But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:9-11 (NASB)
I was surprised to discover my last update on the progress of my bride and myself was on Valentines Day, 2018. We had a brief ‘date’ at Old Chicago in Conway before checking into Baptist Health’s motel the night before my surgery. The Amazon I married was scheduled to begin radiation treatments just after I was supposed to be discharged. (a week to 10 days after the procedure we were told) I have little to no memory of the next three weeks as things kind of went south after I got home. An abscess formed in my abdomen, I developed ketoacidosis, and became somewhat septic.
As I stated earlier, I have little to no memory of that span of time but I learned my bride (not long removed from her course of chemotherapy rarely left my side and then only to dash home to do laundry enough for a few days. We were in the hospital for a total of 6 out of 8 weeks and the girl of mine spent almost every night in a broken down recliner or way-to-narrow couch.
But that does not even begin to speak of her strength and dedication. Every weekday morning, she would shower, don her wig and dash off to Russellville to receive her ten-minute radiation treatment. A brief lunch would follow and back to Baptist Health she would come. She did this for the entire time I was hospitalized even though I “strongly encouraged” her not to do so.
“You would do it for me if the roles were reversed” was her stock reply and, as the old hymn would say, ‘she would not be moved’.
I am happy to report that my love has finished her course of radiation and is doing exceptionally well. Of course her prognosis has not changed but I have to tell you I am beginning to think God just may be up to something in Teresa’s life. I shared earlier that her post-chemo- scans were clear with no sign of tumor or visible cancer in either her breast, lung or sternum, (How about that!!!)
Her Radiologist put it this way, “Mrs. Green, your scan results are the kind we always hope to see but very rarely do”.
And to add even more encouragement to that good news, we talked to a friend who has the same type of cancer as my lovely bride and learned she is an eight-year survivor! The only discouraging part is that she found out the cancer had returned and she was due to start another round of chemo soon.
Let me tell you why learning our friend has survived her caner for 8 years is so encouraging. When we first met with Teresa’s oncologist, I asked him what sort of time frame we could expect. He was very reluctant to try to set a life-expectancy and kept using the phrase, ‘extended period of time’. I could not be satisfied with that and persisted until he finally said, “I have had a couple of patients survive five to seven years.”
Our oncologist is one of the best anywhere and to learn that only a couple made it that far was something neither my love or myself wanted to hear. And then she gets those amazing scan results… and then we actually talked to someone who surpassed the seven-year mark… And I see how strong she is and how full of life and joy and the desire to do for others and, like I said earlier, I truly believe God is up to something in Teresa’s life. (be sure to check the blog in ten years to see if I’m correct!)
Many have wondered at the possibility of both of us being diagnosed with cancer at the same time. I usually reply, “The bible says God causes it rain on the just and the unjust,.. I guess it was the ‘just’s turn this time”. We don’t think about that much and trust our Lord has a cool plan and purpose for it all.
I am making slow forward progress but still having trouble gaining weight. I lost 68 pounds since the surgery and 24 of those pounds were lost after I got home the last time. It was difficult to find anything I could eat without being overcome with nausea.
I have been very encouraged the past week as my appetite seems to be returning and we are finding more and more foods that are appealing to me. In fact, I actually gained three pounds in the last week. I am still very weak and tire easily because of so much muscle loss but I am able to work full days now and even spend a little time in the garden. That perfect girl I married keeps a close eye on me to make sure I don’t overdo it and my administrative Assistant does the same.
My surgeon is pretty confident he got all the cancer during the initial surgery and says for all practical purposes we are going to call me cancer free (cured). My oncologist is a little more cautious because the kind of cancer I had can pop up almost anywhere in the body. So he has taken blood samples to check for tumor markers (not really expecting to find any) and ordered C.T. scans for July to verify the cancer has returned to my pancreas. (again, not expecting any negative findings).
Please continues to pray for my bride as hers will always be an ongoing battle unless, of course the Lord really doing something in her life. But especially remember in your prayers she recently endured the loss of her mother.
As you can see in the pictures, there have been far too many T-shirts in our family this past year. Continue to pray for a season of rest and for God’s hand of mercy and healing to be on us. And as always, I would ask you pray that God would strengthen our children and guard their hearts against Satan’s attacks during our recovery time.