “perspective” with us. I have never physically experienced anything like cancer but I must say that I have come to know personally, some time ago, that denying or doubting the “trueness” of God is indeed cancerous. Again, I know you don’t know me and we’ve never met, but I do believe that meeting you today, through this post, has blessed my spirit and further inspired me to continue my calling. Thank you for being obedient to the Spirit of God within you. Rejoice in the Lord always…be blessed; peace and grace to you forever!

    -MarTez the Messenger

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