…It’s always another

‘If there were a giant cliff outside my bedroom window, I think I’d use it right about now.’ This morbid thought rang through my head late  last Tuesday as I was ravaged by my second consecutive night of fever, coughing,  soar throat, bloody mucous blowing, and tears pouring down my face for no emotional reason. Symptoms had been building for six days or so, but had reached their peak this lovely evening.

Wednesday night my genius body missed the cue that everyone in our timezone was supposed to be fast asleep. Not wide awake from 10:45 pm till sunrise. Not switching attempted sleeping spots three times. Not  blowing your nose at 5:45 am to realize  another bloody nose to start Thursday with. I guess both nostrils need to feel included.

And getting my nose to quit bleeding with platelets at 75 was about as impossible that morning as removing the overwhelming thought that Pilgrim’s Progress was a completely real story happening to me; that there really was someone standing on the other side of the couch throwing fiery darts at me.

It’s funny how your world can seem to be ending when you’re lying in bed in the middle of the night, letting your problems grow larger than life itself. When you say, “Come on, can’t I catch a break? I finally got over having all these seizures, and now this? And next week is chemo?!?!?” I guess if it’s not one thing, it’s always another.

Jesus probably felt this way when he urged his disciples to watch and pray, yet they kept falling asleep again and again.  If you’ve heard this story before and are like me, you’ve probably said, “It’s amazing that his best friends didn’t even listen to him! If I was there, I’d NEVER have fallen asleep in that garden!”   Yeah right, we’d all have done the same thing.

Western medicine amazes me. I mean seriously, how does some pharmaceutical lab scientist figure out how to come up with a drug (Avastin) that stops endothelial cell vascular formation by blocking the signal protein that stimulates it? It also amazes me that many Western med-school graduates think they can completely write off treatment modalities that have been used for thousands of years by European or Chinese doctors, e.g., because they didn’t learn about it in their American medical schools!

What amazes me the most is how intricate and unified God designed our bodies to be. Even if you got a dud, it still kinda works, right? Sure, my body missed the whole “let’s keep our brain under control” cue, but it still gets most cues.

Regardless of whether or not you believe in “alternative” medicine,” there is no denying these facts: (1) A few months before my my diagnosis 3.5 years ago, I developed a bunch of nasty plantar warts (caused by HPV)  under my big toe. They have not gone away despite freezing, castor oil/baking soda, 35% hydrogen peroxide, raw apple cider vinegar, french green clay, goldenseal root, etc.

(2) The bottom of the big toe is the reflexology point for the brain. (3) My plantar warts developed on my right big toe, and the tumor has always been in my right frontal lobe. (4) A German biofeedback test I had done in July said papilloma virus is currently the leading contributor to my cancer.

(5) The pathology reports of the two surgeries I had this year said Oligodendroglioma, and partial ODG/GBM. (6) A respected neuro-oncologist in Salt Lake told me after the first ODG path report to get another, because it’s “impossible” for a GBM to become an ODG. The different path labs who did each report would disagree and say it is possible. (7)  Numerous studies have linked Oligodendroglioma with viral causes.

Sure, this could be coincidence. But the way God designed us is not. It could be coincidence that the three areas I’m most affected by acne are all on the gallbladder meridian (my upper thighs, shoulders, and forehead). And that an electro-acupuncture test said my gallbladder/liver is the weakest organ/system in my body.

But it ‘s not a coincidence that John 17:3 says “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” And that Jesus compared himself to manna in John 6:30-35. And that Exodus 16 says manna must be collected every day because it went bad if they tried to save it for another day. And that it would melt later in the day as the sun came out.

It could be a coincidence that my greatest mental battles are fought in the middle of the night, long after my devotional time with Christ has melted. But it’s not a coincidence that the guy throwing fiery darts at me does anything and everything he possibly can to distract me from collecting manna each morning. Distractions like work (my job is my health right now), the internet, time with my wife, or books. If  it’s not one thing, it’s always another.

