In reading through the archives of Hugh's News about Thanksgiving in November 2011, here is what I had written:
On Tuesday morning, November 22, as I was reading my Bible in our family room, Stephanie asked me to read the Bible out loud. I was reading Isaiah 58 which is about fasting, but it goes far beyond that to speak to us about our relationship with others and our ministry of compassion and love to them. In verse 8 the verse reads like this, "Your healing shall spring forth speedily." It goes on to say, "And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer: You shall cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'" Stephanie received that Word with assurance that God is working in her body to bring about healing.
Later on Tuesday morning, Stephanie had to be admitted to Athens Regional Medical Center. Stephanie received two units of blood. She is on the oncology floor and in room 2206. She looked much better after she received the blood. Her white blood count was down as well as blood pressure and hemoglobin. She was losing blood and the urologist planned to do procedure called a cystoscopy on Wednesday at high noon to see what is blocking the urethral tubes from the kidneys to the bladder. Stephanie could not eat or drink any thing after 3 a. m. on Wednesday. She has lost more than 13 pounds since she had begun her chemotherapy three weeks ago.
Melvine came home Tuesday night to get a good night of rest and sleep. I am not sure she slept very much because of her concern for Stephanie. I took her and Greg out to supper at our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Fiesta. Joyce Hawkins, a friend of ours from our church in Athens stayed with Stephanie at the hospital all night until Wednesday morning. She is a school teacher in Jackson County, GA. Greg took Melvine back to the hospital on Wednesday morning. I arrived at the hospital before 11 a. m.
Actually the surgical procedure did not begin until 3:15 p. m. Shortly after the surgery, the oncologist called Stephanie's room. Here is what he said. "There were no stones in the bladder, no cancer nor any mass. The bladder was highly inflamed. He had to insert stints in the tubes from the bladder to the two kidneys to open them up. He has inserted a catheter in the bladder to drain the fluids, along with saline IV's to flush the kidneys and bladder." It is yet to be determined the high powered chemotherapy caused these complications.
They may have to adjust that. But I am not the doctor. They will know what to do as God guides them.
Melvine is staying with Stephanie tonight (Wednesday) at the hospital. We hope Stephanie can come home on Thanksgiving Day, but we don't know for sure. We are blessed to have Stephanie with us, and we praise God for her life, testimony, her ministry to children, and her ministry in music at her church in Athens. She has been a joy to Melvine and me all of her life, and has never caused us any grief or problems. She accepted Jesus when she was six years old and has lived for Jesus all her life. Melvine led her to the Lord one Sunday night after church when we lived in Stone Mountain, GA, when I was in graduate school, paid for by the Air Force.
Stephanie's pastor (Cornerstone Church of God in Athens, GA), Scott Sheppard, and her minister of music and choir director, Lance Brooks (actually worship and arts), paid a visit and had prayer with Stephanie, Melvine and me. Later, just before surgery, our pastor (Christian Life Worship Center--formerly Tarkenton Memorial Church) J. Brian Williams, came to visit Stephanie and prayed with her and us. Stan and Marilyn Strickland who have served our church at the organ and piano for many years came to visit.
After the surgery, Stephanie's nurse from Dr. Vrana's office, Nurse Lynn, came for a visit. Stephanie loves this nurse and she loves Stephanie. She has been her nurse for some 10 years.Then, Dr. Joyce Thomas, a noted dermatologist, came to visit. She is a very special friend of our family. Many called, and when I came home, I had some 60 e-mails and 9 missed calls on our home phone, but were recorded on our answering service.
We praise God for good doctors, nurses, corpsmen, and techs who are taking good care of her. We are grateful for the excellent medical attention they have provided for Stephanie.
In it all, we are learning that our lives are to be mastered by faith in God Who is Sovereign and knows what is best for us. That statement includes faith in His Holy Word, The Bible, the sole authority for our faith and conduct in this life, and the blueprint for salvation, our daily walk with God, and eternal life. Our faith is to be illuminated by hope that will help us make the bridge from today to tomorrow, and in our activity of love with fellow believers in the church, we discover our strength that is anchored in the God of the ages.
We believe God's Word, and our trust is in God Almighty and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and we are continually being filled with the Holy Spirit.
We want to thank all of you for praying for Stephanie and us during these days of Stephanie's bout with liver cancer. We are trusting God to heal her and see her through once again.
We wish you all a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Let us all count our blessings.