TO: Members of S.O.S. www.supportoursam.com
It is so good to write to you!!
Following the successful removal of the large tumor from back of my head, I have developed a new appreciation for the fact that I can say, "Good to see you . . . talk to you . . . be with you, etc." But, now, there is a special joy in being able to write to you, as a large number of people I have never met, yet you have been so amazingly caring, thoughtful, and generous. I know this is the result of your knowing one or both of my sons-in-law, Joshua Bingaman and Mauricio Cremer. Jenny and I are very blessed to have these men and a third man, Dan Gridley (here in OKC), as members of our family. I believe you can see from their writings that they are not just "sons" by the legal terms of marriage, they are "sons" in honor, integrity, love, respect, and comfort. The giving of themselves, along with my wonderful daughters, during my hospital stay and home recovery has been a truly remarkable picture of how people can provide comfort, protection, and encouragement to someone in need. Out of your relationship with them, you have chosen to graciously and generously give to me your thoughts, prayers and financial gifts. I am humbled and my heart is filled with gratitude by your participation through S.O.S.
I came home from the hospital on Monday, 12/22, one week after surgery, which was amazing in itself. I hope you have read the previous update by Joshua on the surgery, so I won't bother with going over that. We truly rejoice over the fact that there were no major repercussions from the presence and removal of the tumors, especially given the size of the growths. Healing of the incision has gone well. Staples were placed in the back of my head down to my neck to close the incision and they were removed last Tuesday, 12/30. There is still some swelling in the area of the incision, but nothing to unduly concern the Dr. Overall the medical team is pleased with the surgery and the progress I've made. I have been able to come completely off the high-powered pain medication which was prescribed for use during recovery. I still have pain, especially in my neck and down to my left shoulder area, due to some muscles having to be moved during surgery. There are also some pains that come and go in my head as healing takes place, but these can now be taken care of through over the counter meds. I am very thankful for this.
Since I have never been through surgery before, I had not anticipated some of the breathing, swallowing, digestion, and sleeping problems which I have encountered. This made my first week at home a little difficult at times. But, thankfully, these are no longer issues of concern.
Other than wait for my body to heal itself through God's miraculous design and healing presence, the next step will be radiation for the remaining 2% of the large area of growth near the top of the spinal column and the growth located on my left auditory canal, which is fairly large and has caused considerable hearing loss in my left area. We thought this radiation would be later in January, but they it scheduled on Friday, January 9. I will very much appreciate your thoughts and prayers on this day.
Well, I must close. Jenny and I are truly overwhelmed by your support. The presence of a God who is always faithful and the knowledge of a crowd of people like you who have simply made the choice to enter our world is a truly awesome thing. Every day I think of you and thank God for you all.
Thank you, thank you, thank you,