Science and Faith

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  The side effects from my last round of chemo have finally passed and in a couple of weeks it will be time to move ahead with the next part of my treatment: radiation.  I know radiation is proven and effective or I wouldn’t be doing it.  But when you think about what radiation actually does, you have to concede that it doesn’t sound like a terribly modern way to fight the disease: burn the bejesus out of the site of the tumor five months after you’ve taken it out. Same thing with chemo: poison everything and then let the good cells regenerate. This of course is why I’m not a doctor or a scientist.  Or a pilot for that matter. (I’m supposed to get that thing made of metal that weighs 900,000 lbs and is full of people to leave the ground?)   Historically, progress is made when we laymen manage to go against what seems logical to us (the earth is flat) and trust people who have dedicated their lives to figuring these things out (the earth is round.)  They do the science and we do the faith.  I think it’s a fairly sizable leap of faith that will be required of me at the end of all this treatment to believe that the things they have done have freed me of this cancer. They won’t give me a battery of tests that prove it’s gone forever.  They won’t give me a final date I can mark on the calendar to celebrate that it’s all over.  That’s not the way it works, much to my deep dismay.  But they will give me the best treatments they have and all their reasoning and percentages and distributions and averages and best estimates.  And then I have to give it my best leap, right across all the things I don’t fully understand and up over those fears and negative thoughts, hopefully landing squarely on enough terra firma from which to walk away feeling like I can go on with my life. Planes fly.  The earth is round.  What seems impossible is actually possible.  Maybe there will even be a smart, capable and trustworthy President in the White House, who also happens not to be a white guy for once.  Go Obama!