Wayne, an update

As you know, Wayne was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  The location of his tumor was actually behind and attached to the pancreas.  He has been through radiation and is still taking chemo.  His tumor has shrunk to the point that it was invisible on a CT scan.  It can be seen when a scope is done, but is very small.  He has had some pain and the doctor has permanently deadened some nerves around the pancreas.  He will continue this chemo treatments for a few more weeks and see the doctor again.

All things considered, Wayne is doing great.  We are so very thankful for God’s graciousness and healing power.

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Kay’s Battle is Over

A few months ago, I wrote about my friend, Kay. She had been diagnosed with an agressive form of bladder cancer.  She was given a couple of years to live.  Even though she battled with chemo and radiation treatments, putting her cancer into remission was not to be.  She passed away this week about 18 months after her diagnosis.  She leaves behind her husband, a daughter, and two sons.

The one of the especially sad aspects of Kay’s situation was that approximately six weeks ago, Kay’s father passed away with cancer.  Kay’s mother lost both a husband and a daughter in less than two months.  I can not comprehend what must be the depth of her grief.

Once again: Lung Cancer is No Match for God’s Healing Power

During surgery the doctors removed the lower lobe of Rayford’s right lung which contained the a malignant tumor.  They also did many biopsies which have all been clear of cancer cells.  At this point in time, Rayford will not need chemo or radiation!  We are all thrilled and praising God for his goodness. I talked to Rayford a couple of days ago and he is slowing getting his strength back, and looking forward to resuming his previous busy lifestyle, serving the Lord as he loves to do.  We are totally grateful for God’s care of Rayford.

Updates on Wayne

It has been a while since I shared with you any news about Wayne.  As you may remember from previous posts, he is my Sunday School teacher and deacon in our church.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several months ago and has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments since then.

His radiation treatments are completed as are his first round of chemotherapy.   He is currently taking his second round which began about three ago.  He seems to be feeling better and is even gaining back some of the weight he had lost.  Low white cell and platelet counts are a problem and have delayed some of his treatments.

He hasn’t had any new scans since this round of chemo has begun so we don’t know what the cancer is doing, but we are praying that it is shrinking and that Wayne will be restored to health.

He continues to teach Sunday School, sing in the church choir and is even helping to build the new addition to our church.  We are so grateful that he feels well enough to do those things

Wayne and his wife, Glynn, are such an inspiration and blessing to each of us.  We pray for God’s hand to continue to be on them, comforting, strengthening, guiding, and protecting them as they travel down this very difficult path.

Kay

Cancer and terminal illness touches all our lives.  We all have friends and/or family who is or has been afflicted with serious illness.  As Dr. Phil said, “When one family memberhas cancer, the entire family has  cancer.”  This also applies to other terminal illnesses  as well.  Not just cancer.

Kay is a relatively young woman, not yet 50. She is married and has two sons ages 19 and 21, I believe. Oh, yes.  She also has a daughter who is grown and away from home.  She is a friend of my and has been for several years.  Her parents attend my church.

About eight months ago, I believe,  she was diagnosed with an aggressive form  of bladder cancer.  This particular kind of cancer is rare in women.  It usually appears in older men, her doctor told her.

Shortly after her diagnosis her bladder was removed and she began radiation and chemotherapy.  About a month ago she had another surgery to rebuild a bladder for her.  During this surgery several things were removed, ovaries, uterus, more lymph nodes, etc.  When the pathology report came back, Kay and her family learned that cancer cells were found in every thing that was taken out.  Not a happy day.

After speaking with Kay’s father I learned that  the doctors are saying that Kay may have 2 years to live.  That is not long, my friends. If you had two years to live, what would you do?  What things would you need to get in order?  How would you help your children prepare for the time when death happens?  How would you prepare them for life afterwards, without a mother?

Kay is being very open about her situation.  I understand she is taking radiation treatments, but not chemo.  Please pray for her. God has become very real in her life through this illness.  Pray for her husband and children as they share her experience.  Pray for her parents who are already grieving, but are looking to God for comfort.

The Pendulum Swing of Emotions

Think of the swing of a pendulum. Its swing in one direction is equal or almost equal to the swing in the other. Our emotions during a time of crisis such as a terminal illness swing back and forth from despair to elation, depending on the events of the moment.

Last week when Wayne and Glynn were facing a series of scans and tests which would show whether or not Wayne’s pancreatic cancer was responding to the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They were scared, nervous, emotional, worried, and any other negative emotion you can name. The morning they left to go to Dallas to have these tests run, Wayne looked bad. He was weak. He was pale. His eyes filled and overflowed with tears frequently.

Once they received the results of the tests and learned that the cancer had not spread, their pendulum of emotions swung back to the other side. The degree to which they were worried corresponded directly to the degree to which they were excited. The next time I saw Wayne, he had a big smile on his face. He no longer looked pale and he was about to eat a big plate of food.

Whenever you are in the midst of physical trauma such as this, your emotions will experience the same trauma. You may be very sad, filled with despair and without hope, and then something positive will happen. It doesn’t have to be something big. It may be a small as one meal that tasted good, or a test that came back with good results or at least no bad results. Then your emotions will ‘latch on’ to that one positive thing, and immediately swing to the other side of the pendulum.

I remember thinking about my emotions when my parents were sick. At that time I compared my emotions to a roller coaster ride which is not an inaccurate description. I remember saying that I had experienced every emotion you could name while Mother and Daddy were sick, especially during the 3 months when Daddy was in the hospital, with Mother also being in the hospital 5 weeks during that time. It was horrible.

Once we understand that these emotions will be there, we can not fight them, but instead seek to control them. It was during those times that I had ‘scheduled cries’, moments when I could let my sadness, despair, frustration, anger, hopelessness, rise to the top of my mind and heart and flow out the tear ducts in my eyes. By giving my emotions space to be in control for a while, then once I finished crying, I could then control my emotions, for a while at least.

Your emotions are going to be part of what you are enduring. You are going to feel everything you are going to feel on both sides of the pendulum. You can’t stop it. Instead you should expect it and accept it. Then you can control it.

And oh, yes, get all the ‘mileage’ you can out of good news. Yep. Let the good news carry you as far as possible. Smile. Laugh. Tell it to everyone.

Updates on Wayne

As mentioned in a previous post, Wayne was to return to Dallas, Baylor Medical Center, I believe, to under tests which will determine whether or not his pancreatic cancer is responding to chemotherapy and radiation. Wayne’s anxiety level would be ‘off the charts’ if measured.  They were both very fearful that they would not receive good news.

Well, their drive back home was more like a flight.  They were ‘off the ground’ with excitement and were praising the Lord all the way home.  The tests results showed that the cancer had not spread at all, which was a real concern given the nature of the tumor.  The doctors were unable to determine whether or no the tumor itself had actually shrunk, indicating that it had responded to the chemo and radiation, because of swelling of the tissue around due to radiation.

Wayne and Glynn were elated that the cancer had not spread and felt like that was an answer to prayer.  I agree with them totally.  The doctors have given Wayne hope for a normal life at least for a while ,and  when you are walking down the path of terminal cancer or illness, you make the most of any good news you get!

We are excited and thankful for God’s Presence in Wayne and Glynn’s lives.  We are all stronger because of it.