I had a great weekend, with the weather being beautiful, warm, and lots of sunshine. My wife and I went to a church on Sunday that is in the woods. Yes, in the woods, no building, just in the woods, outdoors, with squirrels, birds, and horses. I always enjoy going there, as it is quite different from the average church, and the teaching is also different. You might wonder what I mean by that, but you would have to listen to some of the teaching yourself to understand. Instead of only receiving the milk that is so often offered on Sunday, there you receive the meat of the Scripture. You might like to visit there website sometime, and listen to a sermon or two. www.alphaministries.org

CLL is a leukemia. That very word says CLL is a cancer of the blood and therefore reasonably expected to be seen in the blood. But you and I both know that is over-simplification. CLL is a blood cancer, but CLL cells don’t just limit themselves to circulating in the blood, they also hang out in lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow and just about everywhere that blood and lymph travels – which means everywhere in your body. High tech scanning is obviously necessary to peer at your innards that cannot be felt by mere poking and prodding. Biopsies are necessary to understand what is happening in your bone marrow.

The trick of the game is to learn when you need these invasive procedures – and when you don’t.

Is it possible to diagnose CLL using only blood tests? More and more, the answer to that important question is YES. Typically an abnormal CBC report with too many lymphocytes (high WBC, high ALC) is the alarm that triggers flow cytometry test to confirm CLL, rule out all the other lymphatic cancers that might confuse the diagnosis. All of the most modern prognostic tests (IgVH gene mutation status, FISH, CD38, ZAP70, B2M etc) are blood tests that cost you no more than a needle prick (and lots of dollars, if you do not have insurance). Rarely do patients need CT or PET scans or bone marrow or lymph node biopsies just to diagnose CLL. If your local guy asks for any or all of these much more invasive (and expensive) tests just to confirm CLL diagnosis , be sure to ask why, what he hopes to learn from the results.

When I was diagnosed, it started with a CT scan, because I had a kidney stone. I was then given a PET scan to confirm that I had Non-hodgkin lymphoma. With confirmation that it was not Non-hodgkin lymphoma, I then had a biospy to find out exactly what type of cancer I did have. As it turned out, it was SLL/CLL. In my case it was only confirmed by the lymphnode biopsy. I have to admit that not one of these tests, including the biopsy surgery, were uncomfortable physically, mentally yes, physically no.  Others will say not to get the CT scan, or PET scan, and I certainly understand that, but I am not sorry that I did get all of those, to finally know exactly what type of cancer it was. I would agree however with those who disagree with me,  and ask your doctor questions, get satisfactory answers, before you sign on for invasive diagnostics. As always, it is important to understand the true cost of things.

There are some situations where the diagnostic picture is murky, especially if you are ‘blessed’ with atypical CLL. That may need more testing, over and beyond blood tests. People with SLL (small lymphocytic lymphoma) variety of CLL may not have enough of their CLL show up in peripheral blood circulation, these guys have the vast majority of their cancer cells hiding out in lymph nodes. A scan may be necessary to judge the stage of lymphadenopathy (jargon for swollen nodes or glands) and establish a base line for your disease.

So realize that when you are told that you have cancer, any cancer, you are caught off guard. In my case, having no understanding of what I was facing, as well as the way I look at life, I was perfectly able to leave all the decisions, of how to test, in my doctors hands. I just don’t worry about tomorrow, God takes care of the tomorrows, I don’t need to. For others, that may not be possible.

I thought I would start a new thought today, and hopefully get some replies and discussion on this subject. The reason I thought I would look at this subject, is found in 1Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every one that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

For a long time now, many Christian parents have seen there children, who were raised in a Christian environment, lose all that they believed after entering high school, and then college. One reason that is obvious, is the teaching of evolution, which is taught in schools and colleges as true science, and if it is true science, then the Bible is false. There is no agreement between the two. How can someone believe in a person that died on a cross, for them, to be true, if the beginning of the Bible (Genesis) is not. To most thinking people, either the Bible has to be completely true, if it is not, then how do I know what parts are true to believe, and what parts are not true,  that I should not believe. So I thought I would ask a few questions about both creation and evolution.

