Monday, August 13, 2012

Not going at all! (and some Theology)

I wrote last post how Hub, kiddos and I made a speedy trip to my home state to be with the family and support them as my Stepmother ended her long battle with cancer. We arrived on Thursday, and she was extremely weak. On Friday, a new experimental drug (for breast cancer at least) arrived. This drug had given the family some hope when it was prescribed by her Dr. two weeks ago. A coding error had prevented the arrival of the drug, and you can imagine the family's frustration as my Stepmom began a precipitous decline.

Friday she took her first dose, and has had a steady improvement since. She could hardly speak on Thursday. On Friday she was only awake for 3 hours. On Saturday, she was able to stand without help, on Sunday, take herself to the bathroom. By the time we decided to book tickets back home, she was telling her caregivers to leave her alone. It was clear that we were "underfoot". Dad reports that they went shopping (in a wheelchair) this weekend. So an emergency trip that promised to be very difficult had a happy ending: we were able to squeeze in a nice visit with all of our family, and it did not result in a funeral.

My Stepmom is a stubbornly faithful woman, and called this whole thing a "temporary setback" because she has faith that God will heal her. She and her church attribute this "recovery" to their prayers. I may be skeptical as to how often God intervenes to produce "miracles" that can't be explained biomedically, in part because of the implications of why a certain person, who has prayed faithfully, gets a miracle, and another faithful pray-er does not. However, I have come to the realization this week that if
  • God is the creator (I believe this) and
  • God created Humans and imbued them with a sense of wonder and curiosity (I believe this), and
  • God is also Good and created people in his image (I believe the "image" part mostly, "good" part completely), 
  • THEN medical advances that are brought about by Humanity's desire to learn and help other humans are the creations of God. 
Therefore I have no problem telling my parents that I believe that God is healing my Stepmother. Besides, God (through genetics) gave her those receptors and that mutation (through randomness) which would respond to the drug.

My Stepmom will probably die of liver failure caused by her breast cancer metastases. I don't know how long it will take. But her precipitous decline has been halted, and all involved are amazed and treating it as something spectacular. My headline implies that she has been cured... but only time will tell. What I know is that she is stable right now, and I am very happy and thank God directly for it.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful news!

    My mother is in remission from a type of blood cancer, and she went through something similar. I also think of it as a miracle and thank God for her recovery. Yes, it was a new therapy designed by humans that saved her, but if she had been developed her cancer only a year earlier, she likely would not have been around when this treatment was available.