Tag Archive: b-cell malignancies.


My Journey

Good morning all, I have not written on this blog now for over a year. So I thought I would bring all of you up to date on my walk with SLL/CLL. And for those who were wondering; yes I am still alive, and doing very well.

I have included an updated chart along with a short version of my last five years. You will see that my 100 Leukocytes has fallen below normal now for three blood tests. What does that mean? It means that it may take longer to beat a cold or infection, if one should occur. Hoping to see them rise when I have blood tests again in March 2016.

As I look back on that day, December 25, 2010, when I was first told I had cancer, I was certainly caught off guard. then just a couple of months later I came to realize that it is not just cancer, but a terminal disease. It  was march 2011 when the doctor finally told me I had Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma/Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia, (SLL/CLL) stage 4, and there was no cure.

Soon after, I found out that I had the dreaded chromoseome 17p deletion and it was 92% deleted.

Life expectancy, at that time, for those with the17p deletion was that 50% of patients died by nine months after diagnosis, and the rest of them usually died within thirty months. Now in 2015, several new therapies have been approved for SLL/CLL and even 17p patients have much more hope now, to live well past previous life expectancy estimates, of previous years.

I found out, and was later told that chemotherapy was not viable for 17p deletion patients.

In June of 2012, my nose was bleeding, often for more than an hour at a time. My spleen was twice the size it should be. Lymphnodes in my neck and jaw were the size of large marbles and I was short of breath. At my June 2012 appointment, my doctor finally said, “nothing could be done”, that mabybe I should try to get into a clinical trail. On our way back home from the VA in St. Petersburg, my wife and I stopped at the VA cemetery in Sarasota, and got all the information needed for my wife to have me buried there.

The next day I called NIH in Maryland, and after talking to someone, the head doctor called me and said I would be perfect for the trial he was conducting. It took about a month to get all my tests prepared to be sent. However a few days before I received the papers, I was called by the head doctor up there, telling me the trial had been filled. It was now near the end of July 2012.

Feeling sick right at that moment, about one minute later, a verse came to my mind….” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. Honestly, all fear left me at that moment. Also one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Isaiah 26:3 Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. The word peace here in Hebrew is Shalom which means, everything is well.

About one week later, I was watching, on television, a Christian Creationist preacher mention Genesis 1:29. God also said, Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This food will be for you. After reading the verse, he said that bitter apricot seeds kills cancer cells.

Believing God, that every seed bearing plant whose fruit contains seed is for eating, I started eating bitter apricot seeds. I was given this verse when my blood counts were near their worse. Cancer count in my blood was at 70%. WBC 12.4, (high 18.5) HGB 11.4,(low 10.3) PLT 59,(low 53) ALC 8.7,(high 13.5)

It is now Sept 2013 and my blood counts had become close to normal again.So my doctor looked at the lymph node biopsy, that was done in March 2011 and yes, the lymph node was positive for SLL/CLL. Okay we concluded, I did and still do have SLL/CLL, but why the consistently improving blood counts. It was then that I told her what I had been eating.

Since that time, my doctor has told me I am at stage 0, which was stage 4 when first diagnosed. My blood counts are now normal or near normal.

Has this been a miracle in my life, who knows, but for me, it certainly is. When I think of what has happened over the last five years, I thank my Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for calling me, to believe Him.

The night I was told I have cancer, my wife unknown to me, sat in the hall of that hospital, next to my room and prayed that our Father in heaven would do for me what he had done for King Hezekiah in 2nd Kings 20. Give him fifteen more years. And as King Hezekiah left his sick bed in three days, so it was with me. There is so much more I could tell you, but it would take far to long. There is much more detail in my previous blogs, for those who may be interested.

I do want to finish with this, I do not have faith in bitter apricot seeds, but I do in the One who healed all who were sick, the one who cleansed the leper, and made the blind to see. You see the grace of God is not a subject, just to discuss, the grace of God, unmerited favor, is a person, and that person is Jesus Christ. The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. It is one thing to give, you can give at a distance, its another thing to come, personally.

For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. When I put my faith, when you put your faith in Jesus Christ, our position, moves from being condemned by our sin, to a place of righteousness, and no condemnation. That is, not my righteousness, for I have none in myself, but Christ’s righteousness.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21.

He Himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, so that having died to sins, we should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes I am healed. I Peter 2:24.

DATE WBC HGB PLT ALC Lymphocytes/
12/26/10 15.6 12.8 87 4.3 100 Leukocytes
01/10/11 15.8 13.3 112 4.3 27.00%
01/19/11 11.7 13.1 78 4.2 36.00%
02/17/11 12.5 13.7 87 4.5 36.00%
05/12/11 11.6 11.9 77 5.5 47.00%
08/08/11 13.3 12.4 85 7.63
09/08/11 18.5 12.9 63 13.5
10/20/11 15.7 12.1 60 8.6 55.00%
12/21/11 13.4 11.9 64 7.85 58.00%
01/06/12 12.5 11.7 63 62.00%
01/26/12 11.1 11.1 62 8.4
04/26/12 11 11.4 54 7.4 67.00%
05/25/12 11.7 11.1 53 8.1 69.00%
06/22/12 12.4 11.4 59 8.7 70.00% Started eating
08/19/12 9.7 10.7 63 5.9 Bitter
12/03/12 9.1 11.1 73 5.1 55.00% Apricot Seeds
03/04/13 6.1 10.3 63 2.94 48.10% 06/02/12
06/03/13 6.6 11 72 2.6 44.20%
08/08/13 6.4 11.1 101 1.89 29.70%
09/05/13 5.8 11.9 88 1.59 27.40%
12/05/13 5.5 12.7 88 1.29 23.70%
03/05/14 5.8 12.8 80 1.21 20.70%
08/14/14 3.9 12.8 85 0.89 22.60%
09/05/14 6.8 12.7 80 0.92 14.50%
03/05/15 5.9 13.2 90 0.67 13.40%
09/05/15 5.2 12.8 85 0.64 12.20%
Normal WBC Normal HGB Normal PLT Normal ALC Normal Ly
4.0-10.6 12.8-17.0 150 1.0-3.7 16.2% to 48.2%

