My Journey With Cancer, Part 7 by David Maddox
This “adventure” continues to be filled with new experiences. Until Sunday night I had never been in a hospital as a patient since I was a kid and once when our daughter Lindsay as a child accidently gave me a finger nail in the eye reaching out for me. I have obviously been there with Janet for many surgeries over the years – births – lots of ministry opportunities – but not as a patient. Things went downhill from the middle of last week on till by the weekend it was as if I had the flu – couldn’t eat – sleep – and felt bad all the time. Went to the fire station to have blood pressure checked and it was now high. Stomach looked like it had doubled in size – not true but it was (and remains) big – ankles and feet obviously also retaining lots of fluid. My wise wife started making calls and the on duty doctor at the cancer clinic said, “You have done everything you can do at home and he is not improving. Take him to the ER.” So off we went Sunday night.
Long story short – we have had really good care but I am still at the hospital typing away on a Tuesday night. I had lots of fluid in my abdomen and they tried to remove it but were unable for it was throughout my abdomen in little disconnected pockets so they could drain enough to culture, but not to give any relief from the pressure etc. One nice thing about being in the hospital is that they have a team to help with just about anything. So now the “doc in charge” is an infectious disease specialists because it turns out I have a significant infection. He made it very clear that I wasn’t going home until he was convinced we could treat it at home. I agree, but then that is not overly encouraging. My temperature spiked a couple of times and I am on intravenous antibiotics. Now that they have identified the infection they changed the medications and the number of times I take it. Still tired but not as bad – eating is a project – but on the good side I can sleep in between blood draws – vital signs – medications – and I have made a lot of friends ups here. Got my first prayer list as I was typing this. When we know more we will report more but the good thing is on the cancer side this makes it clear we need to rethink treatment options. That will be a discussion we will have once this ends. Please pray for the doctors to have wisdom – that the antibiotics work – the infection is killed and I can go home feeling well. We are not publishing where we are because Janet and I are emotionally exhausted – I have a very small room – and we really can’t handle guests or calls right now. Sorry – please don’t be offended.
On the Spiritual side I am going to let you in on reality for a Believer. There comes a time repeatedly when you are confronted by the evil one with “why you” and “there is no positive end to this”. Obviously as a Believer you know what is “on the other side” and the idea of being miserable continually is not appealing. How should you deal with this? I am no expert but I want to share what I am learning by experience. Obviously Janet and I have had very serious discussions because we are one. That is the first lesson – if married – everything with your spouse. No decision is yours alone. Satan doesn’t know how to deal with a Believing spouse that is not afraid. Second – go to the only place there are answers – the Bible. Go in the Bible to the book of Job (if you are a cancer patient you know why it is in the Bible). See why he suffered so – because “there (was) none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears the Lord” (Job 1:8). So suffering is not necessarily tied to sin – God actually wants to use some Believers to exhibit their faith and glorify Him through suffering (there is a short line for that assignment) – but Job had no idea why his suffering was happening and neither will you unless God reveals it.
God gave Satan two opportunities to attack Job with limits – one through damaging (killing) others (family etc.) and taking from him all his wealth and property. That failed and then God gave him authority to attack Job’s body but not kill him. The whole remainder of the book of Job is about that attack on his body – his response – and the response of others. God had limited what Satan could do – anything but kill him – however Job knew nothing and only endured the attack and suffering. I am much more blessed than Job whose wife’s sole input was, “Curse God and die” (Job 2:9). We know how the story ends with Job glorifying God – having a new encounter with God – and then God not only restores what was lost but gave Job “twice as much” as before and he lived under God’s blessing all the remaining days of his life (Job 42:10-17). But Job was never offered hope that the ending would be positive until he encountered God. That then is the answer – no decision of any kind on treatment – giving up – fighting etc. until you encounter God – and if you are married to a Believing spouse that encounter will be shared.
Pastor Dewey Note: Let us continue to pray for David’s healing, in the name of Jesus, Amen!
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About David Maddox – After a legal career in both Texas and Arizona that spanned over 40 years as a civil litigator, God called David to leave his law practice and work full time as Discipleship Director for Time to Revive. That call is really the fruit of decades of prayer for revival and teaching God’s Word, writing discipleship materials and seeking to make disciples. David married Janet Whitehead in 1976 and they minister together from their Phoenix home. God has blessed them with four children and thus far seven grandchildren.