Gratitude and Grief

By Keith Miller | October 28, 2011

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


132 comments | Add One

  1. Lynn Severance - 11/1/2011 at 11:49 am

    I join with the many others who have shared their thanks for the ministry you have had in our lives – for me going back to the early years of your writings, Keith. God has promised us a peace that passes understanding, closeness when we feel alone and an unending personal love. I know that He walks with you and Andrea and all your loved ones as you face this cancer. May that foe be beaten. May you be strengthened. My prayers are yours as I pray in that direction. With much gratitude and care.

  2. Marcus Goodyear - 11/1/2011 at 1:07 pm

    We love you both, and we are praying for you!

  3. samantha cederquist - 11/1/2011 at 4:27 pm

    I am reading the news for the 1st time just now 11.01.11 Shocked and at once so saddened…My thoughts quickly turn to our Lord Jesus and that He is in this with you dear Keith… Your ministry has given me a real life. A life recovered and in step with Jesus. I wouldn’t have known this without your own amazing life journey of healing and recovery…I am praying for you and your dear wife. I ask for complete healing and for God to eliminate the tumor as quickly as possible…You have work to do!!! And God is the ultimate healer!!! With tender love and gratitude in every prayer… Sam, a co-dependent in recovery because of you. Amen!

  4. Terry Baxter - 11/1/2011 at 5:38 pm

    I can only pray and hope to live a life as full of love, integrity, true intimacy, vulnerability, transparency, and honesty as you have Keith…Your life inspires me to move forward in the areas I struggle with and not give up…Praying for you at this time of letting go again to God and all that that will mean for you and your family….so grateful to God for you and your life…will look forward to giving you a hug and talking to you in heaven…..one of those still pickling..

  5. Melissa Dombrowski - 11/1/2011 at 5:45 pm

    Dear Keith,
    You will be held lovingly in prayer. I am so sorry you are facing this, but I am grateful that you have Andrea by your side. What a gift.
    Your book, “Hunger for Healing” has changed our lives, and our understanding of the 12 Steps has deepened. Our group, CODA at Mariner’s Church in Irvine is largely shaped by this book, and we watch the videos (made in the 80’s) as a group, each year, faithfully. We feel like we know you personally.
    May you feel God’s presence always, and may Andrea and you comfort one another. I pray for your health, we are not ready to lose you!
    Thy Will, not mine, be done.

    With love,
    Melissa

  6. Marie Siebert - 11/2/2011 at 4:14 am

    Keith,
    Thanks so much for all you do. Your writing blesses me. Your words encourage me. You are a wonderful person who reflects the love of God in so many ways. I am praying for you and your family. Love, Marie

  7. eapenmohan - 11/2/2011 at 4:45 am

    i just don’t know how to express this os sudden turn of events.i will be praying.I do believe this is a test for fans like me how well we will travail in prayer.Asking jesus to
    to heal you.
    with warm regars and lots of love
    eapen,
    mumbai

  8. John & Mary French - 11/2/2011 at 7:27 am

    Keith – I am obviously shocked to find this news. When you feel up to it I would really like to talk, and also to discuss a trip soon to see you and Andrea. You continue to be an inspiration to so many, even in the light of this news!

    Love,
    John

  9. Barbara Holden - 11/2/2011 at 7:52 am

    Dear Keith & Andrea,
    Much, much love to you from one of your Albino Monkeys!! Thinking of you, praying for you, and here for you…and missing me some JKM!!
    xoxoxo

  10. Rachael C - 11/2/2011 at 2:28 pm

    Keith,

    You have always had a gentle smile for me and you have been an inspiration to so many of us. Sending you all the best!

    Love, Laughter and Respect,
    Rachael

  11. Carole and Howard - 11/3/2011 at 7:48 am

    dear keith and andrea,
    we hold you before the face of god and ask god to heal and to bless you with a peace that passes understanding

  12. Rollie Roessner - 11/3/2011 at 12:59 pm

    John,
    Since the first time I met you it was obvious that your gift was the strength you imparted to me on a daily basis. That added to the mentoring you gave to Judy and myself in your Dreamers classes was life changing. I can’t express to you the intangible gifts that you have passed on to me, my Family, and my extended family of friends. God has blessed me and others by placing you in my Life. My prayers are with you and your Family. God Bless.

