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Stage 4

"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare 's pastoral comedy As You Like It. The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play.

Last November, my oncologist gave me the lead role in Advanced Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma and called me up on to Stage 4.

No amount of rehearsal would have prepared me for what was to come. If this was a play, I was, and remain a weak actor.

I am beyond grateful beyond words for the prayers and support that helped me through the 4 cycles of chemotherapy and its myriad of horrible side effects.

Now that I have used armies of chemo toxins to fight the cancer, my treatment has changed with medicines to help my own immune system recognize and destroy cancer cells. For an undetermined time, I will receive immunotherapy every other week. This Thursday marks round 2. Our prayer is this will slow the growth and spreading of cancer cells, allowing me to maintain at least a supporting role a bit longer on this stage. We also hope to experience fewer side effects.

The pain imposed on my body by this advanced cancer will never be naturally relieved. Fortunately, my palliative care team continues to provide pain relief and advice on managing the various symptoms so that I can be as comfortable and pain-free as possible. I am extremely grateful for their care, and expertise.

I believe God has a plan for each of us. My wish is to be productive with whatever strength and skills He directs me to use, for as long as he keeps me, with you, on this stage.

“Hope springs eternal.” With the onset of spring and God’s magnificent creation in bloom, what better time to focus on His goodness.

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