Many people have been asking me what happened? I thought it might be wise to just tell a few more details for those of you who would like to know. I promise to keep the majority of my post much shorter.
Over the last several months I’ve been having one of my tumor markers consistently increasing. About twelve weeks ago I went through an extensive series of screenings: CT, Bone Scan, Pet Scan, Colonoscopy, and extensive blood work only to be given the “all clear” time after time. There was no evidence of disease. In a proactive approach, we changed my medications and agreed to check back in eight weeks. If all was well, my numbers would cease to climb and we would return to our normal quarterly evaluations.
When I went back last Friday for that eight week check up my physician just wasn’t quite himself. He kept saying “you look good” but his face kept saying he was concerned. As he quizzed me over any symptoms or problems, I mentioned to him that I had been having some visual disturbances in my right eye and a few migraine headaches.
That was enough.
The following Wednesday I had a brain CT.
On Thursday morning while driving to work, I got a phone call from his office asking me to come in immediately. At that moment I knew.
I pulled over to the side of the road and while I was putting the car in park to give myself a moment to process, I had a quick vision. I saw a picture of myself in Matthew’s football uniform. (He’s a sophomore at Flower Mound High School and one of only two sophomores playing on the varsity team. We think he’s a pretty big deal.) When I saw myself in his uniform, I chuckled. (Think David wearing Saul’s armor.) Then I heard the Lord say “square up.”
Matthew is a linebacker and all of our boys have played defense during their high school years. Recently Matthew was explaining to me that all of his training had taught him to approach another player and square up before hitting him. You align your hips and shoulders and get as low as possible in order to get the safest and most impactful block or tackle. A good linebacker can stop an offensive player right in their tracks.
I instantly knew God was telling me to get on the defense and square up. This is going to be a fight. My job is to prepare myself to approach this problem head on. I want to “strip the ball” from the enemies hands. I’d like to cause a fumble. I’d even like a “pick six.”
I stopped and called Mark to share the bad news and the good vision. Then I turned around and drove up Interstate 121 to meet with my doctor.
He immediately let me know there was a lesion on my brain. We scheduled an MRI for the afternoon at the hospital across the street and set an appointment for the following Friday morning with a neurosurgeon at UT Southwestern.
The next morning I drove to downtown Dallas and met with a radiology oncologist who opened my MRI and gave me some more bad news. As it turns out I have two lesions and they are causing some swelling in my head that has impacted my visual processing center – thus – weird auras and migraines.
He immediately sent me downstairs to meet with another neurosurgeon who operates a very specialized radiation device called a Cyber Knife. (Just to be clear, there is no surgery planed – this is a laser.) Without even having an appointment, filling out a form or giving him a co-pay, he met with me in the bowels of Parkland Hospital and assured me he had the skills, experience and confidence to help me. He agreed to meet me at 4:00 that afternoon in his office to go ahead and complete a simulation so that I can begin the treatment as soon as possible. The radiation treatment is pretty straight forward. It’s a focused laser beam that will destroy the lesions in my head. It will do so with little side effect (I hope) and little fatigue. I will only have five treatments over ten days.
After that comes the part that is a bit more difficult. I must redo many of the scans I just completed twelve weeks ago to be certain that there is no disease anywhere else in my body. Once that is completed, it appears I will have to begin chemotherapy again.
I feel peace and calm. I am not tormented and for that I am grateful. Because God gave me that immediate vision and word, I have no sense that this is unto death. I am simply trying to walk in the grace God is giving me in this moment, and not take on the worries of tomorrow.
Some people are asking how they can help. Our needs are few right now. Prayer for my healing and for my family are utmost on my mind. I feel the wind of prayer all around us and our children are standing faithful. I also love notes of encouragement. You can send me a comment here, a text, an email, a Facebook post or even an old-fashioned, snail-mail card. I will read them everyone, I promise.
I remember last time that many people went to a lot of trouble to organize and bring us food. Since we are such a smaller family now (only three of us at home) and because I don’t know exactly how things are going to progress, if you feel prompted to serve us in this way, a restaurant gift card would be a tremendous blessing to us.
So here’s the good news that I can see today. God has provided for me all three methods of His healing. Pastor Robert Morris taught a few months ago on our healing God and he shared three ways that God heals: miraculously, naturally and medically. Jesus is a physician that has access to everything I need to be made well. He has placed me face to face (within 24 hours) with two of the premiere physicians in the nation to help me with my specific problem. That’s medical healing. He’s demonstrated to me for six years how powerfully He can hold me in a position of miraculous healing. And I know my body is a healing machine and as I get my immune system into alignment and into a healthy strength, it will arise and naturally heal my body. That’s natural healing.
So thanks for reading so much detail and for hanging with me through this first post. I look forward to sharing a little about my journey and a lot about the goodness of our God. I have faith because He is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23)
Thank you for your love and support,