A few weeks back I wrote about my complete loss of appetite and severe weight loss. Actually I lost 27 pounds in about 60 days and in the last weeks have been losing 1-2 lbs. per day. I was not overweight at 6 feet tall and weighing in at 209 so the loss of 27 pounds had a noticeable effect on me. I lost much muscle mass and was so fatigued I was sleeping much of the day, (something I have never experienced).
My doctor was very concerned and when I asked what might be causing it he told me with a somber look, pancreatic, stomach, liver, or colon cancer among other things. He said he would not know until tests were administered. So last week I got a CAT Scan, and it revealed that I did not have cancer, at least that might be detectable. It did show that I have a fatty liver but nothing more. I also had blood tests and they did not show cancer either.
That made me feel good for a few minutes. My doctor seemed excited too, but then he said because of the serious amount of weight loss in such a short period of time, we still needed to find out what was causing it. I was quickly deflated like a punctured life raft.
So yesterday I had an endoscopy by a specialist in that field. The test is administered under anesthesia and a tube with a camera is inserted down your esophagus into your stomach and a slight way into your small intestine.
In my doctor’s words what he saw was that all these areas are a “mess”. I have numerous ulcers that have eaten holes in my stomach lining, severe gastritis, (inflammation), a hiatal hernia, and many growths of undetermined nature, for which he took biopsies.
I was semi-conscious and recovering from the anesthesia and I overheard the doctor talking about my condition to my wife. He said I had been taking too many Aleve, aspirin, and Tylenol. Hmmm…Those were the exact products my shoulder doctor told me to take for pain related to my torn rotator cuff surgery. The ortho doctor said the Aleve was an anti-inflammatory and would reduce the inflammation in my shoulder and the aspirin/Tylenol would relieve the pain. I didn’t want to take anything stronger due to my fear of getting addicted. As it turned out that stuff was eating my stomach away and I’m not sure which was worse.
At least the mystery has finally been solved. To undo the “mess” I am taking a plethora of medication that should cure it in a couple of weeks. He took several biopsies and when the biopsy results and liver workup are complete and those reports come in I can deal with that. Hopefully, it is nothing too serious and the blood tests seem to confirm that it is not likely cancerous.
During this period, I was not worried about dying and I put my faith and trust entirely with the Lord and actually felt at ease. I prayed that if His purpose for me was wrapped up, then to please call me on home; if not, then please continue to use me in a meaningful way. I talked long and hard with my wife and kids about accepting whatever decision the Lord made and I emphasized I would not be taking chemo if it came down to it. My wife and many friends of mine have taken it and I had seen them suffer. I opt for quality time and not the quantity of the days I may have left. I have lived far longer than I ever thought I would and anything beyond is a bonus.
My primary regret would be leaving my wife alone, not watching my offspring grow up, and leaving friends behind for a while. Secondary to that is leaving behind that vast field of souls ripe for the harvest that our Lord talked about. I would love to lead more to the saving grace of Jesus. Lord I earnestly pray if you are willing, so am I and I ask you to send me into Your harvest. I am a volunteer workman and would be honored to be a part of it.
And He was saying to them, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the workmen are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest, that He may send out workmen into His harvest.