The Blog of Pastor Mike Wilkins

In The Long Run

"The long run" referred to in the title of this blog is, in the first place, the many years Mike Wilkins served as West London's solo pastor, and then its Senior Pastor, since he and his wife Deb moved to London (and this church) in 1984.

In these past few years (beginning November 2011,) Mike's various health challenges, particularly a serious and ongoing case of cancer, has added another layer to the "long run" metaphor, and lots to blog about. Mike is currently on an extended Sick Leave, but generally worships with the church family on Sunday mornings.

With the publication of a book he wrote in 2016 entitled "Glory in the Face" (now available electronically and in paperback from Amazon.ca, and other online venders), Mike has just launched a new website, which will serve as a sort of scrapbook for readers of the book, with relevant background photos, for example, of That Last Final Solo Canoe Trip in May, 2011, as well as additional information about the book, and--coming soon--a new set of blog posts, mostly about the peace of God and the joy of the Lord and the face of Christ and the strength to face anything. You'll find the new website now at www.gloryintheface.com.

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  • May16Fri

    If I were a rich man

    May 16, 2014

    One day short of one month later, I return to this blog site with a health update.

    Last week, I met once again with the surgeon who late in February performed my liver resection, removing three cancerous tumours, and about 70 or 75% of my liver with them. Accordingly, for two weeks in the hospital and then for the remaining two weeks of March, I lay around (the hospital) and then staggered around (the house) [like some sort of physical wreck], looking forward to recovering from this second cancer-related surgery, which I had come to call "Thing #4."

    Late this April, I met with the same great surgeon for a second post-operative check-up, during which I was told to stop comparing this most recent surgery with the surgery of last Fall. "Removing such a large portion of the liver is a much bigger deal with a much longer recovery period," I was told. Good to know. (And now I know why I haven't been feeling that the month of May is as pleasant an experience as I had been initially expecting.) And this raises a question: In what sort of physical condition will I be in late May, which is when the evidently all-important next round of chemotherapy has been scheduled to begin? ("Thing #5"). ["All-important" because my one remaining life-or-death prospect is that the thousands of cancer cells hanging around inside me stand a pretty good chance of organizing themselves into new cancerous tumours. (Yikes!)]

    Yesterday, I had a second post-operative check-up with the oncologist who informed me that he had very recently decided against starting chemotherapy in May considering the difficulty my itty-bitty remnant of a liver is evidently having managing my metabolism and overall health. So here's the news: Thing #5 is off-for-now, and may in fact be off-for-good. [There's some sort of Window of Opportunity in place that means I might not get well enough for more chemo until I am past the point of there being any point in receiving more chemotherapy.] (Please don't ask me about this. I'm NOT a doctor.]

    So here am I. And here I lie (around the house). And here I stagger (also around the house -- and occasionally around the neighbourhood), mid-way through the generally-wonderful month of May -- and who-knows-how-far-along my surprisingly-non-peppy recovery from my liver's Big Day in the Operating Room.

    And that's my update. (If I hadn't been so tired, I might have been good for a few mid-term updates, too.)  If only I were a rich man… Just so you know, this post doesn't turn into something about money. (I think all my readers know that by world standards, we ALL are rich financially, even those among us with financial concerns, and I am not even one of those people because of a wonderful thing called "Long Term Disability," which I have been paying into since January 1981 and began to draw from in January 2014.)

    The rich man I am thinking of is a man who is rich in good health. ["Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum." For technical support, see here]

    If I WERE (still) THAT sort of rich man, I would just about now be setting out on yet another one of my very-intensely-loved First-Thing-in-Spring Season-Opening Solo Canoe Trips in Temagami. [I caught on to Solo Canoe Trips in the summer of 2002, and then to "Season-Opening Spring Canoe Trips" in the spring of 2007. This year's would have been my eighth such Spring Trip except that I have not been "rich enough" since the spring of 2011.] So here am I, staying home, ("Ice-out" is unusually late this spring because this past winter we were so rich in snow!) with my health continuing to be basically poor. And there (in my imagination) is Temagami, where I won't paddle and camp around again until I once again become a man rich in good health (if in fact I ever do).

    And apparently, I don't sign up for and so experience twelve more weeks of chemotherapy until my teeny-weeny remnant of a formerly-normal liver gets its act together (if in fact it ever does.) But then, really, none of us know how rich we will be, and how poor we will be, tomorrow --- and in what ways we will be rich (and poor) tomorrow.

    "But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God. My times are in your hand…"
    Psalm 31:14,15 ESV.