Leading Seventh-day Adventist neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson underwent successful surgery for prostate cancer August 7 at his own place of work, the internationally known Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
“The surgery was very successful,” reports Carson, 50, from his home in Upperco, Maryland. “The cancer was contained, but within one millimeter of breaking through. The nodes were all negative, and the nerves were spared. I am going to continue.”
Carson first learned of the diagnosis during an operation he was performing. “A nurse held the phone to my ear and I was told it was cancer, and a high-grade cancer too. That kind of threw me for a loop,” Carson admits. “I said thank you, and tried not to think about it during the operation.”
“On my way home the thought weighed heavily on me,” Carson continues. “The cancer could possibly have already metastasized—after all I was almost two decades younger than those usually diagnosed with prostate cancer. The cancer was also high-grade. I had something that could kill me. It wasn’t the thought of dying, but of leaving family, patients, staff—-the myriad people that were depending on me. I felt like I would be betraying them, and as I say, this weighed heavily on me. My wife Candy and I talked about it-—we were not 100 percent sure what this all meant. While it was kind of frightening, Candy reminded me that the Lord would take care of it, because He always does.”
However throughout the ordeal, Carson says he kept his confident faith in God. “Even in the bleakest moments—thinking that I may have had metastatic disease to the spine—my faith was strong. As I’ve said before, I believe God never makes mistakes. This gives me great confidence. Even if I die, it will be for a reason, and God will make the best of it. To my dying breath I will have confidence in God, and be sure that He will take care of everything. By the same token I didn’t think God would let me die, even if I did have metastatic disease to the spine—He could solve the problem and cure me. It wasn’t going to happen.”
Carson is now convalescing but is looking forward to returning shortly to both his professional activities and his many speaking engagements. He is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, the author of over 90 professional medical articles, the recipient of 27 honorary doctorates, and the writer of three books: Gifted Hands, Think Big, and The Big Picture.