I hope all of you SLL/CLL and CLL patients are doing well. Lot of great news in the advancements of new medicines. Iburtnib has been giving good results, and has been approved for sale in the USA. It had been approved originally, for only chromosome 17p patients, but I believe it now approved for all chromosome deletions. Please correct if I am wrong on the approval for all patients. Also I have been reading that a Phase 1 trial of second generation BTL inhibitor, ACP-196, and has been demonstrating some very good results.

DATE WBC HGB PLT ALC Lymphocytes/
12/26/10 15.6 12.8 87 4.3 100 Leukocytes
01/10/11 15.8 13.3 112 4.3 27.00%
01/19/11 11.7 13.1 78 4.2 36.00%
02/17/11 12.5 13.7 87 4.5 36.00%
05/12/11 11.6 11.9 77 5.5 47.00%
08/08/11 13.3 12.4 85 7.63
09/08/11 18.5 12.9 63 13.5
10/20/11 15.7 12.1 60 8.6 55.00%
12/21/11 13.4 11.9 64 7.85 58.00%
01/06/12 12.5 11.7 63 62.00%
01/26/12 11.1 11.1 62 8.4
04/26/12 11 11.4 54 7.4 67.00%
05/25/12 11.7 11.1 53 8.1 69.00%
06/22/12 12.4 11.4 59 8.7 70.00% Started eating
08/19/12 9.7 10.7 63 5.9 Bitter
12/03/12 9.1 11.1 73 5.1 55.00% Apricot Seeds
03/04/13 6.1 10.3 63 2.94 48.10% 06/02/12
06/03/13 6.6 11 72 2.6 44.20%
08/08/13 6.4 11.1 101 1.89 29.70%
09/05/13 5.8 11.9 88 1.59 27.40%
12/05/13 5.5 12.7 88 1.29 23.70%
03/05/14 5.8 12.8 80 1.21 20.70%
08/14/14 3.9 12.8 85 0.89 22.60%
09/05/14 6.8 12.7 80 0.92 14.50%
Normal WBC Normal HGB Normal PLT Normal ALC Normal Ly
4.0-10.6 12.8-17.0 150 1.0-3.7 16.2% to 48.2%

As you can see from my last results, my blood readings are staying fairly close to normal, with the exception of course, my platelets. My lymph-nodes went back to normal well over a year ago, and are still that way. My spleen is just a bit enlarged over normal, but undetected to the touch.

I have cut back from eating 18 bitter apricot seeds, to 15 a day. I would like to see my ALC numbers get back into the normal range. Even though they are low, I see that my white blood cell count is in the normal range, and I am thankful that I have no infections, nor illnesses, like any of the current bugs, that are going around. With all of the illnesses around me, I think of Psalms 91:1-4 (AMP). He who dwells in the secret place of the most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty (Whose power no foe can withstand). I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him I lean and rely, and in Him I (confidently) trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the deadly pestilence.

All in all, I am feeling fantastic. I will be seeing my Oncologist in March, I am looking forward to seeing what my blood counts will be.

Peter said, “Repent and be baptized …………” If you were like me, you were told that this meant that you first change the way you do things, then you get baptised for the remission of sins. However the Greek word used for repent is matanoeo, which means to change one’s mind, or to think differently. It has nothing to do with changing things, but thinking differently (or changing your way of thinking.)

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave He ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost. Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons wh need no repentance. Luke 15

Wait one minute, where and when did this lost sheep repent? In this whole story, I read no where that this lost sheep repented. This lost sheep did not change direction and try to come home. This lost sheep did not say it was sorry for going astray. This lost sheep did nothing but let his Shepard put him on his shoulders. It was the Shepard who rejoiced. It was the Shepard who carried the lost sheep home. It was the Shepard who calls all his friends and neighbors together asking them to rejoice with him, because he had found his lost sheep.

All this lost sheep did, was to rely on his Shepard to do everything.

So what is repentance? Relying on the Good Shepard, Jesus Christ to do everything. It is changing our minds from what we must do to be saved, to what Christ has done to save us.

Over the last twelve months, I have had the good fortune of being able to write, in my blog, the gains I have been having, battling my cancer.

I received my blood readings today, while at the doctors office for my annual check-up. The last entry, dated 08/8/13 is what they currently are. My doctor made an appointment for me to have a sonogram, so they can know exactly how much my spleen has gotten smaller. She believes it is back to normal, as she could not touch it anymore.

