Yesterday I had a call from a pulmonary medicine office. I thought my appointment would be weeks if not months away, but to my great surprise I was offered one for this afternoon. Fortunately I had not accepted a teaching gig for the afternoon (and my morning assignment was cancelled at the last moment) so I was free to go. I spoke with a young pulmonologist for 20 minutes and then she fetched a more senior physician who had been listening in another office. They are agreed that my right lung appears to be cancerous, though the cancer would seem to be of the slow-growing variety–and yes, that is a “thing”, and I read a technical medical paper on the subject. So where this all ends I do not know. I shall learn more on 25 January when I have another CT scan to see whether the spot has grown since August. This is a bumpy road I am on, but it does not preoccupy my mind and I enjoy my teaching. Speaking of teaching, last week I accepted an assignment to teach junior high (grades 7-9) social studies. I arrived to pick up my papers and found that I had been assigned two blocks of kindergarten and another of grade 2. Weird, but it all pays the same rate, and the variety is interesting. I love the school and it is only a five-kilometre drive from home.
On 29 July I was told in no uncertain terms that I had a lung malignancy. On 18 August a thoracic surgeon told me that he was 96% certain that I had cancer. On 27 August I had a PET scan, and today I heard the result. NO CANCER. The scan is based on radioactive glucose — cancer cells feed on glucose, and cancerous growths light up the dark screen. The surgeon now believes that the spot on my lung is scar tissue. So that is a welcome reprieve. Don’t announce that you have cancer before your PET scan.
Today I had a telephone consultation with a thoracic surgeon. He is 96% certain that my tumor is cancerous. He was cagey about its size. He said that the neighbouring lymph nodes appear to be swollen, but he did not opine that the cancer has spread to them. I told him that I was following a course of alternative treatment, including most especially Fenbendazole and he said nothing to discourage me from continuing. I asked whether I should make dietary changes, but he told me to carry on, including my favourite, Mars bars. He even suggested that I deep fry them. We are all waiting for Friday of next week when I will have a PET scan and another CT scan. These will lead to further consultations and the development of a treatment plan.
This afternoon I spent nearly 90 minutes with another man dying from a different lung disease, and he reminded me of the necessity of preparing for disposal of my remains. I shall look into that next week. We are almost finished with changing over accounts into Arlene’s name, and in February I shall transfer ownership of my car into her hands, when the registration comes due.
18 August 2021
Canada Post now tells me that my Fenbendazole will arrive next Monday. Bring it on.
More good news today. Whereas I had been told that my full body PET scan would not occur until September, today I received a letter from the Cross Cancer Institute stating that my appointment has been scheduled for 0830 on Friday 27 August. I am really anxious to get this done as it will show how far my lung cancer has metastasized.
Today Arlene and I went out and made arrangements to make one of my accounts a joint account. Further changes will follow to simplify her life if in fact my cancer carries me away.
We are basically living normal lives, and will go out this evening to Paddy’s Pub and Kitchen. Life goes on and I intend to enjoy it.
I am awaiting the arrival of a bottle of fenbendazole. It is actually a veterinary medicine used for deworming animals. Someone had the idea of using it on cancer cells, and the results were dramatic. Do a search for My Cancer Story Rocks. It does not work in all instances, but it is worth a try. If it can give me a couple of years longer I would be very pleased as that should be enough time to finish two writing projects.
On Thursday I heard from Dr Ken Stewart’s office. It appears that he will be my first oncologist contact. I will have a telephone consultation with him on 18 August. I don’t know what we will talk about because I won’t have my PET scan until September, but I shall certainly speak with him. Such is life under socialized medicine on the North Korean/Cuban model. On Friday I had a lung function test here in St Albert; no results yet. My lungs functioned well yesterday when I went for a 4 km walk along what is left of the Sturgeon River after several dry months.
I had been in good health up until Wednesday night, 28 July, when I couldn’t sleep due to shortness of breath. In the morning I told Arlene that I couldn’t breathe. She immediately whisked me off to the Sturgeon Community Hospital where I spent the next eight hours—EKG, blood tests twice, chest x-ray, CT Scan. At 1610 the attending physician came to me with the diagnosis—lung malignancy.
I hope to be called by specialists by the end of the week and then I should have a clearer idea of what lies ahead, but lung cancer has a near-100% mortality rate because it metastasizes so aggressively. So I am in the process of preparing for the end of my life so Arlene will have to do very little about making ongoing arrangements. She is my primary concern.
Addendum: I am grateful to my circle for offering words of hope. I am glad for that.
