L for Leukemia, R for Relapse, W for Why?

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“Even without doing a bone marrow examination or any further tests, your blood reports and other clinical findings clearly show that the Leukemia has relapsed.” Those were my doctor’s words as he confirmed what we had all been fearing. Straight to the point, no beating around the bush. After around seven months of being in remission, the leukemia was back.

It all started with a  fever and some chest pains on my sternum area some time in mid July. Antibiotics and pain killers weren’t of much help and in two weeks my blood counts, especially platelet counts, started falling rapidly. By mid August I needed blood and platelet transfusions to get by. Severe bone pains especially on my rib cage and thigh bones set in and at one point I got to interact with increasing doses of morphine for some days.

Morphine, when necessary, is a good drug. It was the only drug that seemed able to handle my pain. But, the fun and games begin when the pain subsides and they have to reduce then stop the doses. That’s when you’re hit with something called withdrawal symptoms. I pity my people for the dramas they had to witness during that period. However, I kept reminding them, last I checked, this drug’s main chemical component is opium!

We flew into New Delhi, India early morning on Monday 25th August 2014. Went straight to the same hospital I had been treated in for close to 5 months last year. Admission was almost immediately on arrival and treatment started that night. By the way, the doctors happily accepted us back. It was nice to see familiar smiling faces including the security personnel and support staff. I continue to be amazed at the expertise God has blessed the doctors with. And the whole team’s passion and commitment to its work is unrivaled.

From around 3 weeks before we traveled to India, I knew the leukemia was back. I tried to deny it but I could feel it. I had so many questions I needed God to answer, so many thoughts recurred in my mind. Why Lord is this happening to me again? Did you not heal me in January this year? Did I not hear you right when you confirmed I was healed and you gave the same message to several other people? Why now of all times? Am back at work and just settling in well. I recently proposed to my long time girlfriend and sweetheart, Irene Murangi, and we’re weeks away from getting married. I don’t get it Jesus. You’ve always been good at this timing thing, what’s going on? What will the thousands of people who’ve heard my testimony say? How will we face my doctors who we left baffled when we told them am stopping treatment against their strong advice not to? Why Lord? Why?

I was dejected. I was angry at God for letting things take the turn they had. For some time I struggled with prayer and bible reading. Between the intense pains that tormented me for weeks and the feelings of despair, several times I prayed and asked God to let me go home. I begged Him to call me home and let me rest. But all I seemed to get was silence.

God did start to speak eventually, or maybe it’s me who started to hear. He spoke through His word, most of which was read out to me by my parents or shared by family and friends. He spoke through words of encouragement spoken by people directly or indirectly. He spoke through inner promptings and reminders He quietly brought to my attention.

The message was clear. God loves me. He loves us all more than we can ever imagine or comprehend. God will not share His glory with anyone or anything. He is capable of defending His own glory better than any living being in heaven or earth. His ways and thoughts are way above ours. And most importantly He has been, is and will always be in control. He’s seen the beginning and the end and everything in between. Nothing captures Him by surprise. He doesn’t have A plan, He has THE plan.

These words reminded me of a beautiful analogy I read in a book earlier this year; “The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives” by Ravi Zacharias. The author gives a description of how sarees are made in India. The process is painstaking and can take weeks or months as it involves weaving the masterpieces thread by thread, line by line. All this time, only one person, the weaver, has the design in his mind and every weave that he does ultimately contributes to the final design. In our lives God is the Grand Weaver. He knows what the final design looks like and pulls together all the varied strands of life to reveal His grand design. As the author so articulately puts it:

God the Grand Weaver seeks those with tender hearts so that he can put His imprint on them. Your hurts and your disappointments are part of that design, to shape your heart and the way you feel about reality. The hurts you live through will always shape you. There is no other way.

There is no other way… Not all my “whys” have been fully answered. I believe it’s a process. Every so often I need to remind myself of the truths I have shared above. But one thing am glad I can confidently say is that I have peace. That peace that surpasses all human understanding. This too shall pass. And what a testimony we shall soon share as we give God all the glory.

Last week on Thursday I was discharged after 25 days in hospital. I am on a short break before my next chemo later this week. We learned the hard way that a relapse is much more serious than the first occurrence of leukemia. The disease is “smarter”, more aggressive and more resistant to drugs. For this reason progress has been slow. I believe my bone marrow had at one point almost completely stopped making platelets. Since I was admitted all through to 2 days before my discharge I have had to be transfused every 2 to 3 days just to keep my counts from being critically low. But, I thank God the counts finally started picking from around Monday last week.

It’s so good first and foremost to be pain free. It’s nice to be home in our little apartment not too far from the hospital. We miraculously managed to get the same apartment we lived in last time!

I have settled into life in Delhi despite being cooped up in hospital for over 3 weeks. I have taken up some of my old hobbies. When am strong enough and up to it, Saturday and Sunday evenings are reserved for English Premier League football games. I think I may have even gotten my mum to take up an interest in football. Where “interest” is her asking me which teams are playing and checking if am okay whenever I shout after a goal is scored or a clear chance is missed…

I end, as usual, by thanking all those who have continued to support us in prayer. Your prayers mean so much to us. I’ll keep you posted on specific prayer points as they become clearer to us. For now, pray for healing, for strength on this journey and for provision. May God bless you and keep you.

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28 thoughts on “L for Leukemia, R for Relapse, W for Why?

