Some of you have asked why I've virtually disappeared from the online scene –– i.e., no todaySpin since March 27, no newSpin newsletter for more than a month. Others may have wondered why you have not received a reply to some of your email notes to me. I want to offer an explanation and to solicit your prayers. I have been dealing with a few daunting health issues, something new for me.
On March 10, I experienced a frightening episode of trigeminal neuralgia. I mentioned that in a column I wrote a few days later for the Morning Call. Tegretol was prescribed to deal with that, and it seems to be doing that, though perhaps not without side effects. Soon after that, I had a prostate bioposy which detected some cancer in one quadrant of my prostate. Then came a series of diagnostic tests to determine whether the cancer had spread to bones or the lymphatic system. The tests were negative in that regard, but one uncovered a previously undetected small cancerous mass in the lower part of my right kidney.
Within all of that, perhaps from many visits to the hospital for tests and bloodwork, I developed a high fever for which a week's worth of Levaquin was prescribed. It may be that this powerful antibiotic along with the introduction into my body of Tegretol and Flomax (competing perhaps with other meds I've been taking for years) worked their own dis-ease on me that wore me out during much of the day (and part of the night) for some three weeks.
Over the past few days, I have felt a bit of recovery from some side effects. I'm hoping my body will son find a way to cope with all of this. Over the past six weeks, I've seen four doctors, one at leas seven times, have had several major diagnostic tests, and have lost count of how many times I've had blood drawn for one reason or another. At one point I began to complain within myself about how many doctors I was seeing ... until I recognized that many, without appropriate health insurance, would not have this reason to complain about something for which I really need to be grateful.
Early in May I expect to have a few consultations on what to do about the prostate and kidney cancers which, of course, loom in the background. Unless I can be persuaded beyond my current fuzzy thinking (wishing?), I hope to have my prostate cancer treated non-invasively soon and adopt a watchful waiting program regarding my kidney cancer rather than undergo "abominable" surgery.
I know I am in your prayers, for which I am grateful.
Bill Lewellis, Communication Minister/Editor (1986), Canon Theologian (1998)
Diocese of Bethlehem, 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015
Website, Blog, Email (c)610-216-2726, (w)610-691-5655x229, (h)610-820-7673
Be attentive. Be intelligent. Be reasonable. Be responsible.
Be in Love. And, if necessary, change. [Bernard Lonergan]