Scottish Puritanism, 1590-1638
David George Mullan
Reviews and Awards
“Professor Mullan draws on an outstanding range of writings and has added a stimulating intellectual history rooted in its social and political context. He is adept at close readings and his examination of the tensions within divinity and political theory is to be applauded. The central section on spirituality is especially noteworthy and to be recommended … a thought provoking study.” – Reformation
“An extremely thorough and helpful survey of spirituality in the Kirk … essential reading for all who study the Church of Scotland in the seventeenth century.” – Scottish Journal of Theology
“This book offers a brilliant insight into Scottish Protestantism and should be read by anyone interested in early modern Scotland as well as by those in search of Puritanism wherever it can be found.” – Journal of Ecclesiastical History
“The great achievement of this volume is to open up the mind of early seventeenth-century Scottish Protestants in a manner that no other writer, apart from Schmitz, has come close to realising … Following an invaluable who’s who of the leading clergy, Mullan offers a unique insight into the self-perception of these men in their office as ministers. At the core of the book is a finely nuanced discussion of the Christian life, from conversion through assurance and the soul’s onward pilgrimage.” – Journal of Ecclesiastical History
“Excellent analysis of early seventeenth-century Scottish Protestantism … important book … Until the publication of Scottish Puritanism, the religious history of early seventeenth-century Scotland was thin indeed.” – Journal of Ecclesiastical History
“A breath of fresh air … a major contribution to puritan studies.” – Sixteenth Century Journal
“Mullan is not afraid to question old orthodoxies. He makes a significant contribution by finally divorcing covenanting from federal theology … and an even more significant one by dissecting with care and real insight the tensions within puritan thought, in each of his topical categories.” – Sixteenth Century Journal
“A major contribution to our understanding of this movement … a magnificent portrait of a movement that, more than any other, shaped the contours of the historic Scottish church … this book is a comprehensive, systematic introduction to puritan thought.” – Evangelical Times
“In 1986, Mullan produced an excellent work on Scottish Episcopacy. His reputation as an authority on Scottish Protestantism is well earned and greatly increased by his newest book, which serves as a useful companion to the earlier work.” – Northern Scotland
‘Narratives of the Religious Self is meticulously researched, and Mullan is the sort of experienced historian who has read widely enough to know the significance of what he finds in the archives and on antiquarian bookshelves. At various points, he contributes significantly, and offers new material, to scholarly discussions of marriage and family, education and literacy, gender, and popular religion, and he has an eye for comparative history, placing his material often in the context of similar developments in England and New England or within continental Catholicism and earlier church history.’ Journal of British Studies
‘In Narratives of the Religious Self in Early Modern Scotland, David George Mullan plies his skills both as an historian and a theologian as he delves into the undiscovered country of early modern Scottish autobiography… On the whole this book provides a valuable resource for people interested in Scottish social and religious history as well as for individuals involved in studying different ways in which people of the past constructed their sense of self within changing social and cultural conditions.’ Sixteenth Century Journal
‘Overall, this book represents an important contribution to the cultural history of early modern Scotland.’ Scottish Literary Review
‘Narratives of the Religious Self is a book which will be of great interest to those who are specialists in seventeenth-century Scotland or those who study international Calvinism.’ Journal of Northern Renaissance ‘
… this book offers a magisterial account of the evolution of the Scottish self in a period of national political and ecclesiastical fragmentation. It deserves to be widely read, both by historians and by practitioners of other disciplines.’ Northern Scotland
‘This book is a major achievement in its own right but also provides a stepping-stone for much future exploration of the religion and culture of Scotland during the early modern period.’ Review of Scottish Culture
I was born in Liverpool, England, in 1951, the youngest of three children. We emigrated to Alberta in 1954 and lived in Edmonton and environs for several years before moving to Calgary where I began grade 2 and in 1969 graduated from Henry Wise Wood High School, then going on to the University of Calgary thanks to a scholarship for children of employees of Canadian Fina Oil Company. I began theological study and eventually graduated Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. We then returned to Canada where I was engaged in pastoral work for a few years, along with part-time study for the Master of Theology at Emmanuel College. By the time I graduated I was already in the PhD programme in Scottish history at the University of Guelph. Upon completion of the doctorate in 1985, done with the inestimable aid of a generous scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, I returned to pastoral work for three years before earning my Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. I thought my future lay in teaching junior high school students, but at the last minute I received an offer of a one-year sabbatical replacement at the University College of Cape Breton in Sydney, Nova Scotia. One year turned into 27 and 1/2 years, ending with retirement on 31 December 2016. At that time my wife Arlene also retired as Registrar of Cape Breton University. We moved back to the West and now reside in St Albert, Alberta, a northern suburb on the periphery of Edmonton. We are members of Holy Family Parish, and are happy to live close to our only child, Joel, his wife Deborah, and their three children, Edmund, Annabelle, and Florence. I continue to research and write, to hunt pheasants, and, when the wind drops, to go canoeing. This fall, 2020, I have returned to teaching as a substitute in public schools.