DATE WBC HGB PLT ALC
12/26/10 15.6 12.8 87
01/10/11 15.8 13.3 112 4.3
01/19/11 11.7 13.1 78 4.2
02/17/11 12.5 13.7 87 4.5
05/12/11 11.6 11.9 77 5.5
08/08/11 13.3 12.4 85 7.63
09/08/11 18.5 63
10/20/11 15.7 12.1 60 8.6
12/21/11 13.4 11.9 64
01/06/12 12.5 11.7 63
01/26/12 11.1 11.1 62
04/26/12 11 11.4 54
05/25/12 11.7 11.1 53 8.1 Started Seeds beginning of June 2012
06/22/12 12.4 11.4 59 8.7
08/19/12 9.7 10.7 63 5.9
12/03/12 9.1 11.1 73 5.1
03/04/13 6.1 10.3 63 2.94
06/03/13 6.6 11 72 2.6
08/08/13 6.4 11.1 101 1.89
Normal WBC Normal HGB Normal PLT Normal ALC
4.0-10.6 12.8-17.0 150 1.0-3.7

For the first year and one half, I had seen my blood counts moving in the wrong direction, showing my doctor and me, that the cancer was becoming more aggressive. It was at the point where I was told that the best course of action was either a stem cell transplant, or a clinical trial. It was agreed that with my chromosome 17p deletion, chemotherapy may not be very effective.

Since that gray day in May 2012,  knowing I was stage 4, I have seen my cancer go from getting ever more aggressive to remission.  All of this happening without chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, or clinical trial.

I do continue to eat 15 to 18 bitter apricot seeds everyday. I have an apple twice a week, and also the seeds in it. I call it God’s chemotherapy.

As I look back on that day in 2010, when I was first told I have cancer, I have come to realize that it is not just cancer, but a terminal disease. It was March 2011 when the doctor told me I had Small Lympocytic Lymphoma/Chronic Lympocytic Leukemia (SLL/CLL) and that there was no cure. I guess that was a nice way of saying your cancer is terminal.

(Bing dictionary: causing death: inevitably, but often gradually leading to death of the patient affected.)

While focusing on what has happened to me, I remembered back to the time when I first realized that everyone, including myself had a terminal condition.

However this terminal condition was and is, far worse than the physical one I have now. This one is eternal, forever, with no end.

God wrote in stone what His commandments (the law) were. And to fix them in stone, must mean they are quite important.

   1.  I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods besides Me.

   2.  Thou shalt not make for thyself  any graven image.

   3.  Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

   4. Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.

   5. Honor thy Father and Mother.

   6. Thou shalt not murder.

   7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

   8. Thou shalt not steal.

   9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

 10. Thou shalt not covet.

So I thought back to the time when I asked myself, okay what commandments have I broken?  To many, was my answer. Then I realized that if it was only one, I would still be guilty under the law. So without listing all of them in order again, I knew I was an idolater, adulterer, thief, liar, and so on.

As I began to read more of what God had to say, I came across these verses. Romans 2:15 clearly shows that the works of the law are clearly written in our hearts, as our conscience bears witness to it.

Now Romans 3:19 says: “Now we know that whatsoever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

And “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall be no flesh justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20

So I thought, when God judges me, am I innocent of sin, or guilty of sin? I had to conclude, if I was to be honest with myself, I am guilty of sin.  I read that the wages of sin is death. Of course back then I was very healthy and realizing that sin led to death, I found nothing appealing about it. I also did not find the second death very appealing either. I did not want to go to hell, period.

Realizing how serious God was about sin, and how severe sin really is, I asked Jesus Christ to save me. I truly felt sorry for everything wrong I had done, even though I knew I could not make most of them right. I still believed Jesus would and could save me from the holy judgment of God. Now more than thirty years later, I am confident He did.

Now in this present time of my life, physical death does not seem as bad to me, as it once did. But that second death, well I am still not crazy about it, and you shouldn’t be either.

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” Revelations 20:14.

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murders and whore mongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” Romans 21:8.

Well if the above is true, then God must punish law breakers. But I am told, He is to good to let people go to hell. Well, if someone steals from me, goes to court, is found guilty, under the law, and then the good judge lets that person go. I would not conclude that the judge is good. It is just the opposite, those under the law are found guilty because the judge is good.

So if God is truly good, then He must be just. That’s just great, because He is good, and I have broken  His laws, I must pay. So the wages of sin is truly death!  So how do I get out from being under the law?

Since that time way back in 1978 I have heard many people, over the years, say many things concerning God, I have been told about His goodness, His meanness, His anger, His Holiness, and every other description that man could think of.

Then I read what Jesus Christ says, “take my yoke and put it upon yourself, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest unto your souls.”

But wait I then read that God commended His love toward me, in that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. Romans 5:8.

And again I read that Christ died for my sins according to God’s word.  1Corinthians 15:3

Then I am told that Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law. Galatians 3:13.

So what am I to make of all of this? Because God is good, He will fulfill His justice, according to the law. And  then I find He has fulfilled the demands of the law.

By His goodness, He sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to stand in my, our place, and receive His judgment.

For the wages of sin is truly death, but the gift of God is eternal life. How? Through Jesus Christ.

For the son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many.

So if your heart condemns you because of the commandments of God (law), know that God is greater than our hearts, and knoweth all things. Also know that the Son of God is come, and has given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in his son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

I was told by someone, this all sounds great, but you must really believe it, not just say you do. That person was absolutely correct, and without realizing it, knows what the Gospel really is.

