God bless you.
I'm so sick and tired of being sick and tired that I don't know what to do.
Sometimes, I want to return to work so badly that I want to run out into the
middle of my front yard and scream like a crazy man until neighbors call the police and
the paddy wagon hauls me away to some jail cell or the funny farm.
Really. It gets that bad sometimes. And you, who have been sick or are sick right
now and desperately want to get well, know what I'm talking about.
Long-term sickness or slow recoveries have a way of driving you crazy when you've
been so used to working all your life. And as sweet as retirement is to every working man
and woman, sometimes retirement can speed you to the grave yard if you really get over
into some quiet, dark corner and do nothing. I mean, I believe you can actually rest
yourself to death if you don't keep busy doing at least a little something.
No, I'm not totally healed yet. I still have some painful and embarrassing
incontinence problems from the radioactive seeds that have been attacking the
cancerous tumors in my prostate. Plus, my heart remains weak from the end-stage
congestive heart failure issues of a severely dilated left ventricle and a defective mitral
valve. But while a pill a week is helping keep my brain tumor benign, I'm still restless and
anxious enough to try to return to work.
Except for some minimal-exertion, very controlled work assignments, I haven't
been back to work full-time since April. Thanks to a union contract and kind, appreciative
bosses at the Sun-Times, nobody has been trying to rush me back to work before I'm
physically ready and my wife, Joyce, would raise hell to high heavens if I tried to come
back before I'm ready.
But not only has my heart been holding steady under the care of my medical dream
team, headed by the likes of Dr. Valluvan Jeevanandam, Dr. Allen Anderson and Dr.
Glenn Gerber of the University of Chicago, Dr. James Flaherty, Dr. Jeffrey Trunsky, Dr.
Allison Hahr and Dr. Kevin Mcvary of Northwestern Hospital and Dr. Brian Moran of the
Chicago Prostate Cancer Center, my PSA has dropped to 2.43.
I was informed of that progress last week, when I had my first prostate checkup
since I underwent brachytherapy May 21.
The PSA reading is what urologists take to determine, among other things, prostate
cancer. I really have never had a very high PSA. The desired limit is under 4.0 and mine
has never been higher than 5.1. But that was cause for caution and a biopsy, which
Dr. Gerber did. He took 12 snippings and he says two of them came up cancerous.
The revelation that I had any kind of cancer shocked me into an instant numbing
depression. And once others found out I had both prostate and brain cancer, I could see
in some of their eyes the pessimistic compassion that probably had many of them
thinking, "Poor Lacy. I wonder I much longer he has to live."
Of course, for your enemies, and for the chronic, curious gossipers, who love to
have something to talk about, they may be wondering what's taking me so long to die.
But I'm not ready to die.
I am a healing in progress.
God is doing a new thing in me and He has some more work for me to do.
Meantime, I have a rage to live.
And if death shows a hint of coming near me, I'll kick his ass, in the
name of Jesus.
My anger against death is my ammo to fight it. I'm not afraid of death. Yet,
I am man enough and certainly Christian enough to die with dignity and not with whinning,
if that's God's will because God has been, is and always will be mighty, mighty good to
I'm just thankful for the continued prayers from people like the great majority of you.
There are few exceptions. I've posted their comments and you've had a chance to see
those people who like to fuss, and fume and fight about certain issues. I never meant this
blog to pit people against people because they refuse to respect each other's
But if there's any thing you should know about Lacy J. Banks, it's that I love love and
I love people who love to love others and try, as best we can, to love everybody. It's hard
to love people, who don't want to be loved, or who are so wrapped up in themselves that
they can't return love in equal measure. But love is what's keeping me alive today. I'm
talking about the love of God, the love of my wife and children and the love of other
relatives, friends and people like you.
Love is my primary medicine.
Here's hoping you'll see me writing regularly again for the Sun-Times in a couple of
weeks. At the same time, I'm going to continue this blog until God heals me completely.
God bless you.