The good…

Seven.

Seven is the number of MRIs I had in 2010 that had findings almost exactly like to the one above. Enhancement means tumor, which means cancer. Growing cancer. January, March, March, June, July, September, and November’s reports pretty much all said the same thing. It kinda sucks ALWAYS getting bad news…

Fortunately for me, seven is not the total number of times I laid in a giant magnet  this year. Seven isn’t the total number of times my head’s hydrogen protons were lined up, knocked out of alignment with radio waves, and then recorded and mapped as they emitted their own signal while realigning. No, my 2010 MRI count totaled eight, and when the 1 out of 8 is anything like last Tuesday’s, the other 7 don’t mean a thing.  The good always outweighs the bad.  Especially when the radiologist makes it this good:

Findings:  Since the prior examination, there has been significant improvement in nodular enhancing focus within the right frontal lobe anterior to the resection cavity.What does this mean in English, you might ask? In the words of my oncologist, “What you’re doing is working, your tumor is shrinking!I guess all that inflammation I feel after taking Poly-MVA is apoptosis taking place after all.

These fantastic findings helped me mentally cope with the horrific memory of Thursday’s spasmodic seizure I had while home-alone. It helped me remember that the good always outweighs the bad, even when the bad can’t seem to be any worse.

Thursday night’s sudden and uncontrollable spasms  left me feeling exactly like Mr. James Bond himself, after his poisoning in Casino Royale. Like someone had intentionally sabotaged me. (more fiery darts, I suppose)Except the only person  in the room with me was a friend in Colorado. A friend who could nothing more but painfully listen to my involuntary moaning and screaming of his name into my dropped cellphone. A friend who could not keep me from cracking our towel-rack in a pathetic attempt to get my twitching body close to the Ativan tablets we keep on the counter.A friend who could not help me clasp my jerking fingers around the Ativan pill that lay six inches from my twitching face on the bathroom tile, after I’d unsuccessfully tried to put it under my tongue and dropped to the floor to get it.

I imagine I felt much like Mr. Bond as I pulled myself along the floor to the bottle of pills I’d dropped in the hallway on my first unsuccessful  attempt to get the lid off and end my misery. And Logan could probably relate much more to her friend Vesper after rushing home to find me lying in a pool of spilled pills on our bathroom tile. Only I had no Aston Martin, tuxedo, or fancy gadgets to glamorize an incredibly scary situation. Just little old me, shaking and shivering in fright.After calming me down, she did help me remember that the good outweighs the bad, especially when the bad is simply a side effect of the good that’s taking place. She helped bring to mind the incredible excitement and joy we both experienced the day before after discovering some amazing news.

She helped me remember that while 2010 was a crazy journey and incredibly scary at times, God was with us the whole way. I never would have chosen our tracks had I been the conductor planning the trip. However, He’s got us en route and I wouldn’t have had it any other way after seeing the change 2010 has wrought in our lives. ‘Ministry of Healing’ puts it this way:

If He saw in us nothing whereby He might glorify His name, He would not spend time in refining us. He does not cast worthless stones into His furnace.

A closer walk with Christ has been worth every coal we’ve had to walk across to understand the value of this relationship. It’s worth the daily sacrifice it takes to maintain. I think Logan would agree with me in saying that we are fairly lucky.

We are lucky for the flames that sprung up on our self-centered highway, and forced us to a narrower path. We’re lucky to understand something that most people don’t. To understand that our good can only outweigh our bad once we get some help from Grace. And that Grace groups us all into just two categories: (1) those who accept, cherish, and live for it, and those who do not (2).

Neither Logan or myself have any idea what 2011 will hold for us. But as long as we’ve got each other, anti-seizure pills, and our best Friend, neither of us really care.

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10 Responses to “The good…”

  1. so glad to hear that you got a good report on your MRI!!!

  2. Virginia Mattson Says:

    Dan and Logan, My friend, Jane, and I have been praying much for you. I believe God is working with the chemo to bring healing to you. Virginia

  3. Christina C Says:

    Love the last line of this post – so sweet!

  4. Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Good to hear the news about your MRI man!

  5. Don Keele Jr Says:

    Great news Daniel. We will continue to pray that each successive report continues the same direction. I pray for you and Logan often, and am so proud of the spiritual journey that you are on. To see the upside of a downer situation truly means that the Spirit has revealed it to you. Keep holding on to Jesus and each other.
    Love and prayers,
    Pastor Don

  6. Conrad Harper Says:

    Hey cousin, it’s so good to hear that you got a good report! Can’t wait to hear some more good news. And im looking forward to seeing you and the rest of the family hopefully sooner than later.

  7. sharlene carman Says:

    While this whole post touched me, nothing in it was as precious as your comments about how this past year has strengthened you and Logan’s relationship with Jesus. Worth it all…for any of us who have gone through earth’s fiery trials and found HIM there!

  8. Great post Daniel. I too especially like the last sentence. Wish we lived closer and could help out more.

  9. It’s awesome to hear you finally got some good news. Keep fighting bro…and keep writing…because in the same way others lift you up in prayer, you lift others up with your example. Keep it up.

  10. Frances McCarter Says:

    His grace is sufficient. Thank you for being so candid. You keep me centered and thankful for the health that I have. I am old enough to be your grandmother. Somehow I feel that I know you because I know people who know you. Praying for you.

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