If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” “For with the heart, man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. “Romans 10:9&10.

We hear a watered down gospel these days, God is love, God forgives, God cares about you, and all of that is true. But we have neglected to say that God is also Just, and Holy. There is no darkness in Him at all. He renders judgment on those who are under the law, and have not followed the law.

After revealing the whole truth, as written in His word, then and only then can we declare what else He has done.

For Christ is the end of the law, for righteousness to everyone who believeth. -AND- Knowing that man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ and that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

I would like to thank all of you who read my blog. May God show you His truth in all matters.

My Journey

Good day to all of you who have taken the time to spend these few moments with me.  In this part of the world, the weather is beautiful. Some may not like it at 92 degrees, but it suits me just fine. Blue sky, some puffy clouds, and a slight breeze coming off of the water, makes a perfect day.

I saw my doctor yesterday, and we had quite a good talk. All of my numbers, except my platelet count, were good. Unfortunately, my platelets again dropped, now being at 53,000. Because of this, chemotherapy was brought up again. My Oncologists asked me as I walked in his office, “Do you have any pain around your spleen?’ After answering no, I was told that it is now 5 inches below my ribs. It has doubled in size, and chemotherapy is really required now. I told him I was still feeling great, but was having frequent nose bleeds.

I had been reading about FCR not being a good chemotherapy for my SLL/CLL with the 17p deletion. Most of the time it had not helped the patient, but the toxcity was so bad, it often made the patients with Chromosome 17p deletion worse. The F in FCR which is fludarabine, was very nasty, for our deletion. I had just watched a video the day before about a new chemotherapy that was just as effective as FCR, but had much less toxicity. It is called Bendamustine and Rituximab (BR), Bendamustine is called Treanda in the United States, but has been used for CLL in Germany for years. Anyway, as we were talking, the doctor said that my chemo would not be FCR but BR. Wow, I got a big smile on my face, and told him I was happy that it would not be FCR, and that I had just seen a video about BR. He told me it still may not work, as no chemo to date has been very effective for 17p deletion, but it would be less toxic and I would only be in the hospital for two days, instead of three. I already knew that there was no guarantee, but at least, to date, it has not shown to make patients with 17p worse.

I have to add here, that the response rate for those of us with the 17p deletion is not good even with BR, but it is a start. We then talked about the new and exciting Ibrutinib (formally known as PCI-32765). I told him I have a friend, where I used to live, who had what I have, and was put in a trial almost three ago, after being told that there was nothing that would help her. The trial was PCI -32765 and shortly after starting the trail, all here blood counts went back to normal, and she has been fine since. She has to take this pill every day, but it has kept her CLL stable so far. He knew about this BTK inhibitor, and went to the FDA website. He was pleased to see that it had been sent in for approval, but no approval yet. At it looks right now, if the best happens, approval may come near the end of this year

With knowing that, the question was, do we wait for the approval, if it comes, or do chemotherapy now? He told me that we were at a point where we needed to make a decision. I asked him if we could wait another month, see the next blood results, and then discuss beginning chemotherapy again, and he agreed. I don’t know if I am making the right decision, but I do know that chemicals in your body are not good. As he said, if my platelets move lower next time, I will have to accept the fact that chemotherapy is a must. I do realize that, and will accept it. I just don’t want to jump into this thing to fast. I feel so good now, that it is hard to agree to something that may make you feel really bad. Of course, there is no guarantee that I will feel bad, I may have the BR and feel the same as I do now.

Boy, it is really hard to figure out what to do, when it concerns your  life.  Any suggestions out their from my chromosome 17p deletion partners? Or anyone else out there that can offer something that may help me to make a decision.

Until later, I leave this post thanking all who are praying for me, and everyone in my family for being so concerned about me.

Well it is Friday, one day after my visit to the doctor. I am so far feeling the same emotions this morning that I felt when I left the hospital.

As I said in an earlier blog, I have been feeling great, and really believed my blood readings would be better than before. After learning about my 17p deletion, and the usual outcome due to it, I have felt better than I had at any time since finding out about by SLL/CLL.

So how did my blood counts look this time?  They were mixed, and unfortunately the one count that needed to be good was not. This is what caused me to have mixed emotions, now for two days.

My WBC (white cell blood count) was at it highest 18,500, on 09/08/2011, yesterday it was 11,000. Normal count for WBC is 4,000 to 10,600, and as you can see, my count is real close to normal, and has come way down.

My HGB (Haemoglobin-protein that transport oxygen) was at it lowest at 11.1  on 1/26/12, yesterday it was 11.4. Normal count for HGB is 12.8-17.0, and as you can see it went up. It may seem to many that it didn’t go up much, however since 1/10/11 it has steadily gone down from 13.3 since then. This is the first time since I was diagnosed that it went up.

Now the one that was very discouraging, my Blood Platelets (stops bleeding). The highest it has been 112,000 was on 1/10/11, and my last reading on 1/26/12 was 62. Yesterday it had fallen to 54,000 which is the one thing my Oncologist is looking at to determine when chemotherapy is required.

So I have to go back on May 25th and if my platelets have not gone back up to 60,000, I am afraid that I will have quite an argument on my hands about starting chemo. I should not be surprised that they were low, as I have had a bleeding nose every morning for the last four days, and last night while sleeping, it started bleeding again, and woke me up. So I am once again trying to raise those pesky platelets.

