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I want to return to work so badly that I could.....scream

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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.

Dr. Kevin

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Hello Rev.,

I agree with this posting and I understand your feelings.I have seen and known people who 'rest themselves to death' after retirement and it is not pretty. Some people who retire with nothing else to do can make life miserable for those around them. I hope you do make it back to work part-time, because the Bears season is about to kick off and we need you to tell us what to expect (smile). We have missed your commentaries just as much as you have missed writing them. I have always said that I would work until I just couldn't do it anymore. I took a few days vacation last week and found myself bored. Now, some people retire to travel and that's a good thing but there are not many of us these days who are in that kind of financial position. I went back and read the responses to your last blog. I admire how you have a kind word for everyone. Here's hoping that you are feeling pain free these days and know that your faithful blog followers are still praying and claiming your healing.


Banks response: Thanks, Donna, for your continued prayers and support.

Sorry to hear about the recent death of Auntie Crystal. Thank God that although

she is no longer with us because she lost her battle against cancer, she indeed

fought a good fight, finished her course and, I believe, kept the faith. She was

fortunate to have dear caregivers and prayer partners like you and Carissa by her

side at the most needful time. Now, the rest of us must close ranks and continue

our journey toward our respective healings. Some of us will arrive at our desired

destinations before others. But we all will arrive. I'm looking forward to returning to

work as my improved health permits and pray that others are also able to do the

same. I want you to know that God is pleased with your good heart and your pure

passion for people. Christ tells us that whatsoever we do to the least of us, we do

also to Him. And in that great getting-up morning, He shall come back for His bride,

which is His church without spot or wrinkle, and separate the sheep from the goats.

So, my fellow sheep of our shepherd Lord, I say unto you, as Christ said, "fear not

little flock. For it is your father's pleasure to give you a kingdom." I love your

comments. Each is like a fragrant bouquet of freshly-cut, long-stemmed roses.

Hi Lacy,

First giving honor to God as you said in your blog God has been mighty, mighty good to you and to me and I wish that we as a people understood that. I'm a christian but I have taken the Catholic religion class because it was required when your children attend catholic school but are not catholic. My point is I was watching a tv show and catholics are taught the Blessing of Suffering. For some reason it just really clicked I took the class because it was required and probaly didn't pay too much attention because it's not my faith but something in me just understood the Blessing of Suffering. God is so good that he never puts more on us than we can bear. I heard you preach one time and I couldn't believe it. This was maybe 15 or more years ago and you were awesome and you can My point is God has his hand on you and I pray in the name of Jesus that he continues to use you as vessel for others so that we can learn from you and about the different health issues that too many black people don't get checked until it's too late. You are loved you made a lasting impression on me when I heard you preach because here is where I saw a educated black man with a job he loved, come to church and show his Mississippi roots and take us to church. I'm 35 years old now and I pray that you are healed, your honesty and openness is so rare that I just felt compelled to reach out to you. I hope I am making sense to you and not just babbling. My point about the religions was that we are all the same, we all love God and we also know Jesus was his son. I just wish that we could all fellowship without prejudice. In Jesus name.........Amen

Banks' response: No, no, Shaun, you weren't babbling. Some silver-

tongued orators wish they could "babble" so beautifully. Your memories and

current ideas struck home and touched tender chords within my heart and

soul. Passionate, penetrating, sensitive people like you can reach the hardest

and coldest of of hearts because you speak and write from a heart of love for

God and a love for people. It greatly gladdens me that you still remember

whatever sermon that was I preached to you so many years ago. My feeling is

that if I can help somebody with a word or song as I pass along, then my

living (and dying, for that matter) will not be in vain. Jesus spoke a parable

one about a sower who went out to broadcast some seeds across a field.

