Sunday, April 6, 2008

Navel Battle

I have had plenty of opportunity lately to contemplate my navel… and my bowel, my liver & spleen, my lungs, my heart, my lymph nodes, my muscles, my spine, my joints, my skin, even my brain. As a patient who is also a physician, I have envisioned the battle going on at the cellular level as Interleukin-2 has modified the mind-boggling complex immune system to induce an all-out attack on those renegade melanoma cells, clusters of cells and tumors spread throughout my body. And although I have reeled under the collateral damage inflicted during this battle, I have also experienced the humbling and spirit-soaring sensation of the cancer’s steady retreat and the gradual restoration of energy, stamina, appetite, and vitality.

I’ve had a ring-side seat in a contest where the odds against victory were enormous. And although the final round has not yet been fought, I wouldn’t give you two cents for the other guy. He’s going down. This body has been battered but making a come back.

These are the sort of contests our God specializes in… consider scrawny David against Goliath (1Sam 17:49), Moses trapped between hordes of chariots and the Red Sea (Ex 14:16), Jehoshaphat against an alliance of nations formed to wipe out the Jewish people (2Chron 20:21-22), Hezekiah against a decree of certain death (2Kings 20:1-6), and the list goes on. In each of these cases God intervened through the agency of something that man offered to Him in faith – a tiny pebble, an uplifted staff, a choir singing His praise, tears shed in a desperate prayer – and used it to accomplish the miraculous.

The battle going on in this body is being won through the agency of a biologic agent that God created and we humbly have accepted as a tool in His hands to overcome all odds and demonstrate His power to heal and restore. Now as I contemplate my navel, I am in awe of His love, mercy and grace.

Thank you for your part in the ultimate victory.
PS -- The picture above is not really my navel... Mine is lint-free!


  1. God is so amazing! Praise his glorious name! I am so very happy to see you getting better day by day, your enthusiasim is contageous in a very good way. Yesterday as i was driving in the downpour to Richmond i was having a real battle going on and i was like sooo discouraged with not being the christian man i am supossed to be. i was hurt'n in a big way and then out of nowhere a radio station comes on with totally clearity (that's a miracle in itself, driving up i-64 west near west point) and i hear the lyrics to a song i never heard before, with a terrible melody but i hear the words plain as day and i hear "I could never love the world the way you do Lord, I've seen how much it cost" Wow, someone get's it just like I'm get'n it! It totally changed my attitude and i was able to deal with the rest of the night. Then I come to church Today and Pastor Kenny in his sermon on Acceptable Worship" is tell'n me that it is an emotion i'm react'n to, like a favorite song. I think i believe it was the Holy Spirit helping me by letting me know someone else feels like "it's impossible to love the world". As i was saying, your poetry on your last blog about you and linda was phenominal, inspirational. I saw Pete & Sally Moore and they introduced me to Mike Teagle and invited me over for fellowship tonight and as i am getting ready to leave i get a phone call from Amanda's work, Amanda is being taken by ambulance to the just seems to me everytime i want to get closer to Fellowship, it's like i am being pulled away. Pray for us and we sure will continue praying for you and Linda.
    john quain & family

  2. God bless you both for your faithful example of faith. We continue to cherish the opportunity to pray for you and ask the Lord to lift you up on wings like eagles. Thank you for your example of humility and grace in the heat of the battle.

  3. You are amazing!!!!

  4. Dr. Crabtree!! What a joy it is to read your blog and rejoice with you!! I have been praying with you and your family since the beginning. I was "adopted" as a daughter of yours years ago-- and well, I took that seriously, and have prayed as a daughter would :) I pray for the opportunity to see you soon, but until then, know that I'm standing in your corner rooting for the final KO of this battle!!
    All my love-- Tina Torres Davis

  5. Dan, Uncle Bill here. Your testimonial is great reading but also a lifting spirit in my case. I am still in the process of healing, (though cancer free) with the ever presence of weird side effects. I can't over state the power of prayer. I believe it to be the life saving tool indigenous to his grace. My prayers are with you, God Bless, Bill

  6. Dan, Uncle Bill Crabtree here.
    Your testimonial is great reading. I have some experience with the treatment of cancer. I can tell you the power of prayer can't be over-stressed. It has been instrumental in my recovery. Although I still have side-effects,through the miracle of God's loving grace, I am cancer free. I do not consider myself worthy of such grace, but I do believe you are. I'm not suggesting the miracle is dependent on anything we can do, but indigenous to grace of God. My prayers are with you. Uncle Bill

  7. Dan, Uncle Bill Crabtree here.
    Your testimonial is good reading and a spiritual uplift for me. I have some experience with the treatment of cancer and can tell you without reservation. PRAYER is a powerful tool. I am cancer free. I still tolerate the side-effects, but thanka to the prayers on my behalf, I can say, "Who's complaining". I admire your faith and (staying power) grit. It will prove you right. My prayers are always with you. Bill