As some of you may know, my views on the existence of God are somewhat nebulous. I can get a bit negative, especially when I struggle with tragedy (see my “Kay” post).

But there is another side of my coin.

Back in 2009 I read a book called Miracles by Olen R. Brown. I later wrote a review of the book on Blogger News Network.

Unlike many modern scientists, Dr. Brown sees no conflict in faith and science. He believes that miracles are the glue that bind the two together. In fact, he finds miracles in every scientific discovery. He is uniquely qualified to speak on this subject; he is both a scientist and a Christian.

Dr. Brown is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and a retired professor at the University of Missouri. He has held joint professorships including in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology of the School of Medicine and in the Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center of the Graduate School. He has authored more than 100 scientific publications and is a life science consultant.

I’ve recently looked at his book again. It is hard to argue against his insistence that if you don’t have faith in a Creator then you must have faith in chance. And through detailed descriptions of everything from the oxygen molecule to the integrated interplay of cells, he shows how pure chance is an impossibly no matter how much time you give it.

I still waffle, but this book definitely challenges one to reconsider his stand on the existence of God.

I highly recommend the read. You can find his book at Amazon.com.

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Had a wonderful weekend. We finalized the purchase of our boat then sailed it over to a marina to get it out of the water and onto our trailer. Well, we actually motored it over because the mast was lowered to accommodate the marina’s lift.

It took about 1 hour to get to the marina so my son and I had a beautiful cruise with blue sky and 70 degree weather. I don’t get to spend much time with him, so it was good he could do this with me. (It was also good he was there to do all the heavy lifting. I’m not in the shape I used to be in!)

After loading the boat on the trailer, I drove north 170 miles to home. My son, his wife, and my new grandson followed in their car. It’s a little un-nerving pulling a boat down the freeway – especially when it’s a top-heavy sailboat mounted of six spindly supports. Imagine a 3500 pound ice skate standing on its blade and you’ll get the picture.

Finally, by the end of the day, the boat was safely sitting high-and-dry in my yard.

Sail boats are strange looking things sitting high on supports instead of in the water. It looks so stranded! But, after a coat of bottom paint and some minor fixes, we hope to have her floating again in a couple of weeks.

The day after the boat move we all had a brunch get-together at my daughters. I had all three grandchildren together – a rare occasion. It was great.

This entry has nothing to do with leukemia. Leuk seemed to be gone all weekend. If you just newly discovered you have CLL leukemia, I hope this blog entry shows that you can still have good days. Your life isn’t over when you get the news. It’s still happening and it’s still good.

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You know, we’re not so different from those who don’t have cancer. We’re different in that we have this crazy disease, but we’re regular people. We’re people who thought this could never happen. But it did.

We’re not special because we have cancer. We’re special because of who we are.

There’s seven billion people on Earth. (There were three billion when I grew up in the 1960’s!) I believe we are each here for a purpose. Mine is my family – my wife, my adult children, my grandchildren, my siblings. And I’m here to help others when I can.

There is a purpose to every step we take on this planet.

Whether you have cancer or just the common cold, your disease is not who you are.

I think we choose who we are living for. We can live for life, or live for the cancer. Leuk may be churning away in our blood steam, bone marrow, and God knows where else, but we don’t have to focus on that. We don’t have to make this a day for cancer.

For today, at least, Leuk is in the background and I’m in the foreground. That’s what matters. I’m not going to worry about my future, not worry about the leukemia, I’m just going to think about today.

I have a unique thing called cancer. But I have other things that are unique too. I have my wife and family. I have unique talents. There’s a lot besides Leuk in my life. As the weeks and months and years progress, Leuk will become a larger part of my life. But he’s not the reason I’m here.

He will never be the point of my life.

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Having leukemia is not fun. In fact, let’s be honest – it’s scary.

As worrisome as it is for us though, it is even more so for our family and friends. After all, those of us living with Leuk know how we feel each day. He has become a regular part of our lives. We naturally worry about what Leuk will mean for our future and even wonder if he might kill us. But if you are like me, you deal with Leuk differently on different days. You worry less on some days and more on others. You feel better on some days and worse on others. But you always have a gauge for how you are doing.

Not so with the other people in your life.

It is often thought, and rightly so, that the person with leukemia needs encouragement and prayer. But not much is said about what our loved ones need. They can’t know how we are feeling or what we are thinking.

To those you know, you are their friend who has leukemia. To your children, you are their parent who has leukemia. To your spouse, you are her lover who has leukemia.

But none of them, even those closest to you, can know where you’re at in your head. They have no way of knowing how you feel. If you tell them you’re having a bad day, they tend to think every day after that is bad for you. It’s good to be honest about your days with Leuk. When they ask, it’s okay to tell them if you’re having a rough day. But it is also important to let them know when you are doing well.

I tend to make light of it when my friends ask how I’m doing. I try to alleviate their worries by seeming to not be worried myself. In most cases I really am not worried, but other times I am. Maybe this is not the best way to handle things. I don’t know. Maybe it’s not completely honest. I’m not saying you should take this approach. I’m just saying to be gentle about it.

What do I mean by ‘gentle’? Well, think of it this way: If your wife asks you if she looks fat in that dress, do you say “Well, honey, it really doesn’t flatter you” or do you say “Oh my God! It makes you look huge!!”

Think of them as worried, hurting people. After all, they are. They love you and often have more fear about it than you do. They need your encouragement.

And also, if you are a praying person, pray for them. They are, after all, praying for you. It might be nice to return the favor.

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I forget about Leuk when I’m feeling good. He hides in the closet like an old stuffed animal long forgotten. But sometimes the animal comes to life.

It always takes me by surprise when he comes out and I have a down day. I get up in the morning and start planning the day, hoping to cross off all sorts of To Dos from my Too Due list. Then the tiredness or dizziness hits and my day is screwed.

Lately it only lasts for half a day and so I do accomplish something. Either way though, half day or full one, it catches me off guard.

Truth is I go for many days just fine. That’s probably why I’m so surprised when Leuk shows up.

I get mad at myself, mad at Leuk, or just generally torqued off. I’m used to doing, not sitting.

I’ve been thinking lately about the word ‘acceptance’ and what it means in my relationship with leukemia. Ever since Leuk arrived I’ve resisted accepting his presence. I act as though he’s not really there. That’s usually pretty easy to do since I’m still in the early stages.

I’m beginning to realize that accepting my condition doesn’t mean I’ve given up and Leuk has won. Instead, I think it helps me fight him all the more. Accepting his presence is a good thing. In acknowledging him I can focus on beating him.

So, if you’re fighting against Leuk, accept him as real. Come to know him. Know thy enemy.

Accepting him is not giving in. Instead it is part of our winning strategy.

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