Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Praise Report

We just returned from my checkups at UAB. I had a CT scan, chest X-ray and they scoped my throat. I am still clear and cancer free! I also saw my radiation doctor and surgeon. They both felt I was where I should be and even better. I don't have to go back until December; (when my next checkups are scheduled).

We are so thankful and praise God for His grace. We know many of you are still praying for us and really appreciate it. God has used you and your prayers to richly bless us! May He richly bless you also!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I am sorry to have been so long in updating the blog. But things have been improving, not so much daily, but certainly over the weeks and months I can see how God is still blessing me physically. I still have the minor problems with eating certain foods, dry mouth, energy level and realted issues, but these are overshadowed by the great blessing of being cancer free and returning to a more normal lifestyle. I am back at work and almost get a full day in each day.
I have my next checkup on September 16. It will be a CT scan and visit with one of my Doctors at UAB. Please pray for that if you think of it.
Most importantly, I am sad to report that Debbie's Dad passed away Thursday night. He has fought the good fight and finished the course very well. I cannot tell you how much I love and respect that man. He leaves such a rich legacy and Christ-like example with so many lives that he touched. His funeral and reception afterwards was one of the most worshipful and celebratory funerals I have ever attended. Truly, nothing could be exaggerated about Max Thornhill.
Please pray for Debbie, her sisters and her mother. They dearly loved their father and husband, and will miss him terribly. Only the grace of God can fill the void he leaves.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

DOXOLOGY - Praise God!

We had unexpected great news today. I called my Oncologist to inquire about trying to get to her to see my father-in-law. (He is in ICU in the hospital at Brookhaven, MS being treated for double pneumonia. Pray that God would enable his body to heal up enough to continue his cancer treatments, and if they should move to UAB or not.) But they told me "Congratulations on the good news!" They proceeded to tell that the pathology report was just posted on their system, and it all came back CANCER FREE! The one swollen lymph node was totally necrotic (dead tissue). All the others came back benign with no indication of cancer!

We are so blessed and overwhelmed with thanksgivings and praise. Although it would be true even if I had not received this news, this just magnifies in my spirit and soul in an experiential and very sweet way the truth of Isaiah 30:18-19: Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. [19] O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.

Please join us in praising Him for His grace, compassion and mercy on me and my family! THANK YOU for your faithfulness in praying for us. Rejoice that He has used YOU and your prayers to bless us and accomplish His will!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Great is His Faithfulness!

We are SO thankful and full of praise for God's mercy and grace! Surgery on Wednesday went much better than expected! I had a selective neck dissection on my right side to remove the lymph nodes and surrounding tissues as a precaution against recurring cancer in them; (since the enlarged lymph node on that side never did return to normal). The plan was to remove three of the four layers of lymph nodes and tissue. When Dr. Magnuson got in there, things looked good enough that he deemed it necessary to remove only two of the four! It is normal for one to have multiple drains left in for four or so days afterwards to drain off the bleeding and fluids. I only have one, and my drainage has been much less than expected so far. He also inspected my throat and found no traces of the tumor or cancer visible! My throat was just still quite irritated from the radiation. I have an appointment on Monday to have the drain removed, and then another checkup with him on Thursday. The pathology reports on the tissues removed should be back before the appointment on Thursday, so we expect to receive that report then also. But Dr. Magnuson said that regardless of that, I should be "through" with surgery! (If the report is totally clear, then there was no viable cancer in that area; if if comes back that some was present, then the surgery should have gotten it.)

I am feeling OK, and have not developed any of the morbidity or problems often assoicated with this invasive surgery. My shoulder is still working fine (often damaged in this procedure), and the swelling is very little. I do LOOK quite a sight with a 7" incision on my neck and a drain out of it. Between that and my PEG feeding tube hole in my stomach that resembles a bullet wound, I should be able to get respect in any "biker bar!" I am quite sore, and my throat is more irritated due to the tube inserted in surgery.

So please pray for recovery to continue at the good pace it has been. Pray for my saliva to return to help me eat, and for my throat to heal soon to enable me to eat more normally and gain my weight back. Pray that the swelling in the neck does not increase, and even that it might decrease some. Pray for a good report from pathology, and for the cancer to stay gone! Pray for continued clear scans in the days to come. Pray that God would receive many praises and thanksgivings for His great blessings upon me and my family! And thank each of you for your prayers! I feel so blessed in so many ways - I feel like I have finally passed some key point in recovery and that the rest of it can now be constant improvement, I feel like God has so richly showered me with unusual blessings that I don't deserve, and having the overwhelming love and support of so many is certainly one of my greatest blesings! I love you all!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What's next

We saw Dr. Magnasun on Thursday and agreed that we would proceed with surgery. This is to remove several layers of lymph nodes on the right side of his neck. Surgery should take about 2 1/2 hours. He will be in the hospital for one night and recovery time is about ten days. It is scheduled for Wednesday. We will be informed of the exact time later today. Also, the feeding tube was removed on Thursday, so Aaron has been eating 100% by mouth. Although it is "work" to swallow, the nausea factor has decreased greatly. We were grateful to be able to spend the Fourth at the beach with family. It was such an encouragement for him as he enjoyed a return to "normalcy" (i.e. life without the limitations of a feeding tube).

We covet your prayers concerning surgery and recovery.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Monday we had the long-awatied CT scan. Praise the Lord for no tumors!!
Everything looks good, according to drs. One thing that did show up on the scan was the infamous necrotic lymph node. Although it measures less than half of what it did, it is still obvious on the scan. However, neither dr. could find it upon external examination. We will see the surgeon on Thursday and get his take...which will undoubtedly be to continue with surgery as planned on next Wed. This seems to be standard procedure for this kind of thing. We think he will also take out the feeding tube during surgery. Although Aaron does not want to go through surgery, we are still very grateful for answered prayer in the success of treatment. Please pray for wisdom for Dr. Magnasun and us as we see him on Thursday.

Also, my Dad is out of the hospital and feeling much stronger!!! He will meet with his oncologist tomorrow and decide about further treatment.

As always, we love and appreciate you and your prayerful concern.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Since last post, God has been faithful to answer prayer. Aaron began to feel better last Thursday evening and Friday was able to swallow a Nexium caspsule, which has helped tremendously! Apparently, he does have something going on (maybe an ulcer?) in his stomach. Hopefully, we will find out this week after drs. visit on Thursay. We are very grateful for this turn around. He has not thrown up since Thursday and has had much less nausea. He is swallowing more and more little bits of food. Throat pain continues to be about the same, but hopefully that will improve now that he is not vomiting all the time.

Please pray for my Dad. He is not doing very well. He went toTulsa for a chemo treatment, but was unable to because his counts are so low. He is in the hospital and has pnuemonia. Please pray that his body will have strength to fight and also, for my Mother.

I was encouraged by a card we received recently with excerpts from the following devotional.

"In the shadow of His hand He hid me; He made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in His quiver." Is 49:2

In the "shadow"___ each of us must go there sometimes. It maybe the shadow of the sickroom, the shadowed house of grief, or the shadowed life where the sunlight has departed.
But fear not! It is the shadow of God's hand. He is leading you, and there are lessons that can be learned only where He leads. The photograph of His face can only be developed in the dark room. But do not assume that He has pushed you aside. You are still "in His quiver." He has not thrown you away as something worthless. He is only keeping you nearby till the moment comes when He can send you quickly and confidently on some mission what will bring Him glory. O shadowed, isolated, one remember how closely the quiver is tied to the warrior. It is always within easy reach of His hand and jealously protected. F.B. Meyer