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...with Jesus, doctors and common sense

DOCTORS TELL ME I HAVE EIGHT MONTHS TO LIVE UNLESS......

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God bless you.

First, the good news. My latest blood test, taken last week at the University of

Chicago Medical Center, revealed that my PSA reading is down to 1.92, the lowest I can

ever remember it being. This means my prostate cancer continues in remission as a

result of Dr. Brian Moran's implantation of radiation seeds last May 21. My prostate PSA

cancer must be close to nothing to be placed on the heart transplant list and doctors say it

may take another year before I reach an acceptable PSA score.

Now, the bad news. My UCMC cardiology team, headed by the world-renown Dr.

Valluvan Jeevanandam, tell me that I will not likely live out this year unless I undergo an

operation to have a heart pump, particularly an Heartmate II, implanted to do the

pumping that my defective left ventricle and mitral valve are increasingly failing to do as

they continue to deteriorate.

There are eight months left in this year after this month. So the math is easy. I thank

my doctors for being upfront. That's the first thing I told them I wanted coming in.

"Don't play games with me," I said. "Be my doctors and tell me what you see and

what you feel is best for me based on your medical knowledge and skills. We are a

team. I am the CEO in terms of making the decisions."

But, I also told them as I told you: God is my real primary care physician and He

has the last word.

While the right portion of my heart is still reasonably healthy, the poor job being

done by the left portion threatens the well-being of the right. So Dr. Jeevanandam and

Anderson, his right-hand man, strongly urge that I have the heart pump implanted as

soon as possible.

The addition of Isosorbide, Hydralazine and Dobutamine medicines by Dr.

Anderson has relieved me of the shortness of breath and fatigue and enabled my heart

to hold on a little while longer as is. But this relief is said to be short-termed and Dr.

Anderson says he is very pleased that I have done this well this long with the medicines.

"But it's like flogging a dying mule to get some extra work out of it," Dr. Anderson

said candidly and calmly while flashing that occasional funny little grimace on his face.

"And you can flog that mule only so many times until it just can't work anymore."

I'm having fun dying. I jokingly told Dr. Anderson that I took offense to that analogy

because I considered myself to be a horse, even a nice stallion, if you will, instead of a

mule. We laughed. But Dr. Jeevanandam cautions that my current decision to delay the

implantation is no laughing matter.

"If the right side of your heart gets in bad shape and other vital organs get

damaged as your poor circulation worsens, the only thing we may have to offer you then

is hospice," Dr. Jeevanandam said.

Hospice is where they send the terminally ill to try to make their last days as

comfortable and manageable as possible.

Joyce, my wife of 41 years, badly and madly wants me to do whatever I have to do to

stay alive as long as possible. The same for a long-time special prayer partner who

promises to be praying for me several times a day but wishes to remain anonymous.

"I don't want to lose you," Joyce says. "I love you. And if you really love me, you'll do

what you have to do to stay alive."

Wow! What a wife! What a woman!

My daughters, Nicole, Noelle and Natasha, and my brothers Rev. Jimmie Lee Banks

and Rev. Ephthallia Banks, also urge me to have the device implanted. So do others.

But right now, I feel relatively good and I'm still praying to and trusting God to heal

me so that I won't need the pump. So I'm continuing to work and preach as my health

permits.

This Friday at 1 p.m., April 10, I am preaching at Cosmopolitan Community Church,

5249 Wabash, as part of Pastor Henry Hardy's Seven Last Words preachathon for the

33rd straight year. And Sunday afternoon, at 3 p.m., I will be preaching the usher's

anniversary sermon at Liberty Baptist Church, 4849 South King Drive, where Rev. Darrell

Jackson is pastor.

Whether those engagements will be the last times I preach on this side of Heaven

is up to the Lord.

I may change my mind within the next few months. But, I presently have not

decided to have that pump installed. I don't fancy the idea of being tethered up to an AC

cord at home, or a pair of holstered 90-minute capacity batteries when I leave home, to

keep me alive.

Yes, I want to live. And I thank God that I have the sober, sane mind to decide for

myself which way I want to live. And until I either get more information or feel the urgency

to have one implanted, I'm going to keep praying, praising and preaching.

Meantime, this Good Friday, April 10, marks the one-year anniversary when last

April 10, Dr. Jeevanandam, a medical Mozart, who says he has performed more than 650

heart transplants, and his outstanding, celebrated staff had diagnosed me with suffering

end-stage congestive heart failure that required a heart transplant to keep me alive. But I

was quickly disqualified from being a heart transplant candidate when doctors diagnosed

me with brain cancer and prostate cancer.

I immediately went deep into prayer, asked many of you to pray for me and with me

and to watch God heal me. Well, I'm still here holding on to God's unchanging hands.

Since then, I have preached 12 times and covered some 50 pro hockey and college

basketball games, including a half dozen out-of-town assignments as my health permits.

Joyce and I were also able to fulfill our wish of celebrating our 40th wedding

anniversary with a two-week vacation in Hawaii.

God is good, my wife is priceless, loving and longsuffering and beautiful readers

and prayer partners like you have been invaluable sources of hope and encouragement.

Thank you all so much for your continued prayers. And if I am an encouragement to any

of you, please don't thank me. Thank God. To God be the glory, the praise and the

thanksgiving.

