Chicago Sun-Times
...with Jesus, doctors and common sense

Prayer, pills, prayer, radiation seeds and more prayer

| 12 Comments | No TrackBacks

Tomorrow morning, my healing schedule calls for prayer with my wife Joyce, 11 pills, prayer, radiation seeds implantation, then more prayer as my healing from brain cancer, prostate cancer and end-stage congestive heart failure continues.
I still fell no pain, am able to power-walk on my treadmill, gradually raising my time and speed. Three nights ago, I did 2.9 miles nonstop in 55 minutes. That's good news for my heart. The progress with my heart leads Dr. Allen Anderson, my cardiologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center, to believe I may not need to have an HeartMate XVE LVAS pumping machine attached to my heart to tide me over until I reach the cancer-free rating qualifying me for heart transplantation.
"You are progressing much better than we expected," Dr. Anderson told me in my last visit.
With my brain cancer being declared benign and held in check by a weekly pill (.5mg Cabergoline), I now tend to my prostate cancer with the implantation of radiation seeds.
I have chosen the seeds implantation because of the favorable recoveries by friends like Rev. Samuel Hinkle, Rev. Tommie McCray, Dec. Erwin Dabney, Dr. Ansel Johnson, Dec. Leroy Reed, Dec. Franklin Reed and so many more.
Moreover, the seeds procedure is quicker (roughly 30 minutes), less painful, has fewer side effects and requires less recovery time than the other treatment options. Those options are radical prostatectomy, where the prostate is surgically removed, external radiation beams (nine weeks of treatments), chemotherapy and a freezing of the prostate.
"I know of at least a dozen of my friends who received the seeds treatment and they're all doing well," Dec. Dabney said. "Another friend had his prostate surgically removed last year and he still has to wear diapers (because of incontinence)."
Rev. Hinkle underwent his seeds implantation in 2002 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
"And I've recovered extremely well with minimal pain or side effects," he said. "It got rid of my cancer within months. God is able. He brought me through this with the aid of doctors. That's my testimony and I continue to share it wherever I go. By the grace of God, I am a cancer survivor."
So is my pastor, Dr. Clay Evans, founder of Fellowship Baptist Church, where Rev. Charles Jenkins has succeeded him as pastor. Dr. Evans was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer six years ago and given six months to live.
"But the Lord answered prayer, moved through His surgeons, and I'm still here preaching His word," Dr. Evans said. "I am a living testimony. God is our salvation in every situation, be it medical, legal, social, economic or whatever. And we must give Him the glory for it first and foremost."

My Wednesday radiation seeds implantation will be done as an out-patient procedure by Dr.

Brian Moran, renown radiation oncologist, at his Chicago Prostate Cancer Center in west suburban

Westmont. The CPCC is revered as the only free-standing facility in the world exclusively dedicated to

the seeds implantation procedure, which is called brachytherapy.

"I've been doing this for 13 years now and I personally have perform more than 7,000 on

patients from all over the world," Dr. Moran said. "At that rate, I believe I've done more than anybody

else. For years, radical prostatectomy was considered the gold standard for treating prostate cancer. But

brachytherapy has now evolved and improved to where it is as effective as, if not better than,


"The American Urologic Association convened a panel on this question about two years ago

and they concluded that all the treatments are equal in terms in cure. As far as our facility is concerned,

we have treated more than 10,000 patients from 12 different countries. We've never had a death, never

had incontinence, the risk of impotence is 15 percent and only two percent had a recurrence of cancer

because the cancer had already spread."

The CPCC has a staff of 40 that includes three radiation oncologists. It performed 1,101

brachytherapies last year and plans to do a record 1,3000 this year. Dr. Moran normal does 70 percent

of the procedures, which cost an average of $30,000. That's much cheaper than the prostatectomies,

which are in-patient procedure that required several days of recovery in the hospital, more follow-ups

and more uncomfortable side effects. Patients must also have to have a catheter inserted into the

penis and connected to a bag which they must carry around for weeks to collect urine.

I had a catheter inserted for about 15 minutes for a volume study of my prostate in preparation

for the seeds procedure and it was one of the most excruciating discomforts I've ever experienced.

Brachytherapy is done with the patient placed under general anesthesia. With recovery time

averaging 1-2 hours, the in-patient process takes roughly four hours before the patient is released

for a relative or friend to drive him home.

In my next entry, I will tell you how the brachytherapy went. I want to thank all my readers and

prayer partners for your support. My faith remains strong. What good is my faith if I can't put it to

use? God is not in my life for mere decoration. He is here to make up the difference between what man

can do and what must be done to get a difficult job done. Where man's abilities end, God's power, grace

and mercy extend to give us the victory in whatever endeavor.

