Some of you may have seen a recent interview with Kate in Christianity Today [http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/february-web-only/kate-bowler-on-dying-and-sure-hope.html] or read her piece in the New York Times. [http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/14/opinion/sunday/death-the-prosperity-gospel-and-me.html?_r=1] Many comments on these articles have described her as “dying from cancer” but Kate thinks that a better description would be “critically ill with cancer”. This change does not reflect some sort of unreasonable optimism or assumption that she is being cured by her treatment; it is rather a more accurate description of a state that she will be in for the foreseeable future. This was made clear in a talk Kate had this week with her oncologist at Duke Medical Center: doctors do not foresee a cure. The hope that the immunotherapy and chemotherapy she is receiving offers is that she will not die from her cancer but that that her disease eventually will be manageable. The analogy is one with HIV or diabetes – a condition that will not go away but which will be contained with medication and allow something approaching a normal lifestyle. At this moment Kate is walking toward a chasm, over which a bridge has not yet been built. We live in hope that this life-saving construction will appear and, as always, covet your prayers for Kate and her family.
That sound you just heard was the collective exhalation of breath by Kate and her ground crew. The analysis of the scan on her tumours has come in and it is good news: shrinkage of the nasty things all around. The doctor is pleased with the progress; everything is trending in the right direction.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers. They make a tangible difference in our lives.
On Tuesday Kate will fly into Atlanta for her bimonthly CT scan which checks on the progress of the therapy that she has received. Two months ago, the results were encouraging with marked shrinkage of one of the tumors on her liver. Naturally, everyone would like to see continued progress that would justify Kate’s ongoing participation in the experimental immunotherapy and, equally naturally, tension mounts among her ground crew as we await the news which will come on Wednesday morning when Kate will be undergoing her regular dose of chemo.
Faithful friend Katherine will be driving in all the way from Nashville to be at Kate’s side and keep spirits high. Pray, if you’ve a mind, for her safe travel and happy revelations from the scan.