I told you of my less-than-splendid experience with a priesthood blessing in part one. Fast forward to 2005; life was good. And then along came February!
My father had been diagnosed with type II diabetes in August. No big deal, he was a healthy man, if just a little over weight. He would really watch his diet, exercise, lose the weight and the problem would be fixed. Try as they might though, my parents found his blood sugar levels extremely difficult to control. It seemed that no matter what he ate his blood sugar levels would sore to very dangerous levels. It was a very frustrating time for both my father and my mother.
In November my father started to lose weight at an alarming rate and by the time Christmas came around he had lost about 50 pounds. It had little effect on his diabetes and when the New Year rolled around it brought with it a whopping case of jaundice! After harassing their doctor enough it was decided that my father should undergo a cat scan to figure out what was going on in his body. The results were not good. It looked as if my father had pancreatic cancer. Not only that but it looked like he had cancer on his liver as well. His prognosis was very bad. Before leaving the office the doctor told my father that he had anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year to live. Oh what a start to February 2005!
Now I had to face the mortality of a beloved parent. I shed many tears and tried to come to grips with my father’s looming death and having to say goodbye to him for a time. It was an odd experience, it felt like preparing to say goodbye to an actual part of myself.
At this same time, my nephew was being baptized so all of my siblings had a chance to be together with my parents for this special occasion. After the baptism my family gathered privately to witness a priesthood blessing of healing that my brother administered to my father. In the blessing my brother said that my father would gain his health back for a time and that he would be able to resume his duties as bishop.
Now I had done the research on pancreatic cancer and I knew that my dad had ALL of the symptoms of late-stage pancreatic cancer. From this research I learned that the average life-expectancy of someone in late stage pancreatic cancer was 4.1 months. This type of cancer is very aggressive and almost always terminal.
After the completion of the blessing I felt a little angry at my brother, I didn’t want him getting everyone’s hopes up when there wasn’t any. It wasn’t appropriate for me to say anything at this time and I decided to keep a “wait and see” attitude.
A few weeks later my dad was scheduled for surgery to see exactly what was going on in his body. From the looks of things the doctor said he thought he would open my dad up, say “Yikes!” and close him right back up. We were all quite surprised and pleased when the doctor found that my dad’s liver was completely free of cancer and that the removal of his pancreas was an option for extending his life. It was a brutal operation and his recovery has been slow and painful but he is home and healing and even heading for a bishopric meeting tonight. We may not have my dad around for as long as we’d like, but now we are looking at years and not months. My faith in priesthood blessings began to grow.
Have you noticed that not all priesthood blessings are not created equal or is it just me?