God bless you.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


Rev. Banks,
You are blessed to have insurance. You state the seed implantation only cost $30,000. There are a lot of men without insurance who will not have that option. God continue to bless you on your healing journey.
Nancy Ellis

BANKS RESPONSE: A radical prostatectomy would cost at least four times this much because it's a more invasive procedure that would require more time to perform and require the patient to to stay in the hospital at least three or four days afterward for recovery. There are also subsequent followups to guard against complications and one visit to disconnect the patient's catheter.

Hang in there and God Bless you. You are an inspiration for all that face challenges.
When you get through this (AND YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS) I look forward to reading about a sporting event that you will be covering. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Stan Ketcik

BANKS' RESPONSE: I almost covered the Rush Arena Football game Monday night because I really felt like it. But when my wife Joyce expressed concern, he deferred this time to calm her down. But there will come a time when I again will launch out into the deep as the Holy Spirit leads me.

You're amazing!!! God bless you!!! I hope that you cover the Wolves winning a championship!

BANKS RESPONSE: That would be super. They are sure looking good. My Wolves and my Rush if I can dare call them mine because I am the main beat guy.

Thanks for spreading the good news. I was relutant to read your column initially because I did not want to read any bad news. I found your words encouraging and inspiring .It helps to build faith when we read stories such as Dr. Clay Evans who has servived his dreaded diagnosis pancreatic cancer. My aunt recently passed away with pancreatic cancer .She was a lady with a strong Christian faith and truly a beautiful and graceful person.Even though she passed away, her life was a testiment to how to live a Christ centered and inspired life and the impact it has on others. When I think about my aunt and my grandmother I know the power of Jesus ,they left me with a legacy of unconditional love that came from Jesus. Every time I saw my Grandmother she told me don't forget to pray. For a time in my life I was lost in the wilderness and afflicted by sin with gambling , drinking ,and cocaine abuse. I had remembered the message of Dr. Arthur Brazier,from when I had attended church 15 to 20 yrs before I begin to my decent into drugs etoh abuse and other forms of bondage.His message of gods grace and mercy has been a life saver. I was baptized and have been set free from bondage and the disease of addiction for the 3yrs.I pray daily and I will pray for you.Thanks for allowing me to also spread the good news that Jesus is a healer .I hope that someone will be inspired by my words as I have been inspired by you and other christians. All things work together for the good to those who love God,to those who are called according to His purpose .-Romans 8:28

BANKS' RESPONSE: I thank and praise God for your deliverance and salvation. I pray that His grace and mercy continue to follow you all the days of your life and give you the perfect peace that passes all understanding. As Rev. Adam Clayton Powell used to say in his very cool way, "Keep the faith, baby! Keep the faith!"

Hey Reverend Banks!

A few words of best wishes on behalf of all of us at Comcast SportsNet who had the honor of sharing your story with viewers last Friday on our "SportsNite" program. It is really great to read the tremendous words of support from your readers. You are a shining example that the path to victory begins with belief. We thank you for allowing your private battle to be a public one that will certainly help so many others deal with their own adversities.

Your Friend,

Willie Parker
Comcast SportsNet Chicago

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you Willie. My wife Joyce and I were most honored to have you, Dan Jiggetts, Todd and Brett Fisher in our humble home and cameraman Eric Fogle taping at the church. Fogle not only stayed the whole service, but I believe he said a couple of "amens" and he was not frightened by Ecclesiastical electricity that has sparks flying all over the place. Your final product was spot-on, and drew rave reviews (two thumbs and two big toes up) from my family and friends. And we'd welcome your doing an update later.

Hi Rev. Banks,
I grew up at Fellowship and I've always enjoyed your sermons and singing! I will continue to keep you and your family in prayer. I know how God healed Pastor Evans and others. This blog is an awesome testimony of your faith in God and an encouragment to others as well!

You and your family will be in my prayers!
"It is no secret what God can do, what He has done for others He will do for you!"
Yours in Christ!

I read your blog the Times published into today's paper, May 20th. You read as a man of great courage. I would like to know what prayers you say. Do the prayers themselves bring you comfort? Thank you and continue on!

