I got a call from my sister-in-law night before last. Quite unexpectedly, my dad has been diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. This is a rare form of leukemia that usually occurs in young adults around 40. It is characterised by abnormal, heavily granulated white blood cells (promyelocytes) which accumulate in the bone marrow. Treatment of APL is pretty straightforward and quite successful (90% successful) with a drug called Atra, which is a derivative of vitamin A. The problem is, in order to take the Atra, Daddy has to go off his blood thinner, which he has been taking for years to treat his fibrillation (a tendency of the blood to clot up in his heart, which could lead to stroke). They did an echo on him yesterday and found 2 clots in the upper chambers of his heart, but they had to take him off the blood thinners and start the leukemia treatment anyway. I called last night (it was 12.00 noon there) and spoke to him and he had just taken the first 3 pills in his treatment. He was talking to me and in good spirits. This morning when I got up, I had an email from my sister saying that he had 2 mini-strokes and now can't talk and she and my brother are on their way back to Little Rock to stay with Mom during this.
Nobody knows yet what is going to happen.
Of course, nobody ever knows what is going to happen.
In the past I would have prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, if it was His will, to allow my Dad to recover, and if it was not to give me the peace that passes understanding through the Holy Spirit to accept that in the larger picture that He alone can see, what He allows to happen is for the best. I have to say I don't believe in that version of God anymore. I feel calm, though. I feel the 'universal consciousness' --or whatever you want to call it, some call it God-- has comforted me with the knowledge that my Dad is in good hands in the hospital where he is. It is one of the best cancer hospitals in that part of the United States and people travel from far away to receive treatment there. I know that no amount of worrying or weeping can take away any suffering, but only add to the suffering in existence in the world, and I know that he does not want worrying and weeping on his behalf in any case. I know that he is surrounded by relatives who are comforting and supporting him and my mother in this hour of crisis, and for all these things I am grateful. When people say they're putting everything in God's hands, they might think they mean something different from what I just said, but it occurs to me that we are really saying the same thing. That we know we have no control over what is happening, and we surrender to having no control, and we accept what is happening in the present moment. We accept the truth of it. We accept the fact of it.
I would ask, having read this, if you would send out your positive thoughts or your prayers on behalf of my Dad. Send out your healing energy to him and to us all.