Sunday, April 13, 2008

Healing and hopeful.

Last December near the end of this post I requested prayers in the light of my then-new diagnosis of prostate cancer. Last Monday I underwent a radical prostatectomy. Given my original test results and pathology reports, and after several weeks of research, it became clear to me in the middle of a medical consultation with a physician proficient in other kinds of treatments that this was the way to go. That happened near the end of January, and my urologist said there was no reason this surgery could not until after Lent, Easter, and a wedding at Zion the end of March.

The last few months have been an incredible experience of being on the receiving end of intercessory prayer, pastoral care, and support -- from those I'd always counted on before, and from the most unexpected people and places. Unexpected, I should add, only because I didn't really expect them to know about it, not that I expected people to not care. I am so appreciative of the encouragement I've received from my urologist and his colleagues; the people of Zion (especially the guys who've received similar diagnoses in the past) who have once again shown themselves to be a parish family; fellow ministers of the Gospel across the ELCA and across denominational lines both at home and far away; my friends; and my family. And, during this last week, those in surgery and, especially, the nurses and techs in the orthopedics wing where I began my recovery. You have all been angels of God's grace and mercy.

I came home on Friday and was able to worship at Zion this morning -- no, sitting (mostly) on the Epistle side near the back of the Nave. The first time I'd "just worshiped" at Zion since that last Sunday in September 1992 as I was moving in to be her 13th pastor. It was good to be with them. And it will be good to lead them in worship in two weeks.

For now, it's walking, eating, sleeping, building strength, waiting for pathology reports, continued prayer, and letting others minister to me. Every indication so far is that the cancer has been removed. And until we know otherwise, that is how we live each day.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!


William Weedon said...

May our gracious Lord bless the time of your recuperation, and may He abundantly heal you!

Pastor Zip said...

Amen! Amen. Alleluia!

Anonymous said...

Pastor Steven, I am confident that you, with God's help and grace, will heal and continue His work ministering to all of us who love you. You are a special man whom God uses well in your ministry. May God bless and keep you . ....
C.J. Campbell

Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Help guide us on your path. Strengthen your servants, especially Pastor Steven. A brother in Christ. Bob B. Cursillo # 862 De Colores!

Richard said...

Pastor Zip, I feel so badly that Joan and I had NO IDEA of the situation you recently endured regarding your Prostate cancer surgery!! Having gone through a radical thyroidectomy myself a few years ago, I certainly have SOME idea of the recovery involved after such a major surgery, but certainly different in many other aspects.

I am grateful to God that He has preserved you through this ordeal and is renewing your strength with each passing day. Indeed, it DOES take a great deal of time to heal, but we know the Great Physician does miracles and uses the skill of the surgeons, as well as His own Divine intervention in our lives! I have often marveled at how our lives would have been dramatically different had we lived in a different time without the benefit of modern medicine. I certainly would have lost the use of my left leg were it not for God' grace in allowing me to come under the loving hands of a gifted surgeon who was able to repair the damage I had inflicted (TWICE, no less!)

God is Good! All the time!!


Rich and Joan Schneider