This morning I had a conversation with Rich and he asked me to share the following things with you. I pray that God would allow me to communicate clearly the hope and excitement (yes – I said excitement) that Rich is feeling at this time.
Again I remind you to please use this blog as your official information source regarding all of God’s work within the Hayes Family. Thanks!
It was about 8 months ago that Rich wanted to surprise a friend and take him skydiving. After doing a little research and calling the skydiving location for more information, he was told that 285 pound guys play football and 150 pound guys skydive. Ouch. That served as a wake up call for Rich. He knew that 1Corinthians 6:19-20 said that his body was a temple of the Holy Spirit. Time to get healthy!
Within the first few days of March 2010 Rich had someone mention to him something about a lump on his face. Rich knew it was there but hadn’t really thought much about it but since he was trying to be healthier, he went to get it checked out. First the dentist, then an Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor (ENT).
The ENT sent Rich for an MRI which revealed a tumor on the salivary gland on the left side of his face. This wasn’t something common but 95% of these are really nothing.
On March 10, 2010 Rich went in to the have the tumor removed in what was supposed to be a procedure that would last about an hour. 5 hours later, the surgeon had removed the salivary gland, some lymph nodes, and the left facial nerve as these all were infected with cancer. The removal of the nerve resulted in the left side of Rich’s face being paralyzed and an incision that goes from above his left ear to the mid-point of his neck.
Rich had a PET scan of his hole body, “Head to toe” in Rich’s terms, done Wednesday, March 17, 2010 to see if there was any remaining cancer in his body. On Friday, March 19th, 2010 he was given the results. The good news: there was some remaining cancer and it was ONLY contained in the neck and head. The bad news: It was in the neck and the head. The type of cancer is Carcinoma Ex Pleomorphic Adenoma. Of that 5% above where the tumor might be something, this is 1% of that 5% that get this type of cancer. In other words – this is EXTREMELY rare. This is stage 4 cancer because of how much it has spread and the size of the original tumor.
In a consultation with the original surgeon yesterday, March 22, 2010 it was decided that Rich would have surgery TODAY, March 23, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. The procedure is called a “Neck Ectomy”. As a part of this procedure, Rich will have all lymph nodes on the left side of his neck removed along with all muscles which contain the cancer.
It is expected that Rich will be in the hospital for 2-3 days following the procedure. This procedure is expected to remove 90% of the cancer with the remaining 10% being eliminated through radiation treatment which will begin at the end of next week and continue for 6-8 weeks.
On Monday, March 29, 2010, Rich will also have a small procedure done on the left side of his face. Due to the left side of his face being paralyzed, Rich’s brow is already beginning to droop over his eye so he will have a brow lift done to help alleviate that. He will also have a small gold weight implanted into his left eyelid so that he is able to close his eye while he sleeps at night. Being paralyzed, his left eye is unable to blink and is open at all times. Eye drops are applied hourly to keep the eye moist.
Very directly Rich stated, “God is in control and I am not. I always have believed that but until you go through something like this, it is hard to make it real. Romans 8:18-28 , in a nutshell, states that our present sufferings are nothing compared to the glory that will one day be revealed to us in Heaven. The Holy Spirit will help us in our moment of weakness and all things work for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was afraid or upset. I am also very excited. I know that sounds like a weird word to use right now because we have no clue as to what lies on the other side of this and that is what is exciting”
Rich was very upbeat and cannot wait to see how God will be glorified through all of this, no matter what the end result may be.
His hope and faith in God are only strengthened when he looks back at how God revealed to Rich that he was to start a business that would help ministries. Today, 9 years later, one third of Digital Lightbridge‘s business is giving their services to ministries FREE OF CHARGE! A little over 2 years ago God very clearly sent a message to the Hayes family that their son Chandler was to go on a mission trip Australia. Through lots of prayer, Rich and Lisa were able to release their 12 year old son to God, allowing Chandler to grow closer to the Lord and assist in ministering to the Australian people. Then, 15 months ago while praying and asking “What’s next?”, God gave a foster son to Rich and Lisa, allowing them to pour out their hearts to a little boy who so badly needed the type of love that on Rich, Lisa, and the boys could give to him. Rich has seen God do amazing things in his life and expects nothing less through this!
The Wrap Up
As for business… nothing changes. It’s business as usual. The Digital Lightbridge team can make everything happen. Rich fully expects to be back in the office in a couple of weeks.
Please be praying for the Hayes family. For peace that passes all understanding. For strength to fight through all of the emotions they are experiencing. For healing through the hands of the Almighty Father. For rest. For Chandler, Mitchell, and foster son – their emotions, their childlike hearts, and their faith in Christ.
As updates are available – they will be posted here in as timely manor as possible. Again, we ask that all communications be funneled through the Comments section of this blog in order to consolidate and centralize your notes.
So as the Hayes family encounters this journey, let me encourage you with Rich’s words… Press On!