OK… Yesterday, I went to Pittsburgh and saw the urology specialist. He looked at my CT scan and ultrasound from DuBois and agrees that there is SOMETHING there. Maybe a cyst, maybe a benign tumor kind of thing, maybe a full-blown kidney cancer on my left kidney.
The thing is, the DuBois testing was all centered around finding out about a kidney stone in the right kidney and they ‘just happened’ to notice this other thing. But for the specialist to really hone in and explore the options and possibilities, he needs some more specifically focused testing on the actual left kidney now. Makes sense. The various testing offices at Allegheny General were all closed by the time I got done with my appointment, so we can’t even try to schedule these tests until later today.
He did say that whatever it is, it LOOKS like it’s pretty deep into the kidney, so if it is something that needs to be removed, we probably need to take the whole kidney.
As for feelings and such, I’ve had a pretty calm sense of presence through this whole thing thus far. As I’ve already posted, I’m pretty convinced that God’s got his hand in all this… even to the point of drawing people’s attention to this hidden disease that grows without visible symptoms.
But I confess there are moments when I wonder ‘What If…?’ If this were the absolute worst news what would happen? I’d die. OK, for me that’s not so bad… Heaven, Christ, Eternity. I guess that means I win! (Not that I am in a hurry to get there! And I sure hope God hasn’t finished with me here on earth yet… It’s hard to believe I’ve already accomplished all he had in mind for me!)
But two things sort of stick in my throat, if you will, about what if I were to die. First, at three years old, my son wouldn’t even remember who I was. That’s a tough thought to swallow.
Secondly, my family would be homeless. As a pastor, my living arrangements (and my family’s of course) are provided for as a part of my job. If I were to die, then they have no place to live and their source of financial support is gone. I have not done a good job of providing for my family in this area. I (currently) have no will, no guardian set up for my kids if something happened to both my wife and I, no savings set up for them to be able to buy a place to live… nothing.
I was especially convicted about this when I got to the Bible this morning and stumbled on Proverbs 13:22 which says: “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.”
What have I left for my children? Let alone their children?
I suspect I’m not alone on this. As pastors, we need to get ALL the details of ministering to our families into the IMPORTANT TO DO list as much as reports and parishioner visitation and church budgets.
I continue to covet your prayers and will continue to post as we continue on in this journey…