A (Very) Personal Word

Sharing can be risky and can evoke undue anxiety in systems. So can not sharing. You’ve played “Gossip” or “Telephone,” haven’t you? The intended message gets altered, embellished, etc. One observation I’ve made through the years is that when people don’t have information, they make it up. Or people get partially-correct information and they add to it to make it more sensational. So allow me to share some of my journey that may rearrange some of my availability over the next few months.

Since November, I’ve been going through a series of tests that culminated in a biopsy last Thursday of my prostate gland. The results came back Friday that I do indeed have prostate cancer, a “Gleason 7,” which means intermediate risk. So this precipitates the part where there could be surprises or interruptions in my schedule. In two weeks I’ll meet with my urological oncologist in Charlotte to weigh the options, very likely radiation or surgery or both.

Prognosis? Quite good, statistically, assuming we tend to it. How am I feeling? Physically fine. No symptoms. Emotionally it’s a combination of three things: resigned to a treatment regimen that messes up my plans and commitments, confident and hopeful that by late summer we’ll have this under control, and mostly grateful for such an attentive primary care physician for encouraging me and other docs to pursue this further. Annual check-ups are a blessed thing. Hope you do those.

Two things I do hope to evoke with this letter: (1) prayers for Wendy, me, and the synod staff and (2) adjustment to some unpredictability of my availability. I’ll do my best not to leave you hanging, especially last minute, but I’ll own that getting healthy and whole is our top priority right now. Apologies if this is TMI (too much information). But you’re family, too. I wanted you to know, from me—and at the same time. Even now if, like me, you’re thinking, “But what about…?” I don’t know yet. Best. Next. Step. God’s got this.

Walking with you...even if I lag behind for a while,

NC Synod Bishop

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