Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Plan

We had our first visit with Dr. Murphy, Rick’s oncologist, this morning, and we are all very thankful that Rick will be in his care. Dr. Murphy received quite a surprise as he opened the door to find Rick, Patti, Hope, Carrie, baby Lillie, Tori and me (son-in-law, Derek) waiting for him in a small exam room. We spent an hour with the doctor as he thoughtfully answered every question to our very full room. Dr. Murphy is not just a “glass-half-full” kind of guy. He sees the glass "all the way full," and that’s how he encouraged all of us to be. After our time with Dr. Murphy, we toured the area where Rick will go for treatment. The nurse gave us more information and kindly noted that it would be best if only one or two people sat with him during treatment, so we assured her that we wouldn’t bring the whole family every time he walks through their door.

The plan of attack set by Dr. Murphy is a chemotherapy treatment known as CHOP-R. It is an effective combination of drugs that our doctor is confident in. Rick will go one Monday every three weeks to receive a four-hour treatment, followed by a Tuesday shot to boost his white blood cells. He is scheduled to have six of these treatments.

A lot is going to happen in the next week. Here is the plan for now:
-Wednesday, (2/24) Rick will have a test to make sure his heart is healthy and working properly.
-Thursday, (2/25) He will have a bone marrow test and a port installed in his chest for easy access to draw blood and give medication.
-Monday, (3/1) Chemotherapy will begin.
-Tuesday, (3/2) He will go in for his first shot to boost white blood cells.

After hearing the full report from Dr. Murphy, we were encouraged to hear that Rick can do most anything he feels like during this time (except maybe going to Africa). He might not get to give as many hugs or shake as many hands because of germs, but he should be able to preach most Sundays, lead our church as he has been called to do and continue to be the same great husband, dad and grandfather he has always been.

We can’t tell you how much your support and comments on this blog have meant these past few days. Keep on sharing your stories and praying for health and joy for Rick in the days and weeks ahead. Also, keep praying for the four special girls in his life, Patti, Carrie, Tori and Hope as they love and care for him throughout this process. Thank you so much for continuing this journey with us.


  1. Rick, Patti and family,
    You are in good hands....not only His from above, but here on terra firma with Dr. Murphy. The regimen is well-established and effective, and I am so grateful at the early manner in which this was caught. You know how to reach me, cell, home and work...and you know you are in my daily prayers. Not only as a friend, but as a doctor....in whatever ways I may ever be needed.

    Love to you all,


  2. Dear Rick & family,
    We continue to pray with you and for Rick everyday. What a powerful message and prayer time tonight at the HD men's meeting. We love you all!
    Richard & Mary

  3. You might be tired of hearing from
    me, but Dr. Murphy is my Oncologist and he and the entire staff are wonderful! He has successfully treated me and again, ok today! Hang in there! I am sure you willlove then as I do. Kathy, Mary John, and Sally are wonderful! I know that god blesses that group!

  4. Praying for these medical people as they do their work depending on the LORD's guidance and their gifts He can use to treat your body. Praising God for the yet to come Glory He will receive from you, your family and all of us as we learn more of who He is and see His work in progress. Asking God to strengthen every part of your body to receive these treatments. Reba

  5. Many of your friends and former classmates in Alabama are praying for you and your family! We are proud of you and your walk with Christ. God Bless you all!...Gary

  6. Rick,
    We at SMBC are praying for you and your family. So sorry to hear about this diagnosis. We know we have an awesome, sovereign, loving God who holds you in the palm of His hand. God Bless, Sue Anne Arnold
    II Corinthians 4:1,7,10,16-18

  7. You are loved, Rick!
    Shades Mt is still praying for you.

  8. Dear Rick & family,
    While we never know what the Lord will allow in our lives, we do know He is never surprised by it, & is always sovereign over every aspect. With this in mind, our family will continually pray for His light to lead the way & shine thru each of you. We also will continually ask Him for your peace & even joy through this journey. God bless! ~Julie cook & family

  9. Rick, you and your entire family need to know that not only are the masses of people you all know personally out there praying for you, but there's a million more of us out there you haven't met. You may not know us, but we know you and we are right there with you cheering you on and praying for all of you as you embark on this journey. --Melonee, Eric and Madison Hurt

  10. Rick, Patti, and girls,
    You are in my prayers. May God give you strength and peace as you face the coming days. Blessings, Janis Hart Raley (daughter of Dave and Jean)

  11. White Family,
    So glad that you are pleased with your doctor that you'll grow so close to in this process. And what a GREAT picture of family that all of you were there together: I love it! You guys are such a blessing to so many, in so many different ways. We are praying!

    Angela, Seth & Pierce

  12. God will use your journey for His glory and when all is said and done, I believe with all my heart that you will be fully healed. Rick, you are blessed to be a blessing. God's not done blessing you yet and He has more for you to do so you're not going anywhere. You are loved and prayed for and in God's hands. Praying for a peaceful night of rest and comfort for you tonight and for the procedures tomorrow. Also for peace and comfort for your family.

    Tami Renfrow

  13. The O'Leary'sMarch 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM

    Our family is deeply touched by your diagnosis and your family's will to fight the good fight of faith! We too went through such a time as you several years ago. It has advanced our trust, faith and perspective in more ways than we could imagine. There's no need for 'Why?', but rather an opportunity for God to say once again "Well done my good and faithful servants". This time will pass, but the ministry to family, friends and others will carry on in ways only God can ordain.
    We Love You Pastor Rick!! Be Healed in Jesus' name! Hugs...Hugs...and more Hugs!!!