No Vacation For Cancer

Try this on for size: oligodendroglioma. Some will know it immediately. [Becky Bascom, know it?] Others? Not a chance.

Unfortunately Diane and I have come to know this word and its devastatingly ominous impact. We learned it yesterday when we got the dreaded news: Brian Duty has the above, a form of malignant cancer of the brain. Of course more information and additional consultations will be sought. But, for Brian, age 30, grim takes over. Brian is Cheryl and Dale’s son and Paul’s brother. Cheryl is Diane’s twin sister. The initial reports indicate “inoperable.” It’s not a tumor that is a contained mass; rather it’s “gangling into the brain.” Further we’ve been told although not aggressive, it is growing.

We are somewhere beyond saddened by this. Really not a good time. I looked at the medical term for the brain cancer and immediately saw “god” in the middle of it. That was neither accidental nor fanciful.

With that, though, on a summer day in August in Austin, Texas, we learn about Nick Davey, the 24 year old son of Alan and Sherryl. Nick, a former Ranger, was in a horrific accident this past weekend in Chelan, Washington that has left him paralyzed. At 24. They are members of the Eastgate Congregational Church in Bellevue where I also served as interim two years ago. And with that, a dear friend, Carol Stanley, a former member of Eastgate—she and her husband, Bill, have moved to the Carolinas, battles a benign tumor in a passageway between her liver and pancreas. Reports are encouraging and Carol’s spirits unwavering.

Then to keep connected with my mentor, Fred Trost, who’s recovering from surgery to repair his Achilles tendon, but even more focus, to learn that their daughter-in-law, Shelly Trost, Paul’s wife, is battling stage 4 cancer and is with Hospice Care.

We add prayers for Mark Nelson, son of Jack and Jania, from the Mercer Island congregation where I was interim last year and early into this year. He, too, battles brain cancer.

I also pray for clergy friends, whom I will not name, who seek new calls to ministry and/or in “contest” with parishioners who keep pointing to the Exit sign. Dreadful. Profoundly dreadful.

That’s how it is this night, Tuesday night. Tomorrow to visit with Brian and the family. To learn more. And to do our best in prayer and presence to ALWAYS be people of hope, affirming the value of life and the ingredient trust that “god” is more than the middle part of a medical term for brain cancer.

So be it. So be it. So be it.

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About Mark H Miller

Diane and I live in Leander, Texas. This past June 17, 2015 I celebrated the 49th anniversary of my ordination. We returned to Texas after three years in Washington, during which I served as interim minister in Bellevue/Eastgate and Mercer Island. Am planning to begin a 5th novel that will have my protagonist, Tricia Gleason, serve a year in licensed ministry in Snoqualmie, Washington. The novel, "The Lemon Drop Didn't Melt," will find Tricia wrestling with ministry challenges. None of which more daunting than someone wanting her breathing to stop. All the published novels are available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle under Mark Henry Miller. A primary goal in our return to Texas is to make sure grandchildren get lots of attention--here and in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Traveling is definitely an activity that will not slow down. With that, of course, fishing will happen. To that the t-shirt is apt, "I fish; therefore I am." In addition to novels, the book of Blogs, "Voice Of My Heart," is also available on Amazon.
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One Response to No Vacation For Cancer

  1. ruth maxim says:

    With sadness for you and family, my prayer list grows. Wow, you have a full and heavy plate. Don’t ever forget that I care, even as I feel helpless for how to help. I offer my phone and love and prayers. I care deeply. Ruthie

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