Be Strong. Take Heart.


I have realized that the closer that I feel to God that I feel connected to what is going on around me.  Sometimes strange things happen that are just too close to be coincidence.  The other night I was lying in bed at 1:35am and this strange and dark feeling came over me.  I woke Mary up, which I never do, and said, "Mary I feel a dark presence somewhere but it is not here".  She asked me what time it was and I told her it was 1:35am.  A few moments later, I said "It is at my father's house".  It was a strange and dark feeling.  The only thing that I could think of is maybe it was the angel of death coming to take my father.  I am not a big person on signs so I didn't think anymore about it.  Several days later I was talking with my sister Tamara and she said that she had a dream on the same night that I did at around 1:30 in the morning.  In the dream, she was standing in the hallway of my dad's house trying to keep a dark spirit from coming down the hallway.  She said that Mary and I were in one bedroom and my dad and mother were in the other.  The dark spirit moved away and as it moved it changed shape to a figure with four legs and it said, "I'll be back".  Of course my sister being the fighter she is said in return, "I'll be waiting right here!".  On the same night at that same time, my mom woke up and saw a shadow in the hallway.  She thought it was my older brother Wade that stays with them.  She called out several times but there was never an answer.  She said that the shadow then moved away out of her sight.
So at this point, I was a little taken back by three people having very similar visions at the exact same time.  My uncle Walter came from South Carolina out of the blue two weeks ago to my parent's house to pray for my father who is in the final stretch of his disease, me with my condition and my cousin Nikki who is battling severe colon cancer.  Walter said that God wanted him to go to my dad's house and pray for the three of us because we were in grave danger.  He did say to my mother afterwards that he had a feeling that I would go through a tough battle but would make it through this.  That made me feel some relief but man this type of supernatural stuff is hard to grasp let alone make predictions from.  All that I know is this; we all have things in our lives that we have been given the ability to do.  We have also been given a time to do it in.  We might be able to figure out part one but part two is a little bit more of a stretch unless you have a definite prognosis.
I talked with my primary doctor today about the growing problems that I have been having with the last Remicade infusion.  He says that my Atlanta rheumatologist doesn't think that what is going on is Behcet's related and is not serum sickness from the Remicade.  My rheumatologist believes that it is another disease or underlying condition.  The NIH isn't sure because they haven't examined me directly and they do not have enough information yet.  I talked with the makers of Remicade and they think that I am having serum sickness or delayed hypersensitivity response to the Remicade.  This basically means that my immune system has developed antibodies to fight off the Remicade thus making it worthless.  If this is the case, it is good in that it may mean that I don't have another underlying disease/condition and bad because it would mean that I would probably develop antibodies against any TNF inhibitor drug out there of which one of the other TNF inhibitors is the experimental one that we were going to try at the NIH.
So it leaves us with more questions and more tests to run to see if the rabbit hole gets deeper.  It makes it incredibly frustrating to go through and try to make sense of or make a prediction.  I am not sure what is harder to believe, the supernatural or the science at this point.  Many signs are pointing to a hard road ahead of me and a poor prognosis.  But those are the signs of science.  But I guess there are some supernatural signs as well pointing to the same thing.  I do have the comfort of my uncle Walter's feeling though.  So out of all of that, I think I will go with my uncle's feeling that I will have to endure but I will get through this.
One last thing since we are talking about signs.  The first picture on this posting shows me with my two daughters that was taken after a wedding that we went to this weekend.  My wife took that picture and also the picture that is below.  If you believe in signs then you will notice that where I was in the picture above there are now the words "IN REMEMBERANCE OF ME" written on the wood altar in the background.  So you can take that as a sign and be terribly frightened, sad and disheartened or you can take it as an empty background that has no related meaning to the people sitting on the steps.  The people living with me have hope, strength and the will to fight regardless of the signs.

Andy BarwickComment