  1. Thank you for keeping us updated. God is always in control even when it seems to us that He isn’t. He has got this! I pray for quick recovery and for peace during this time. I also have your fiance in my prayers, it must also be tough on her. God will see both of you through this and it shall all be for His glory. Stay encouraged, bro. You are loved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lois Gakumo

    Dan I am so encouraged by all you have shared! Truly our God is working a wonderful work in you. He is faithful and true and we continue to trust Him. You and Murangi are in my heart and prayers. Blessings to you and a quick recovery in Jesus Name!

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  3. Megz

    In all this, may peace be your portion. You remain an encouragement to many.
    Much love and hugs from Mwachari’s

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  4. Susy Rauto

    All will be well brother. God listens to us keenly when we are at our lowest. All we need to do is believe in him and hang on there. I know you got the faith so lets leave everything to the almighty healer. You are in my prayers. Stay strong for great things are waiting for you to come out of that

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  5. I am not sure who this is, I just saw Joe Githinji had shared this testimony and it just interested me…. I am touched and encouraged by this, My mum also suffered cancer of the breast, she went through her experience in medication, saw her loose her hair, her complexion became darker but she was always optimistic about life until she fully recovered and went about her daily life… Though she slept… but she survived it, seeing her come out of it gave me courage and joy. May the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob touch you dear. You are strong and your testimony will touch many. God bless #feelingblessed

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  6. Finally, my brother, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication…….

    And having done all, to stand!
    We shall stand victorious in Jesus mighty name. Amen.

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  7. Nelly Wamaitha

    Dan, this is beautiful. The Grand Weaver is weaving a great great design. We all look forward to it’s unveiling. The girls and I are still praying. You are loved!

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  8. sarah

    Mbugua, i’m amazed at how God continues to strengthen you and how you have chosen to focus on what is important as opposed to demanding for answers…may your heart remain tender. We keep praying for you and know that this too shall pass.

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  9. Sylvia Kang'ethe

    Thanks Daniel for the update. Our God knows the end from the beginning. He is on the throne, and will show himself strong. Am praying with you.

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  10. reminds me of the sermon series we have been having at church,when God seems to be ‘mteja’,i am reminded to stay alert since God could have answered our prayers its just that we are not seeing it and its not along the lines we expected….

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  11. Michael Sande

    Dan thank you for the update, our God is more than able and he is building up a grant testimony you, you are in my prayers

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  12. Dan – I do not know you..stumbled on this on Pat Prudence page on facebook..

    One thing I am however very confident about – Our God never fails….if he gave you the word that you are healed..It doesn’t matter what tantrums your body throws {and the L} for that Matter…you are healed! – He has said it and it is! whether anybody likes it, believes it or not! Be encouraged! and May Papa…our Healer, comforter and encourager..be your portion even as you wade through the mud!..a Brighter day is coming! Praying for you and all around you for Wisdom and Grace!

    Bless!

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  13. It shall be well with you Mbugua. God’s presence is certainly with you and wherever He is there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11)- even in the midst of grim circumstances.
    I always tell Murangi (and anyone else who cares to listen) that I know a hero of faith who is right up there with Abraham. Your strength and courage may not always be obvious to you but it inspires so many of us.
    He works all things together for good for those who love him. That is not speculation or merely a kind statement. It is solid truth. And he is working in you daily.
    I suggest that you and Murash look for a book called “Hosting the Presence” by Bill Johnson. I think it will go a long way in fueling hope. Praying for you.
    God cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13). He will show his faithfulness and stunning goodness once again!!

    Grace to you! 🙂

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  14. Muthoni

    Give thanks with a grateful heart,give thanks to the holy one, give thanks because he has given Jesus Christ his son,and now let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich , because of what he has done for you give thanks. Son after reading your testimony that is the song that has come to my mind. Just start thanking God for all that he has allowed in your life for the yet geater testimony tnat you will share as we eat mukimo.Irene for better and for worse is not an altar phrase is everyday living may the Lord see you guys thru.

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  15. First, I really hope you’re a Man United fan.

    Secondly, in accordance to the precedent you’ve set, I feel God would tell you, “K for Keep calm and watch me do my thing 😉 , I for I’m in charge; not you and T for trust me even when it doesn’t make sense to do so!”

    God is like a hump on a camel; he’s always got your back! You continue to be in our prayers. You’ll be fine. Chat soon!

    Chippo

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  16. Ellen Gleaves

    Daniel
    Don and I continue to pray for you and your wonderful family. We know that all things work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. His ways are not our ways, but we trust Him to know what’s best.
    May He continue to give you peace and rest. Please give your mom greetings and tell her we are praying for her as well.
    Ellen Gleaves (Don)
    Nashville TN. USA

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  17. Repalma Williams

    Daniel, I have been praying for you even though I don’t know you. I work with your dad and I met your lovely mum several times. Sometimes when we go through the valley, we experience dispair. But the God who has taken you to the mountain top is the same God who is and will be ever present with you. Sometimes we don’t know the answers to the many “whys” we ask God or ourselves. But continue to trust in the Lord and lean on Him daily. He has begun a good work in you and He is a finisher – so rest assured – He will see it to completion and will be with you every step of the way. Take faith and courage that so many people around the world are praying for you. Isn’t that just awesome! What a mighty God we serve who is not restricted by any geographical location. God has and will continue to touch people’s lives because of your story. I too am praying for Irene as I know this has to be hard to watch you hurt. Your parents and the rest of your siblings are also in my prayers.

    Blessings to you my brother,
    Repalma Williams
    Nashville, TN (USA)

    Like

  18. Ann wa Ngaruiya

    Indeed He is a grand weaver and we accept His master plan. We continue praying for you and in His good time you will be back. Eagerly awaited by Aiden, his dad and mom.

    Like

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