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Prostate Cancer Treatment, Faith, and God

Posted Mar 24 2010 12:00am
What prostate cancer treatment should you choose when you have prostate cancer? That was my Number One problem when I was first diagnosed with a little over three years ago. After a series of mis-steps I finally opted for robotic surgery. It was a decision I will never regret.

Technically the prostate cancer treatment I chose is called robotic-assisted laparoscopic radical prostate cancer surgery, abbreviated RALP.  Had I not willingly gone robotic, I know for sure that I would have become a urologic cripple. That's because the cancerous corner of my prostate gland impinged on my bladder.

The net result was that I kept running to the bathroom at all hours to urinate, only to discover that "going to the pot" resulted in a trickle. That was hardly the might stream I sought! But my robotic prostate surgery fixed all that.

Prior to my prostate cancer treatment I already knew that doctors are not the ultimate source for curing this disease or any other illness. Instead, from a faith perspective, physicians hone their God-given abilities to save lives and become vehicles through which God operates, in my case quite literally!

It’s true that there’s a stereotype that doctors act as if they were God, and there’s some truth to that when a physician acts in an authoritarian manner. In a religious sense doctors ARE God, or more precisely, are an extension of God, imbued with divine healing powers.

Of course we could say this about most individuals in the helping professions. This refers to social workers, nurses and even clergy including a rabbi like me!

The core idea, in rabbinic Judaism and other religions, is the notion of stewardship. This involves the all-empowering concept that all human beings are God’s partners in the ongoing process of creation.

I hasten to add that in both Jewish and Christian tradition we are not God’s peers but only God’s junior partners!

In that respect my capacity to bounce back from my operation was my doing, my doctor’s doing, and an act of God.

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