It is a coincidence that I’ve found blood pouring out of my nose three times this week, which is the exact same number of intense fevers I’ve had. But it’s not a coincidence that I found my wife on her knees pouring out her heart to God that Thursday morning on the couch beside me.

You see, Logan understands John 17:3 and that Jesus Christ is coming back for his friends. And regardless of what “you believe,” there are a few undeniable facts about friendship:

(1) Friends spend time together. Real friends get together more than once a week.

(2) Friends do things for each other.

Logan understands that the only reason she still has her best earthly friend, is because her heavenly friend values her way more than she could ever value Him.

She also understands friendship fact number two is the reason Daniel qualified this week to be in a trial for and save $250 on a months’ order of an expensive cancer medication insurance doesn’t cover yet. And that fact #2 is also the reason Daniel received an extra $700 this week from a completely unexpected source!

So here’s the deal, in case you somehow missed the cue:

(1) Jesus Christ is manna, which is food (2) We need food every day (3) He’s coming back for his friends

My two friends convinced me to skip the cliff idea, and the more time I spend with them the less often I think my world is ending. I haven’t decided yet which is worse: constant fear of seizures, intense physical pain & suffering, or intense nausea. However, I do know that if it’s not one thing, it’s always another, and I decided I’m okay with that. Especially if I know Logan isn’t the only one on her knees praying for us.

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9 Responses to “…It’s always another”

  1. Daniel this last blog post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing this eloquent message in such a simple way. I love you so much and continue to be amazed by you and logan. love you-your big sis.

  2. I will keep you and Logan in my prayers every day Daniel! You are an amazing writter and I loved the way how you told the story about how God is working in your and Logan’s lives despite all the giants the two of you are facing! Thanks so much for telling such an inspiring story and I will keep both of you in my prayers! 🙂

  3. allison harper Says:

    Hi Daniel… Dad and I just read your blog. Dad’s response was what it always is after reading your blogs… “Amen…that was beautiful.” I second his response and I can only say I am so thankful for your friend, our friend, Jesus. He provides a steady source of strength for this whole ordeal. For you, for Logan, and us, your family. I can hardly wait to see you next week!!!

  4. Thank you Daniel for sharing again. I can never read your blogs with out shedding tears. WE love you both so much, and are praying earnestly for you and Logan. Praise God for unexpected blessings.

  5. Dear Daniel,

    You have been thru so much, yet God is still giving you the strength, courage & hope to get thru another day. God has promised to be with you/us each & every day, no matter what ~ You can count on that!

    Having health issues helps you to realize that each day is precious and is to be lived to the fullest. We all need that reminder too!

    Thank you for sharing your heart, thoughts & concerns~ You are a inspiration to me & others. You have a great way with words!

    We are praying for healing & that God will be with you & Logan each & every day.

  6. Our prayers are with you. Thank you for reminding me to spend real quality time with my Friend every day. It’s too easy to take a friend for granted, just stick to the pleasantries because I’m in a hurry, or blow them off completely when I’m focused on myself or my worries. Thanks for the reminder. Speaking of friends…We miss you guys! We will keep you in our prayers, keep us in yours.
    ps: I think there’s still a cliff in your future: it’s epic, the landing is all powder and if you hit the right combo, you can knock the snow out of 3 different trees on the way down….:D

  7. Praying for you and your family every day.

  8. Daniel/Logan,
    We are continuing to keep you in prayer. God is in control and the job I find hardest when I am going thru trials is to surrender to HIS perfect will.
    When I do I find such peace…….
    Praying for you BOTH to have the peace that “passeth ALL understanding!!”.
    May your Christmas be merry with your Harper family visit~
    The Sherwin’s 🙂

  9. Jason Larsen Says:

    Another sleepless night for me brother. 4:15 am on Saturday the 18th. Kai woke me up and I haven’t fallen back to sleep. Mind is racing the with worries of raising a family and my good friends Daniel and Logan. Hope your sleeping soundly. I suppose it is a fair trade; nose bleeds for hiccups. Another fast planned for you this Sunday.

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