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Today is day 21 in the 42-day radiation treatment for prostate cancer—half way through—so let me take a break from large issues and give you an update on that little situation.

The side-effects have been pretty minor since I’m getting only 60 rads of radiation each morning. According to the folks at the Department of Civil Defense, it would take continuous exposure to over 500 rads to cause severe damage or death. (A nuclear bomb gives off over 10,000 rads.) Despite the low dosage, I’ve managed to have . . .

1. Fatigue
A few days I’ve been completely worn out and have taken more naps than our Chow-Shep-sky. As the cancer cells die, toxins are released into the blood stream, creating fatigue. That side-effect, however, has been greatly reduced by drinking gallons of water—which, of course, creates its own side-effect. But I’ve been able to keep up with my writing and editing deadlines between trips to the bathroom—for which I’m thankful.

2. Painful, frequent urination
That’s a “normal” side-effect, but it has kept me up a few nights like one of the TV ads for Flomax. Fortunately, a) I have a home office and b) it’s right across from the bathroom—and for that I’m also thankful. (Update: The doctor prescribed Flomax Wednesday and it’s a miracle drug! Scratch “painful, frequent urination.”)

3. Sunburn—where the sun doesn’t shine
That side-effect lasted only a few days, and with some aloe vera, all that’s left of it is a really nice tan—and for that, I’m also thankful.

4. Five percent anxiety
While the doctors assure me there’s about a 95 percent chance of complete success, there are always those five poor stiffs who fill out the 100. And while the urologist assured me there were no permanent side-effects from treatment, the radiologist noted there is a slight risk of incontinence and/or impotence. Nothing “slight” about that! Of course, odds mean nothing to God, so am praying to be a part of the success statistics.

I have sensed little and large ways God has worked through all this. The cancer was caught as early as possible and is one of the most successfully treated kinds of cancer. God cleared my summer speaking schedule. The high-tech, laser-guided, computer-programmed radiation machine is just four minutes from our house. And, I have a home office just four seconds from the bathroom. In the summer, there are no issues with snow and ice in the early morning. Plus, the staff at Progressive Cancer Care has been great. So, for all of this, I’m extremely thankful!

Well, that’s probably way too much information, but some of you have been asking. So, I promise no more prostate posts until the end of August when the treatments wrap up. And, for that, you can be thankful!

P.S. Lois continues to make good progress one month after a complete hysterectomy. She found strength to preach two Sundays at a nearby church, entertain out of town guests and continue her Hospice volunteer duties.

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