Some seed fell on stoney ground, never took root and died. some fell on the

wayside and were gobbled up by wayfaring birds. some fell among thorns, which

choked them out of life-giving sunlight. But some--thank you, Jesus!--fell into

good ground and brought forth fruit. During my 56 years of preaching God's

word, I have sowed many a sermon seed in congregational fields across

America. Sometimes, I preached myself into a stupor and nobody joined or

hardly even said "amen." It was like I was sowing in a rock garden, a wanton

wayside or a bunch of thorns. But there have been times, many times, when

those seeds fell into good ground. Yeah, good ground people like you, who, in

due season, like now, come back to let me know that my preaching to you, on

that whatever and whenever day, was not in vain. You never forgot. That magic

moment of high worship was branded so deeply within you that you still

remember it with awe and appreciation. And in some small way, I had a hand in

the shaping of a wonderful one. A person who loves God and still quests for the

best not just for your self, but for God's kingdom, this world and our nation. God

bless you, Shaun. Thanks for anointing my day with an extra burst of heavenly


I think one of your bloggers was upset because sometimes no matter how you look at the characters below, you just don't get them right. It can be frustrating but you just go back to the page and try the next one. (SMILE). This blog isn't really about politics anyway. It's about us on this healing journey. I am pleased that you are feeling well enough to become anxious about working again. Please, please do what Joyce and the doctors say. If you must write, just get on your computer and write to us. I'm behind in printing out your writings for a friend. I am sometimes just full when I read and after I finish rambling on, forget to print them. Stay in prayer. Our mighty God is still on the throne.

Banks' response: That bible verse (James 5:16) reading "...and pray one for

another that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man

availeth much." I thank the Lord that one this trust train enroute to healingville, I

have many a righteous woman and many a rightous man as fellow passengers. I

can assure you that your prayers, Gwen, are availing much for us who desperately

need healing. First, they avail because you are praying prayers of faith. Second,

they avail because the God to whom you are praying hears and answers prayers.

It's beyond incredible the amount of power that is harnessed in the prayers of the

righteous. Unfortunately, this is a power that is under-tapped because too few

people really reach out in earnest to the righteous to pray for them and many

people don't really have any connections with righteous prayer partners who are

on speaking terms with God and can get a prayer through. Take you, for instance,

Gwen. You've been in this world many years and it took my preaching, my

sickness and the saints of Morning Star to hook us up. But this isn't mere

happenstance. This is all by devine design. God placed you into my life and the

lives of my fellow healing-seekers for such a time as this. we are all grateful that

God has sent us the likes of you to help see us through these needful times. And

if perchance you, too, will one day find yourself standing in the need of fervent

prayer, the righteous women and men of God's kingdom will be there for you, too.

The heymn says, "Oh what peace we often forfeit? Oh what needless pains we

bear? All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."

Keep Fighting you have a lot to live for and more people to love and love you back..Prayers for you to get well and cancer free..

Banks' response: Thank you my anonymous neighbor for reading my blog and

for taking precious times and energy to share your encouraging comment. Yes, I

am fighting to live because I love life and because I have a lot to live for. I also love

love. Loving love means that I love God first because He first loved me. I also love

love wherever I can find true love because love is the best medicine one can find

anywhere. Lastly, we serve a God who hears and answers prayer. I'm going to do

my best to help my own healing in progress and then I trust God for the rest.

Hi -- It's great to hear that you're feeling strong enough to want to kick some ass! Stay strong. And please keep us posted. - Mary

Banks' response: Thank you for commenting in that fighting spirit. I want my

healing badly. But I'm not going to just sit back and expect God and everybody else

to do everything for me and I do nothing for myself. I'm going to fight for my

healing. I'm going to fight with my faith, fight with discipline, fight with pain, fight

with sacrifice and fight with patience to hold on to God's unchanging hand.

Weeping may endure for a night. But joy cometh in the morning time. Like Job, I'm

not in any great hurry. I don't have any bus to catch or any deadline to meet in this

healing in progress. I've placed these issues squarely in God's hand. In the interim,

I believe I'll wait until my change comes.

To all of you wonderful cancer warriors, God bless each and every one of us and our weary, devoted care givers as well. The road isn't easy, the path will be rough, but we find God in each other and we soldier on. We don't lose our battles with cancer. Some of us will have to surrender, but when we surrender that cancer battle to God it is never a losing situation.

