I wasn’t in the 90% coverage area for the solar eclipse today, and I wasn’t among the thousands who traveled to one of the states in that band, but I did almost blind myself trying to view the 70% blocking of the sun from the reflection on my cell phone. As soon as I started seeing spots, I decided it’d be better to follow my husband’s lead and look at what reflected on a sheet of white paper through a pinhole in a piece of cardboard.
I wasn’t particularly impressed by what I could safely see, but there’s a better one expected in 2024 for our area. I plan on being more prepared with the right kind of glasses by then so I can go outside to ooh and aah over that one.
Beyond the “coolness factor” provided by today’s uncommon alignment of the moon between the earth and the sun, that kind of thing reminds me of how small I am: one person among billions, one country among the 196 countries of the world, one planet among the 8 or 9 in our solar system, one solar system among billions in our galaxy, one galaxy among millions in our universe. How awe-inspiring is that?
Wow! I can’t really even comprehend how big it is ‘out there’.
It also made me think about such things as the planets’ rotation around the sun with our planet being the optimal distance for human life, the tilt of the earth, the effects of gravitational pull, and Earth providing everything we need to survive, etc.
Just when I begin to feel overwhelmed by the vastness of it all, how everything fits and works together, and how God’s the One who set all the planets in their place, I wax philosophical in the other direction.
Being in the medical field, I know how intricate the workings of the human body are and how all the different systems (endocrine, nervous, respiratory, etc) have to be in balance and working in perfect synchrony for the body to be healthy.
The more I know about the human body and how it functions, the more blown away I am.
That’s why it amazes me when I hear of scientists and doctors and the like who still believe in evolution. It must take a lot of faith in man and his theories to believe that it all just came together by chance and started working the way it does, without an all-powerful Creator to design and orchestrate everything.
A couple of verses in Psalm 139 express my sentiment: “13You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”
This last February, my older sister died of cancer.
It was her seventh cancer that killed her — clear cell carcinoma spread from the uterus several months earlier to her peritoneal cavity — the only one of her cancers that returned. The other six bouts of cancer she successfully fought off, starting with colon cancer in her early 30’s, were all primary tumors (meaning they didn’t originate somewhere else first and then spread).
They did blood tests to check for a hereditary genetic mutation that predisposed her to so many cancers and finally discovered, after she died, the problem was with the MSH6 gene. Now my other siblings and I are being tested for the same mutation, which was probably inherited from my mother’s side. My mother had three primary cancers — uterine, stomach, and pancreatic (which is what finally killed her in 2007) — and her mother also died of cancer they think originated in the stomach.
According to the https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/MSH6#conditions website, the “MSH6 gene provides instructions for making a protein that plays an essential role in repairing DNA. This protein helps fix mistakes that are made when DNA is copied (DNA replication) in preparation for cell division. The MSH6 protein joins with another protein called MSH2 (produced from the MSH2 gene) to form a protein complex. This complex identifies locations on the DNA where mistakes have been made during DNA replication. Another group of proteins, the MLH1-PMS2 protein complex, then repairs the errors. The MSH6 gene is a member of a set of genes known as the mismatch repair (MMR) genes.”
For non-medical people, think of it like a computer program which relies on a series of successful steps for it to run correctly and perform the task it was designed for. The human body has multiple ‘computer’ programs running and working together for it to function properly. When there’s a glitch in one of the programs, the end result is going to be suboptimal.
The MSH6 gene is designed to repair mistakes made in the step before new cell growth (like the delete key erases the wrong letter in a word to prevent a misspelling). A malfunction in that process means an abnormality in new cell production may not be detected and/or corrected in time to prevent a tumor from forming (like when a misspelled word slips through undetected during the editing phase).
A mutation in the MSH6 gene results in Lynch syndrome. According to the website mentioned above, “Lynch syndrome increases the risk of many types of cancer, particularly cancers of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, which are collectively referred to as colorectal cancer. People with Lynch syndrome also have an increased risk of cancers of the endometrium (lining of the uterus), ovaries, stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder duct, upper urinary tract, and brain. Endometrial cancer is especially common in women with Lynch syndrome caused by MSH6 gene mutations.”
My two sisters had their blood drawn on July 3rd and I had mine drawn three weeks later on July 24th. My sisters were told their test would take up to 8 weeks because it gets sent to Melbourne. I was originally told mine should be back in a week. When I hadn’t heard anything after 9 days, I called. They told me, no, it normally takes 10-21 days to get results back and they’d call when they came in. 😒
When I hadn’t heard anything after 3 weeks, I called again. While playing phone tag during the following week, I was left a message saying there was a problem with the insurance because all the family history that went with my blood test order was that my sister had colon cancer. I left messages and finally got to talk to someone on Friday last week. I made sure she updated the family history and told her I wanted the test done whether insurance paid for it or not (approx. $300). She said I should get some results next week.
So, it’s been 4 weeks today since I had my blood drawn. I didn’t hear anything today and, if I don’t hear something by lunchtime tomorrow, I’ll be calling them back again.
I’m just annoyed it’s taken so long and has been such a hassle, but I’m not worried if the results come back positive or not.
Odds are at least two out of the five of us (counting my older brother) have the gene mutation passed to us from Mum, so there’s bound to be one, possibly two, more positive test(s).
I know that’s in God’s hands, though, and me worrying about it is not going to change anything. Besides that, it’s also a sin to worry. Worrying just means I haven’t given my concern over to God like I’m told to in 1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”
My worrying would mean I don’t think He’s able to handle it, which I know He is. Way better than I ever could. Psalm 112:7 is referring to those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands when it says, “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.”
That’s where I am with all this. In fact, I would much rather my test be the one to come back positive than for my siblings to have to deal with that news.
But God is God and he knows best.
If one of my sisters came back with a positive test, who’s to say that wouldn’t be what helps them come to know the Lord. That in itself would make it worth it.
Anyway, all that came from my limited view of the solar eclipse today and how God is responsible for creating everything from the vastness of the universe all the way down to the complexities of the inner workings of the human body, including the system of checks and balances He put in place for it all to line up the way it’s supposed to.
I don’t know about you, but my mind is blown!