My first breakthrough was when further tests, X-rays and examinations revealed that

the tumor on my pituitary gland was benign. So I have been required by doctors to take

one pill a week--Cabergoline .5 mg--to treat that tumor.

"So you can strike brain cancer off your list," Dr. Anderson said.

For my bad back and chronic gout, I also take Colchicine, Allupurinal, Prednisone

and Indomedicin daily. And for my congestive heart failure, I take Correg,

Spironolactone, Lisinopril, Furosemide, K-Dur, Digitek and aspirin daily.

In total, I take an average of 25 pills a day. But the main things that are keeping me

alive is the grace of God, the love of my wife and the prayers of family and friends like

you.

In the next few blogs, I will interview patients who have had the heart pumps

implanted an how it hindered but also helped them tremendously. I am told that the pump

not only will keep me alive but me feel better and be strong enough to do whatever I

could do when I was in the best of health.

God bless you all.

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32 Comments

Rev. Banks,
I know the doctors has given you only eight months to live, but the doctors don't have the final answer. God has the final answer. I'm trusting God for a miracle in your life. This is your life, and quality of life is more important than quantity. You have lived a good life. I pray you have more life to live, more years to welcome in, but I don't want you to just exist. I want you to still be able to do God's work, which you get so much enjoyment. I want you to keep telling a dying world about the goodness of God. I want you to be a testimony of God's grace and mercy. I want you to keep lifting up the name of Jesus, because at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, Jesus is Lord. There's nothing more powerful, than the name of Jesus. In the midnight hour, when your burdens seems to be weighing you down, and even Joyce can't help, you can call on Jesus and he'll hear you, his child. Lord have mercy on your body and bring you comfort from the pain. Only you and God know your private struggle. Happy Easter, and I'm lifting you up in the name of Jesus, because he rose with All Power in his hands, and he can do anything but fail.

BANKS' RESPONSE: I ferventy believe that God will not fail me. He's never

failed me yet and that's mainly why I still trust Him. I also trust my doctors to be

sincere and truthful when they tell me the results of their tests. But first and

foremost, my hope is in Jesus. And if He be for me, He's more than the world

against me/

Dear Lacy -

You are turning out to be the true Iron Man. Your prostate and your brain cancer both sound as if they are non-issues. How great is that? Sound like all the prayers are doing you good.

I hesitate to be another person who is suggesting some treatment or procedure or drug, (How many of those do you have?), but I thought of you as I watched Dr. Mahmet Oz report on research being done at Wake Forest in which they have been able to grow new organs, using the cells from a patient's own body. They have already grown a working rat's heart, using cells from the rodent. It was some of the most amazing medical research I've ever seen. It is science that beats transplants, for there is no rejection, as the cells are from you. You may want to consider working with the folks there and seeing if you can be part of their research.

I know, of course, that it would be something you'd have to pray on. But, I offer it to you only because we never know when something we share may have benefit.

On the other hand, I met a man ten years ago who was in hospice with terminal liver cancer. Through nothing more than prayer, mediation and nutrition, he walked out of hospice. When I knew him, he had been out for three years. It's not up to us to count our days.

I join with all the others who ask God to heal you through the best means and in the best way possible.

Godspeed.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Yes, John, I refuse to give in, give out or give up. I'm

going to keep praying and trusting God for a complete healing. I thank Him for the

healing he has already done, is doing and will do. There is no failure in God. Thank

you also for that tip about the stem cell research. I have already been looking into

that procedure and will explore it further. Please continue to pray for me.

REV. BANKS,

AS ALWAYS I WILL BE IN ATTENDACE AT THE LAST SEVEN WORDS AND CAN'T WAIT TO HEAR YOU BRING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. LAST YEAR WHEN YOU ANNOUNCED YOUR SET BACK , I PRAYED THAT GOD WILL KEEP YOU. I LOVE HOW YOU BRING THE MESSAGE. STAY STRONG AND STAY ON THE WALL. SEE YOU FRIDAY. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. KEEP ON BLOGGING. I LOVE READING YOUR EVERYDAY MIRACLES.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you so much Ferita for reading my blog and for

emailing your encouraging comment. And wen I ask you and my other blog

prayer partners and supporters to stand, would you please be so kind to stand. I

simply want to let people know that I am not alone in this struggle and that I have

the mighty, mighty likes of your in my corner. What a genuine blessing from God

you are to me. Let's pray that this will not be my last preaching engagement. But

it will be my first time preaching in three months. Many preachers are a little

affraid to ask me to preach because they feel I'm too sick. So I thank God for the

preachers who still respect my calling and continue to invite me to preach for them.

This will be my 33rd straight year of preaching at Cosmopolitan. Surly God is able.

