Day 12 – Science vs God

Jesus

I grew up in a ‘semi- religious family’  – Things like Church once a month, Xmas Day, Easter etc but early on in my married life Jan and I agreed religion was not for us.

I do not object to religion – but I do object to the misery and destruction that seems to emanate from religion.  It is my view that religion is simply a construct of mankind to ‘manage the masses’ and whilst there is some benefit in this, the dogma and narrow view of many individual religions does not add to the overall wellbeing of the world.

I would say that I like to live my life according to the principles of ‘mankind’ – kindness, helpfulness, acceptance etc etc.  These are key principles  and they are not owned by any one religion . I do believe I am a person of spirituality as there are many things of beauty, love and relationship that science cannot explain. (But a specific religion does not have a monopoly over). 

If God did exist then why does he/she choose to swipe left one day and right the next?  This does not make sense to me!

So if I were to follow the science line then I am much more comfortable with my condition and how people get sick.

In this game the doctors measure absolutely everything. Fluids in, fluids out, drugs in, blood tests regularly (up to 3 times a day) and blood culture tests for virus development. Nurses check blood pressure, body temperature and heat rate, blood oxygen levels every few hours (makes it hard to get sleep of course).

Treating cancer is a process.  Once all the measurements are in and the Medical Team (it is certainly not just one doctor making all the decisions) review the data they start pulling levers and managing the outcomes.  They know what to expect in general terms having delivered similar treatments many times before and of course relying on the extensive worldwide scientific papers and reviews of similar treatments.  They are highly intelligent people who are well trained and well meaning.  For me they are my ‘God’.

But every person and their cancer is different and so there is still some ‘trial and adjustment’ required with treatments.

In my case I seem to run a high temperature with every dose of Cytarabine but even at 40 degrees this can be managed (my hallucinations are for me to deal with).

So if you check out the graphs below, which show the change in my key blood components as part of the process, you will gain confidence that the scientific process is leading me in the right direction.

Hb Levels

WCC Levels

Platelet Levels

Praying for recovery might make some people feel good but in my mind it has little relevance to the process of returning to health.

Having said that, the well wishes and thoughts of the many, many friends who have contacted me makes a real and positive difference.  I do not feel their prayers but I can certainly hear and read their sentiments and this does send a positive vibe that makes a significant difference to my recovery.

Oh yes – last night went pretty well especially after the late Lumbar Puncture test (removing 10mls of spinal fluid for testing) – a pocess that ended up being relatively painless believe it or not!  I managed about 5 hrs broken sleep, but once again achieved a temp of 39.4 for 6 hrs resulting in plenty of tests – the doctors don’t like temps over 38.

Today was much the same as they say when your Neutrophils are 0 you are at your lowest ebb in this recovery process.  And after 6 days of non-stop diarrohea it looks like we might be getting on top of that one!

family visit day 12.jpg

I have had a lovely visit from my parents and my beautiful sister Fiona who has flown over from Thailand to say hello and to check her compatibility for a bone marrow transplant (more on this another day). My leg is improving and I can almost get around without the Zimmer Frame again.

 

Receiving some red blood cells today (thankyou Jodie!)

Receiving Blood

16 thoughts on “Day 12 – Science vs God

  1. We are watching Essendon be annihilated by Sydney. No joy here.Great to see all of your visitors. Have just had a 2mm downpour. Every little bit welcome.

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  2. Dear Geoffrey, have been thinking of you all the time since I received this terrible news! The blog is great and it is wonderful that you are so positive and surrounded by your lovely family and all these good friends.
    In Belgium it is said that teachers are the worst patients. But From your blog it is clear a manager is just as bad,😊 Stay in control at all times! Good on you!
    Never had i imaged this kind of thing would happen to you but we all have confidance that you are the kind of person that will be strong enough to win this battle. As you know Gino has tackled some serious health problems as well and he always surprised me and everyone here with his positive attitude. It worked so far, of course also with the help of all these brilliant doctors. It will work for you as well, although it’s clear it will not be a walk in the park. It never is…
    We will be thinking of you down under and send all our mental support, and Tine will cycle with you in Tassie on her next visit! Big hug from all of us, Nadine and family xxx

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  3. Just curious Geoff, is this something you’ve inherited or do you have a predisposition to a blood issue. Have you science gurus been able to shed any light?
    Fight the good fight mate xx

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  4. Geoff you have always enjoyed making people think and your post today is no exception. Reminiscent of riding a chairlift with you – always thought provoking. I have no problem with your choice of God.

