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Showing posts from September, 2012

Update: Back to normal for a few days ...

Yeah, I know the question you want to ask ... Define "normal?"

Normal for a Sunday is leaving the house around 7 AM, and head to the Sonic in Grapevine for breakfast, arriving at the downtown campus in time for our worship run-through meeting at 8 AM. Then do my part, as I am scheduled, in the morning services.

It all went good this morning, but I have to admit that I was tired when I got home after lunch. Greeting everyone who wanted to talk, visit, offer prayer or other types of support before and after services both charged me up, but tired me out.

You see, I am supposed to be the care giver ... the one asking "how are you doing?" That's my job here at FUMC-Grapevine, and it's the thing as a pastor that I do far better than most and not as good as some. As I was being cared for, I saw others I wanted to care for. The tension between the two can wear you out.

One thing I do know, and am very proud of, us that we have one of, if not the best pastoral sta…

Update: Home, getting ready for part 2 ...

We arrived home yesterday. There is something to be said about sleeping in your own bed for the first time in over 2 weeks, and taking a shower in the bathroom designed for someone my height.

One neat thing about this trip was our seeing several rainbows. Don't know about you, but rainbows for me are very spiritual, and always a sign of hope and the active presence of God. The picture below was the closest we have ever been to a complete rainbow, meaning we saw both ends and the complete bow between. It was brilliant, far more so than this picture can show. We were on the road leading out of Taos back to Angel Fire.

We saw another rainbow on Interstate 40 on Thursday afternoon, as we drove through a big thunderstorm with rain, very high wind, and a ton of small, slushy hail. I swear that the end of the rainbow came down into the hood of our car. I could have touched it, if such a thing is even possible. Just a very awesome God moment.

As I reflect some this morning, I feel …

Update: Understanding the need to reconnect

I've posted recently about coming to the mountains and desert of New Mexico for some healing time after my diagnosis of thyroid cancer following surgery to remove a tumor in my neck. Healing has occurred here as a result in mind, heart, body and spirit.

Something else has happened as well. I find that I have reconnected with the feeling and rhythm of what some call "nature," or "Mother Earth," or God's creation. Apparently there had been a disconnect that I wasn't aware of.

Keeping in connection with a natural rhythm in the greater DGW area has always been hard for me. There is such a fast pace of life, a constant hustle and bustle of going here and going there. What is most disconcerting for me is the constant "white noise" that drowns out the important still small voices from within. It numbs me in such a way that I sometimes miss those wonderfully tender "ah ha" moments that God quietly provides for us many times each day.

Now I…

Update: A world of good

Today is the final full day at Philmont. This week has done me a world of good ... Mind, body, heart and soul. As of this morning, I have walked 81,000 steps, according to my official UMC Pastor's step-counter, since my arrival here last Saturday, with no I'll effect. Not bad for less than 3 weeks out from surgery #1. I have over 8,000 steps so far today. Perhaps 100,000 steps by the end of tomorrow?? It's going to be close.

Yep, this experience has done me a world of good, caring for all the faculty and conference attendees and Philmont staff ... Being outside, walking a lot, leading chapel services, playing guitar and singing, eating right and drinking mostly water. No soreness, no aches or pains. And I haven't thought or worried about upcoming surgery #2 and iodine treatments to follow, or having thyroid cancer in particular.

A world of good indeed!

I'm going to be ok!

God's grace still amazes me ... ><>

Update: Prayers working ....

Wednesday afternoon here at Philmont.  Staff have the afternoon off as the conference participants have family / free time this afternoon.

I usually have around 4500 steps by lunch time.  5100 steps today.  If my math is right, I will have very close to 100,000 steps for this week.  And ... I feel just fine.

In fact, how I am feeling makes me wonder that prayers from everyone are working, because I haven't given much thought to my having thyroid cancer, or about my 2nd surgery in October, or the radioactive iodine treatments that follow for several days now.

I call that a blessing.

Thanks everyone, especially for the prayers of comfort and peace. Please "keep'em coming."

God's grace still amazes me ... ><>

"Comments" and various other updates . . .

FYI . . . I "moderate" all comments that come to my blog.  That means it may take a while until I check them. I think the comments link should be working better now, as several reported through the Church Office that their comments were not being accepted.

If any problems, please let the Church Office know, and they will contact me, and I will see what I can do. 

Now, as for walking . . .

Yesterday, Sunday, 9/16/12, began my week of service as the Chaplain at the Philmont Scout Ranch.  I put in . . . (drum roll please) . . . 18,885 steps, according to my official UMC Clergy step counter.  And, I woke up this morning with no adverse effects, and feel OK.

Today, for some reason, I seem to have more energy . . . perhaps acclimated somewhat to the elevation.  It's not quite 2 PM here and I have 9054 steps.

Folks, if you just basically want to feel better  . . . and there are no underlying health issues that prohibit you from doing so . . . there are really only two things…

Update: Getting a few things figured out . . .

Well, New Mexico has been a blessing so far.  Philmont is beautiful with more wildlife than last year.  They could use some rain.  Couldn't we all. I hear we are getting some back home.

In the course of reconnecting with folk we meet here last year, it turns out that I am:

1) not the only person dealing with a type of cancer, and
2) people who have survived cancer are quick to come visit with you and offer you the kind of support that only those have experienced cancer can offer.

Same thing happened last Friday when the e-Blast from the church went out .... Some of the first emails and texts I received (and I received around 50 on Friday) were from people in our church family who also have thyroid cancer, and from those who have had thyroid cancer.

The key message from their messages to me, which Liz and I have drawn much hope is .... "It's treatable!  You will get over this!!

My doctor told me the same thing.  But to my knowledge, he has never had thyroid cancer.  But h…

Dear family and friends . . .

The following notice will be sent out to all church members on Friday, 9/14/12.

Thus begins a journey I do not want to travel . . . but because of family, friends and faith, we will see it through.

I will be updating my journey of dealing with thyroid cancer through this blog.  So check in to find out the latest updates.  This will hopefully reduce the number of emails and texts I have to deal with on a daily basis, at least through October.

I appreciate you all.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

September 14, 2012

Dear Church Members and friends,
As many of you are aware, I had a recent surgical procedure, which was to remove the left side of my thyroid because of a solid mass that was found to be growing on it.This past Tuesday my doctor called to let me know that the final pathology report indicated I have thyroid cancer.As a result, I will have another surgery in early October to remove the remainder of my thyroid, fol…

Thanks for prayers, notes and calls . . .

This past Thursday, I had a surgical procedure at a local hospital to remove a mass from the left side of my neck.  All went well, with the exception of the procedure taking twice as long as expected.

What is hard to deal with about all of this is I:

-Can't sing for a week
-Can't lift for a week
-My energy level isn't near back yet
-I "tweaked" my lower back my first time out yesterday
-Can't drive for a week
-Pretty much have to stay at home and wait on the frozen section path report.

Could be worse . . .

This all came about in part because of my recent weight loss (55 pounds). I've gone from wearing 4XL Tall shirts to XL Tall shirts . . . in the process of my neck shrinking from fat to skinny, we saw and I felt the lump that ended up a lot bigger than the doctor thought or ultra-sound showed.   Anyway, it's gone now, and I am recovering from the surgery process and hospital stay.

Again, thanks for all the warm responses.  Philmont is next week, and …