Praying for Todd Billings
Todd Billings, a fine Christan and excellent scholar who was recently installed in a new academic chair at Western Theological Seminary (RCA), is battling Multiple Myeloma. He is in the midst of recovery from a month in the hospital with a stem cell transplant; experiencing a lot of fatigue–only alert enough to read/write or see people beyond family a few hours a day. The longer term prayer request is for a long remission from the cancer after this transplant. Multiple Myeloma has no cure, and so doctors expect it to come back, and it’s harder to treat when it does.
Below is the most recent prayer request. Please join me in praying for Todd…
After struggling with a compromised immune system for a number of months, my doctor gave me a number of tests to find the problem. Eventually, it showed irregularities in my blood which indicated either a pre-cancerous malady that would give me a propensity toward cancer, or an active blood cancer. After more tests, I was diagnosed with an active cancer, Multiple Myeloma, on September 27, 2012. It had already caused some bone erosion (in my skull, arm, hip) and an elevated plasma level in my blood.
I received five rounds of chemotherapy from October of 2012 to January of 2013. Then, in February and March, I received a stem cell transplant–spending about a month in the hospital and a cancer lodge. Even after the high-dose chemotherapy given in the transplant process, the Multiple Myeloma is expected to return (the cancer has no cure). However, remission can last for years (sometimes many years) and patients can go off of most of the chemo drugs at that time. In addition, there is ongoing, vigorous medical research on Multiple Myeloma which may bring more and more effective treatments in the future.
In all of this, I continue to return to biblical truth expressed by Heidelberg Catechism Q and A 32: I am a Christian, which means that “by faith I am a member of Christ and so I share in his anointing” by the Holy Spirit. Since Christ is the one true prophet, “I am anointed to confess his name, to present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks.” Since Christ is the true priest, I enjoy a “free conscience” because of his atoning work, and I “present myself to him as a living sacrifice of thanks.” Since Christ is the true and victorious King, I strive “against sin and the devil in this life, and afterward to reign with Christ over all creation for eternity.” In this journey of discipleship, our only comfort in life and in death is that we belong, in body and soul, in life and in death, to Jesus Christ, our faithful Savior, and the Triune God made known in and through him. (Heidelberg Catechism, Q and A 1) Prayers are encouraged for the cancer to be effectively combated by the chemo treatments; for a long remission after transplant; and for Christ’s strength and peace to be with my family, especially my wife Rachel and my two young children.