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!
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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!!!

The Journey

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!

The History

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.

The Present

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.

The Message

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!