Now for some other news. Since my wife’s sister and two cousins have been here, we have been to Disney World, Downtown Disney, the beach several times, shopping (not me), eating out, and will be laying on the beach looking at the Atlantic Ocean tomorrow. It has been a nice time for them all, even though I think I may have slowed them down a little bit, but today they are shopping, and I am at home resting.

Again I want to thank all of you who have been praying for me.

It has been awhile since I last posted anything, so I thought I would bring everyone up to date on what’s happening.

As I said in a previous blog, I have a 17p deletion, which is the worst one to have in the game of SLL/CLL. Life span is not usually to good for those with this deletion. Somewhere around 32 months, where as I have had this cancer going on 52 months so far. I am still on watch and wait, and am real happy about that, as no current chemotherapy works very well on this deletion. Sounds bad, but all of this time, I have felt quite healthy, occasionally having bouts with shortness of breath, excessive bleeding, but really nothing that stopped me from living my life as I always have.

Many have been working on finding something that will work on this 17p, and as I have been reading, I have been seeing that two new therapies are being tested, and are in their third phase of tests. PCI-32765 and  CAL-101. It looks as if they are targeted drugs, and are in pill form. They have not been approved yet, but there is much promise in them, and hopefully will be approved for human use soon. The PCI-32765 has shown to be quite promising for those of us with the 17p deletion.

The following is from the National Cancer Institute, April 2, 2012. Investigational targeted drug induces responses in aggressive lymphomas

Preliminary results from clinical trials in a subtype of lymphoma show that for a number of patients whose disease was not cured by other treatments, the drug ibrutinib (formly called PCI-32765) can provide significant anti-cancer responses with  modest side effects.

Lymphomas are the fifth most common form of cancer. They are caused by an abnormal proliferation of white blood cells, can occur at any age,  and are often marked by lymph nodes that are larger than normal, fever, and weight loss. Diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL), which were studied in this trial, are aggressive cancers that grow rapidly and represent 30 percent to 40 percent of newly diagnosed lymphomas. DLBCL originates from B cells, which play a crucial role in the body’s immune response.

Based on this molecular research, investigators chose to use the drug ibrutinib (formerly PCI-32765), a potent inhibitor of BTK, in their clinical trials. Ibrutinib is an oral, highly specific and irreversible inhibitor of the BTK enzyme.

Participants in these studies were given ibrutinib as a pill at a fixed dose of 560 milligrams daily until the disease progresses. Ibrutinib  induced multiple responses including some complete remissions in ABC        lymphomas. Remissions were also observed in patients with non-ABC DLBCL, suggesting a broader role for the B-cell receptor pathway in this type of lymphoma. A final analysis will provide additional insights into the safety and efficacy of ibrutinib in the treatment of DLBCL.

I know that the above may be uninteresting reading to some of you, but thank you for reading it anyway. There are some who read this blog that are going through this fight right now, and I hope that if they have not seen this information yet, reading this blog with lift their spirit. It is my hope that these new therapies will be effective for those whose current therapies just will not work.

For me currently, I have been feeling real good since my last visit to the doctor, so good, that I sometimes wonder if they made a mistake in my diagnosis. Wouldn’t that be nice.  Anyway I have been doing really good, I have no pains, spleen, stomach, or neck, and no night sweats. It seems that some of the tumors that I had in my neck have gotten really small, and some of the bumps on my back are gone.

I am eating more than I had been, and I work around the place more each day, because I am not losing my breath at all, and I don’t get tired as easily as I did before. At my last visit, my doctor was surprised that the aggressiveness of my cancer looked to  have stopped. He did not know why, but was pleased, as was I.

Again I have to thank all those who have been praying for me, and I have been thanking the Great Physician. I am reminded of one of my motorcycle club members, that was told he had throat cancer, stage 4, and had five months to live. He told the doctor that he was going to talk with the Great Physician, and the doctors reply was, if you change doctors, you will not be covered by your insurance here any longer. (That was two years ago, and his last tests showed he no longer had throat cancer).

So with this dear doctor in mind, I am talking about Jesus Christ, the one who said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For MY yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I will be seeing my Oncologist on April 26th, and I have no idea what my blood results will be, but one thing I am sure of. It is God who knows the number of my days, and until that number is up, I will be here enjoying and marveling at all He has created.

But what if I seek to be made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ, and find out that I am still a sinner? has Christ led me into sin? Of course not! Rather I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down. For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God’s approval. so I died to the law, so that I may live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God. I am not one of those that treats the grace of God as meaningless. For if I could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.      Galatians 2

So if you chose to put your faith in Christ, do not at a later time try to become perfect, by your own human effort.

http://justin.tv/alphamin – great live Sunday service at 11:00 am. If you don’t like mountain music, then tune in around 11:20 am. I guarantee that you have not ever heard, what you will hear there.

God bless, and keep the faith

My Journey

Another beautiful day here in a place where the sun shines over 300 days per year. The day started out in the low 50’s, but has rapidly risen into the 70’s. I am feeling great, and thank God that I do feel so good. As I read what others, with my SLL/CLL depletion say, I must thank God, who keeps me feeling healthy, normal, and enjoying everyday just as others do, even when my body is sick. As I think of the four years, going on five now that I have had this cancer, I really have found no physical changes, nor things I cannot do that any other 68 years would do. I also realize that many have and are praying for me, and I am very thankful to all of you.

