Saturday, September 25, 2010

My Last 96 Hours – what will I do with them?

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Today’s Blog Post

My Last 96 Hours – what will I do with them?

I needed a day to sort out my thoughts and emotions. It was very hard listening to my friend. He poured out his heart to me as I sat on the hospital bed yesterday at lunch time.

John had emailed me about two weeks ago to tell me that he had been diagnosed with Cancer… his email read as follows… quote…
“Sometime in August, I passed out on the bathroom floor. This prompted me to get a doctor's appointment. The doctor ordered a number of tests, including, blood, ultra sound of my organs and x-rays. When the results came in, I was told to go immediately to the emergency department of the hospital. This was on a Friday about 2 weeks after the bathroom incident.

I was treated and sent home, but they told me to come back.

The following Monday, they did a CT Scan. An appointment was made with a Dr. McFadden, and on Wednesday, he took a bone marrow sample and informed me I had Acute Myeloid leukemia (AML). The rest of the week, I grew increasingly ill and ended up back in the emergency department on Sunday morning. I've met with many doctors who are starting treatment for AML.

However, unless the Lord Jesus heals me, they have told me that I may not live past the next 4-8 weeks.

Sorry to drop this bomb on you all but sometimes life throws us a curve ball.

Please remember me in prayer and add me to any prayer lists you are aware of.God Bless,
John A. Miller
End quote…

Imagine – 4 to 8 weeks to live. This news came to me on Sept 10th.

Yesterday he told me more of the story and what has happened this past weekend.

John was at home. On Saturday he had a very bad pain in his lower abdomen – below his navel. He called a nurse that was coming to their home to look after John. She came and then called the ambulance.

At the hospital he was checked over thoroughly and they found that his bowel was strangulated – had a knot in it and it was very bad. He could choose to have an operation or perhaps he would be gone in three days.

The family together decided that he should go for it and undergo surgery. The Doctor warned him that he may not pull through the surgery. In his condition he could well die while in the operation.

That was last Saturday. John was telling us the story six days later.

Just before we came into his room the Doctor had visited him and was very clear with John about the prognosis. “John, you will likely die in the next four days.”

As I sat on the bed he had just called his wife with the news.

It was a sobering moment for Alida and me… and John… then later Alida and I visited John’s wife Joyce. Joyce told us of John’s call… “ I will die in four days, the Doctor said.”

Joyce was processing the words as well.

My question is… what would I do if the Doctor told me that I had 4 to 8 weeks to live? What would I do if in that time my medical condition worsened and then I was told that I may not live through the operation? Then coming out of the operation, I was told that I would likely die in four days?

As I sat there listening to John, he told me of the plans that he had. He wanted to help build at least two water wells in Africa each year. He had a plan to make that happen. “I guess I will have to leave that one alone.”

“I had a plan to write the history of our church. I have received some of the material already…but I guess I will have to turn that over to Milt and Mary…”

John went over his check list of things that he needed to get done in that 4 to 8 weeks.

He now had 96 hours left. That was yesterday morning. Tonight it is about 60 hours… and time is running out.

You likely are asking how they could possibly know. Right?

His immune system is almost non existent. Any or all infection that his body is invaded by, will most certainly kill him… within the predicted time.

John remembered with Alida and I some fun things we used to do together.

He had taught Alida how to drive. He had been a close mentor to me as I began to work with boys in our boys club. He probably was the one that had prompted me to get looking into further studies toward my Theological Adventure and the Pastoral work that I later launched into – 37 years ago.

I prayed with John and we sang an old song that we had learned together… with Alida leading us…

As we left his room… I knew that I would not likely see him again. This was the last time… oh boy.

Then I started thinking back to the fact that John had a medical check-up sometime in January or February 2010. Everything was very good. He was healthy – very healthy. In August he had passed out and now in September… maybe by the end of the month he will leave his family for good.

It is close to home for me. I am just a little younger than John. I am healthy… and look forward to quite a few more years.

BUT the nagging question is, “What do I need to do make sure these plans I have are in order and maybe even complete?”

The reality is that I have no guarantees of anything or any time… I am whole lot like my friend John….

What do I have to do now?

If I had only 4 to 8 weeks left starting now… what would I do? What will I do with my last 96 hours?

It has been a long day for me… a long, long day….

~ Murray Lincoln ~

1 comment:

Brenda said...

A sad & sobering Blog, Murray--we're thinking of you & Alida right now.
While we were enjoying the wonders of New Life, you were looking squarely at the other end of the life-spectrum, through your friend.You're right--it could happen to any of us.
Sobering, Yes. How do we prepare??
I guess by living each day the very best that we can--by Loving others, by being Thankful for all that we have & are.
You & Alida are already doing that.