I'D LIKE TO ADD A COMMENT FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.GOD TOLD US HE HAS PROVIDED FOR OUR EVERY NEED. FOR EVERY SICKNESS,ILLNESS TO MANKIND PASS, FUTURE ,PRESENT HE HAS PROVIDED PROVISIONS FOR OUR HEALING FOR EVERY AFFLICTION TO MANKIND.
FOR HEALING SEEK OUT GODS MEDS AS INTENDED FOR OUR ILLS.EXPLORE ACID/ALKALINE BODY AS IT RELATES IO HEALING,PAU'D ARCO, MILK THISTLE,RED ROOT, CHAPARRAL,
HAWTHORN BERRIES,FIG TEA(THE TREE OF LIFE) AMONG OTHERS.GODS MEDS FOR HEALING.GOD ALSO SAYS HIS PEOPLE PERISH FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.FOR LIFE AND HEALING SEEK OUT GODS MEDS. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS YOJ.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Trust me, Rosemary. I have not given up and I'm not

going to give up. I'm going to pray and trust God for a miracle until He provides

one or until I change my mind on the pump issue. I am simply not comfortable

with that kind of restriction yet is a situation where it still may take years for me to

be sufficiently cancer-free for a heart transplant. Thank you so very much for your

prayers and kind words. And please, I don't mean to upset anybody showing

concern for my well being. And this indecision may be just what I need to give my

miracle more time. I never demanded that God heal me by a certain deadline. I

want the healing however He chooses to give it. In the meantime, I am glad I have

the freedom to decide on whatever other options are at my disposal. And I also

thank God that this waiting isn't a very painful one. I am not pushing the envelope

in doing more than I feel I should be doing for my health's sake. I am trying to be

very responsible with the time and opportunities God gives me. Meantime, may

God bless you abundantly with the desires of your heart in the name of Jesus, I

pray.

Praise the Lord! When I don't see something new on this blog I get real worried. I know I should not be because you are in God's hands but it's just the human in me. I respect your position as well as your physician's so you understand how complicated this all is. My prayer is that the Lord will give you direction and you will make a decision with peace. I understand the inconvenience of being tethered 24/7 with the time constraints when travelling about and it does present its own special problems, BUT, without it I am out of here. Without it whatever works well will suffer beyond repair and simply make matters worse. I know this is probably o ne of the greatest decisions you will ever make in life, but you've really already made the most important one, to serve HIM, to spread HIS WORD, to bring others to HIM. He may be showing you ways to enable you to complete your work for HIM. I will continue to keep you and family in my prayers. God is so good.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Always so wonderful to hear from you, Gwen, one of

my most faithful prayer partners and fellow seeker of God's healing. It's so

wonderful to suffer with you because your beautiful attitude, tremendous faith and

perpetual positive mind inspire us all to keep plugging and to keep hope alive. I

just got off the phone with Comcast producer Willie Parker who promises to have

a TV crew at Cosmopolitan Community Church Friday afternoon for my sermon at

1 p.m. I will be preaching the second of Jesus' seven last words as I have done for

33 straight years. Then Easter Sunday afternoon, I will be preaching the usher's

annual anniversary sermon at Liberty Baptist Church at 4849 South King Drive. A

few of my other prayer partners promises to be there and it sure would be nice if

you could make it. In the meantime, Happy Holy Week to you.

Dear Mr. Banks, I want to encourage you to seriously consider the LVAD device. This device was the last remedy my dad had. His medication was also not helping him. He tired easily and had trouble walking short distances. The alternative was to be placed in an assisted living residence where he had 6 months to live or this device. My dad wanted to live more and opted for the device. My dad was 61 at the time.

Yes it was difficult at first getting used to sleeping connected to a monitor, or carrying his batteries. But it beats the alternative.

This device prolonged my father's life by three years. During this period, he lived a relatively normal life. He could drive, run errands, walk, dance with my mother, do little jobs around the house. Most important, because of the device he had the opportunity to meet, and hold his only two grandchildren. In the end, while his body was failing him (kidneys), it was his heart, with that device, that kept him going.

Mr. Banks, we will always be grateful for the extra three years of life that God allowed my father to spend with his family because of his device.

If you would like to learn more about my father's experience feel free to contact me.

My prayers are with you and your family. Your loyal readers want to continue reading your work for many years to come.

Tomas Ramirez

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, thank you, thank you so very much Tomas

Ramirez. It's testimonies like yours that I'm looking for regarding the IVAD. Three

extra years of life for your dear dad had to be a great, great blessing for him and

his family. My doctors are giving me fair warning that the longer I wait, the

greater the chances of other organs like my kidneys being damaged by my

weakened heart and poor circulation. And your father probably did not even have

the more advanced Heartmate II, that doctors swear is lighter, more efficient,

longer lasting and more reliable. I'd already talked to one patient, Robert Winston,

who had his LVAD implanted last September and he swears it has not only saved

his life, as he await an heart transplant, but he brags it has him feeling better than

he did before he got sick with congestive heart failure. But your testimony of your

father living three more active years is great. If I were to have the Heartmate II

implanted, it should tide me over until my prostate cancer is low enough for me

to qualify for a heart transplant. I know that your information is also great for so

many others who are in my situation and who are reading this blog. Thank you,

Tomas, again and again.

Dear Mr. Banks. I thank you for your response. In 2006, my dad LVAD was replaced with the Heartmate II. It was more efficient and would have lasted five years. However, he developed a hernia due to the extra space. He had surgery for that hernia and developed complications from which he died. My dad was a fighter and had three sucessful heart surgeries. He died as a result of the less complicated surgery. However by that time he had developed ulcers because of his medications, and he also had diabetes. God needed him and called him to his side. He gave him his wish of seeing his grandchildren.

