Does Jesus really love you? Does your heart matter to him? Please allow me to assure you that the answer is yes!
On Tuesday, March 14th, 2023, I took Miss Toni (my wife of 33 years) to the local clinic in our hometown of Belmont, Mississippi because she had a persistent cough. The idea was to visit MMA clinic to get some antibiotics and cough syrup. The reason I am even writing this is so that you, the reader, can determine for yourself if Jesus still cares about you, will help you, and is concerned with your well-being. In my opinion, he is still in the miracle business, but often we fail to even see what he does because we ask for a specific thing and he gives us something else. Why? Because he knows what we truly need.
Miss Toni was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2020. The cancer is the very aggressive sort and has been a challenge to deal with. She did the double mastectomy, reconstruction, removal of the reconstruction, etc., and the cancer has continued to come back. Now, it is in her spine and ribs.
She has chemo every Friday now with other treatments in between Fridays. She has developed a sort of “rhythm” and deals with it pretty well most weeks. Approximately four weeks ago she developed a cough. She thought it was just a side effect of the chemo. Turns out it was not.
Toni has bone cancer now which means if she falls there are all kinds of problems. That being said, when we got to the clinic she had no fever nor had she had one at all in the days prior. She was very weak and coughing so I walked her into the clinic and the staff took her right into a room. The nurse had her sit up on the table to examine her. The nurse was on her right and I was on her left with my arm around her. The nurse asked what kind of medicines she could tolerate and Toni said to me “I don’t feel good.”. At that point her eyes went up and to the right and she became non-responsive with her eyes open. The nurse immediately alerted the staff to call an ambulance and the entire team came in to pray for her. Miss Tammy was at Toni’s feet praying earnestly for about 4 minutes until Toni came back to us. It is my belief that this prayer from this great staff at the clinic is what started the move of God. So #1, Toni fainted in a safe environment where she could not fall and get hurt.
We got her in the ambulance and headed to North Mississippi Medical Center since that is where her cancer treatment takes place. I had argued to go to Iuka or Red Bay hospitals since we thought it was just dehydration. God knew better. 45 minutes later she was wheeled directly into a room where she would be tested for all sorts of things. So #2, Miss Toni did not have to wait in the crowded lobby and get cooties from someone using the ER as a clinic.
The doctors and nurses were very busy but they did an xray which showed no pneumonia or other issues. Her lungs seemed clear. Her temperature was normal as expected. They ran a CT which showed nothing abnormal. They ran a CT with contrast to be safe. That came back and it showed us that her cancer had spread to her skull.
This was hard news to hear, but we weren’t really surprised. We felt bad for the doctor and staff that had to deliver the news and it was sad that our youngest daughter Monique had to be in the room to hear that news but we all took it as best we could and looked forward to getting home. Hours later she was still weak and seemed to get close to passing out again a few times but never did. A nurse came in and told us she was going to take her IV out and check her temp one last time and then let us go home. #3 – She checked the temperature first and found that it had risen by one degree, just enough for them to say “We are admitting you due to your condition.” Thank God for that nurse, and for that single minute and single degree in temp. That started the ball rolling to finding out what was really wrong.
Later on we were moved into a room around 5:30 or 6:00 pm. She coughed all night, miserable and tired.
The next morning they ran another xray, a CT, and an MRI. This time it came back that she did indeed have pneumonia in both lungs, her white cell count was down to “1” and she had two tumors on her brain on the left side. #4 – Thank God for doctors that are persistent. If I understand it correctly, our white blood cells need hydration to do their job. If you are dehydrated and have low white blood cells… well, that ain’t good. There is nothing to show up on the xrays or scans because the cells have no fluids to use as defenses for your body. A good lesson is drink lots of water!! (Note: I am not a doctor so don’t take anything I say as medical advice.)
Her Oncology doctor, Dr. “W” came in late that night and told us that they had found two tumors on the left side of her brain but that Dr. “R” thinks he can treat them in just one radiation treatment. #5 – What we thought would be a long painful series of treatments turned out to be done in one painless visit. Thank God for advances in medicine. Thursday morning they wheeled her down and did that since they were small. She passed out again while we were there but at least she didn’t have to endure multiple radiations.
On Sunday she had gone three days without fever and her white cell count was up above 5 so they let her go home. We were so thankful for the doctors and nurses at the hospital and ask God to bless them all for their consistent kindness, smiles, and help.
Had she not had that cough she would likely have fallen without me and the nurse to support her. She would most likely have had to wait in the ER waiting room and would have not known she had pneumonia until it was too late. She would not have known of the tumors until it was too late to treat them and would not have found out early that the cancer had spread. She was given more time with us because a God that cares about us all navigated this whole thing before we even new the problem existed.
Praise and honor be to Jesus Christ for navigating this for us so that we have a few more memories with Miss Toni. Thank you Lord Jesus, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.
Latest update… Toni’s family came in last Thursday to visit her, so we will call that #6. Vicki, Annette, Jenna and her Mom and Dad, Karen and Kenny Patterson flew in to spend some time with her. That afternoon we found out via bone scan that the cancer has spread to other ribs, the pelvis, and her femur. That is tough news, but she is still smiling and still happy to see every smiling face.
Please continue to pray for her, and if you can do so, for me as well, that I can be the person she needs me to be. We pray daily to see with the eyes of Jesus, hear with the ears of Jesus, and love with the heart of Jesus. We appreciate you for who you are. God bless and keep you in Jesus’s name.
“Look for the God winks!”
9 Apr, 2023