Reflections on Easter

Here is the latest from Rich!

Reflections on Easter

Wow! I’m glad March 2010 is over. I’m really looking forward to the balance of this year. Three quarters, nine action-packed months, 273 days, however we look at 2010, twenty-five percent of this year is gone. Time is a funny thing. Sometimes it seems slow, short, not enough or too much. Circumstances often effect my perspective on time. Recovering from these cancer surgeries has given me extra time to just think and reflect. Being still and patient is not easy for me (or most people I know).

As my family and I look forward to this year’s Easter celebration weekend, I’ve been thinking about God’s process of really glorifying Himself throughout the Old and New Testament. He creates a scenario that appears to be a death or a near-death experience to then reveal a miracle of life. Jonah and the whale, Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:12), Moses and the Red Sea and Lazarus (John 11:4) come to mind. Then the biggest miracle of all, God’s plan to save the entire world required His own son to die to pay for the sins of the whole world (Good Friday, Luke 23:46). Three days later, surprise, not dead, alive (Luke 24:6)! What appeared to be the end, death and tragedy, God turned into the most incredible demonstration of His love for all of His children (us, you and me).

So, what does this have to do with my cancer journey (Day 23)? Well, God has allowed part of me to die (facial nerves, neck muscles, lymph nodes, etc.). Some pride has been cut away and my perspective on the “future/time” is markedly different in a way that I could never have imagined without this cancer journey. These scars and paralysis will always remind me that God is absolutely in control of my plans and my every breath (and yours too dear friends).

As I continue to walk out this journey with fear and excitement, I hope to honor and please the Lord. Thank you for following my story, I look forward to the next chapter.

Happy Easter friends! Celebrate both the crucified and alive Jesus.

Press on, Rich

He said it so I don’t have too!  God is Great!

March Madness

Here is the latest directly from Rich:

This morning is the third surgery in 19 days. Left eye surgery is scheduled to begin at 7:00am at Mease Dunedin Hospital, Dr. Morgan, technically as an outpatient procedure. It should result in improved vision and better/tighter closing at night. They will also remove the staples from my neck!
God is teaching me a lot about submission, what He values most and trusting in Him alone.
Thankfully, my family and I have been blessed by generous support from our friends/family at Digital Lightbridge, church and throughout our community. Thank you seems inadequate, but thank you all! Your notes, calls, visits, food and flowers are a HUGE encouragement to the entire Hayes family. We’ll try to update again post-op and before radiation begins. Ironically, my surgery wants me to gain about 15lbs. I’ve lost 60lbs. intentionally. Ice cream, sweet tea, oatmeal cookies and sushi here I come. No rabbit food for awhile!
Love, Rich
I’ll leave it at that… Press On!

God was at work when???

Good morning!  I got this yesterday from Lisa:

Today is the kind of weather that Rich loves lots of thunder,lightning and rain. Today has been a good day. Rich’s sister came for lunch and Rich was able to visit and eat with her before heading to bed. It’s a great day to nap, so he is resting well.

The pain meds have been working well as long as he doesn’t go more than 5 hours. Here’s where we need your prayer, nothing allowed after midnight tonight for tomorrow surgery. Yikes!

Tomorrow’s surgery is pretty cool in a thank God this exsists kind of way…  Rich can not properly close his eye due to the nerve being removed. His ability to blink is permanately gone. During the day he puts artifical tears in every two hours and at night he currently has to put in an eye lube and tape it closed so he can go longer than 2 hours. Tomorrow he will have a gold weight placed in eyelid so he can close it at night- no more tape or lube, ahhh, that will have to feel great! He will also have a brow lift to open his vision up where the eye drooping is causing his vision to be blocked. The Dr. will use an exsisting eyebrow scar that Rich got when he was 15-God was working even then for this season. How great is that!

Isn’t it cool how God “Presses On” even when we don’t know it? Hmm…

Homeward Bound!!!

Here is the latest update from Lisa:

Rich will be discharged soon. I can’t wait to get him home! He is still in a lot of pain and sleeping most of time however it should be manageable with the meds. We are so thankful for all of the calls,cards,visits, flowers and most importantly the prayers! Wow-you are all so wonderful! Rich will be having another surgery on Monday at Mease Dunedin. My plan is to get him home this afternoon and right back to sleep. He has to rest for Mondays surgery. Radiation has been put off an extra week due to how invasive this weeks surgery was and Rich has to gain about 15 lbs before it can start.
So thankful to be taking him home. We are going to have some excited boys!

God keeps answering prayers!  Keep ’em coming while you continue to…

Press On!

Going Home???

Went to see Rich today.  He looks great considering all he has been through and doesn’t seem to be in too much pain.  The hope is that he will be able to come home today.  Keep praying!

Lisa said that the Dr.’s removed all lymph nodes on the left side of Rich’s neck as well as any muscle tissue that looked like it had been infected with the cancer – down to the microscopic level.  They are all pretty confident that they got as much as humanly possible.  Anything that is left they will eliminate through radiation which is expected to begin next week.  Radiation normally does not produce any side effects but in this case, there will be some because the cancer is located in the neck/head region.  There will be 40 radiation treatments.  After the first 20 are finished, Rich will have a PET scan to see if there is any remaining cancer.  If there is, they will also begin chemotherapy at that time.

All in all – everything right now is looking positive.  Keep praying!

Again – Thank you to everyone for your comments.  They are very encouraging words to Rich and Lisa.  It is very reassuring to them to know that you are all on their side (not that you wouldn’t be) and that you are interceding with our Heavenly Father on their behalf.

We can’t wait until Rich can do his own blog entries and say…

Press On!

Another Update…

Here is the oldest update from Lisa:

Rich has been running a 101.9 fever since about 2pm. The Dr. says this is not normal.
Please pray that this goes down…
On a praise- Rich got out of bed for about 5 minute walk. He was so tired after, but it was great to see.
He was finally starting to really sleep as I left tonight.
He has a full day of visitors, 25 to be extact! He is very loved. We are so thankful for all of your love, prayes and support! You are all wonderful Brothers and Sisters in the Lord and this is a true example of fellowship and serving each other in Christ’s Love.

And then this update is from about 10:00 a.m. this morning:

Thankfully Rich’s temp is now normal. When I came in this morning he sat in a chair for a little while-what a great site! It’s surreal to be on the cancer floor however a really neat thing is every time a baby is born a baby tune plays. What a wonderful reminder that God is good!

And this update is from about 4 hours ago.

Rich was just moved to a private room and a Rich sized bed-so wonderful!!! Now on to the food huddle. He has to eat before he can leave and be able be to swallow pills.

So… Things are looking up for our friend Mr. Rich!  Let’s keep praying that God does his thing.  Haven’t heard anything about the Doctor’s report yet, but as soon as we do, we’ll get something posted.

Your words of encouragement have been a great blessing to Rich, Lisa, and the boys.  Keep them coming and…

Press On!

Surgery Update

This is from Lisa:

All went as expected last night-Thank You Lord! Rich is in a lot of pain but is being a trooper. When I came in this morning he was praying for our foster son’s court case this afternoon. So, true to form Rich had his mind on others and the Lord. He is finally starting to doze so the pain must be getting under control. Expecting the Dr soon. Thank you for your prayers.

So, that being said and God being who he is, let’s all give God a great big shout of praise!!! Woot, Woot!

As soon as we have information on the Dr.’s report, we will let you know. Keep praying and…

Press on!!!