God Bless you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Aaahhhh, Tomas. There you go again filling in more

blanks with answers to some the very questions that patients in my situation will

ask. Three extra years of life with one's family, spiced by dancing with one's

honeybabysugarpie? Hey, you can't beat that. It's input like yours that helps move

me closer to the pump. I am really happy for your family and you, his family. It

sounds like one precious jewel of a family that you all have working over there. I

thank God for your health and joy. I thank God for your love and your sweet

memories of dad being held over for an extended run. Okay, so the pump is a

surcharge I may have to pay for a longer life. But three more years with my

family would be great for me because I, too, am blessed with a great family with

very, very few exceptions. A good family alone is worth living for. God bless you,

Tomas.

Tomas beat me to it! I can't tell you how precious those extra years with my father were; especially because he held my child in his arms. God has a way of performing miracles. The LVAD was the miracle he needed to continue on. I’m sure you must feel overwhelmed and yes the longer you wait the more damage you do to your body. Take the risk! Live longer! Your family will treasure that extra time with you!

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!
Patty Ramirez-Flores


BANKS' RESPONSE: Hi, Patty. Here's guessing that one or both of those

grandkids that gave dad so much joy in his last days were fruits of your womb.

If so, then God bless you for blessing your dad to see, hold and kiss the next

extension of him and your mom. What powerful moments those must have been.

I can almost feel myself right there crying tears of happiness right along with

you. I have five grandchildren and my wife and I are crazy about them. They

belong to my two oldest daughters. And I know that if and when I see my

27-year-old baby have a baby, I'll feel like jumping over the moon, perhaps pump

and all. Life is good. Life in Christ Jesus is priceless. Life in Christ Jesus with

one's family is matchless and it fires up passionate people to shout "Hallelujah." As

a matter of fact, I feel like shouting right now for the testimonies you and Tomas

have shared with me. I feel like shouting and running and jumping. And there go

some runaway tears falling from my eyes and bouncing off my T-shirt. And I know

I am not alone. Somebody else out here in the internet is being touched by your

testimonies just like I am. It's so good to be alive, Patty and Tomas. Isn't it?

It's so good to have a good family. It's so good to have loved ones. It's so good to

have hope. It's so good to have good things to cry happy tears about. But most of

all, it's so good to have Jesus as one's personal Savior and to have one's name

written in the lamb's book in heaven. Yeah, I feel like preaching, too. Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!! Hallelujahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! And thank you Jesus!!! I said THANK YOU

JESUS!!! Can I hear somebody else out here in cyberspace shout "Hallelujah" and

"Thank You Jesus!" Amen. Amen. Amen.

Here you go, Reverend!! Hallelujah! Thank you, Jesus!

You may not always know it, but you have a lot of people who peek in on you once a day to see that you're alright. All of us send you prayers for the perfect outworking. Patty and Tomas have given you so much real-world information --that is such a gift to share knowledge.

When I first saw this blog title "Conquering Cancer and Heart Failure..." it seemed like such a daunting challenge. But, then, through the second half of the title "...with Jesus, doctors, and common sense," you are DOING it. Brain tumor, benign. Prostate cancer in remission. And now, an alternative to hold a place for a new, healthy heart.

We celebrate with you, Lacy. God is more patient than we are, for He is certain of the outcome.

Hallelujah, friend.


BANKS' RESPONSE: John P, you would believe the tremendous pressure

being applied on me from the family members and friends. "Don't be selfish, Lacy,"

they plead. "Take the pump. We need you." My ego is no match for such genuine

outpouring. But I must consult much more than my ego. It's great to be needed,

wanted and loved. But at the end of the day, one must also make a decision that is

well prayed over if not well studied. I know that God's options are endless and I

know that all that man has to offer is what God gives him and blesses him to

develop and have. God heals through doctors and medicines, loved one and

friends. You wouldn't believe the healing I am even getting from the sincere, kind

and understanding likes of you. All you varied sources are feeding me well. God

bless you for your continued prayers.

Rev. Banks,

To God be the glory for Him allowing you to live and live with purpose! You have touched so many lives, more than you will ever know. My father, Frederick D. Robinson is one of those lives. He loves to hear you minister or preach as he would say. Your message from God and how you deliver it can't be matched. We plan to hear you speak this Friday at Cosmopolitan. We are praying for you and your family. God bless you and your family and your doctors and nurses. You are a tremendous soldier for the Lord and I know whatever you decide, to get the heart pump or not, will be the decision God has led you to make and the outcome will glorify Him.

Thank you so much for preaching the word of God and always having a message that encourages others.

Our truest love, peace and blessings to you Rev. Banks,
Frederick D. Robinson and his daughter April

BANKS' RESPONSE: Sister Robinson, thanks for reading my blog and for

emailing your compliments and kind words on behalf of your dad. I am honored,

grateful and encourage to keep on keeping on doing the best I can to preach God's

word and to help make other people and their lives better. People like you help me

realize that my living and my giving are not in vain. I am really putting effort to good

use if it helps others. I am who I am and have what I have because so many other

people have helped me in my life. I still remember the words of a true-to-life song

that I learned in high school: "No man is an island. No man stands alone. Each

man's joy is joy to me. Each man's grief is my own. We need one another. So I

will defend each man as my brother. Each man as my friend." One great thing

about this rather unique blog is the way it brings the suffering people into the

merciful midst of caring and sharing people. We network in life-enriching ways and

to God be the glory for any good that comes of this blog. Hope to see you and your

father Friday Sister Robinson. And if you come and I look in your direction, please

wave a white handkerchief in my direction so that I may acknowledge your

presence. Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter to you and your father.

