My friend Russ is going through a fight with cancer. Since I've told all my prayer warrior friends to check up on my requests here I thought I would just start posting their updates as well. I offered his wife the info to start a blog to keep the updates together, but she hasn't done it yet. I'll add the link if she gets around to it.
Here are the dates and her emails (oldest first):
05-May-08 7:00am ~ Prayer Request:
Russ has surgery this morning for a mass that developed over a 3 week period. He was having a swollen tonsil thinking it was from the colds that are going around. No pain however. On Thursday he said he should go and have it checked. He went to a doctor in the group (his doc was full up) who looked at it also finding a mass on the side of his neck. She immediately set him up on Friday with a specialist. The specialist was blunt. He says it is 99% certainly a cancer and set him up for emergency surgery today. They fit him in so it is not until 12:30.
I have always had you to depend on for prayer and would appreciate your prayers now. We did fine through the weekend trusting whatever happens to be in God's Hands. The enemy continues to try to put fear in our hearts, but we will stand as long as we can against the forces of evil. We need people like you to lift our arms when we can't anymore. I am asking for you to say a prayer for him. I will be in touch.
08-May-08 6:30pm ~ Result:
Well, the news from the surgery was not good. The doctor said it is a squamous cell carcinoma involving the tonsil and a large mass on the outer side of the neck but under the skin and another lesion on the other side. It is very aggressive and I believe the size had enlarged over the weekend. The treatment will be very, very harsh. We have not talked to an oncologist yet. Hopefully we will get an appointment this week to start treatment. The doc that did the surgery said they will do radiation aggressively 5 days a week for 6 weeks. He will be unable to eat solid food because his throat will be so sore. I don't know if his voice box, etc will be involved. Then possibly a chemo that is very strong making him extremely ill. The doctor said they wouldn't put him through it if they didn't think it would cure him. This kind of cancer is found in heavy smokers and alcoholics. Go figure, he has never had a cigarette and the beer once a month certainly didn't do it.
We are going to fight this battle with your prayer support. We love you and appreciate so much your friendship and love.
Russ and Sue
06-May-08 8:00am ~ Thank You:
We are still floating on the prayers of the saints and I know as the situation gets more and more difficult we will become very dependent on those prayers. As last evening and this morning have progressed we have had many encouraging emails and calls, many supportive offers and many professions of love for us. I cannot tell you how much it means. We believe God is going to do some amazing things during this time in us, in our Gethsemane family, our own family, our unsaved friends, and our brothers and sisters in Christ who live far away. Here we go on an unknown journey of FAITH. Let's sit back putting this whole thing in the very Capable Hands of our Loving God and watch Him work.
The prayer we have now is the timing, wisdom for the doctors, that the course of treatment would be set up quickly (I can see a change in the tumor on the neck already in a few days, it has grown). We are waiting on the throat doc to set things up.
God Bless you all for your faithfulness to us.
Russ and Sue
07-May-08 6:30pm ~ Another Step:
This may be more info that you want to know so please let me know if you would rather I didn't send to you. It wouldn't hurt my feelings at all. I am doing this so I can keep an account of all the events that happen along the way, showing God's Hand upon us.
The latest developments are: Yesterday I called our dentist and told him what was going on. He was shocked to hear as we had been in there 4 weeks ago. This dentist does the most thorough job of any dentist I have ever been to: checking the neck, the throat, the tongue, etc. at that point he saw nothing. Anyway, he wanted to know the name of Russ' doctor, so he could call him. He called me back and said, "I have told the girls at my office to clear a whole block of time, rescheduling other patients to fit Russ in today for x-rays etc.
Russ has a lot of problems with his teeth, he was scheduled to have a few pulled etc. etc. etc. but because of $$ we had decided to wait until September when some CD's mature. I told him we would have to make payments, he told me he was not worried about money one bit, he was concerned about Russ and how he could help. So we went today. He did another exam, with more extensive x-rays, which showed a lot of bone recession which is one of the reasons Russ had to have them pulled. The radiation therapy will cause some very serious problems in the mouth: damage to salivary cells, more bone recession, root deterioration, etc. So, the answer is to pull teeth so the roots don't get infected and cause really serious problems for the rest of his life.
On Tuesday we go to have all of his teeth on top pulled and four on the bottom. The oral surgeon has also opened a block of time for him. He is so booked that usually you have to wait months to get in. On Friday we go to see about the radiation or chemo or both treatment. So, Tuesday will be oral surgery and then he'll have two weeks to heal, then onward to whatever the Lord has in store. His Hand of direction has opened doors that would normally take weeks and months. We are so grateful we have Him in our lives. Peace like a river attendeth our souls.
Love, love, love you.
Russ and Susie
That is all I have for now on Russ. As emails come in I will continue to post them here.
As for me, I received the approval from the insurance for my surgery. I called the doctors' office. My doc is off on Wednesday's which was the day of the week I was hoping to have it done. The scheduling person said she will ask him (he sometimes will do a surgery that day if he's available) otherwise it will be on June 10th. I will be in the hospital two nights (possibly three). I will find out when she calls back how long I will be unable to go to work. My doc said I'd be able to sit up for "an hour or two" after about a week.
In regards to the selling of the house, the gentleman who came down from San Francisco to look at the house last week sent his daughter and her friend to have a look. Paul said their realtor made a comment that they really like the place. Though by 6:00 last night they still hadn't submitted an offer. The great thing about the property is it's zone for animals (horses, chickens, goats, etc.). They both have horses that they are boarding elsewhere as well as having to pay rent for themselves individually. He is interested in having me stay! Woo Hoo! We'll see how it works out.