Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No Photos!

Hair grows on my head.

Hair grows on my chest.

More hair grows on my back.

On my forearms, upper arms, thighs and calves — hair grows all over me.

When I was younger I grew a beard long enough to tuck under my belt. I have forgotten why I grew it, or why I later shaved it off. Just one of those things you do when you’re young, I suppose.

Now, I shave every day, usually about 4 in the afternoon because Ginny gets home from work about 5 and I want to look fresh and nice for her. Nobody cares what I look like during the rest of the day.

I mention all this about hair because this morning I’m scheduled to consult with Dr. Oz, the oncologist, and make my choice of one among the five options he’s given me to deal with my prostate cancer.

One of these options involves external beam therapy or targeted radiation. Unlike the kryptonite pellets which are inserted internally during brachytherapy, a targeted radiation treatment involves shooting a radioactive ray into me hoping to zap the cancer cells from the outside.

I’m sure the oncologist would explain it differently, but the mental picture I get is one of cancer cells as fire ants in an ant hill.

As long as you leave the fire ants alone, they go about their tiny ant business eating whatever is closest to the ant hill. If you poke the ant hill with a stick, they swarm all over, biting everything in sight.

I picture cancer cells as being like those ants.

If you attack the nest and kill every single ant alive, then you have nothing to worry about. But, if you miss killing a few, then they go off mad, biting and unhappy to build several new colonies in other, more hospitable, places.

The oncologist assures me that his ray gun technology is so advanced, so modern, so accurate, and so precise that in five to nine weeks of daily treatments, he’s almost positive he can zap every single fire ant crawling between my legs.


I wonder.

If you think my ant hill analogy and mental picture is ridiculous, how about this one:

Unlike the massive general radiation chemotherapy of former days, this targeted radiation treatment will not cause all of my hair to fall out.

The oncologist assures me that I won’t need a baseball cap.


I would still have hair on my head, on my back, on my chest, on my arms and legs — all over my body except…

The ray gun technology would cause my hair to fall out only in my exact target area. That specific area would be utterly defoliated and left barren.

When Ginny and I got to talking about this possibility we conjured up a certain mental picture.

We laughed and laughed and laughed.

This is one of the few aspects of cancer to strike us as funny.

Even now I’m not sure which option I will chose. The Scripture assures us that God will guide us beside the still waters.

Even when I screw up and make a dumb choice, even then, the prophet Isaiah said, “Thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left”.

I’m confident that whichever thing I finally chose, it will be the right one no mater what it eventually leads to, good or bad, green pastures or the valley of the shadow.

Makes no difference in the long run.

Both ways eventually lead Home.

The only really important thing is Who I walk with.

Nothing else counts.

However, I will make this one promise:

If I do chose the targeted radiation option, I promise not to post any photos on my blog.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 3:00 AM


At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Sweetie said...

You are such a positive person. I wish you the best during this process.

I feel like I haven't caught up with you in a while -- and then, this!

You and Ginny both always find the positive in everything though -- and hey, if you don't laugh, you'll cry, right?

Take care, John.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger Pat said...

I love your faith and the knowledge that what IS important is who you walk with..and where the walk will lead.
I also appreciate no photos.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger dzcowart said...

"I promise not to post any photos on my blog."

Me and the rest of the Internet (except the weird ones) thanks you!

I guess my question would be, would the high powered beam cause any damage to the 'normal' cells or to the skin in the area?

Love, Donald

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Seeker said...

Just remember, God has your hairs numbered....
it MUST matter to Him.

At 1:17 AM, Blogger Heather said...

I know you will choose the right choice. For what it's worth, my friend's dad chose brachytherapy and he said it wasn't too unpleasant.

At 6:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whichever it is John, prya you recover real good and no more fire ants. Amrita

At 9:15 AM, Blogger Margie said...

will be praying!!


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