After several days of medical procedures and tests we were told last Thursday (October 20th) by my Gastroenterologist that the internal blockage that has caused recent discomfort is the result of the bile duct being squeezed shut because of a tumor pressing against it. The tumor is right next to my liver. Because of its location it cannot be removed—too many other things in the area.
On Friday I went into surgery where a stent was inserted into the bile duct to allow it to drain so poisonous bile will not be backed up in my system. They also took a biopsy of the tumor and the liver to see if they have been “communicating.”
I was in the hospital overnight and most of Saturday. This past Tuesday, Andrea and I met with my doctor where we learned the tumor is malignant. The doctors could not give us any information about a prognosis at the time.
This has been a sudden shock, since I have been dealing with a neck issue. The neck discomfort was resolved a few weeks ago and then pain in my stomach increased.
We are processing the abrupt change in our lives because of the inoperable aspect of the problem and the fact that all our plans that included me will possibly be canceled.
Many of you have been so loyal to us in your reading and responding to these blogs that we thought the least I could do was to be honest with you about this unscheduled confronting of my own death, since this is a big part of the adventure with God.
Andrea and I are very much in love and closer than we thought two people could get, so we’re experiencing the biggest shock I could have imagined—although, having buried all my “growing up” family by the time I was 28, I should not be so surprised, but I find myself in a new world of “reality.”
Last Thursday, when I told a dear friend about what’s happening he said, “I’m coming to town in January and I’ll look forward to a visit then.” I had to gently remind him that “I might not be alive by then.” This is just a vivid example of what we are experiencing in every relationship we have.
Since we have been working full time on a book for five years that includes a trip clear through the Bible I am going to try to tell the story on video. We will report on our progress on this in the future. And as my commitment has been to you all along, I’ll try to continue to respond to your questions that come up as we are walking through our adventure with the Lord and each other.
Bottom line of all of this: We will appreciate your prayers for healing if possible and for continuing to live for him in either case.
I am extremely grateful not only for the amazing life I’ve had, but for friends like you who are reading this.
This is not something we would normally write, but since the last part of this life is a part of the adventure of living with God and with each other, I’ll see what I can do.
The most important thing on my agenda is the people I love—which includes more people than I ever dreamed it would and certainly some of you who are reading this.
After a long day at the hospital on Tuesday Keith came home and enjoyed a wonderful evening with his family. Then early Wednesday morning Keith woke up with a fever and discomfort and was taken to the emergency room. There the doctors were able to reduce his fever and he is feeling better. Keith is staying in the hospital for a few days to make sure that any infection is eliminated. The next step, after Keith comes home, is to see an oncologist about possible treatments for this tumor.
We invite you to leave your comments, thoughts and prayers for Keith and Andrea and all of their family here. As they are able they will check in and read your comments.
We thank you for your prayers.
Lord, thank you that you promised to prepare a place for us, beginning now, so that we may be together with you always.
“…I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2b
Photo © MaxPaul Franklin 2011