Yesterday I was at the VA Hospital to give some blood for a new research program that is starting. My DNA will be taken from my blood sample, and research will be done, looking at my health background, and my DNA, hoping to be able to use the research to find cures for many different diseases in the future. The VA is hoping to have one million veterans participants in the research program. If they achieve their goal, it may be one of the largest research programs ever done.

If you are a veteran, and learning about this program for the first time, call your VA clinic and you will be able to get more information.

In earlier posts I have commented on the success enjoyed by FCR (fludarabine, cyclophosphamide and Rituxan) as the present day “gold standard” in the treatment  of previously untreated patients. For those of us with the 17p deletion the success enjoyed by so many with FCR combination looks not to be so good. Unfortunately this gold standard does not work well for the 17p deletion and can even cause more severe results in some cases.  So, if FC + Rituxan is good, how about substituting the other FDA approved monoclonal Campath in place of Rituxan?  If FC + Rituxan is good, would FC + Campath be even better – since Campath packs more punch and is also thought to work in 17p deleted high risk patients?

After a trial, for FC+Campath, in Germany, the results 8 deaths among 29 responding patients due to disease progression, Richter’s syndrome (2 patients), and one major late infection (tuberculosis). Progressive disease was the cause of death in 11 cases among 14 non-responding patients, shows it is not better and personally, seems real bad to me. Fludarabine and Campath (also known as alemtuzumab ) are extremely immune suppressive. Of all the drugs you are likely to encounter in your CLL journey, these two drugs are most justly infamous for destroying T-cell counts. And not having sufficient number of T-cells leaves people wide open to opportunistic infections and even secondary cancers – just think of the health issues associated with advanced AIDS patients and you get the picture.  Using both of these drugs (Campath and fludarabine) at the same time would be doubling down on the risk of extreme immune suppression. Patients would be at significantly higher risk of infections and even secondary cancers, when their immune defenses are down for a prolonged period of time. So for those with 17p deletion, neither FCR or FC+Campath is very acceptable. I guess if I had to decide on which one I would take, it would be FCR even though the average remission time, if obtained, is usually less than a year, but can last as long as three years. Of course being on watch and wait, I do not have to be concerned nor consider those remission times yet.

I think that a stem cell transplant is probably the best way to go, but it is not always possible. Age is a factor, cost another, and finding a donor is not always easy. Stem cell transplant technology is a rapidly developing field. The good news is that survival statistics and cure rates are increasing slowly but surely, year by year.

There are two types of stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells ( hematopoietic stem cells found in the baby’s cord blood),  Adult hematopoietic, (Adult stem cells) or blood-forming, stem cells from bone marrow), and the other is embryonic stem cells created when a human egg is fertilized by human sperm.

Being aware that I may need a stem cell transplant at some time, made me look into the matter more closely, and knowing what I now know, about adult stem cells, harvesting Embryonic stem cells seems senseless. This push for the use of embryonic stem cells, is hard to understand for me, considering the medical fact that, although there are over 100 effective treatments using adult stem cells (which are in ample supply), no treatments have resulted from even the embryonic stem cell lines that have already been established. Embryonic stem cells have never cured anything, and in many cases where they were tried, on animals, caused only tumors.

SLL/CLL is only one disease where  hematopoietic stem cells are used, and can make all the different varieties of cells present in your blood. HSC can make red blood cells, platelets, lymphocytes, macrophages etc. They have been found to be very successful when used. When I first found out that I had SLL/CLL and then was told, at some time in the future I may need a stem cell transplant, my heart dropped. Not knowing about adult stem cells, and there success, I knew when I was told, that I would not accept any embryonic stem cell. I accepted the fact, right there and then, if that was my last chance to live, then I would die

Hematopoietic stem cells needed for transplants are obtained from two sources and only these two sources (1) willing and healthy adult donors who are doing it for no other reason than generosity and desire to save lives (2) Umbilical cord-blood, a “waste” product that is generally thrown away after a baby is born. The baby is born, alive, going home with his or her mom and dad..

We now have non-myeloablative (also called “mini-transplant”, “transplant-lite”, or “reduced intensity transplant”, is a stem cell transplant from a donor (allogeneic) that uses a less aggressive combination of chemotherapy and/or radiation to prepare the patient for the transplant) pre-conditioning. It still uses massive amounts of chemotherapy, and many institutions still use low dose radiation as part of the protocol. But it is nowhere as high impact as earlier myeloablative procedures. The result has been that older patients, like me, are now eligible for transplantation, as well as those who are not quite marvels of good health and fitness.

There is a lot more information about stem cell transplants, however I will stop here. I am not there yet, although my Oncologists did mention it again, after telling me I had a 17p deletion.

After reading what I just wrote, I thought of the following Bible verses – For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Psalm 127:3.

Time flies, and just this morning, I realized that I have not posted anything for several day. The weekend was busy, with motorcycle meetings, and runs, and then spending time with my favorite person, my wife. So today I will try to bring myself up to date on how my life is going.

I have been feeling extremely good this last week, I am not sure why, but thankful that I am. I sometimes get a pain near my spleen, but it is temporary. I have no bruises, and the lymphnode on the left side of my neck seems smaller than usual. I did start juicing two weeks ago, and I have a 12 oz. glass of juiced vegetables every morning. I don’t know if it helps with CLL, but I am quite sure it doesn’t hurt. Vegetables and fruits, was what we were told to eat, when man and woman were first created (Gen. 2:16).