Question 1: Who believes earth is millions of years old? Question 2: Who believes earth is about 6000 years old? 3: Who believes we originated from pond scum? 4: Who believes we were created in Gods image?

Is it true that in today’s world, we are taught that evolution is a fact? What if evolution is not fact, but  just another religion masquerading as fact. There are today two types of science, (operational science and historical (origins) science). Operational science deals with testing and verifying ideas in the present and leads to the production of useful products like computers, cars, and satellites. Historical (origins) science involves interpreting evidence from the past and includes the models of evolution and special creation. Recognizing that everyone has presuppositions that shape the way they interpret the evidence is an important step in realizing that historical science is not equal to operational science). Because no one was there to witness the past (except God), we must interpret it based on a set of starting assumptions. Creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence; they just interpret it within a different framework. Evolution denies the role of God in the universe, and creation accepts His eyewitness account—the Bible—as the foundation for arriving at a correct understanding of the universe.

Most thinking people will agree that: 1. A highly ordered universe exists. 2. At least one planet in this complex universe contains an amazing variety of life forms. 3. Humans appears to be the most advanced on that planet.

So we have three known options 1. The universe was created by God. 2. The universe always existed. 3. The universe came into being by itself, by purely natural processes (known as evolution) so that no appeal to the supernatural is needed.

First we must look at the three major forms of evolution.

  1. Stellar evolution – Big Bang
  2. Chemical evolution – Living matter from non-living matter
  3. Biological evolution – Common Descent

Looking at Stellar evolution first – The Big Bang: 3 – 15 billion years ago a big bang, or explosion, occurred. Question: Where did the matter come from that created the fireball? Can something create itself? Can nothing create something?  Discover “Guth’s Grand Guess,” vol. 23, Apr 2002, p. 35. States that “The universe burst into something from absolutely nothing – zero, nada. And as it got bigger, it became filled with even more stuff that came from absolutely nowhere. It goes on to say, “Don’t imagine outer space without matter in it. Imagine no space at all and no matter at all.

To the average person it might seem obvious that nothing can happen in nothing. But to quantum physicist, nothing is, in fact, something. Quantum theory also holds that a vacuum, like atoms, is subject to quantum uncertainties. This means that things can materialize out of the vacuum, although they tend to vanish back into it quickly…this phenomenon has never been observed directly.”(Brad Lemley).  To be honest, I right off have a problem with that statement. If nothing is something, then logically thinking, there must be no nothing, there is only something. So there never was nothing, because there has always been something. So I follow with this question, what was, or is, the something that was before our universe? Where did the matter come from that created the, so-called fireball?

The astronomer Heather Cowper put it this way, in a children’s book called The Big Bang. “Our Universe probably came into existence not only from nothing, but from nowhere.”  In my thinking, this does not appear to be scientific argument, but more like a document of religious faith. “In the beginning, there was nothing, and that nothing exploded.”

One very large problem with the theory, is its inability to determine where the singularity came from. There is not enough antimatter in the universe. The original Big Bang would have produced equal amounts of positive matter (matter) and negative matter (antimatter). But only small amounts of antimatter exist. There should be as much antimatter as matter—if the Big Bang was true. Theory tells us there should be antimatter out there, and observation refuses to back it up. For this reason, the concept of dark matter (PBS -NOVA) has been postulated. Dark matter is matter that cannot be detected, but it must be there, otherwise the calculations do not work! There are other similar problem with not enough energy in the Universe, so someone developed the idea of dark energy. Not trying to be funny here, but we used to have answers like this when I was in High School, and we called them “fudge factors”!

Big Bang Theory conclusion – There are many justifiable accusations to level at the Big Bang theory, such as its reliance on “fudge factors”, like dark matter. The Big Bang theory is not a monolithic theory, there is a substantial minority of atheistic, secular scientists who do not accept it, either. Most of all, Creationist do not accept the Big Bang theory because it suggests that the Earth has no special place, whereas the Bible tells us that it does (Isaiah 45:12). Despite the heavens being vast and beautiful, they were nevertheless created for our benefit (Genesis 1:14) and, most importantly, to give glory to God (Psalm 19:1). A lot more can be said, but let leave that for a later discussion.

Hopefully tomorrow – Chemical evolution.