Rev. Banks,

Thank YOU for your response. It brought tears to my eyes reading as well. Tomas and I are indeed blesses with a wonderful family. He was blessed with giving my dad his first grandchild, Stefano and I was blessed with giving my dad his second, Christopher. Christopher was a miracle child having gone through so much pain and heartache just to have him (13 years in the making). So to have my dad hold him in his arms, well there are no words to express my gratitude to Jesus and to science. Rev. Lacy, make your appointment, start your treatment.Speak with your doctors! Be a testament to how powerful Jesus is! Tomas and I can answer any questions you or your family may have. The Ramirez family was blessed with a gift of hope and your family can share that same gift! Stefano and Christopher are only 4 months apart in age, but they see a picture of my dad and know who he is, that’s God’s way of telling me “Your father is always with you!”

Prayers,

Patty Ramirez-Flores

BANKS' RESPONSE: Again, thank you so much Patty for your kind advice

ad your generous concern for my welfare. How nice that you and your brother

blessed your parents with grandchildren in two different households so close

in time. It's almost like either you two or heaven planned this just in time for your

father to hold and kiss them before he went to sleep to await God's trumpet in

that great getting-up morning. Those experiences provided him with a tiny weeny

sneak preview of the supreme eternal joy that awaits us when we all get to

heaven. Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter to you and your family.

Dear Mr. Banks,

As I read all of these comments tears are brought to my eyes because I truly understand the emotions you and your entire family are going through. My dad (same as Tomas and Patty's) lived a longer happier life because of the LVAD!!! It is a miracle device :)

I am the baby of the family, was Daddy's little girl! And trust me when I tell you that I KNOW your youngest child wants you to be around when that baby is born someday. Unfortunately, my dad will never be around to see me have my first child, BUT he was around to see me begin my career as a Chicago Public School teacher and grow into the young woman I am today! This all thanks to the LVAD. I will treasure the last 3, almost four years, that God allowed him to live. Your children not matter how grown they are NEED YOU to be around.

I know that this is scary for you and your entire family, but if it means more time with the ones you love, it is such a risk worth taking. Remember this device does not change the loving heart that is inside you and that was inside my dad. If anything, it makes it that much brighter.

And you will see just how much those grandchildren of yours are going to want to help you change those batteries (not that you will need the help) because they are going to think you are just too cool :) I say this because every year when I tell me students about my dad and the LVAD they just think he was like some sort of superhero.

Mr. Banks my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!
Continue to celebrate life!

Smiles,
Kristina

BANKS' RESPONSE: My, my, my. What a father! What a family!!! I never met

your dad. But through you children, I and the rest of the world can see that he was

father who was richly treasured, highly esteemed and greatly loved. This also tells

me that people who were not blood relatives were also touched by him in the

beautiful ways so that they, too, could appreciate and enjoy whatever extra life

the LVAD brought him. Yes, Kristina, your words brought to mind my own "baby,"

my 27-year-old daughter Natasha. I can hear her again and again begging me not

to be selfish but to take whatever chances of extra life comes my way. They're

at their wit's end trying to think of what exactly to say and how to say it to help me

decide to get the pump. Readers are also joining in urging me to live as long as

possible with a mechanical heart if I can immediately get a human heart. A part of

me feels guilty about getting a human heart because it costs somebody else a

like to provide it. It certainly will be a great breakthrough in medical science when

they can sufficiently perfect an artificial heart that can help more people that the

availability of human hearts can help. Those is need are many. Donors are few.

Thank you again and I pray that you, too will one day be blessed with the gift of

a baby. I know that baby will also be tremendously blessed to be entering such a

fine, superb, outstanding, loving family like the Ramirez family. Usted es una

familia muy rica en amor et en la fe en Dios. Es nada mas que un benediction del

Dios, esta familia Ramirez. Es una familia lleno con el amor et la alegria del

Dios. Gracias a Dios por todos de ustedes. Que linda su espiritu! Que poderosa

su amor por su padre et madre! Gracias a Dios por estas calidades. A Dios sea

el poder and la gloria por la eternidad. Quedase juntos en el Dios. El quedera

ustedes no mucho cuidado. Es despuis la vida aqui en la tierra. Nosotros vamos

tener una otra casa eterna en il cielo. Allelujah!

Rev. Banks,

Thank YOU for your response. It brought tears to my eyes reading as
well. Tomas and I are indeed blesses with a wonderful family. He was
blessed with giving my dad his first grandchild, Stefano and I was
blessed with giving my dad his second, Christopher. Christopher was a
miracle child to begin with having gone through so much pain and heartache just to
have him (13 years in the making lots of Infertility Treatments etc). So to have my dad hold him in his
arms, well there are no words to express my gratitude to Jesus and to
science. For God and Science gave me more time with my dad and a beautiful son.
Rev. Lacy, make your appointment, start your treatment.Speak
with your doctors! Be a testament to how powerful Jesus is! Tomas and I
can answer any questions you or your family may have. The Ramirez
family was blessed with a gift of hope and your family can share that
same gift! Stefano and Christopher are only 4 months apart in age, but
they see a picture of my dad and know who he is, that's God's way
of telling me "Patty - your father is always with you!"

