Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Full Recovery!

Yesterday was quite a day for me and all our family. It was my fifth chemo treatment (that leaves only one to go) and the day I would receive my latest scan reports from my oncologist, Dr. Murphy. He came into the exam room with a big smile on his face so I was hoping that meant good news. The news was not only good, it was great.

Dr. Murphy explained there were four levels of response to the treatments I have been taking that range from no recovery to full recovery. He quickly told Patti and me that I was a full recovery patient. I asked him if that mean I was cured. He said we could only use the word cure after time has passed. There will be additional scans in the future to monitor things, but we fully expect to be able to use the cure word one day. For now he says I am in full remission, no cancer cells anywhere in my body. Furthermore he stated that many full recovery patients do not ever experience cancer again in their lifetime. So the news couldn’t be much better!

After just a few minutes short of five hours of chemo the nurse came in to tell me that my potassium was extremely low, 2.9. If you have followed this journey, then you might remember that low potassium is how this entire journey began. So now we will go back and give this some attention once again. Small potatoes compared to where we have been. Right now I am taking some strong potassium supplements to build the levels back up once again. So you might keep praying about this one for us.

I will be preaching for the next three weeks and then taking off for about five weeks to simply rest and let my body begin to rebuild its immune system - and maybe even grow a little hair.

Words cannot express my thanks to the thousands who have prayed for me and our family. I have had a great medical team, but the Great Physician has been in charge all along. I believe that I have been and continue to live out a miracle. We have seen the hand of God in so many ways and experienced His mercy, grace, and faithfulness on a daily basis. It has been a life-changing experience. I would not have chosen it, but in all truthfulness it has been the best season of my life. I pray I will be a good steward of all that God has done and continues to do in me as a husband, father, and pastor.

Patti has been my rock through this whole experience. She is one of the strongest women I know. Matt and Carrie, Derek and Tori, and my sweet Hope have been wonderful companions through this journey. I love them all more deeply than I can express.

To my church family, The People’s Church of Franklin and Spring Hill, Tennessee, I thank you. No pastor could have been more loved and prayed for over these past months. You are the best, and it is a joy to be your pastor. To friends who have written cards, prayed prayers and expressed love in a myriad of ways, I am in your debt. I would consider it an honor to serve any of you in any way I possibly can. I will keep this blog going on a regular basis and hope you will visit frequently. Hopefully the subject will change, but the relationships and community that has been shared here will only increase. It is good to be in full recovery - thank you Lord!



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 9, 2010

May 9, 2010. I've thought about this date for months now. I've known it was the date of Parent Child Dedication service at TPC since well before I had Lillie. I've known it was the day after Sophie's play in Atlanta since her school schedule came out last August. For months, I've known that, once again, Mother's Day and Dad's birthday were landing on the very same day(the second weekend in May can be an expensive one in our family)! I've known that May 9 would be an overwhelming day for our family for quite a while now.

But only in the past three months did I half-dread May 9, 2010. Since we had just been through my aunt dying of cancer only four months after diagnosis, I wondered a little over three months ago if we would be celebrating Dad's 59th birthday. I wondered if he would ever get the opportunity to spend much time getting to know his newest grandchild and whether he would live to see her dedicated to the Lord. Then after I felt like he might live, I wondered if Dad would be too sick to participate in the dedication service. I wondered if Lillie would be the only of my children that wasn't dedicated in a service led by my dad. I was overwhelmed with questions.

Watching Dad holding Lillian Hope on the stage at TPC on May 9, 2010, we were definitely overwhelmed, but this time overwhelmed with gratitude. We were grateful for all the precious celebrations of the day. We continue to be grateful that all signs point to healing in Dad's body. We are grateful that he has been relatively strong throughout this journey. Again, we were grateful for the opportunity to celebrate life - mothers, babies, and birthdays. Most of all we are grateful for the faithfulness of our God who has sustained us throughout this journey. All celebrations are a little sweeter this year, and while we are learning that every day is special, we were particularly thankful for May 9, 2010.