The journal Blood published an article on long-term survival statistics for CLL patients. This article is from 2008, so the survival rate may be even higher now. I have not been able to find a new statistics yet, but when I do, I will post it.

This detailed statistical analysis of CLL patient survival is based on data from the SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) Program.  The SEER program collects population based data from cancer registries in Connecticut, New Mexico, Utah, Iowa, Hawaii, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle-Puget Sound and San Francisco-Oakland.  While it does not cover the whole of USA, SEER includes about 30 million people in its scope and therefore has pretty powerful statistical validity.  Roughly 21,000 CLL patients (15 years or older) were included in this specific study, time frame was 1973 – 2004.  For those of you who like to have your facts as sound-bites, here is the cheat-sheet version of the findings reported in this study.

CLL Patient Profile Over Two Decades

  • The study looked at 21,000 adult patients with CLL (and no previous cancer diagnosis), over the time period of 1973 – 2004.
  • The single most common age group diagnosed with CLL was 70 -79 years old.  Roughly 30% of the cases registered fell into this age bracket.
  • 60% of the cases were men, a statistical difference that persisted over the whole time period of the study.
  • Put these two facts together, and it is hard to deny there is some truth to the often repeated and deeply annoying comment that CLL is an old man’s disease.  However, another way of looking at the same statistics is that a goodly percentage of the patients were younger than 70 years and fully 40% were not men.  And I am dead certain all of the patients were young at heart.  So there.
  • Comparing the time frames 1980-84 and 2000-04, the number of registered CLL cases increased by 20%.  But before you jump to conclusions, the authors point out that the number of CBC blood tests done as part of routine annual checkups has increased dramatically in the two decades between, and this may be the reason why we are now seeing more cases of CLL that would have gone undiagnosed in the earlier time frame.  It is a case of looking for problems.
  • Even with the higher level of routine monitoring of blood counts, the authors believe CLL is an under-reported cancer.  The actual number of cases may be higher than reported by SEER.  This may be due to the fact that majority of CLL patients are not treated at diagnosis.  Local oncologists sending in their data to SEER registries may overlook counting patients that are in Watch & Wait mode.

When all is said and done, this is what matters most to patients and their families: are our guys living any longer now than they did back in the 80’s?  The following is how survival statistics have changed from the 1980-84 time frame to 2000-04. For CLL’ers, when diagnosed under 60 years of age, the survival rate for ten years, went from 53% to 67%, and for those diagnosed between 61-69 years of age, the survival rate went from 52% to 62%.

As you can see, survival improved between the two time periods, our guys are living longer today than they used to back in 1980’s. But there is no flattening of the curves either. This means patients continue dying over time, there is no point at which the mortality risk of CLL goes away.  It is not like all the guys who are going to die are done with it in the first few years, and the remaining bunch are long term survivors that have put this whole messy business of cancer behind them. CLL is a gift that keeps on giving – this is what makes it an incurable disease.

Good day to all, and a beautiful day it is.

When your doctor told you, you had CLL, did he also tell you that it was the “good cancer” to have, and did you go home and be happy. Did your spouse heave a huge sigh of relief and quit worrying forever more?  Did your kids lose that scared look and go about their happy days of childhood? Did you buy that line, yourself? If you did, you are made of sterner stuff.  Or you have your head stuck in the sand or some place else. If you were told that, I hope you smelled a rat right away. How can an “incurable cancer” be a “good cancer”?  This kabuki dance of switching from “Watch & Wait” when nothing much happens to life threatening emergencies that leave you breathless with anxiety – how does one cope with that kind of mind-bending transition?

When I was told by my Oncologist/Hematologist, that I had SLL/CLL, he said, “John, you have SLL/CLL, and there is no cure for it.” At first I thought, wow, that’s cold, but as time passed, I found myself appreciating the truthfulness of his statement. Since then I have found him to be open, honest, and caring. He knew what the future of SLL/CLL is for those who have it, so he never sugar-coated it. He explained to me, that it is slow-growing, and we would watch it with blood tests, and when the time came, that it was moving faster, we would attack it. Sounds good to me.

A while back Mayo Clinic conducted a CLL patient survey, in cooperation with CLL Topics. It was a massive survey (thanks to their dedicated and pro-active members). Results of that survey were sliced and diced and published as a series of articles.

Quality of life in chronic lymphocytic leukemia: an international survey of 1482 patients.

Although a diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) can have a profound effect on the quality of life (QOL), few studies have objectively measured the QOL of CLL patients or compared it to the general population. We conducted an international, web-based survey of patients with CLL using standardized instruments with published population norms to evaluate fatigue and QOL. Co-morbid health conditions were assessed using the Charlson Co-Morbidity Index. Between June and October 2006, 1482 patients with CLL responded to the survey. The physical, social/family, functional, and overall QOL scores of CLL patients were similar to or better than published population norms. In contrast, the emotional well-being scores of CLL patients were dramatically lower than that of both the general population and patients with other types of cancer. QOL scores were lower among individuals with advanced stage disease. Factors associated with lower overall QOL on multivariate analysis included older age, greater fatigue, severity of co-morbid health conditions, and current treatment. CLL has a profound impact on QOL at all disease stages. The effects of CLL on QOL appear to differ from that of other malignancies with a more marked impact on emotional QOL. Research identifying efficacious psycho-oncologic support interventions for patients with CLL is needed.