Warmest Regards

Patty Ramirez-Flores

BANKS' RESPONSE: Also thank God for the miracle baby Christopher and

for the firstborn Stefano.

Hello Rev. Banks. My family would like to invite you over to dinner so we can anwer any questions, esepcially your wife who will be a crucial part of your new life with the LVAD, see the living arrangements, see pictures of the last years of my dad's life that God and the LVAD gave him, and meet the reason he decided to have the LVAD placed, Stefano and Christopher. Feel free to contact me or any of my siblings. We wish you a Happy Easter and know that you will share many more with your family.

BANKS' RESPONSE: What a wonderful and kind gesture!!! I would love to do

that and I will ask my wife to come with me. To protect your privacy, pleased send

your telephone NUMBERS to my personal e-mail address of lacybanks3@aol.com.

Hi Rev. Banks

I am a new reader of your blog. I have to say that I get inspiration each time I read an article. You are truly one of God's chosen. The comment that I have is just a simple one... you said for us to pray and watch for your healing. I want to say unbelief looks at the past and says, "See it can't be done." But faith looks at the future and says, "It can be done, and according to the promises of God, it is already done!"

Put all the past failures behind you forever, don't claim to wait on your healing. Faith steps out and acts like the victory's already been won.

God Bless you Rev. Banks

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Emma, for reading my blog and for

e-mailing those beautiful words of hope. I am being nurtured by such rich

generosity and I am told by others like you and I am not just freeloading. I am

also helping others. God bless you. Happy Good Friday and happy Easter to you

and your family.

I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you and your family.I am at computer crying because just reading your story makes me thank god for my family and two kids. Have always read your column even when I lived in California. Again god bless you Mr. Banks.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, Victor, for being in my corner for so long. People

like you help make me who I am and I thank God for you all. Your goodness to me

is from the Lord. Happy Good Friday and happy Easter.

Dear Mr. Banks:

I commend you for sharing your medical journey with the entire world.

As a former journalist of 30-years and a stomach cancer survivor for nearly ten-years, I can understand your fears of the unknown and your emotional and physical pain as you battle each day through this roller coaster storm.

But you and I know the power of God's healing hand, and I am pray that He will bring you through yet another storm and be even a greater inspiration to others suffering similar health issues.

My prayers are with you always as you try to remain positive and uplifted each day. You are an excellent role model to everyone especially those who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Be blessed and continue to be a blessing to others and thank you for all you do and have done for the community.

Chinta Strausberg

BANKS' RESPONSE: Chinta Strausberg. Wow. For years, I marveled at

your supreme writing prolificacy when you were the flagship reporter for the

Chicago Defender. You carried that paper on your reportorial and literary

shoulders. Chinta Strausberg, a writing machine. Chinta Strausberg, a riveting

reporter who asked the hard questions and never backed down. Chinta

Strausberg, a workaholic with few equals. And now you introduce another side of

you and your life: Chinta Strausberg, the cancer survivor. God does not pull us

through these things for nothing. I and others like me need to hear from people

like you and what God has brought you through. And believe me, I know that God

is able. What I need, Chinta, is more faith. Pray that God increase my faith

manifold. He's got the healing for sure. And even if I already have enough faith

for Him to heal me, because let's remember it only takes a mustard-seed-size

portion of faith for the healing, I also need faith and patience to wait on the Lord.

Some healings may take longer than others. But on due season, the faithful shall

reap if they faint not. God bless you, Chinta. Happy Good Friday and happy

Easter.

Hello Rev. Banks!
My family very much looks forward to sharing our knowledge about living life with the LVAD for you, your wife, and children :)It will be great for you to hear the ins/outs of everyday living, to give you more perspective on the device. Hopefully it will calm any fears that you might be experiencing.

Have a wonderful Easter! We look forward to meeting you :)

Smiles,
Kristina Ramirez

BANKS' RESPONSE: Once again, thanks Kristina for the wonderful

invitation. Obviously, there's a gold mine of information about the very device

doctors are recommending for me. Knowledge is power. By the way, who is the

best cook? Or will I get the best of all the best? I can smell the mouth-watering

aroma of a Ramirez feast already. They say the way to a man's heart is through

his stomach. I believe your family's love and dynamite cooking helped strengthen

your dad's heart and his will to live longer. I hope I'm not too nosy. But what are

the dishes that the Ramirez cooks take special pride in? Something tells me that

Patricia and Kristina and whoever ever over there can do it all. Oh, yes, by the

way, is Tomas any good in the kitchen? (smile)

