Chasm, meet Bridge

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. 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.

7 Responses

  1. Carolyn Weber

    Living with cancer gives Kate the opportunity to continue to tell people about Jesus. My sister, Debbie Leas, lived with cancer until the day she walked through the veil and now resides in heaven. In heaven, she is healed. Peace, Kate.

  2. Just wanted to say that I am praying for you all, Kate and family. I am a Canadian in Waterloo, a charismatic Mennonite. Was diagnosed with hybrid unknown cancer 6 October, had tumour removed 18 November, and about to complete radiation therapy on 2 March 2016. I am praying for you all. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. God bless you. God is with us and does not forsake us. He is with us in the midst of all the pain and sorrow. Peace in Christ Jesus.

  3. My precious daughter was diagnosed with glioblastoma IV last Jan. 2015. We count our blessings every day that she is still with us. Dr Allen Friedman, her surgeon at Duke, did a amazing job. She has been in a clinical trial immunotherapy through Nov. then an MRI read some new growth at the surgery site. She began another drug combo IV in our hometown under the direction of Duke. Feb. MRI showed “true progression” ..another area of growth. Needless to say, we are devastated!!
    About her….Rosemary Smith, 51, married 23 yrs to her soulmate. Two daughters, Molly,21 -Jr at UT Chatt TN and Abby, 19, Fresh at UT Knox TN.
    She has taught school for 24 yrs,( 3rd grade, 4th and recently 6th grade science). She has a wonderful gift of singing.. Church praise team, solos, asst director, weddings, funerals, school events, patriotic community Jul. 4th celebrations, a lifetime of community theater, etc..she has the most contagious sense of humor!!
    She LOVES people…has almost 2,000 FB friends. They have been exchange student parents on 2 different occasions. You can only imagine the prayers that have been spoken for her…all over the world.

    We are living our “new normal ” with all the love, laughter and hope possible. My understanding of a lifetime of studying scripture will keep me on my knees asking for grace and mercy, for healing and for strength and courage to face the future. But I cannot say that I don’t weep and groan with a broken heart that my beloved daughter is facing this battle. Oh, how courageous she is!!!

    My heart is with you and your dear family..I will lift you in prayer for healing, peace, strength, and grace…and will ask my senior adult Sunday school class to
    pray as well. With caring love

    • Kate, just wanting you to know that we pray daily for you, never met you before, but if you are anything like your Dad,(and mom), you are truly remarkable and blessed, read lots of your post and it’s obvious you to are remarkable. God bless you and wish you well.

  4. Kate, I know several people who are in active management (long-term) of cancer, and they, too, are living life until the bridge can be built. Seems like new bridges are going up every day. Best to you and your family.

  5. Kate,

    I think you will find meaning in this blog by an acquaintance of mine who has a similar situation to yours. She, too, is eloquent.

    http://standinginthesunshine.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-weight-of-attachments.html?spref=fb

  6. I appreciate your perspective here – it’s realistically positive. I’m currently reading, “Blessed,” for reasons close to my heart. Thank you for researching and writing this book. It’s very helpful for explaining and demonstrating why I’ve never been able to receive the teachings of the prosperity gospel. If the faith we hold to doesn’t make any space for suffering then I don’t think it’s a true faith.

    Praying for you.

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