O Worship the King
Hal’s oncologist visit and chemo went very well Friday. His immune system was nearly twice as strong as it had been at the last visit! We are so grateful for your prayers, God’s mercy is the only answer. The doctor was encouraging and laid out the next steps for us:
Hal will get chemo on April 2nd and then on April 19th while we are in Missouri. We are doing a Midwest speaking tour in April that will find us in Kansas City and then in Springfield, MO. We are so grateful for the Porters who are loaning us their house and the Cox health system in Springfield that has been wonderful in welcoming Hal to do chemo there. Please pray for health and strength as we share God’s Word and encouragement with folks at these conferences – we have a pretty grueling schedule, but we’re greatly looking forward to it.
On April 30th, Hal will get a PET scan that will tell us finally where we stand. There are three alternatives:
1 – The cancer hasn’t responded to the chemo: Immediately prepare for a stem cell transplant (not the controversial kind). They’ll remove Hal’s own stem cells/bone marrow and treat it to kill the cancer and store it. Meanwhile, he’ll receive high dose, drastic chemo to kill all his immune system. Then they’ll give him back his own cells to rebuild it. Not where we want to go.
2 – The cancer has partially responded: We’ll immediately add in high dose radiation to help kill the cancer.
3 – The cancer appears to be all dead: Hal will do two more months of the same chemo he’s been on, then receive half-dose radiation to the tumor site behind his breastbone. This is what we are asking the Lord to do – let Hal have complete response!
In the meantime, we are still doing all of the alternative things as well — and they seem to be helping his immune system recover. Hal has had remarkably few symptoms from the chemo — the Lord is answering your prayers! He is showing a pattern, though of feeling very sick two days after the chemo with stomach cramps, upset and exhaustion. Yesterday, he stayed in the bed all day – most unusual for him.
We’re thankful he felt great Saturday, though, when we had a party to celebrate our fourth son’s becoming a young adult. We had a turkey shoot and cookout and invited godly men in his life to share their wisdom with him. It was an incredible time and Hal stood up all day running the turkey shoot and grilling. God is so good!
Hal’s feeling better today, but Seth and David woke up vomiting during the night last night. Please pray that no one else, and especially not Hal, will get sick! I am feeling pretty overwhelmed today. I know that God is still sovereign and He has a purpose for allowing all of this. May we glorify Him through it!
You have no idea how much your love, gifts, prayers, and notes of encouragement mean to us. I don’t know how we’d make it without you! Thank you especially for spreading the word about our book – it helps us tremendously!
With much love,
O Worship the King
O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.
O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.
The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
Established it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.
Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.
Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.
O measureless might! Ineffable love!
While angels delight to worship Thee above,
The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise.