Another Day in Paradise…

Two months ago Logan talked to Jason Merkle, who was diagnosed with a highly malignant rapid-growing brainstem glioma in 1994. After research, they chose the Burzynski FDA antineoplaston clinical trial. For four months his tumor continued to grow until Jason could no longer hear, see, or stay awake very well.

The FDA wanted to take him out of the trial but “there were people all around the country praying for Jason and our family“. Sticking it out another month they finally saw the tumor quit growing and now Jason is alive, well, and in full remission.This is obviously a lovely fairytale that many high-grade brain tumor patients do not get, yet would love to receive. However, in every case I’ve ever seen where this receiving does actually happen, two characteristics seem to be involved:

#1. An incredible faith in God/tremendous prayer support

#2. An INTENSE tenacity to live held by the patient or their family

‘It’s tough to get the whole fam together these days’

I possess neither of these qualities on my own, but fortunately I have others to help me with them. I’m learning #1 through bible study, prayer, and the spirit of prophecy and I am somehow privileged enough to posess the prayer support from a combined school, church, friend, blog, and facebook, network. Not super sure how all those came together so well. I just leave it up to God. I also try to count myself blessed that the impact I’ve been allowed has intensely increased since starting this treatment; even while posting less  –> (SEO geeks will understand).

I’m also not super sure as to where God is going with this whole thing or how He will work it all out, That is why I shared Jason’s story; My first MRI report obviously shows growth, but the clinic sees that in most all their cases.

It is easy to become discouraged in any trial of life, mine included, however, spending the time with Christ daily allows us to recognize His leadings (small as they may be). This is helps  me get through. I learned this again multiple times this week.

First off, it was something as small as a comment a friend left on my last post about recognizing God in a cell store. Second, my wife Logan had another great experience from God when He showed her His presence a few days back:

After learning of the MRI (which we somewhat expected) ) the devil disheartened and discouraged her.  As she sat on the couch before going to sleep,  reading her bible, a few tears fell as she prayed for God to cast the devil from the room. The day before she’d started reading Psalms 1-5 so that night, where we’ve been sleeping on the couch,  she read

“Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. But you, O Lord-how long? Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.”

My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes. Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer”~Psalms 6

My providential experiences seem to happen on a daily basis, and I choose not to discuss many of them because they are so bizarre. If you have any sort of Western medical training background, you simply will write off my discoveries and probably quit reading this blog. Let me give one example:

I have seizures 3-4 times a week. They range from left hand/arm twitches to facial as well. I can change the type of seizure depending on what I’m breathing in (certain rooms, airflows, etc.).

Valium slows them but doesn’t always stop them and takes a lot of time to kick in.Last week  I was in the middle of a bad seizure that would not stop despite all our attempts. Logan grabbed  eucalyptus oil, put it underneath my nose and the seizure immediately quit.

I’ll be honest, I feel like a Jason Merkle with my left hand/arm and balance beginning to slightly fade, seizures, head pressure, and MRIs attacking me on every side. However, I know whose weapons these are, and as I learned on my honeymoon from the Bahamanians, you just gotta ‘Shut de door, keep out de devil, shut de door, de devil in de night’.  Besides, everyone has problems. Call them symptoms. Whatever. All I know is that each day is a gift. Regardless of what happens. Each day is another day in paradise.

And being a bible-based Christian with a wonderful wife and family is a total WIN-WIN situation whether you have a high-grade glioma or not. You either get to spend another day in paradise with your gorgeous wife and supportive family, or simply fall asleep and wake up seeing Christ coming in the clouds of glory. You really can’t lose once you understand how simple this truly is. And gaining that simple assurance really isn’t hard: it’s simply a relationship with Christ. I stole an illustration for this blog, (Quitting or Sitting…) that sums the simplicity up quite nicely, if I can say so myself. Feel free to check it out.

I would like to make it very clear that I do my best with #1 and #2 above, but I leave it all in God hands. I have NO IDEA  how this whole thing will work out, I just  recognize He’s providentially opened the doors for this treatment and  simply take it one day at a time , (HARD AS IT IS!!!!!) thinking of it as another day in paradise.

Ways to Help… (Due to the clinical trial being done at a private clinic; enormous monthly costs are involved)

1. Pray. Pray. Pray!

2. Tax Deductible! You can now make tax deductible donations by sending them to the Georgia Cumberland Academy Church at 351 Academy Dr. SW Calhoun, GA 30701. If you have any questions about donating this way you can contact Nancy Gerard at 706-629-4591.

