My doctor, who we really like, was extremely elated. The results were beyond his wildest expectations. He had been hesitant to order the CT this early because usually it takes a while for immunotherapy to show positive results. He had even warned us that early CT scans often show an increase in the cancer before the immune system really kicks in. He was surprised -Read More
The hardest thing about all this for me is that regardless of my situation, all this cancer stuff is running in the background of my mind. In a business meeting, at a party, with friends for dinner, by myself, feeling bad, feeling good…cancer and all that goes with it is a relentless issue waiting for any opportunity to ooze into my psyche. I don’t think about dying. It is the treatment that encompasses my thinking.Read More
I saw my oncologist before my treatment. He confirmed that the reactions I had after the previous 2 treatments were reactions to the drugs and not symptoms of cancer. He also said that I am his only patient who has EVER had these kinds of reactions to these typically benign drugs. The good news is that I am still asymptomatic – definitely a product of God hearing the prayers of many and acting on my behalf. Doctor P prescribed some pre-meds, Tylenol and Benedryl, to be dripped in prior to the immunotherapy drugs. After Treatment 2, I got sick within 2 hours. This time I felt good for next 9 hours. Around bedtime I started feeling crummy. No fevers. No night sweats. Just muscle and joint aches and a mild headache.Read More
I am generally a morning person. It is Saturday. It is 5am. And I feel terrific!
A few weeks ago, when I was wrestling with life-in-limbo – the pull between wrapping things up and getting on with life – I asked God to give me a dream that would help me understand what direction things are headed for me. If I am dying, I wanted to dream about heaven and where I am headed. If I am being healed, I wanted a dream about life in the future and what that may look like.Read More
Just a quick note to say that today has been an exceptionally good day. I had a good night sleep last night. I was up at 5:45 AM feeling good. I spent the majority of the day in the office being somewhat productive. And I have had virtually no side effects all day.
I am convinced that this good day is a product of the prayers of many people. God hears and God answers. I am grateful.
I occasionally have down days, and yesterday was certainly one. It helps me to process by writing. Last night and this morning I received many texts, emails and comments. I’m coming to understand how God uses community in the healing process. More on that later.
For now, I feel good. I feel grateful. And I’m looking forward to a good nights sleep! Thank you for praying!
I’m sitting on my front porch in the early evening after a summer rain. The ceiling fan keeping the mosquitos off. It’s just me and my dog…and the hummingbirds.
I put up a couple of feeders this year, and we now have several hummers who come scores of times each day. I could watch these little birds for hours. I don’t know why I find them so fascinating, but I do. They are nervous little guys, almost as much bug as bird, twitchy, darting here and there.Read More
An old friend who lives in east Tennessee came to see me. We had a great time catching up over lunch, and then driving around our old neighborhoods. It has been 45 years since he lived in Memphis, so we drove by places that held memories for both of us. Finally, I drove him around where I live now. I pointed out my neighbors’ homes and shared endearing stories about each one. I love my neighbors.
As we circled the block to head back to my office, we came upon a woman walking down the middle of the street. She is a familiar sight for those of us who live in my community.Read More
I am coughing, out of breath easily, have chills, food/drinks taste funny.
I had cancer 26 years ago, and took really hard chemo. I have been assured by docs and patients alike that immunotherapy is nothing like chemo. S
· is what I am experiencing symptoms of the cancer? (I have been asymptomatic until this week, and it is supposed to be quieting down.)Read More
Today was my first immunotherapy treatment. Everyone tells me that these are wonder drugs with amazing results. I believe them. I just don’t want to settle into a routine that defines me by cancer. I don’t want to be a cancer patient. I-DON’T-WANT-TO-BE-A-CANCER-PATIENT!!! I don’t want to spend time in cancer clinics. I want to get on with the work I love – promoting Christ’s agenda to and through people I love in the CCHF community. I want to be in my office…or visiting someone else’s office. But I DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE CANCER CLINIC.Read More
Yesterday I enjoyed an afternoon of blood tests, CT scan, and a visit with my new oncologist. Here is the bottom line. There has been no significant change in my cancer – no growth, no spread. No reduction, either – at least not anything that the radiologist and oncologist consider “significant”. They say my tumors have “stabilized”. That is a good thing.Read More
Monday I go to the oncology clinic for a whole afternoon.
First, they will do blood work. In the past, my blood work has been normal. I will be eager to see if that has changed.
Then I go for a CT scan. They will scan my whole body to see if the tumors that were there 2 months ago have changed, multiplied or disappeared. I am hoping/praying that prayer and diet, the things for which I have greatest confidence, have had a measurable effect.Read More
I don’t think I am clinically depressed. I’ve promised to be transparent, so the truth is that today is a “down” day. I don’t know why. I had a fun morning fishing with my good friend and his kids. Maybe it is that I am fasting. Maybe it is because I spend 2 hours this afternoon going through medical bills and insurance statements. Maybe it is just the natural ebb and flow of emotions – I was up on Friday, now down on Saturday.Read More
I met my new oncologist today, and had a great appointment. We were encouraged (Vic was with me). He spent over 30 minutes with us, came in well prepared, had clear recommendations, listened to our concerns, and patiently answered all of our questions honestly with a positive and affirming attitude.
He is my new oncologist because I fired the old one.Read More
One of the things people are most curious about is my cancer-fighting diet. The truth: My hope for beating this cancer is for God to do something miraculous. But I have adopted a radical diet for 15 weeks to make me as internally healthy as possible, to try to naturally support my immune system to fight the cancer, and to make my body as inhospitable to cancer as I can.Read More
I am a visual guy. I think in pictures; and there is a picture that is helping me during this bizarre season of my life. But before I share it with you, here are a few thoughts that will help you understand it better.
John 5 is the story about Jesus healing a man at the pool of Bethesda. After healing him, he told him to take his mat and go home. On the way, some religious knuckleheads stopped the man and asked, “Dude, why are you carrying your mat? Don’t you know it’s Sabbath! That’s illegal.” The guy responded by telling them that the guy who healed him told him to. But he didn’t know who healed him, because Jesus slipped through the crowd right after. Later, Jesus stalked the guy and found him in the temple. He tells him, “Stop sinning or worse things might happen to you.” (a warning, not a threat) So the guy runs to the religious leaders and rats Jesus out. The religious guys then found and confronted Jesus, “Did you heal this guy on Sabbath?”Read More
It was a Tuesday when my primary care doc called me to tell me the results of my PET scan: “There is a 2” (5cm) tumor in your right lung and a tumor in your left lung. It is cancer, there is no doubt about it. It’s bad, and it’s hyperactive – growing and aggressive. It is other places, too. We need to get you to an oncologist as quickly as we can.”Read More
Today I had SRS surgery. It is not surgery that you normally thing about. No knives, incisions, scalpels or stitches. Not even an operating room. It is all done with highly focused beams of radiation which are aimed through your scalp from different angles, and done through a high resolution MRI. Some of you may have heard of cyber-knife or gamma-knife surgery. SRS is like gamma-knife surgery 2.0.Read More
In June 2019 I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma. I decided to share my story and experiences here so that friends and those who are simply curious can get a glimpse into my journey through this. I hope God will heal me. I expect God to heal me. But whether He does or doesn’t, I promise to be honest and transparent, in hopes that other will benefit from this difficult and rich season of my life.Read More