So for all of you out there in CLL land, if you thought you were alone in feeling blue, here is your proof that you are in the majority.  CLL patients suffer from loss of emotional well-being and this is worse than compared to patients with other types of cancer!  I doubt anyone did a similar study about CLL spouses and caregivers, but I am willing to bet a fistful of dollars to a single krispy kreme glazed donut that spouses and caregivers get depressed too. I walk in your shoes, but fight those earges of sadness, worry, despair. They come, but try not to let them control your life. Someone else does, trust Him, and live daily with hope, joy, and trust.

Now on to Chemical evolution:

Abiogenesis is the theory that under the proper conditions life can arise spontaneously from non-living molecules. One of the most widely cited studies used to support this conclusion is the famous Miller–Urey  experiment. Surveys of textbooks find that the Miller–Urey study is the major (or only) research cited to prove abiogenesis. Although widely heralded for decades by the popular press as ‘proving’ that life originated on the early earth entirely under natural conditions, we now realize the experiment actually provided compelling evidence for the opposite conclusion. It is now recognized that this set of experiments has done more to show that abiogenesis on Earth is not possible than to indicate how it could be possible. This paper reviews some of the many problems with this research, which attempted to demonstrate a feasible method of abiogenesis on the early earth.

Abiogenesis was once commonly called ‘chemical evolution’,  but evolutionists today try to distance evolutionary theory from the origin of life. This is one reason that most evolutionary propagandists now call it ‘abiogenesis’. Chemical evolution is actually part of the ‘General Theory of Evolution’,  defined by the evolutionist Kerkut as ‘the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form’.

Darwin recognized how critical the abiogenesis problem was for his theory. He even conceded that all existing terrestrial life must have descended from some primitive life-form that was originally called into life ‘by the Creator’. But to admit, as Darwin did, the possibility of one or a few creations is to open the door to the possibility of many others! If God made one type of life, He also could have made many thousands of different types. Darwin evidently regretted this concession later and also speculated that life could have originated in some ‘warm little pond’ on the ancient earth.

The famous experiment conducted by Stanley Miller-Urey in 1953 is often quoted as proof of this. Yet the results of such experiments show nothing of the sort. These experiments, designed as they are by intelligent humans, show that under certain conditions, certain organic compounds can be formed from inorganic compounds.

In fact, what the intelligent scientists are actually saying is, “If I can just synthesize life in the laboratory, then I will have proven that no intelligence was necessary to form life in the beginning.” Where in fact it took intelligent scientists, who were trying to prove they could make life in a test tube. Their experiments are simply trying to prove the opposite—that an intelligence is required to create life.

However when we look carefully at Miller’s experiment, we will see that what he did fails to address the evolution of life. He took a mixture of gases (ammonia, hydrogen, methane, and water vapor) and he passed an electric current through them. He did this in order to reproduce the effect of lightning passing through a mixture of gases that he thought might have composed the earth’s atmosphere millions of years ago. As a result, he produced a mixture of amino acids. Because amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and proteins are considered to be the building blocks of living systems, Miller’s experiment was hailed as proof that life had evolved by chance on the earth millions of years ago.

But as time went by, more and more objections came to light for such a conclusion.

  • There is no proof that the earth ever had an atmosphere composed of the gases used by Miller in his experiment.
  • The next problem is that in Miller’s experiment he was careful to make sure there was no oxygen present. If oxygen was present, then the amino acids would not form. However, if oxygen was absent from the earth, then there would be no ozone layer, and if there was no ozone layer the ultraviolet radiation would penetrate the atmosphere and would destroy the amino acids as soon as they were formed. So the dilemma facing the evolutionist can be summed up this way: amino acids would not form in an atmosphere with oxygen and amino acids would be destroyed in an atmosphere without oxygen.
  • The next problem concerns the so-called handedness of the amino acids. Because of the way that carbon atoms join up with other atoms, amino acids exist in two forms—the right-handed form and the left-handed form. Just as your right hand and left hand are identical in all respects except for their handedness, so the two forms of amino acids are identical except for their handedness. In all living systems only left-handed amino acids are found. Yet Miller’s experiment produced a mixture of right-handed and left-handed amino acids in identical proportions. As only the left-handed ones are used in living systems, this mixture is useless for the evolution of living systems.
  • Another major problem for the chemical evolutionist is the origin of the information that is found in living systems. There are various claims about the amount of information that is found in the human genome, but it can be conservatively estimated as being equivalent to a few thousand books, each several hundred pages long. Where did this information come from? Chance does not generate information. This observation caused the late Professor Sir Fred Hoyle and his colleague, Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe of Cardiff University, to conclude that the evolutionist is asking us to believe that a tornado can pass through a junk yard and assemble a jumbo jet.

When confronted with this evidence, and even more now, supporters of abiogenesis argue that science must be naturalistic, and we have no choice but to tell the best story we have, even if it is not a complete or even accurate story. Although widely heralded by the popular press for decades as ‘proof’ that life originated on the early earth entirely by natural conditions, the Miller–Urey experiments have actually provided compelling evidence for exactly the opposite conclusion. This set of experiments—more than almost any other carried out by modern science—has done much more to show that abiogenesis is not possible on Earth than to indicate how it could be possible.

The only explanation for the existence of living systems is that they must have been created.

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.