You're Not a Statistic


“You’re not a statistic – you’re an individual. You can get very depressed if you look at statistics.” These wise words come from the Reverend Dr. Gary Arp, a retired pastor and former bishop of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

We talked with Gary about his perspective on cancer and the care he’s received from the team at The Ghosh Center.

You’ve dealt with cancer more than once. Tell us about that.

Yes, this is my second bout with cancer. The first time, I received radiation, chemo and surgery for lung cancer and was cancer-free until 2013. Then they discovered cancer in the lung, rib and spine. If you look at the statistics for my diagnosis, they can be dire. But that’s why I want people to know they’re not a statistic. Each person is an individual with their own unique story and possibilities.

People do survive this stuff. I’m an example of this, and there are a lot of others, also. You just have to keep in your mind that you’re going to make it through.

What helps you cope?

I like to tease the nurses. Fortunately, they can take it – and dish it out. If you lose your sense of humor and run around with your head down all the time, you become depressed. I probably do a little too much of it, but I like to joke around.

I’m convinced that Dr. Ghosh and his team are God’s instruments for my healing.

You mentioned the power of prayer.

I like to tell the story that the first time I had cancer, I had people who were praying that I would survive. And my dear wife was praying that I wouldn’t lose my hair. Both prayers were answered.

How has Dr. Ghosh helped you?

For me, Dr. Ghosh and his team are the greatest. Both times, they’ve been so kind and gentle. I’m convinced that Dr. Ghosh and his team are God’s instruments for my healing.Hear from Gary in his own words.