What’s next now that radiation treatment is finished?

My radiation treatment for prostate cancer is finished. So, what’s next? Do I get to just move on with life and put this behind me? Uh – no. Cancer isn’t something you can just say that it’s over and forget about it. But then, there’s so much that I’ve learned along the way, it’s not something I want to forget either.

It’s not like a race. You don’t get ahead of it for a while and then at some predetermined point the race is over and you either win or lose.

For instance, in my case, it’s not 38 trips to the hospital to get radiation treatments and then win if /when you make it through the treatments.

Since I’ve already been on what’s known as active surveillance twice before getting the radiation, I know what that’s like.

Now, I’m on it again, for the third time.

For prostate cancer, simple blood tests can tell whether it’s returned at the point in time when the test is done. But it’s not a once-and-done thing. It’s for as long as you live, as it is with any cancer.

You just never really know if it’s really all gone, or if there are some traces of it that can come roaring back. So you just keep testing.

So this “race”, to keep the analogy, isn’t over. There may be others in addition to it, but this is one that doesn’t end.

Is it right to compare this with a race?

Am I somehow belittling cancer by comparing it to a race? I certainly don’t mean to. I’m actually contrasting it to a race when it comes to the physical side of cancer, in that it doesn’t end. And neither do the emotional effects from cancer.

But there is one way I am making a comparison. But even that comparison is contrasting how different the race I mean is from an ordinary car race, athletic race, etc. Check it out:

The Rights of an Apostle

1Co 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

1Co 9:24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Why do things happen in this life? You know, for those of us who are working on following Jesus, we do know the answer.

Every branch that does bear fruit will be pruned.

We want to bear fruit. To use another comparison, I want the fruit trees in my backyard to bear fruit. And I do trim them, although probably not as well as I should, because some years they don’t get much fruit at all. For us as Christians, we should also want to bear fruit ourselves.

The thing is, my fruit trees can’t say no to me when I go out to prune them. But we can absolutely say no to God when He tries to “prune” us.

When things, bad things, happened to me before, I usually got mad at God and asked/yelled, “why are You doing this to me!?” Somewhere along the line, I changed that to “what do you want me to learn from this?” But now, the question is, “What do you want me to do with this?”

That last change was about 5 or 6 years ago. That’s from the night I asked God if it was time for me to go home.

So when I was diagnosed with cancer, that was the obvious question. God really does answer right away sometimes. He did on that one. I thought I was looking for information on what was in store for me after being told my prostate biopsy came back positive. Instead, the first thing I came across was John Piper’s book – Don’t waste your cancer.

Now, I could have told God, “No way”, on that. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve actually done that in the past.

If you’re a regular here, or you’ve gone back and read some of the older stuff, there didn’t used to be a whole lot about me. Several years ago, my wife told me I need more “application” and not just write about the Bible. My Senior Pastor told me I needed to have more of my own words, and not just include excerpts from books and stuff that other people wrote.

Then, sometimes when you read something, the Holy Spirit just has a way of letting you know, this part’s for you – now. The thing that really changed how/what I write is this:

The Last Supper – Luke

Lk 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Lk 22:33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.”

Lk 22:34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

Of course, Peter’s faith did fail. He denied Jesus three times after Jesus was arrested. But Peter certainly did turn back and help strengthen his brothers.

Just like I’m not Paul, I’m not Peter either. But I can do my part.

Not because I really want to share about myself. Not because I’m comfortable, let alone eager to do it. But because it seems to be what God wants me to do.

Conclusion – What’s next now that radiation treatment is finished?

So, what’s next? I don’t know. Only God knows. It might be a recurrence of prostate cancer. It might be something else that seems bad. It might even be a time of peace. Not that I’d turn that down, but past history doesn’t point to that being very likely. At least, not for an extended period of time.

But whatever it is, the question will, I pray, once again be, “God, what do you want me to do with this?”

2 thoughts on “What’s next now that radiation treatment is finished?

Add yours

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I pray that God gives you comfort. I worked with cancer patients for a while. And I know that sickness is a consequence of sin entering this world. By sin I do not mean your own sin, but the humanity’s sinful nature. God, however, uses this for his glory. Yes, it is a race to manifest God’s glory in this life. Your suffering will bring glory to His name. Your patience, thankfulness and life-goes-on attitude will bring glory to His name. God bless.


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