Thursday, July 2, 2009

Declaration of Dependence

On the eve of our nation's celebration of Independence Day, we have just returned from UVA where all the recent imaging studies and the path report from the recent needle biopsy of the right axilla have confirmed that our personal battle with the tyrant called malignant melanoma is not yet over. Given what is recognized by all as a 'remarkable' response to high-dose Interleukin-2, Dr Grosh has recommended another course of this 'biological warfare' agent.

Interestingly, on the Fourth of July last year I was still in the hospital completing the fourth and 'final' round of this rather toxic regimen. (See blog entry of July 6, 2008.) Having cancelled our usual holiday activities, I limped home to recoup and await the outcome of that particular skirmish. One year later, I continue to be amazed by the extent of my recovery (as do my physicians :-) and by the awesome grace afforded me by a loving and faithful God.

The Fourth of July is a big deal for our family and this year I look forward to celebrating the holiday enthusiastically with them. As we all celebrate the freedoms we enjoy as a nation on this Independence Day, I am compelled to reflect on the life-changing liberty I have discovered in the midst of this ongoing battle with cancer -- a liberty that derives from an utter and complete dependence on my Maker. Therefore, with all due respect to the founding fathers, I would like to share with you my "Declaration of Dependence" (You may need to click on the image to read it):

Declaring one's inadequacy and dependency on another is not a macho nor popular thing to do, but this battle with cancer has exposed for me the folly of a Rambo-I'll-do-it-my-way approach to life. Because I have learned to depend on Him completely, having surrendered any presumption of 'unalienable rights', I now thoroughly enjoy Life to the fullest, Liberty that emancipates me from all fear and worry, and irrepressible Happiness that comes from His loving pursuit of my well-being and a settled sense of hope and purpose.

May you, too, enjoy such freedom this Independence Day.

Dr Dan

PS -- Because there are no new brain metastases, a repeat gamma knife procedure is not deemed necessary at this time. We are scheduled to return to UVA July 30 for repeat imaging studies and pre-admission workup, anticipating hospitalization for IL-2 therapy on August 3. Should be a fun summer!