  13. Candy Huber - 11/3/2011 at 6:56 pm

    Dear Keith and Andrea: Just checking in to read my favorite site and blog. I cannot express my surprise to learn of your current discovery that threatens you. It seems the journey moves along for a while, and then….suddenly, suddenly things change unexpectedly with dramatic impact. Though it is with confidence that I continue to be assured of Whom we have learned to trust, it is He who is ahead of you, behind you and with you…calling now “Do not be afraid..it is I” Truly He was in you as you wrote the encouragement for so many of us to join the adventure, and learn to love God as you have. I never cease to be inspired by you both to be authentic on the journey. You will continue to be in my prayers for strength and choices for the rest of the journey. My first son was born with cancer, and many prayers were answered him, so I have no doubts that God is with you now, “Our God is able, yet regardless, we will only serve Him” (Mishael, Azariah and Hannaniah).Special anointing with prayer is effective and is one tool available along with medical interventions. Keeping you both in my prayers…it would be my priviledge since you have done so much for me…with love and gratefulness, and blessings,
    Candy Huber

  14. Nikki Laliberte - 11/5/2011 at 10:28 am

    Dear Keith, I know this must have taken tremendous courage to share your medical condition with your followers, & I’m grateful that you were able to do that. My first thought & action was to pray for you & your family, which I have done, & to tell you how much I am grateful for your wonderful newsletters that have helped me so much, & for your comments in Daily Guideposts, which is where I first got to know you. I’ve been reading Daily Guideposts for over 20 years, & it has helped me tremendously to let go of some of the pain & guilt of my past. I only recently started subscribing to your Newsletters after reading in Daily Guideposts something you had written that opened another door to my healing from the past, & referred me to your website. Thank you Keith for your love & caring, & your huge contribution to all the people that love you & will continue to keep you in their prayers…God bless & may He continue to give strength to walk through this challenge in your life…Nikki Laliberte.

  15. Nathalie sorrell - 11/5/2011 at 5:57 pm

    Dear Keith & Andrea,
    I love you & your choice to share openly with us your current truth. And I have wept, reading the love bring poured on you like an anointing… My dear friend Barbara’s Mom got word of her incurable very advanced cancer, called her children together and said “I have taught you everything I know about living- now I will teach you everything I can about dying.” I am moved with deep gratefulness that you are facing this next step toward your dying with your trademark openness & transparency with your widespread family of support & tribe. You may have years to go… But like me at 64- we are already past the 2/3rds point and like autumn leaves- my prayer is that there can be beauty & usefulness in our letting go & becoming mulch for some other growth to occur!!
    You were my Dad’s friend & fellow oil man in CC, my own role model when I had to choose someone whose work & life I wanted to emulate, and part of my imaginary support audience when I used your tapes on how to write my book… Which will have your name in the acknowledgments when it is finished. You brought Andrea into my circle of friends & now, my prayers will be with her & you, as I know yours would be for Jim & me were our situation reversed. I love and honor your place in our hearts, dear man… And will listen for guidance if I can help in any way.
    Nathalie

  16. Jim Walsh - 11/5/2011 at 7:16 pm

    John Keith: I first encountered you through “A Taste of New Wine.”. What a gift years later to get to know and love you. A conversation in your home changed my life. You continue to bless and inspire.

  17. (Mr.) Dee Baker - 11/6/2011 at 6:00 pm

    Keith–I am a high school teacher/coach in Memphis, Tn. In a very real way, you have been a big part of my life since I accepted Christ in 1966. I have read several of your books and feel a kinship of spirit with you in our Christian walk.
    We have struggled with similar issues, yet the Lord has stayed in the forefront of both our lives. I have lifted your whole situation to the Lord in prayer and look forward to meeting you in the Kingdom some day. God bless you now and always.

  18. Steve and Robin - 11/7/2011 at 12:56 pm

    Keith, Andrea and Family,

    Thank you, Keith for your transparency in your struggles. Regardless of what happens in your life, I’d like you to know you have passed a lit torch to those of us in the recovery community because of your book and DVD. We carry that torch proudly and with care as we minister to others. We will lift you and your family up in prayer at our Christ Centered 12 Step meeting that has benefited from your honesty. Thank you, Keith for giving of yourself and your time and thank you Andrea and family for loaning him to us.

  19. Kristi Gross - 11/8/2011 at 12:02 pm

    Dear Keith,
    As a long-time Daily Guideposts reader, I have been blessed by your devotionals. I am saddened by the news of your cancer. Please know that I am praying for complete healing and for peace and comfort for you and your family. May God bless you.

  20. Ray Nelson - 11/8/2011 at 5:06 pm

    The news of your present physical challenges from my friend Candy Huber reminds me of the wonderful time 4 1/2 years ago when you so graciously shared much of your “adventure” with us in the Addictions Ministries Conference held at Andrews University. Your spiritual health continues to surface despite the work of the “enemy.” (Jesus Christ refers to his work when asked by His disciples about the one responsible for sowing weeds in the good grain – Matthew 13). Be assured that you are in my thoughts and prayers at this time of need.

  21. Nancy C. Brainerd - 11/10/2011 at 8:20 am

    Dear Keith, I remember fondly the first time we met many years ago. I have been blessed to read most of your books and hear your presentations often. My heart is heavy for you and your family at this time. I will continue to keep each of you in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your gifts to us all.

  22. Larry Sears - 11/10/2011 at 10:27 am

    Dear Keith, I am saddened to hear of your pain and am praying for your comfort and healing.
    Thank you for all you have shared in the short time I have been fortunate enough to know you.