Banks' response: Oh, Kathleen, how well your words ring so true. To see you

turn usward and spray us collectively with your words or comfort and

encouragement is to see Jesus in action. He is us redeemed of the Lord caring

for and sharing with one another. Yes, let us rejoice already for the healings

coming our way. And when each of us gets his healing, let's not forget to give

God the glory, the thanksgiving and the praise. I promise God and the world that

my healing will not be in vain. It will be for God's glorification and the Christian

church's edification as well as for your notification and my gratification. So come

on children and let's shout about the goodness of the Lord. He hast done great

things for us, whereas we ought to be glad about it. I know I am. So, once again,

come on and let's give God some praise up in here.

Hi Lacy,

I am praying regularly for you, brother. I'm believing that the Lord (with your doctors' help) will bring about complete healing in your body, and continue to give you the strength and will to fight on! I also have been a sports writer in the Chicago area for the past several years. We all miss your column in the Sun-Times.

Banks' response: Mike, thanks for reading this blog and for wishing me well.

You da man, Mike. You da man. And because of the prayers and support of good

people like you, God is seeing me through. Your encouraging words are not

falling by the wayside, or among thorns of scorn or on stony ground of doubt and

fear. Rather, they are falling on the good ground of my gratitude. Great is the Lord

and greatly to be praised.


I somehow stumbled onto your blog this evening, and as soon as I read your post of 9/3, I knew why. You are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I have the information you need to GET WELL and ENJOY LIFE again as God intended!

Please let me share this information with you. Then follow the simple instructions, BEAT the cancer, and help me spread the word that there IS a cure for cancer! Cancer is no longer some mysterious disease that cannot be prevented or cured. Recent research, as explained by Dr. Simoncini and Doug Kaufmann on the tv show "Know the Cause", has discovered the cause of AND, even more importantly, the CURE for cancer! (Please go to Be sure and watch the video!)

It is a crime and a shame that people are still suffering through traditional cancer treatments, and/or even dying for lack of knowledge of this cure! It just makes me down-right MAD! Most people, including medical professionals, still do not know about it! Probably because the cure is not some chemical drug that pharmaceutical companies can patent, manufacture and make millions on. (And let's face it, cancer is big business! Just imagine how many people will be out of work once no one ever again opts for chemotherapy, radiation, and other traditional cancer treatments.)

The cause of cancer is the UNNATURAL acidic pH balance of the typical human body in this day and age, at least in the developed countries. Cancer is a fungus, which thrives in an acidic environment, but CANNOT live in an alkaline environment. The human body was designed to have an alkaline pH balance of approximately 7.4. If we all lived and ate as God intended, we'd have healthy pH balances. But instead, most of us have a highly acidic pH balance, which is a direct result of our modern diet and lifestyle. Things like sugar, flour, carbonated beverages, meat, dairy products, and stress all have a very acidifying effect on the pH balance. To have the proper pH balance, you have to practically eliminate all those things from your diet, live on fruits and vegetables, supplement with minerals, and live a low-stress life!

OR . . . you can alkalize the easy way! A small amount of sodium bicarbonate (yes, that's right -- ordinary household baking soda!) taken by dissolving it in a glass of water & drinking it is all it takes to alkalize your system! The amount needed can easily be determined by monitoring your pH balance by testing the urine with test strips. (It has to be urine that you test; saliva testing is unreliable and often down-right misleading.) For me, it just takes about a teaspoon of baking soda a day to keep my pH balance right where it should be.

Keeping the pH balance in the "healthy" range will prevent cancer (along with most other degenerative diseases.) If someone already HAS cancer, it can be CURED by raising the pH level to a highly alkaline state long enough to kill the cancer cells, then dropping it back down to the healthy range. I personally know several people who beat "terminal" cancer with this method, without a drop of chemo or any other "traditional" cancer treatment, and NONE who have failed to beat it by following the instructions! For all the details, please email me at, and I will send them over.

