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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Lt Adams

Our arrival in Texas was overshadowed by the pending doctor appointments and the end of our two week break from cancer and doctors. It had been a great break, not just from chemo but from the thought of chemo, cancer and tests. But Thursday morning we awoke and both Andrea and I knew the day had come. Neither of us spoke about what lay ahead we just got ready and headed out for Wilford Hall Hospital. I'm sure Andrea was saying as many silent prayers as I was on the drive across town. I reached out and held her hand and she responded with a smile albeit with a ting of nervousness.

On the walk to enter Wilford Hall the silence was broken; we prayed for the events of the day and for wisdom for the doctors. Lastly we prayed we would meet believers once inside. We had been blessed with great examples of faith in Dr Atkins office, and I knew the odds of repeating that environment were not likely but I hoped we would meet someone with faith to help us.

We checked in and started the mandatory paperwork and in walked a young second lieutenant, named Lt Adams to take us to the exam room. He was in his third year of medical school and was here for six weeks doing his rounds in Oncology. He was only a couple years older then our son Nic and he looked as young as he was. He asked if we minded him asking us questions before the doctor came in. He seemed a little uncomfortable as we sat down in the exam room and took out his list of questions. This began one of my most hated parts of this ordeal, having to watch and listen to Andrea relive every painful moment of the past four years. Every time we go to a new doctor we go through this routine and each question and answer reminds us of all the hard times. Listening I think is this really us? When you go through cancer you take it in bits, but when you put it all together it seems overwhelming and as I watch Andrea recount the events I know it is hard on her. There are times it sounds like we are talking about someones else, but we aren't. I just want to make it end for Andrea. I can't help but think there must be a way this can be put into a database so we don't have to answer the same questions every time we meet a doctor or just hand them a disk and walk away. Soon I found myself answering the questions trying to help Andrea recall the dates of surgeries, and chemo treatments the drugs and side effects. I think it annoys the doctors when I answer but I know this is hard on Andrea's voice, and her emotions and I just want to help my wife.

The Q&A comes to a merciful end with Lt Adams final question, "Would you mind if I prayed for you?" I looked over at Andrea you could have knocked us over with a feather. How did he know? What would prompt someone to ask such a question to people he met 20 minutes ago? In a worldly perspective the question seemed so out of place but spiritually it was perfect. He prayed for us our boys and for Andrea's healing, but more than his words I heard God saying, "I heard your prayer and you are not alone, I am with you even in this exam room." I have people everywhere and you can't get too far from me, there is no where you can go where I won't be. I know you are afraid and wondering why this is still going on, but just trust me, I'm in control." I shuddered with the thought of what just happened, and the power of the God we serve.

When I first saw Lt Adams I saw him as an annoyance, a kid practicing medicine on Andrea and a hindrance to us meeting the person we came to see, the doctor. And in the end I realized he was the one we needed to meet, the one God placed there to answer our prayer. I was so caught up in the day that I was ready to look past someone God had placed in our life.

It turns out Lt Adams had just arrived at Wilford Hall three days earlier.

The doctor told us "I will be honest there are limits to our medicine." I thought there was a time when I thought medicine was the answer but those days are long gone. We know there are limits to medicine, and what man can do, but we serve a God without limits, and I remembered Luke 18:27, Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

When we left, Andrea and I knew we were exactly where God wanted us. We were without our friends, our support, and the familiar surroundings of SMOC but we were not without the source of our strength, the one who provides everything.

It was going to be okay.

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