The Unwelcome Guest

by Clark Roush, Ph.D.

This is my way of informing friends and acquaintances across the globe that my cancer has returned for a 3rd time. My PSA’s had been rising, so it isn’t a complete surprise, but I hope I’m allowed to say that it still sucks! I have a deep distaste for the things this does emotionally to my family. I think I’ll not care for some of treatment’s side effects, but Sue and I have found a new “normal” twice before, and I’m confident we can do it again.

I have scans March 7 to be sure the dragon is localized. Please pray for good results and that we can continue on the treatment regimen I started 9 days ago.

Please pray this treatment will be effective! As we head into a new valley of uncertainty, here are the things I’m completely certain of:

  • I have an unchangable and ever-faithful Trinity in my corner
  • I have the most amazing wife. She consistently amazes me as she is forced to deal with the “for worse” part of her wedding vows
  • I have a support network among my family not everyone has – I do not take that for granted, and I would do anything I could to spare them this. I’m grateful for the part of the journey they will make with me
  • I have 56 young adults that come to rehearsal M-F and love me beyond what I deserve
  • I have a loving church family that I know will be praying for me
  • I have loved ones all over the globe that will take us before the Father on a consistent basis – thank you from the depth of my heart for this
  • My administration has prayed for / laid their hands on me – not everyone has that kind of support at work
  • There are MANY people who hear worse news than I have received

So, what happens now? First and foremost, every time you’re tempted to worry, just pray. I am confident prayer and treatment are far more effective on the cancer than worry. Second, a reminder that I HAVE cancer, I am NOT cancer. I’m still the same old me (I’m aware that’s really scary to some of you – maybe many of you), and intend to stay that way as long as possible. Treat us normally – that’s a huge gift you can give our family. Third, commit to noticing and taking pleasure in the little things that happen every day that make life beautiful and add meaning to our lives this side of heaven. Fourth, if your theology makes you think/say “God did this to your for a reason” you are like Job’s friends – I don’t need that, I don’t agree with that, so I will love you as you keep that to yourself. This dude is establishing the most positive vibe network I can. I trust I will hear the voice of God in needed ways, but I just don’t believe God inflicts disease on people; however, I know He promises a future where only health resides.

I’m growing more and more comfortable realizing that the questions we don’t have answers for probably shouldn’t eat up the mental and emotional space we often give them. I am anchored deeply in the Cross, passionately love my family, have the greatest job in the world, and have been richly graced and gifted.

Thanks for any part of the journey you will take with me. We serve a God who is not only Omnipresent, Omnipotent, and Omniscient, but one who is the Great Physician and a Great Sustainer. I will cast all my anxieties on Him, because He cares for me – I encourage you to do the same because He cares for you in the same way.

In the shadow of the Cross,