Angi has been a little ill – digestive difficulties – since January and it got bad enough that she went to the doctor early last week. They did some blood tests and a CT scan Friday, 2/15. The preliminary diagnosis we got the next day from the scan is pancreatic cancer – a golfball-sized tumor near the bottom of the pancreas, and unfortunately, signs that it has spread to the liver.
The prognosis for this type of cancer is never good, and life expectancy if caught early is usually about nine to twelve months – less if other organs are affected.
She will see an oncologist in Asheville Thursday, one who specializes in this type of cancer, and we’ll know more then.
This has been a shock for all of us, and we have been informing family members and friends. It has been especially difficult for our 16-year-old daughter Laura, who has been battling depression for some months. The day Angi’s scan was taken, we were admitting Laura to the local hospital’s ER for a comprehensive evaluation. We agreed (including Laura) with the evaluating team that she needed to be placed temporarily at a hospital which specializes in treating depression, and one of us was with her at the ER 24 hours a day until a bed opened up Monday evening 2/18, just 3-1/2 hours away. We have taken her there, and she’ll be in that program to help restart her life about 5-7 days.
I preached Sunday morning and longed to explain to our church family at Sylva why I was so earnestly seeking their prayers, but I couldn’t until we had been able to tell extended family – our moms, kids, sisters and Angi’s cousins – and a few working colleagues. Each one of our church family respected that, and prayed in faith that God knew what was best for us and would provide.
That’s what we’re asking from all of you: prayers of faith. Be as specific as you want to be in your prayers, but we really need two miracles. I’ve only asked for a miracle once before – my dad’s recovery from a heart episode and coma at age 66, 20 years ago. God didn’t answer as my family and I had hoped or asked at that time, but we still believe in His limitless power and desire for what is best for us.
Thank you in advance for your grace in doing this. We may not be able to respond to every kind word you send while we try to cluster our far-flung family in prayer and hope. But please know how much we appreciate your prayers, love and well-wishes.