2. Email loganehlert@yahoo.com for and address or information on how to donate to a Harper Cancer Fund that has been set up through Bank of America. This can be done through an in-bank transfer, wire or by visiting your local Bank of America branch with the account and routing number, which she will provide. We tried to make this tax deductible but it is not possible.

3. Visit http://prayfordaniel.com and purchase “Pray for Daniel” bands through Paypal (credit cards etc). Or send as “payment owed” through Paypal to danielgharper@yahoo.com.

4. Repost this blog on your Facebook page and pass it on.

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8 Responses to “Another Day in Paradise…”

  1. Vivian Raitz Says:

    Daniel – your blog is so inspiring and informative. Would you be willing to share with me some idea of how much you owe for your medical treatments up to this point, that will not be covered by insurance? Also, did you have to pay for the present series of treatments in advance? thanks, Daniel!

    vivian raitz (cell 706-313-8527)

    • Vivian,
      Thank you so much for asking. I’m always slightly hesitant to share with people the full cost for the treatment as it is so expensive and why I have waited to give it a shot as a last resort. But really, I didn’t make the decision to use it as a last resort. If you have read my blogs consistently you’ll see that God providentially opened the doors for me to begin and continue so far. It is a clinical trial, so the enormous amount of medicine that I use is free, however, the enormous amount of supplies and follow-up care from the clinic (which is a private clinic not a major pharmaceutical firm) is not free. Some generous friends helped us with the $20,000 it took to get started and now it takes $7600/month to continue. I owe this up front and we work to get insurance to pay us back on some of the cost. We don’t know how much insurance will pay yet. But we will know soon.

  2. Jennifer Coble Says:

    Oh my, what “a gift you have”….!! Satan has given you “the tumor” but God has blessed you with “priceless gifts” that you have chosen to share (not waste) with the world. Isn’t it amazing how something so hideous as cancer which can cause “death” has been so elequently shared through your “Life’s Journal” (blog) and all the beautiful things that you appreciate and don’t take for granted…your “georgous wife” as you so sweetly describe her, your dedicated family and a world of friends, coupled with breath-taking, colorful pictures to help us “see”…what we don’t see! You have taken something “so ugly” and turned it into “a thing of beauty…this “priceless gift” that God has chosen to give to you Daniel and through your enormous love for Him and faith in Him…have graciously shared “your walk” with all of us! You give us hope and we give you all our love and prayers!

  3. Gary Moore Says:

    Daniel,

    you have a gift for writing! You rarely fail to make me smile when I ready your blog! You rarely fail to make a tear come up You never fail to show me your love for God. He is using you.
    Keep plugging – there is a rainbow at the end of your journey regardless of the outcome as long as you keep up your walk with Jesus ! Praying with you!

  4. Alex Brady Says:

    “You either get to spend another day in paradise with your gorgeous wife and supportive family, or simply fall asleep and wake up seeing Christ coming in the clouds of glory. You really can’t lose once you understand how simple this truly is.”

    These couple sentences are some of the most inspiring I’ve ever read. Life is truly a win-win situation if you look at it in that perspective. Just keep on fighting man, we all know that God has a plan. Praying for you!

  5. your posts NEVER cease to truly amaze me! you are a beautiful gift from our Heavenly Father. your out take on life is one that we all need to have. I am unsure if I will meet you here on earth but you’ve touched my heart and I’m certain you’re going to have a bazillions stars on your crown!! keep fighting & believe in complete healing! I continue holding you, your beautiful wife, & family up in prayer! You’re amazing!! Give your sweet sister a BIG hug from me!

  6. Lindsey Holland Says:

    Daniel your trust and faith in God and your acceptance of what is happening is inspiring. I don’t know why this is happening, but one thing I am sure of is that your influence and faith in God through it all will lead others to a closer walk with Christ! You are in my prayers. and don’t forget Matthew 19:26…” With Man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Keep on trusting Him no matter how hard it may be!

  7. Daniel,
    We are praying for you everyday!!! Along with praying for you we are praying for your Family and Friends too!!! I know how much they mean to me, so they must mean a lot more to you. Your sister was my Girls Dorm “RA” out at GCA. She helped me through a lot that I was going through at the time. Your Dad was the Pastor and Bible teacher for me. You have an amazing Family. I know they will be there when you need them the most. We will keep praying for God’s WILL to be done in your life. Thanks for sharing your faith with us. I know its been hard, but just know that you have touched many lives out here on Earth…. May God bless you!!!! Thanks Daniel

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