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.