I have composed letters to "Dear Abby" and "Ann Landers," intending to ask them to help me get the word out. I haven't sent them yet, though, because I need to get a website set up to handle the flood of responses I'm sure I'll get. It either needs to have all the information on there that I am going to email you, or it needs to have an auto-responder to email out the information to those who respond. I don't know how to set that all up. (My own blog was set up by my friend, and I haven't even been able to get it to post any of my entries since the day we set it up! That shows you how computer savvy I am!) Perhaps with your contacts, you konw someone who could help me with that or even do it. It's certainly a worthwhile cause!

Perhaps you also know how to contact Ted Kennedy? He needs this information as well. I was also thinking that if HE would beat HIS cancer with this method, he is in a great position to help get the word out!

Perhaps this is why you have been battling cancer . . . so that you can be the instrument God uses to get the word out about this! I do believe it's why I somehow stumbled onto your blog this evening. (I certainly can't think of any other logical explanation!

Please check out that website, and also email me back with your email address so I can send over the rest of the information. There are also some books on the subject, such as "Alkalize or Die" by Dr. Theodore A Baroody and "The pH Miracle" by Dr. Young. (I can't find my copy at the moment to look up his first name, but I want to say it's Robert. If not Robert, then maybe Philip.)

Lacy, will you help me with this? I would be forever grateful, as will the millions of people whose lives will be saved by this information!

God Bless You!
Linda Gracy

Banks' response: Sweet Linda Gracy! God bless you, my sister. What a most

enlightening comment! I thank you for reading this blog and for not walking away

and leaving us empty-handed. Believe me, I will start alkalizing more today. And I

invite my fellow cancer warriors to do the same if they are so inclined. What is so

beautiful is that you are not asking us to so a whole lot. What you suggest is very

simple and inexpensive. I got some Arm and Hammer that I use regularly to help

brush my teeth. It's nothing for me to buy an economy box and add a dose of

baking soda to my diet every day. I feel God healing my body. My brain cancer has

already bee ruled benign and is being treated with a simple pill taken weekly. God

is good. But this prostate cancer was malignant and need more aggressive

radiation treatment. Now, I'm going to amp up my fight by alkalizing. I welcome all

prayers first and foremost. Then I also welcome all advice. I'm not going to follow

every tip or advice people are offering because the Holy Ghost forbids me from

doing so. He watches over me and He screens suggestions from my readers. I'd

had some readers to suggest unwise things like a healing bra or some potion a

lot stranger than baking soda. So I don't eve post these comments for fear that

some poor desperate man might go out and buy a bra and waste faith in it. God

heals us through a lot of things and people. But all healing comes from Him. God

bless you Linda.

Health is wealth, being fortunate to survive the cancer is a thing of joy. Keep on with the determined attitude, this is one major thing that will make you to stay focus and not to be warn out.
Do not relent in your desire to fight it out in prayer; in what ever way that will will help to make you be totaly free from cancer.

Banks' response: How so right you are, Nike Fanoiki. And to that end, I say

pray! Pray! Pray! Pray! Prayer is good. Prayer will work it out because we serve a

God who hears and answers prayers. If there is any advice I give to anybody who

has a problem and things it's can't be solved, it's the same advice you give to me.

Pray! Pray in the morning, Pray at noon. Pray at night. Pray at midnight. Pray in

your lions' den. Pray in your fiery furnace. Pray as you stand before your Red Sea.

Pray in times of feast and pray in times of famine. Pray because what prayer and

faith can't do can not be done. Pray that God's Kingdom comes and that His will

be done on earth as it is in heaven. We need more praying churches, more praying

homes, more prayer in school, in the work place, in the market place, on the

streets and in the allies. We need prayer all over the world. We need to humble

ourselves, pray, seek God's face and turn from our wicked ways. When we do

those things, then God will hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land.

Bless you Nike. You got me pretty worked up on this prayer thing. You see, I have

many, many testimonies where I was besieged by adversity and prayer helped

deliver me. Thanks be to God for answering those prayers. And He's still ready,

willing and able to deliver you and anybody else who would call upon His name in

reference and faith, trusting Him totally, nothing wavering.

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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 September 3, 2008 10:08 PM.

America's healing starts with you and me, not Obama was the previous entry in this blog.

Heart surgery landed me on insurance companies' death row is the next entry in this blog.

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