When I awoke an hour after my cryoablation, my wife, Janet, shared that Dr. Marks had advised her the procedure had gone very well. I was obviously elated. Over the past 18 months I’ve experienced numerous monumental moments as I’ve dealt with my prostate cancer condition.
There are numerous incidents in the Old Testament in which God instructed His people to establish monuments for the purpose of passing on to future generations evidence of His goodness and love for His people.
In a similar way, I’ve decided to mention monuments in this writing as to my deliverance from cancer. In the following paragraphs I’ll share some of those experiences that have strengthened my relationship with Almighty God. As a businessman devoted to following Christ as my Lord, I continually prayed for wisdom and discernment as I dealt with this devastating diagnosis.
It all started with my internist’s appropriate concern over an elevated PSA (prostate-specific antigen) in the spring of 2017. My PSA had risen to 5.7, a 50 percent jump, since my last lab work two years prior. Even after meeting with a local urologist for consultation that summer, I was unprepared to simply accept that I had prostate cancer.
Rather than go through the rigors of a biopsy, I asked what other preliminary steps were available. The urologist advised that a 4KScore test — which measures the hypothetical risk of cancer and the likelihood that a biopsy — might be appropriate as the next step.
The score from that extensive blood draw proved that the biopsy was indeed appropriate. Upon receiving the results of the biopsy, I finally realized I needed to address removal of the cancer from my body.
That biopsy showed a Gleason score in several regions of my prostate had reached 3+4. The urologist suggested surgically removing the prostate as the best approach to prevent the cancer from metastasizing and spreading to other organs. Not ready to simply succumb to the surgeon’s default, my first reaction was to check out all alternative methods.
I recalled one of my clients going through an innovative prostate cancer treatment a few years earlier. This fairly new HIFU (High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound) procedure was not available in the United States at the time. My friend, Jerry, elected to travel to Canada to have the treatment performed. He’s now been cancer free for the past five years.
My initial referral for the HIFU procedure was Jerry’s urologist in Sherman Oaks, who was now performing this innovative treatment locally. After that initial consultation, I considered the costs to be prohibitive. I was glad to know I was a candidate, but decided to hold off, hoping the costs would soon be reduced. Also, I felt no peace in proceeding.
A month later I ran into a golfing acquaintance who had recently dealt with prostate cancer a year earlier. Dan informed me he had been accepted by UCLA Health into a Food & Drug Administration study and had recently gone through the HIFU treatment successfully.
After securing contact information for the study, I was immediately scheduled for a prostate MRI. Several weeks passed and I was informed my condition unfortunately did not meet the parameters for the two year study.
After meeting with him in Westwood, I sensed this was exactly where God wanted me to be treated. To my surprise, he recommended an alternative procedure to the HIFU treatment. He felt Cryotherapy, another minimally invasive procedure, would be best for my condition and I was delighted to hear Medicare would cover nearly all the costs!
Businessmen naturally analyze alternatives and their associated costs before moving forward in making decisions. Yet there is a supernatural analysis that all Christians must make in order to be certain they are in God’s will and on His appointed path. I know I remained faithful to my Lord on this journey and give Him all the glory for my present healing.
We all have monumental moments and we need to acknowledge God’s part in all we go through in our life journey.
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at email@example.com for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.