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!




  1. AMAZING NEWS!!!!!!!! God is GREAT!

  2. That is wonderful!!! I'm in tears. My family just started coming about a month ago and we have felt so welcome. Thanks for your service and testimony,


  3. Rick, you have passed through the "bend in the road". Below is poem by Helen Steiner Rice that was shared with Dr. David Jeremiah when he was battling cancer several years also. I just wanted to share this with you. We serve a great God. Ann Watson

    The Bend in the Road

    Sometimes we come to crossroads
    And view what we think is the end.
    But God has a much wider vision
    And He knows that it is only a bend.
    The road will go on and get smoother
    And after we’ve stopped for a rest,
    The path that lies hidden beyond us
    Is often the path that is best.
    So rest and relax and grow stronger.
    Let go and let God share your load.
    Have faith in the brighter tomorrow.
    You’ve just come to a bend in the road.

    (Helen Steiner Rice)

  4. Thank you for this poem. I just found out I have cancer and just beginning the stages. I am so scared. I know God is in control but it is so hard to deal with. I am 48 with a son of 14 and this is so so hard.