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My Recent Experience with God, the Almighty Orchestrator

The Pain

It all started about 18 months ago—just a “no big deal” minor lower back pain and occasional sciatic pain in my left leg. Then six weeks ago, things suddenly changed for the worse. Three weeks later, in August 2015, I was diagnosed with a benign tumor in the lumbar region (L3-L4) of my spinal canal. An MRI showed a mass that was 3 cm long occupying the entire diameter of the canal, meaning that this part of the canal was fully packed, thus pinching the nerves. Immediately, the doctor referred me to a neuro-oncologist at UCSF. At the same time, my wife sent out emails to brothers and sisters in Christ asking for prayers for God to give us courage, faith, hope, and patience during this difficult time.

Since my diagnosis, I had stopped going to work. Every day I spent 23+ hours sitting and sleeping in a zero-gravity lounge chair. Putting pressure on my left leg would trigger excruciating, burning pain from my hip all the way down to my thigh and calf. Usually, the pain began on a level of 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1 to 10) in the morning and progressed during the day, so that by the end of day, the pain would be totally unbearable—a level 10. The pain did not respond to even the strongest prescription painkillers. Lying down only made it worse. So, I was totally immobilized in the lounge chair. The only times I got out of the chair was in the morning to take a shower and brush my teeth, and during the day to tend to my personal hygiene.

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