Dear Rev Banks,

I am a person who don't beleive in accidental meetings, somehow I was directed to your blog, I worked as an intensive cardiac care nurse at the UCMC taking care of many of Dr A. Anderson and Dr. Jeevs patients who has had the heartmate placed. Allow me to be direct some has gone on to do very well and others wait to long to have the assistive device placed and not respond well. I beleive god place people in the path of others for a reason, and me finding this blog was no accident. You mention your wife wants this, but do you? and if you do are you ready for the road ahead. God had given Doctors and Nurses like myself the ability to be able to care for his people and Dr. Jeev beleive the same. He truly cares about his patients and quality of life. You spoke of your PSA level decreasing that is wonderful, not trying to take away from what god has the power and ability to do also keep in mind he (God) has given Doctors and Nurses the tools to continue to help his people. I have since moved on to another Hospital in my surrounding area, to help educate and care for the ones who need also can benefit the great learning experience I have taken from UCMC. Thanks for sharing your story!!!Thecia Robinson_Freeman BSN

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks Thecia for your imput from viewing the process

up close and for being candid about outcomes. It's a big decision to shut myself

down from travel, bathing, TVs, computers and sleeping on my stomach (my

favorite position). Then during unpredictable bad weather, there are those power

blackouts that could cost me my life. There are the daily bandage changings and

the need to make sure I have plenty of charged batteries when I leave the house

and not get caught in a situation, like a flight delay, when I won't have enough

batteries to last me. Then there is the process of not having my cancer

sufficiently minimized to ever get a transplant, thus confining me to the

high-maintenance pump for the rest of my life. It's a big decision. I'd like to have

one good vacation somewhere with my wife before I have the pump implanted. I

currently feel good enough to afford such a trip before such a near-comprehensive

indefinite shutdown.

will put me at tremendous risk

To God be the glory! As we go into Easter and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I can't help but be encouraged by your testimony. It sounds as if we have conquered 2 illnesses, with one to go. (Listen to the "we". That's easy for me to say from the sidelines.)

You said we have 3 illnesses to conquer. As I wrote that, thinking of the number "3" causes me to pause and shudder. This is Good Friday. On the Third day, Christ was risen from the dead. Let us believe with all our hearts that nothing is too hard for God. If He, in His infinite wisdom could bring back Jesus, we know He can heal you, if it is His will.

I cannot believe that God would bring us this far to leave us. Remember 2 down, 1 to go.

BANKS' RESPONSE: On this Easter weekend, the most important holy day

period of our Christian faith, we celebrate the redemptive faith formula for our

reclaiming of life from the death caused by our sin. On yesterday's Good Friday,

I participated in the best GOOD FRIDAY service I've ever been in at the

Cosmopolitan Community Church, pastored by my longtime dear friends, Rev.

Henry Hardy. Seven ministers preached with extraordinary power, and a slew of

sanctified saints prayed and praised and glorified the wonderful name of Jesus and

the resurrection power it represented. And if there ever was a time America will

will need a resurrection, it's soon because our nation and even our civilization is

dying from the poison of an overdose of a carnal cocktail comprising corporate

greed, willful ignorance, mass materialistic promiscuity and maniacal ingratitude.

No, on my individual health front, I have not given up on my healing from God. I,

too, don;t believe He brough me or us this far to leave us. Two down and one to

go? Actually one down (brain tumor), one prostate cancer going down through a

radioactive meltdown

It’s been almost a year since I started this journey with you after hearing from friends of your first blog. I’ve read all of your input and most every response from readers. Thank you for sharing.

The circumstances of your life have changed my life.

I now read the on-line Sun Times searching for your by-line to savor your gifted writing style. I can talk with rudimentary knowledge of the Black Hawks or Northwestern men’s basketball. Time spent reading Vanity Fair and the local pitiful newspaper has been replaced with researching articles relating to PSA indicators, radiation seeds, pills and now the heart pump.

The memories you’ve shared of your mother have had a profound impact on me as a daughter, mother and grandmother. I re-read your account of your dad’s horrific near-fatal accident and how your mother prayed and nursed him back to health. And then, how he hobbled back to the pulpit to continue God’s work and when he could not, God called you as a child to preach. In the time of trouble in a small Mississippi town you’ve been blessed with a testimony to share with and to encourage national Sun-Times readers.

My life has changed since last May and the first of many Lacy Banks blogs.

Particularly, my prayer life, my fasting and my relationship with God have become more meaningful to me. My supplications are specific and for others. I have found that secret place to talk with God. I no longer fast because it is the day our congregation is told to fast; I fast to yield, to listen. I am praying for you, asking that God restore you and that He guide you and give you His peace as you make this major decision regarding your health. I am praying that God will give you a double portion of power to preach the gospel, to pray, and to sing. I am praying for your wife, your daughters, your sisters and brothers and others who love you, that God calm their fear of the unknown. I pray for all medical personnel who are charged with your care that whatever they do will be for God’s glory. I am thankful for your many readers who encourage me.

I look forward to continuing this journey and to your healing. Take very good care of yourself.


BANKS' RESPONSE: My, my, my, my,my! Ooohhh weee! Were I only to know

your name. What an e-mail of such positive and penetrating passion and purpose

for somebody like me hungry for as much hope and enouragement I can get. And

here I have in you not just a mere sympathizer, but a generous patron as so many

others are now rising from the woodwork to embrace, comfort and encourage me.

The intimate way in which you have followed this blog and have gotten to know me,

especially after obviously taking so much time to read, remember and now put

finger tips to key pad to reflect make me feel exceedingly special. Thanks you for

your attention, That you for for prayers. Thank you for your obvious love. Thank

you for you hope. Thank you for your inspiration. Thank you for your compassion.

