I Donâ€™t Like Being High.
So, two weeks ago, I was knocked out several times. That Thursday and Friday, they loaded me down with fentanyl. Some days before that it was some type of general â€œloopyâ€ drug that they never told me the name. And, I discovered after 48 years of never needing to know this about myself, that I donâ€™t like being sloshed out of my gourd. Also, I am (apparently) a loud person who has no inhibitions when he is â€˜high as a kite.â€ However, some protein will calm me down. So, in the days ahead, if you see me with a medical bracelet indicating recent surgery, feed me eggs, bacon, and chicken. That seems to sober me up.
We only now realized this after Andrea left me alone long enough to procure some of this aforementioned sustenance while I alertly recognized one of our county commissioners and subsequently had a delightful chat with him in my dazed condition. If there is a video of this, I may never pastor again.
To recap, I had three medical procedures, one visit to the oncologist, followed by a wonderful visit from my brother, mother, and sister in law who all happened to be carrying our wonderful daughter Allison home from school. It was Christmas. I donâ€™t know that I have ever been happier to see my family than I was last Friday.
Wednesday of last week was my first chemo appointment. Blood work, more details about the horror of cancer in my body, and then quickly into the chair for the next 5 hours. They gave me Benadryl (downer) to help with anti-rejection and steroids (upper) to help my body prepare for the chemicals and help my lungs. It was not unlike the feeling of being awake for 24 hours after flying all night internationally in stormy weather- very tired and yet full of adrenaline. Then, they gave me four different kinds of chemo to combat my aggressive lymphoma.
On top of everything, I missed lunch.
Right now, I will receive this chemo every other week on Wednesdays so that my body can have enough time to recover in between the truckloads of chemicals. The doctors and staff at Tennessee Cancer Center are just so kind and professional. They have gone above and beyond to help us be comfortable in what is undoubtedly an uncomfortable time in our lives.
We have seen God answer prayer as a lady was saved this week, He is providing speakers for our services when I will be unable to preach, and our people are taking more and more of the responsibilities for the ministry. The Lord continues to bless our church as we had guests for the last two weekends and a good spirit in the services. Chad Kivetteâ€‹ and Todd Parrishâ€‹ have ministered to Hardin Valley Free Will Baptist Churchâ€‹ in a providential and pastoral way. Our folks are still hurting, but we are hurting together as we cling to the God who is good and wise.
Hopefully, our slower rate of posting is not confusing to the many hundreds who are concerned and praying. We feel like we have missed several messages and phone calls during these days, and we are trying not to neglect anyone who has taken the time to call or write. Similarly, we are cautious about the facade of social media – the ability to edit and put out the best possible version of events in public. Our lives have never resembled â€œsocial media perfectâ€ as we are fallen, depraved sinners in need of the great grace of God. We have our good moments and fits of gloom. It is neither practical nor plausible to share all of these. So, as we write and share, we hope to put the â€œperfectâ€ on the Savior.
- Please pray for the tumors to shrink around my throat and windpipe in particular as their freeloading is really beginning to tax my patience.
- We rejoice that my bone marrow was healthy so now we can fight the lymphoma on just the one cancer front.
- Please pray that I stay healthy and able to keep up the regimen. I have some cardiology tests tomorrow (9/10/19) to see how my heart is doing with my cancer and chemo. Please ask the Lord for wisdom for the doctors as pain management is now becoming an issue.
- Please pray that God would be glorified and that souls will be saved. We want to keep the spotlight on Him.
- Finally, please pray that I will not be â€œhigh as a kiteâ€ in public ever again.