Alright, cancer treatment fans, here’s the latest on my brain tumor treatment.  This past Tuesday, I had my first of many MRI’s (to be repeated every 6 to 12 mos.  for the next 5 years or so), which yielded no new tumor growth.  What they did find is what my oncologist called “enhanced activity,” or signs of increased bloodflow around the scar tissue area, which is pretty normal, but still something to keep an eye on. 

Next up:  I now begin my follow-up chemo, which will consist of a monthly five-day stretch, taking double my previous dose of pills, over the next 6 mos.  I have absolutely no idea how my system will react to this dosage: I might be just fine, I might be a shaking, puking mess.  We’re just gonna tackle one little issue at a time, ask the people around me for grace and flexibility, and remember how amazing God’s been to me in 2008.

I have to remind myself that there have been many more goods than bads coming out of this process.  My latest reading conquest has been The Shack (Wm. Paul Young).  This book has been subject to much acclaim and some controversy (in my mind, mostly from folks that like to sound smarter than they really are in conversations about theology).  I, personally, was not expecting to like it much (reeked of an “Oprah Book Club”-type selection), but was blown away by a beautiful portrait of a God who is not trying to punish humanity for its sins, but wants to redeem what our world has chosen to become. 

In many instances (none of which I’m able to locate in my paperback copy right now :-p ), the main character Mack talks with a flesh-and-blood manifestation of God (long story, you’ll need to read the book yourself); Mack believes God has brought a painful incident into his life to teach him some powerful lesson, while God spends a bizarre, hard-to-describe weekend showing Mack that isn’t necessarily so.  I’d go into it more, but you’ll just have to read the book for yourself

It’s been hard to encapsulate my spiritual learnings of the past 4 mos., so perhaps I’ll stop trying.  All I’ve really learned is that the best kind of people seem to really show they love you when you need it most, and that God never seems to throw at us more than we can handle when we’re actually letting Him run our lives.  Lots of other brain- and cancer- related stuff, but that’s for other conversations on other days. 

Thanks for all your encouragement/prayer/support!  More health updates down the road, but, in the meantime, stop thinking about me and have a calm, peaceful holiday season.