    Larry

  23. Janelle , BTS - 11/10/2011 at 7:39 pm

    Although we have only met in passing, I have been blessed to be able to listen to your wisdom for the last 7 yrs since hilltoppers when I first heard you and you made me laugh. I thought to myself, “I kinda like these people, I might come back”, LOL. And here I am. I am so grateful that you have shared your vision for life as it should be lived and now if it may be so, to the very end. That is a gift to those of us struggling with those issues and a great example of how we should be. Psalm 71:20
    “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; you will again bring me up, You will increase my honor, and comfort me once again.”
    This is my prayer for you, and you will be in my prayers daily.

  24. Dave & Julie Young - 11/11/2011 at 7:10 pm

    Dear Keith, you have made a difference in our lives and we appreciate you more than we’ve ever said. I still use and teach the methods you shared in your writing course. Thank you. Thank you.

  25. Audrey Williams - 11/13/2011 at 7:47 pm

    Keith and Andrea – as a cancer survivor (10 years) I can only pray that our Jehovah Rapha finds that there is more for you to do in this life and that he will spare you. Please remember how deeply you have touched so many lives – I know personally that your wisdom has literally saved the lives of some of our women in the Codependent’s meeting at Mariner’s in Irvine over the past 15 years. Your Orange County Pickles love you and send their prayers.

  26. jinm alford - 11/15/2011 at 8:01 am

    dear keith, several years ago on your first trip to camp mcdowell in alabama, you were a great comfort to me with an issue i was dealing with. you are in my daily prayers and i wish you comfort, relief, and healing.

  27. Martha Schorre - 11/19/2011 at 11:25 am

    Dearest Keith and Andrea,
    I continue to lift you both, your family, and the doctors up in prayer to our precious Lord. I pray as you both have taught and guided me. I pray for miracles, grace, comfort, and healing. You both know how dear you are to me. I am so grateful for you both.
    Thank you. I love ya’ll beyond time, Martha xoxo

  28. LZimmerman - 11/22/2011 at 8:34 am

    Your book using the 12 steps for spiritual growth has made a big difference in my life and the life of others in my church. Blessings to you as you walk this path. Know that many souls are walking it with you and loving you.

  29. John Lorne - 11/22/2011 at 12:18 pm

    Dear Keith, I found your writings to be so timely for me. Shifting jobs caused me to not check the last couple of them, until today.
    May there be strength in knowing that so many people are praying for you. May this latest challenge, be just that. Thank you and I will keep you in my prayers, too.
    John

  30. Donna Duren - 11/29/2011 at 8:10 pm

    Keith,

    I can’t tell you how much you have meant to me personally, and to the ministry that my husband Dave and I were able to start at Springcreek Church in Garland TX 18 years ago. It has grown and blossomed into a recovery network and a vital aspect in our LifeCare ministry. It never would have started if we hadn’t gone to your Hunger for Healing Seminar at Lovers Lane Church in Dallas, and heard your challenge. 12 Step Ministry belongs in the church, and truly is how the early church operated. Confessing our sins one to another and through that being healed.

    We were so happy when you came to our church 8 years ago to speak at our 10th birthday of our Support Network. Keith Stewart our pastor still talks about the impact that you have had on him. We have Hunger for Healing in our regular recovery series that we offer at the church.

    I am so sad to think that your light may be going out on this plain soon, but be encouraged many candles have been lit, and are blazing as a result of your ministry to us sharing your experience, strength and hope.

    God Bless you and Andrea for all you have given. You are in my thoughts and prayers daily.

    Much love and appreciation.

    Donna Duren

  31. Sheila Kaye - 01/8/2012 at 3:16 pm

    Yes, Keith, I too have been so very blessed by your works! I am only now, January 8, reading this blog…I procrastinate my life away. This has touched my heart in not having read sooner. Forgive me. May knowing we go home to Him comfort you and your loved ones. I pray for your healing as well. Even that comes in ways we may not expect. God is very Good and will be all you need. But I know you know all this. Experiencing it first hand is the challenge. Me and sillions like me have been blessed by you. Thank you for being you!

  32. Stephanie Adams - 01/17/2012 at 1:40 am

    Keith – I love you and am so grateful and blessed to have met you personally at Bridge to Shore after having read your books. You have always been there to encourage me, teach me and accept me even when I fail. What a true blessing you have been to SO many…you are truly an example of a Godly man and a true vessel of God. My prayer for you continues to be that God will bless you with freedom from pain and the peace of God that passeth all understanding. That you and Andrea will have true joy together. I love you sweet man and am lifting you and Andrea up daily ! In His Love, Stephanie

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…If renewal of the Christian church is to take place, it will come primarily because laymen like Keith Miller have committed themselves wholly to an honest relationship with Christ.
Billy Graham
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