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  5. I have to say I agree with your sentiments regarding religion. While I too grew up in a family which regularly worshipped the Christian faith, my own approach has been to live life through what I believe is right for mankind to do. The scandals that keep rocking all religious groups confirm in my mind that the many middlemen in religion simply can’t be trusted and have no moral compass. I applaud your honesty Geoff.

    Thankfully medical science continues to develop so that we can beat the many miseries illness such as cancer throw upon us. Science and your will to conquer this illness must give you the best chance, so keep swingin’!

    Pleased to see the Tigers get up on the Cats last night and the Swannies blow Essendon away today. Even we salvaged a draw with the Springboks – Australian rugby continues to disappoint.

    Finally got all the outback dust and grime off the Bonanza today – a big job. Reg Miegel started on his RV today too – but PJC remains dirty in the hangar!

    Better weather forecast in Wagga tomorrow – hopefully some better signs of Spring!

    Cheers – Have a restful night.

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  6. Good job on the white blood cells, just work on the rest of the graphs good buddy.

    Not praying, but certainly trying to send positive energy your way in frequent thought of you, which is unusual for this usually not so thinking too consciously thinking about too much sort of a bloke.

    Insert commas at will.

    Cheers matey.

    Andrew Irvine 254 Elizabeth Drive Vincentia NSW 2540

    0437 694 010 ab.irvine@bigpond.com 02 4441 5767

    Andrew Irvine 254 Elizabeth Drive Vincentia NSW 2540

    0437 694 010 ab.irvine@bigpond.com 02 4441 5767 >

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  7. Great to see you can still create a good graph Geoff 🙂 sounds like you are kicking goals already, great work!
    Sarah N1

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  8. Morning Geoff. Thanks so much for sharing your story with the world! This blog is an incredible way for all the people who care about you to stay involved and up to date with how you’re going. Great job. Thinking of you. Hannah xxx

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  9. Great post and great comments. I also think your choice of God (or multiple doctor and medical professional Gods) is spot on.

    John Safran and Father Bob used to talk about the intersectionality of rules found in many religions – one nice summary is “the golden rule” (treat others how you would like to be treated) – seems like all religions (and non religious people) can get behind that one.

    Seeing as cancer does not follow the golden rule, it’s great that science doesn’t follow it either! Looking forward to seeing more graphs of you and science beating it down. All the best Geoff!

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  10. Hi Geoff, Thinking of you and willing you on in your battle. I’ve been an R. N at the ARCBS for more than 20 years and am still in awe of our wonderful blood donors who provide a lifeline to so many people. You have been a donor for many unwell people. Now it’s your turn to be helped!! Stay strong.
    Angie and Gerry Gerlach

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  11. Hey Geoff – those graphs are strangely comforting!!!?!
    I am so looking forward to seeing them track up and down in the right direction toward an ‘all green’ report!
    The good life you lead has always been such a beacon for those of us who have been lucky to work with and know you. God makes no sense to me during times like these, the science you are sharing with us helps me to understand and process – and prompted action to get going with blood donation – a very small action in the grand scheme of things, but pleasing to know how much it helps.
    Great to see your Mum and Dad and Fi with you – thinking the other gorgeous person must be Georgie?? Some very strong genes there with that lovely smile!
    Jode x

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  12. Hi Geoff
    We are thinking of you and appreciate the effort you are making to keep a daily diary for us all, even when feeling lousy. Personally, we think that science and belief in a higher being fit very nicely together, as there are many things that science can’t understand or manipulate – such as love, beauty, generosity and so on.
    We’ll keep reading and marvelling at the use of medical science to address your cancer and also praying for a successful outcome and a full recovery.
    Roger and Ann

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  13. Thanks for sharing so vulnerably Geoff. To hear what you believe, helps me know you more seeing some of your formational story.

    I’m very pleased that you are ok for me, who does believe in God, to continue praying because yes, the sentiment and wishing you well is paramount through that.

    Funnily enough, for me, God is actually ‘a scientist’ as science simply describes the construct he created which humankind has studied, So I’m encouraged to hear about your embracing of science even though I guess we believe differently about the ‘source’.

    So as we differ on it’s relevance and as it’s ok with you, I’ll continue praying to send those ‘vibes’, so thank you for expressing appreciation at me doing so.

    Warmest regards Geoff,
    Daniel

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