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, Joel. When I pray, I simply thank God for what He has already done, apologize and beg His mercy for sins I've committed since I last prayed and then ask Him to bless others and me according to our needs. I get as personal as I feel like it and ask Him for whatever because, after all, I am talking to my Heavenly Father and He loves me dearly. I wonder, however, Joel, if you have yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Saviour so that your own prayer telephone service can be opened up. Terms are superior to Verizon, SBC, AT&T, Sprint or whoever. It's free and it's as easy as ABC. A--Admit that you are a sinner and that you seek improvement and perfection in your life. B--Believe with your heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for your sins or imperfection and arose from the dead the third day with all power given unto Him by God. C--Confess with your mouth Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. My brother, if you will do that, Jesus will save you and place Himself at your prayerful disposal to bless you in times of need. Angelic operators are standing by heavenly phones right now to receive your call for Jesus to save your soul if you are not yet saved. Won't you call Him right now? God bless you.

Thank you for your blessing. I wish you peace, comfort,joy and love. Sincerely.

Rev. Banks,
I guess it was God's will that I read your May 20th column"Fight of My Life" before it hit recycling. I have an implanted heart device (a defibrillator) that i "received" on 08-09-07, following a heart attack on 01-01-00. And last week I was diagnosed with prostate cancer (Level 1, so it has, apparently, been caught early). So, I will be following your progress and your positive attitude toward the challenges you face in your life, since everyone's challenges are unique, but the commonality of everyone facing SOME challenges sometimes makes the "crosses" easier to bear. God bless. And thanks for your uplifting words. Most important, God speed with your physical challenges and may you continue to face them with the same acceptance and courage that you seem to possess.

Banks' response: God bless you Ken. Welcome aboard. Join me in trusting God for your healing and hold on to His unchanging hand.

I am so proud of your faith walk and you are
sharing with others we sometimes choose not
to share our scars but Thank God for Jesus
because He had no shame in sharing His
keep up the good work because through
your healing you are healing others
Love ya Always another sister standing
the gap for you
Enid Benjamin

Banks' response: God bless you my sanctified sister. Your words give me a thought: No scars, no stars. My body certainly has been scarred inside and outside.

Hello Rev. Banks

I read your column sometime ago regarding your health and after doing so, I only knew one thing to do that is to call on our HEALER, PROTECTOR and PROVIDER. Keep the faith, keep praying and MIRACLES do happens.

When you know you know you are a child of God everything is allright no matter what. It might be you today going through but we all will have a test.

Keep the faith!

God bless you,

God bless you,

Banks' response: And Dorothy, in the words of an old Dr. Watt hymn, "I know I am a child of God, although I move so slow, But I'll wait until the Spirit comes and move at God's command." Yes, baby, I know I am redeemed because I know what the bible says, I have complied with the faith formula spelled out in God's word and I am hereby the providentially private property of Heaven. I'm saved, sanctified and filled.....And when the devil sees me, he ought to see the logo of a skull and crossbones above the warning: "Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." Yes, we, the redeemed of the Lord belong to Him. We are not our own. We have been bought with a price: the precious redeeming blood of Christ Jesus. And part of my healing potion are His stripes inflicted on calvary. By His ghastly scars, we are healed. Bless the wonderful name of Jesus. When my healings are complete I want my doctors to shout and holy-dance with me. I feel happy right now. Don't make me get to shouting up in here........


I commend you on your faith, and your witnessing.
So so nice to see a man of God speak of God, and His power.
Your touching lives, with your column.

Its refreshing to see your faith show in a paper that allows atheism to bash christians as delusional.

I asked for faith, God gave me a trial to test my faith.
I asked for healing, God gave me pain, to know prayer works.
I asked for hope, and God allowed doubt, for my growth.
In a world of delusion and the moral decay of absolutes to satisfy the crowd, its nice to see a man stand alone and call on God, and let people see his pain.
May God continue to bless you.

Peace to your house Mr. Banks

Banks' response: Are you really Bob a man, or Bob an angel that heaven has dropped into my spirit in such a timely manner to encourage me? Either way, may the good Lord bless and keep you, cause His countenance to shine upon you and give you peace. Not just any old kind of generic peace. But perfect peace, my brother, that passes all understanding. Peace, I say, from the quintessential source Himself, Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Leave a comment

Lacy J. Banks

Lacy J. Banks, 67, has been a Sun-Times sportswriter/columnist for 38 years and a Baptist preacher for 58 years. He has preached at more than 100 different churches in the Chicago area. A native of Lyon, Miss., Banks graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.A. in French and he served three years in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Naval officer. Lacy and wife, Joyce, have been married 42 years and have three daughters and five grandchildren. Among beats Banks has covered for the Sun-Times are the Bulls, Fire, defunct Sting, Blackhawks, Wolves, Cubs, defunct Hussle, Rush, Sky, college football and basketball and pro boxing.



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on May 19, 2008 1:28 PM.

Love, marriage and healing--launching into the deep was the previous entry in this blog.

Lacy Banks on Comcast SportsNet is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.