Everything seems to come in three’s
There is an adage that goes something like this, “Things happen in threes” and humans have a tendency to look for patterns, for things that bid good fortune and for some, they are mindful, in their own state of mind of the potential of not so good a thing occurring as well. In writing there is the “Rule of Three”, which is simply:
I am not necessarily looking for something to be funnier or more satisfying here for me in the next three days. But I am looking for more clear cut direction and resolution to my current health situation.
The Latin phrase, “omne trium perfectum“, which means ‘everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete’ conveys a similarity to the rule of three, but in this case, I like the idea of completeness and perfection, rather than the fixation on the mythical power of the number “three”.
In any case, I have 3 days of activity which will have ramifications on how I move forward. I slept well last night. I went to bed kind of early. I got up at 4:30 am. I am writing this blog post.
Incredible supports have sustained me
I well appreciate all the support I have received from my family, my friends, my workplace and my church family. My friends and family on Facebook and Twitter have been incredible as well. There have been many people praying for me since this began, especially as the tumor began to manifest outside of an open wound on my chest in August of 2014. The words of encouragement, prayer support, acts of kindness and pastoral visits, have all been tremendous and have been so important in my healing journey.
From an ingrown hair to one nipple
What began as a “ingrown hair” and was then thought to be “an abscess” grew to be a tumor that was cancerous that needed to be be surgically removed on the 18th of November. Since then I have been healing up and taking it easy, so that my body heals up properly before determinations on the best treatment protocol can be determined. One observation of the Canadian public health system is that it is a slow moving bureaucracy. I can vouch for the slowness. My journey began the second week of April 2015. I went to three walk in clinics and two GP family physician visits before being referred to a surgeon. I had no mammogram, and no ultrasound, until AFTER I had met with the surgeon at the hospital, and that was in the month of August. Think about that. April, May, June, July and August. Five months. No ultrasound until the surgeon was trying to drain what was thought to be an abscess. By this time I had a hematoma and what looked like multiple abscesses, and within weeks I was actually scheduled for a guided ultrasound biopsy which happened in late September. On 6th of October I was told I had cancer. Seven months. Seven months. From August to the 18th of November, CCAC Nursing Clinic did daily dressing changes while the tumor grew from nothing to the size of a large cantaloupe. They were wonderful in their care and both professional and personable. After the surgery, I had CCAC Home Care come and care for me 2 to 3 times a week to look after the wound care and the healing of the scar tissue, and to make sure there was no more drainage. I just completed the home care this week. I no longer need dressings and can take showers now. I can continue to heal up until we find out the best treatment protocol to follow, if any.
What would it have been like had I been a woman?
My wife is convinced if I had been a woman, and a tiny lump had been discovered on my right breast, I would have been booked for a mammogram right away. I agree with her. But this is in the past now. All I am saying here is that whoever you are, male or female, you need to be an advocate for yourself. You need to seek out and get the help you need, when you need it. We are fortunate here in Canada to have what we have but it sure could be better utilized and implemented in ways that bring quicker and more effective treatment for people in need.
One thing I can vouch for though, is when the people in the medical system clue in with what needs to take place, in my case, when they discovered how aggressive this growth was, they moved it along more quickly.
I need to deal with the here and now
No matter what I face, my trust is in Jesus Christ, and that He will guide and direct the physicians in how to proceed in my my care and treatment plan. I am off to Princess Margaret’s Cancer Centre today ( 6th of January 2016) to meet a breast cancer oncologist. It has been 2 weeks since my last visit. I last met with Dr. Catton on 22 December 2015, at which point in time he called me a “mystery” and the cancer that we were dealing with as a complete “mystery”, and said it was an “aggressive cancer” even though they did not know what they were dealing with, and it was unlike anything he had ever seen “in over 30 years of practice”. The medical team at Princess Margaret, have made some more investigations into the “mystery cancer” I was afflicted with. Due to the high estrogen levels, they are leaning toward a preventative protocol that is based on rare breast cancers. But they still don’t know what I was dealing with. So I will be meeting to find out which way they are leaning and why. That is today at 2:40 pm. Lori and I are both going to hear them out today.
Tomorrow I go to see a radiation oncologist in our own locality at Grand River Hospital, Kitchener, who is in consultation with the medical team at Princess Margaret. This appointment is in the afternoon as well.
Then on Friday I go back to Grand River for an 9:00 am appointment with a medical oncologist (chemo).
Three days of this. Hopefully we get some direction.
Here is what I am praying for
- I am praying that much like the lepers that Jesus told to go to the authorities to confirm their healing, that this will be my case as well. We know of others who are people of faith, who began a course of treatments, and partially through the physicians said they did not need to have them. I believe I am healed. The cancer is gone. The surgery took care of it. The medical establishment doesn’t even know what kind it was. Lori and I want them to simply acknowledge that it is gone and done, and no further preventative treatment is necessary.
- I am also at peace with whatever is said to us.
- On Sunday morning while waking up I had a vision of the three young men who were taken as captives to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are the three pious Jewish young men thrown into a “fiery furnace” by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, when they refuse to bow down to the king’s image according to chapter 3 of the book of Daniel. The three are preserved from harm and the king sees four men walking in the flames, the fourth like “a son of god”. That was a significant picture for me. As a person of faith who has deep faith in Jesus Christ, I believe the same God that preserved these three young men from the fiery flames, can and will preserve me from all the side effects of the treatment options these physicians recommend.
- I am praying for discernment and wisdom today, for the physicians, and for Lori and I.
- I am praying that if the treatments are recommended, that I first have peace in my heart for that choice and direction.
- And if I do have peace, then I am praying that God will preserve me from all and any possible side effects from the treatment.
Would you pray with me? Thank you. May the peace of Christ be yours today.
Lori and I went out for coffee this morning
We were speaking about threeness and I mentioned this blog post. We prayed and asked the Lord to reveal 3 things for me to counter the 3 days with 3 oncologists in 2 cities. We paused and waited.
- The Triune God (Father, Son, Spirit)
St. Patrick’s Breastplate: Morning Prayer of Saint Patrick (approx 395 – 460AD)
“I arise today
Through a mighty strength: the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak to me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and near,
Alone and in multitude.
I summon today all these powers between me and those evils:
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today
Through a mighty strength; the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.”
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, I embrace the joy you have for me, and the fruitfulness you have for me, and the pruning that it entails. I also embrace and receive the longevity, the long life you have for me, to be a messenger and proclaimer of Your Kingdom. I embrace the Godhead, and I am baptized in Christ in Your death and resurrection, and am in union with You, just as You are One with the Father. I am empowered by the Holy Spirit to persevere and to overcome all adversity and opposition and all trials. In You alone Lord Jesus do I put my trust. Amen and amen.