Monday, May 30, 2011

Prayer updates 30May'11

My health has stabilised, though tumours have spread to my liver, left kidney and pelvic bones, my oral chemo drug has brought my cancer under control. My tumours and drug have put a cap on my stamina. I am moving into my 4th chemo cycle (each cycle lasts six weeks). Going for blood test and bone-influsion injection every 6th week, and a CT scan every 12th week have become a routine for me. I am thankful that I experienced minimal side-effect during my 3rd chemo cycle. Acting on faith, I have accepted three preaching assignments next month, one of them at my church retreat in Desaru, Malaysia. I will also be teaching part-time systematic theology at Jubilee School of Missions 禧福宣教学院 (a training centre for missionaries and laity ministering the blue-collars) end of next month till September. According to my oncologist, I have many months but short years to live, but she also said that only the LORD decides when my time is up. My oncologist also remarked that not many patients experienced minimal side effect like mine, so I am really thankful. I have also gained weight during the last six weeks, which is a good news. I also had the chance in vote in the most recent Singapore's General Election, and in my church's most recent AGM. I attended a church wedding recently and had a nice reunion. I must say that I am very contented now.

Yesterday was the death anniversary of my cousin, and I visited his urn site at The Garden of Remembrance together with my aunt's family. I finally have the courage and space to grieve. When he passed away seven years ago, my lifestyle was so hectic that I hardly had the time to grieve. I believe my clinical pastoral education program at a hospital setting in Boston, U.S., has opened the door for me to actually grieve, and my own illness has made me more intimate with losses and grief. At the columbarium yesterday, I also grieved briefly for some unknown people, one of them died just before birth. This is so tragic. My experience has gradually become my lenses even when observing people and interpreting the Scripture.

During my visit to the National Cancer Centre last week, while waiting my turn for blood test, I overheard a daughter's conversation with her mother. Her mother was losing weight due to cancer and her daughter set a goal for her mother in the coming one week, i.e. to gain one kg of weight. As a cancer patient, I know this target is unrealistic due to a number of factors like body's reaction to chemo drug, mood, type of food, etc., but the motive behind this unrealistic goal is the daughter's love for her mother. The daughter wanted her mother to live. I was deeply touched by that brief conversation. 

Just this morning I was reading Genesis 11:28 "Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans." This verse which did not seem interesting to me previously caught my attention immediately. Haran died before his father, which means he died young, leaving behind his child Lot. Though nothing is mentioned of Haran's wife, there must be a lot of grieving in the whole family. This is perhaps why Abraham was so close to his nephew, Lot, because he could have taken over the role of fathering Lot after the passing on of his brother (i.e. Lot's father) and his father (i.e. Lot's grandfather) subsequently.

If you could join in me prayer, please pray for:
1) My health to continue stabilising so that I could preach and teach in the next few months;
2) Minimal side effect in my oral chemotherapy;
3) I am scheduled for another CT scan four weeks later. May my tumours shrink;
4) I am asking for a close walk with God in this journey, and may He use me as an instrument of blessings to others.

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