Many of you know that I was diagnosed with advanced stage IV pancreatic cancer on August 25th, 2006. Many of you have been praying earnestly for my healing and sending me e-mails to encourage and support me. I have been overwhelmed by the numbers of people who have upheld me in prayer and I want to update you on my condition and say a special word of “Thanks.”
After months in and out of the hospital with ever possible complication (kidney failure, emergency operation for a pierced bowel, massive infections, and chemo/radiation) I was sent home on December 9th with the words “You have two to four weeks left to live). On December 9th I was a virtual invalid. My wife had to bathe me, dress me, feed me and walk me. I slept 16-18 hours a day and rarely moved any place except to my bed and couch. I even went under the care of palpable hospice. However, instead of getting worse and dying as predicted, I gradually began to improve. Now, two months later I am practically leading a normal life. I care for myself, walk without a walker, go out to eat, work out (to pound weights) and write every day. I attribute this improvement, however long it lasts, to answered prayer – yours and mine, my wife. I have literally bugged and argued with God!
So, in light of my improvement, how do you pray? I want to ask God to heal me but what if he already has. But, I’m also reluctant to be presumptuous and tell everyone I’ve been healed given the statistical downside of pancreatic cancer and the fact that we are foregoing any definite tests for now, like a MRI, CT scan or PET scan.
So, here is how Joanne and I solved our dilemma. We live and pray one day at a time. We pray each day and say, “Thank you God for the healing you gave me today. Please heal me tomorrow.” It has occurred to both of us that if we were truly spiritually sensitive, we would have prayed that way all of our lives but it took the threat of imminent death to bring us to this point.
We cannot begin to tell all of you how we have benefited from your consistent prayers. We’re convinced that God is answering those prayers and that all the improvement thus far has come from God’s healing powers and that He is the source of all grace. I am confident that God sustained me today but I’m also painfully aware that I am “terminal,” at some point, in the larger sense of the word, as we all are. Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death and we all face a great future.
Please continue your prayers for both of us. Joanne will see her doctor and have some tests done as her stomach tension and discomfort continues. We think it’s “caregiver’ stress but want to be sure. Also, although I’m better, my strength is fragile and I fatigue easily. Some days are better than others. We appreciate the way everyone has maintained our privacy and ask that you continue to do so.
I hope that you all know that the love and prayers you have “sent” our way are being returned to you from us. We are so deeply moved by them on our behalf.