Thursday, May 31, 2007

faith and health

Life goes on. I was putting in a new circuit for a rental house we own and had the electrical panel off so I could run the wire. I took the two screws out and stuck them in my mouth, because I was late for church (Wednesday PM) and I was teaching the Bible study, so I was in a rush. Next thing I knew, my mother-in-law came around the corner (she lives in that house) and started asking me questions in Chinese.

I tired to answer her, but couldn't talk well with the screws in my mouth. Anyway, I satisfied her, got the wires connected, and put the covers back on. But . . . No screws! I looked all over, and finally, concluded that I had swallowed them.

I went to church and taught the lesson but told the people to pray for the safe passage of the screws to their ultimate destination.

More than ten days passed, but the screws didn't. :) I started having indigestion and feeling something was "in my craw."

Finally, I went to the doctor. He made X-rays. They showed no screws, but they didn't image near my prostate, so they could be headed out. He prescribed some expensive antacid ($83.00) and I went home, expecting to be rid of the screws, shortly.

Unfortunately, they didn't come out. I finally went to my mother-in-law's, again and started searching for the screws. I took the covers off, and found both of them, thrown into the far dark recesses of the panel.

I felt stupid and that I had wasted a doctor visit and $83.00, but began thinking about something I have always kind of believed, about faith and healing. I had demonstrated clearly that what I believed could make me sick; what was to stop me from believing that what I believed could work towards my healing, just as well?

I have had prostate cancer for 8 years, now. So far, I have had confidence that the prayers of the people I talk to, plus the vitamins, herbs, and changed diet, make a difference. They have.

When I chose my treatment path (i.e., no conventional treatment), my family and friends, after discussing PCa with their medical friends/practitioners, were genuinely concerned that I had chosen a death sentence rather than treatment. That was 8 years ago.

I tried to get them to come up with some reports showing that there was a difference in outcomes based upon treatment (including watchful waiting). No one could find such information. I did refer them to the side effects associated with each treatment.

The bottom line: Ten year survival rate (whatever that means) is the same, but quality of life differs drastically between treatment vs. non-(conventional)-treatment. And most of the suffering comes from iatrogenic causes, i.e., the cure is often worse than the disease.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. -- Proverbs 3:6

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