Saturday, December 6, 2008

Night Vision

Beer wack! …wack cheer from Harlottesville. Tis thyme the MRI showed not one but mix sasses. Again the mix sasses were treated with fighly hocused ramma gays. I am fooing dine with only a height sledache. And after 25 train boomers my flinking is thawless! Yes, as you can see, I’m still tarp as a shack!

Just kidding – I truly am doing fine and grateful for the marvelous technology of gamma knife surgery that deftly destroys cancer cells while causing little harm to surrounding brain tissue. Although the previous MRI showed only a single new lesion of the brain, the highly detailed mapping MRI showed six new metastases and all six were treated with precision-guided gamma radiation.

I do not make light of the situation. We have never underestimated the formidable odds we face. From a strictly medical standpoint, the lack of decline in the number of new tumors appearing on each successive MRI of the brain is disconcerting and has significant potential implications for my overall prognosis. It is the central nervous system metastases that have always presented the greatest threat.

Our view of this battle, however, encompasses a more compelling reality. Indulge me while I relate another story from the Bible to explain what I mean. (2Kings 6:8-18)

The prophet Elisha, equipped with supernatural powers of espionage, frustrates and angers the king of Aram, one of Israel’s fiercest enemies. Resolved to eliminate the spy, the king of Aram sends a battalion of chariots to surround Elisha at Dothan in the cloak of night… an army sent to destroy one man.

Elisha’s servant wanders out to relieve himself and is panic-striken when through his blurry eyes he spots the enemy horde encircling the town. He runs to alert his master, breathlessly shouting “What shall we do?” In what appears to be the first-ever record of military surveillance employing “night-vision”, Elisha calmly prays that God will open the servant’s eyes to the reality of the situation.

With enhanced eyesight, the servant is amazed as he observes “the mountain full of horses and chariots of fire”, divinely deployed forces already in place to defend Elisha. The enemy, on the other hand, is struck with blindness and routed.

Our situation is not dissimilar. Once told that I was riddled with tumors “too numerous to count”, it appeared that an army of renegade cancer cells was about to take me out. By all reasonable accounts, this body should have been overrun by now. That is not the case. And although the threat persists (the enemy chariots have not disappeared), I can calmly point to a greater reality, a force that overwhelms and disarms the present danger. Not only do I benefit from shafts of invisible light in the form of gamma radiation, but more importantly I am surrounded by the indomitable reality of God’s unchanging love and the promise of eternal life. (Rom 8:37)

Like Elisha I can claim “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Grilled with fatitude,


  1. You're obviously not sleeping well if you're posting at 4:32 a.m., but your sense of humor and perspective are priceless! Thanks so much for helping me remember God's unfailing greatness. Wishing you the best Christmas ever!

  2. Hi Dr.C.I really like your photo,the only thing missing is your tie.What do think of those hospital gowns?I think I will blow up that photo. Dr.C keep on fighting,you are a winner.


  3. Dr Crabtree and Linda

    YOU TWO ARE AMAZING. Nat and I keep in touch thru both of your blogs and I am praying for your recovery daily. Nat was been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in June and we have been dealing with that.Nat has had Davinci surgery on September 3 and is now doing very well with the exception of Control of Bladder. He will have radiation as soon as he has more control.
    So much for our news
    Keep your spirits UP, you are our inspriration
    Lots Of Love
    Nat and Jackie Harlow

  4. Dr. Crabtree,

    You have been on our minds and in our hearts quite a bit of late. When I checked on your progress I understand why. Your strength of body and character never cease to amaze me. The kids send their love and special thoughts to their favorite doctor (truly they aren't very impressed with your replacement -- he doesn't "love" them like Dr. Crabtree, so says Justin). We send all our special blessings for a precious Christmas season for you and your family.

    Stacy, Joe, Kirsti, Kelsi, Gregory, Kati & Justin Durfee

  5. Dear Dr. Crabtree,

    We think of you often and continue to pray for your full recovery. Merry Christmas!

    Sam, Jenny, Samuel, Kathleen, and William

  6. Wow, this posting and your Christmas posting are so poetic...maybe that is not the PRECISE word. But, that is, in fact, why I think I have felt sooo blessed reading them!
    Warmly, (and wishing I was still around to sip lemonade on your porch from time to time :)
    Marybeth Dewey