A Sovereign Surprise

-- A message to my family from my dad --
Dear Friends and Family: Some of you know I appreciate Proverbs 16:9: "In his heart a man makes his plans, but the Lord determines his steps." I remind folk that God is a "Sovereign Surprise" God in that most of us could never have planned how our lives turned out!

Well, my life has been wonderfully surprising in every way...but now I'm facing another surprise: I've been surprised with the news that I have prostate cancer. Wouldn't you know...those with this cancer in their family (my Dad had it but did not die from it), Scandinavians, and just plain old American men are all good candidates for it...I happen to fit all three. This was not my plan for the next chapter of my life, and, as some on this email have experienced, this is a surprise I could have done without. There's good news and bad news:
  • the good news? It's been caught early thanks to a PSA test (men - be sure to get that annual test!). I had a biopsy and a very small percentage of the 2 (of 12) tissue samples had cancerous cells. Early detection is always good news with this cancer.
  • the bad news? I have cancer...the #2 men's cancer, in fact. It's definitely deadly if not contained.
Nancy and I go to Walter Reed on Jan 4 for a day-long consult where all the options will be spelled out. I also hope to go to Johns Hopkins Cancer Institute tor a second opinion. My research so far tells me major surgery may be in the plans...

I'd ask for prayer as I comprehend the prognosis and treatment options. Pastor John Piper wrote a piece on cancer just before he went in for prostate surgery some time ago. One of his points was "You will waste your cancer if you do not believe it is designed for you by God." What else can we think but that this, too, is a "Sovereign Surprise" from the hand of God? Pray I will practice what I preach!

Your love and friendship is cherished...may all the Sovereign Surprises in your lives not surprise you too much... and may these celebratory days of Christ's birth bring you much joy as you enter the new year!

Blessings, Doug

Douglas E. Lee


Lucy and Ethel said…
I just read this; I'm so sorry your dad (and your family) is facing this, but SMA has no doubt toughened you all up for whatever comes next.

Sending big prayers from NC!

Maria B. said…
Praying for your family...
Tina said…
Thinking about and praying for Doug and your family. May a new strength come from this. Hoping the appointments go well as you learn your choices and make decisions.
Nurse Krissy said…
Oh, Doug! Wow. What a response of faith. Crappy stuff really does happen to everyone...thank God we have an unchanging, sovereign, loving God to hold on to, trust in, and receive strength from! He is our redeemer and He gives purpose to our lives...even the sad and hard parts.
we love you guys...
love, Krissy (and steve and katie)
del said…
Thanks to you all for your concern...life is full of various kinds of surprises and the SMA Family knows all about it!

Doug Lee
Christy said…

Thanks for posting this. I hate that your family faces the hardships they do, but I love that your responses of faith are shared to encourage the body. You may never know the lives that have been strengthened or changed by your willingness to share your struggles. Thank you. Please let your Mom and Dad know that I will be praying for them and all of you.

In fact, every time I pass your old neighborhood on 92, I pray for your family. It's a nice visual reminder after all of those years of riding to school together.

God bless!
Unknown said…
We are praying for you Doug and Nancy!! What a testimony your letter is to many and your trust and passion for Christ comes thru your written words! Piper is right on - everything we go thru is God-designed and has the awesome potential to bring others to Him thru our own illness/challenge!
BE GOD-STRONG! we are praying for healing & for wisdom/expertise from your docs! If you need a Phila opinion, please call - our friend Chip is head of Oncology at Penn Hosp! Love to you both and your families!! Nancy & Jim (Nurse Krissy's parents)
erin said…
God gives us many challenges. My brother-in-law was diagnosed with the same cancer and as a pharmacist didn't really like the conventional treatment..hard to believe since he was a pharmacist! Anyway, he did a lot of Vitamin C and I know there are things on the Internet about this cancer treatment so I'm sure you could look them up. You are in my prayers!