Several years ago, a friend of mine was diagnosed with late-stage multiple myeloma while in his early fifties. For about a year and a half he fought the cancer and received some measure of response from the treatments and was able to engage in many of his regular activities.
And then he contracted spinal meningitis and nearly died.
It might be natural to respond, “that’s not fair — no man that young should have that many physical problems.” The physical ills he endured did test his faith, as he affirmed in an email he sent to his friends following his recovery from the meningitis. Yet they also made him steadfast in his dependence on the Lord:
How are we spiritually?
Thanks to our Lord and Savor Jesus Christ we remain steadfast. We have kept our eyes fixed on our Savor who is, “the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2); and have casts our burdens on our Heavenly Father and He has sustained us (Psalms 55:22). We observe God’s providential hand in all things, especially our difficulties and so we thank Him for the deepening of our faiths. Jan and I believe that these illnesses are not random but designed for the good of His children – “count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness” (James 1:1-2).
All of my illnesses and recovery have produced increased steadfastness and comfort. It has been difficult yet comforting. He makes us rest more and more upon Him – we are thankful for all He brings our way because we benefit long term.
What about my cancer?
I am still battling a spike in my protein. It jumped to 6.24 just prior to my most recent protocol change during the latter part of July. The 6.24 protein count is just slightly lower than when first diagnosed in November of 2004 at 6.9. One of the side effects of the new drug protocol is neutropenia, an extremely low white blood cell level which helps to fight infections.
We realize our responsibility to take every human precaution to remain healthy, and we are making every effort to do so. Yet we know our Heavenly Father directs the ultimate time of our departure. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)
Thank you again for your support and love. May the Lord continue to uphold your household with His tender loving hand. We continue steadfast because He sustains us.
The Williams Family
I’ve recently reread all of his letters, which all have a similar tone of trust and dependence on God. These letters have been compiled into a new book along with some meditations and discussion questions. I highly commend this book, Cancer Chronicles. Rereading the book has reminded me why I appreciated my friendship with Bill so much.