In a Test of my Faith, I Received a Grade of C(-). I Passed but Could Do Better.
During my personal and scientific career, I have been blessed to meet and interact with some extremely interesting and gifted people. One such person, Dr. Raymond Damadian, is the inventor of magnetic resonance (MR) scanning. He and I formerly attended the same church in Long Island, New York. One of Dr. Damadian’s chief scientific passions continues to be the use of MR scanning in the early detection of cancer. His company, Fonar, is focused on the design, manufacture and application of upright multi-position MR scanners. As I have previously written, I have micro-metastatic, PSA-producing prostate cancer cells at some unknown site(s) in my body but I continue to be totally healthy and asymptomatic. During conversations with Dr. Damadian, it was proposed that I undergo upright MR scanning to see if metastatic prostate cancer could be detected in common metastatic sites such as bladder, lymph nodes and pelvis. I underwent the scan in a seated position, optimal for receiving MR signals from areas such as prostate amd bladder. After consultation with his radiologist, Dr. Damadian reported that he could not detect any cancer in the prostate-bladder-lymph node areas which was good news. However, there was a suspicious area in my right pelvis. In 1991, as a result of a severe auto accident, my right hip had been replaced. Subsequently, my right pelvic area (acetabulum), had suffered considerable wear-and-tear over the years, hence a process called arthroplasty was performed in 2007 wherein significant bone grafts were inserted in my right pelvic area. But my original replaced hip remained in place and functioning well. The area surrounding the bone grafts required further review by Dr. Damadian and his radiologist. Upon hearing this preliminary report, I immediately began envisioning the worst logical scenario. Knowing that prostate cancer metastasizes to the pelvis, I left Fonar somewhat with a sense of impending dread fearing that the MR scan had revealed some pockets of tumor cells. That evening, I found myself anxious and somewhat angry with God thinking that He had allowed my cancer to metastasize to the pelvic bone, which I knew eventually would result in considerable pain and possibly death. The next morning I again asked God why He had allowed me to receive this negative result and I voiced my extreme concern. However, upon spending some time reading His Word and in a few moments of fervent prayer, I reluctantly agreed to trust Him for whatever outcome would emerge, even though I was not happy with the entire scenario. I compared my situation with that of the apostle Paul, to whom was given a physical “thorn in the flesh”. Paul had pleaded with God on three occasions to remove this physical malady but God had not done so. I am sure Paul was not overjoyed about having this physical “thorn”. Instead God told him (in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9) that “His grace was sufficient” for Paul’s situation and Paul later concluded that “God’s power was perfected in his (Paul’s) weakness.” So I awaited Dr. Damadian’s further radiological evaluation of my pelvis with some anxiety but a mediocre though significant degree of trust in God’s eventual provision. A very short time later, as I was boarding my return flight to Florida, Dr. Damadian called and proclaimed that he and his radiologist could not detect any cancer during subsequent intensive review of my scans. The presence of the areas of grafted bone were not commonly observed in other more clearly defined pelvic scans. My spirit soared along with the ascending plane in which I was traveling. God had tested me again to see if I would trust Him regardless of the medical outcome. Initially my faith faltered but it recovered somewhat within a 24-hour period. Often God allows us to view ourselves in His divine mirror. Hopefully, we will remember what we observed and learn from seeing our mirror image and grow spiritually in our loving and trusting relationship with the Father and His Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.