Most of all, I thank for for being faithful and prayerful Christian. The fact you care

not to give your name shrouds "anonymity" is such a beautiful garment of

humility and selflessness. Never, or at least seldom, has "anonymity" been so

lavishly and richly attired. May God bless and your family and prosper all of you

with His grace, glory and mercy. Thank you again and again and again. What a

wonderful present for my Eastern weekend.

Rev. Banks:

I've been following your blog for several months. I first came across it while I was doing an internet search about heart pumps. My father has end-stage congestive heart failure. He's 61. I had been helplessly watching him get sicker and weaker since the fall...frantic trips to the ER, stabilized, released...over and over. He had the Heart Mate II installed about a month and a half ago. Now he is healing nicely, getting ready to go back to work. Your blog entries have been an inspiration to me, since it has given me a perspective that the doctors and my father himself couldn't share.

I would like to ask you to consider having the procedure done. It is true that our ultimate fates are in God's hands. But it is also true that God has given us the ability to pursue technological and surgical advances. My dad didn't really want to have the surgery either. He'd already had a triple bypass, a quad bypass, an electronic defibrillator, Heaven knows how many other procedures. He'd been on so much medication that it took a shopping bag to get them all to the ER so that the emergency staff could treat him. But the doctors and nurses at Christ Hospital were amazing. Just a couple of days after the surgery, he looked better than he had in years.

I'm sure things are indeed rather inconvenient for my dad right now. He has to sleep hooked up to a machine, and he wears batteries on a holster when he goes out. He's got to watch out for infection, and he has to take special precautions so that the unit doesn't get wet in the shower. But the bottom line is that I still have a dad. My mom still has a husband. All his students at the college still have an instructor. He still has a lot to offer this world, and I am amazed by his strength.

Reverend Banks, you also still have a lot to offer. You have family and friends that love you, you have scores of avid readers, you have a congregation that is enlightened by your words. A few days of pain and a few weeks of discomfort...that's nothing compared to the gift of time. The mere concept of surgery evokes feelings of fear and uncertainty. Complications? Risks? Sure. It's terribly frightening. But the alternative is frightening, too.

The bottom line is this: the heart pump surgery would not be a possibility had God not given mankind the ability to research and develop the technological advancements. It is there for us. My dad is on vacation right now. That is absolutely a miracle. God saved my dad through medical expertise. I think it would be wonderful for you to be able to interview my father; it might bring you some insight.

Please, please consider the surgery.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Please, oh, please, Sue Janacek, I would love to talk

to your father. It's his kind of first-hand knowledge that I seek to round out my

knowledge about the device and increased my encouragement to undergo the

procedure. What intrigues me about some of what you e-mailed me in that it seems

there was a rather quick turnaround time from the date he got his Heartmate II and

time doctors cleared him and he truly felt well enough to resume working. I want

him to tell me in his own words just how much better he felt immediately after his

surgery and how much better has he been feeling since then. Among other

questions:

How difficult is it to adapt to spleeing on your back instead of your stomach?

What limitations have been placed on your diet, travel, exercise, recreation,

exposure to TV and computer screens?

What about thunderstorms and power blackouts? What precautions have

you taken for such bad weather?

How much medication are you now taken compared to what you used to take.

God bless you again. Please, pet me hear from you or him soon.

My telephone number is 1-708-957-9097.

Dear Mr. Banks-

Thank you very much for for sharing your very personal story with your readers. I lost my mother last year due to Alzheimer's disease and cancer and I struggle sometimes to come to terms with the loss. I was forced to make healthcare decisions on behalf of my mother for several years as a result of the symptoms caused by Alzheimer's. These decisions were rarely simple.

I hear you describe your faith and trust and I am reminded of a story that was told to me during a very difficult time. A man was watching a televised weather report that described an impending storm and flooding soon to follow. The man thought to himself,"No need for concern. God will save me." The storm did come and soon the street in front of the man's home was flooded and he felt very threatened. A man in a rowboat floated past the man's home and shouted for him to join him in the boat for safety. The man replied, "No, thank you. God will save me!" The storm grew worse and the flooding was terrible. The man in the house had to scramble up on his roof so he would not drown. A helicopter flew by and implored the man to take the rope that they had dropped to safety, but the man shouted, "No, thank you. God will save me!" The storm continued and finally the man did drown in the flood.

This man of faith went straight to heaven and implored God, "My Lord, I loved and trusted in you. How could you forsake me?" God replied,"My son I love you. I sent you a weather report. I sent you a boat and I sent you a helicopter..."

Mr Banks, I wish you and yours the very best during this very difficult time. I have no idea where the line between faith and fate lies, but I do believe that you and yours will find it.


BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks John for reading my blog and for e-mailing

counsel that I greatly appreciate and for which I am immensely grateful. God is so

good to me and I know that the good that doctors and state-of-the-art medical

medicine are limited. First and foremost, last and utmost, my hope is in Jesus.


Hello Rev. Banks,

LET JESUS LEAD YOU! By HIS stripes you are healed. My prayers are with you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, Linda, and God bless you and your family.

Dear Rev. Banks,

I've continued to stay in faithful prayer for you and now for your daughter and her little one. Love for each other during these trying times is our manna in the desert and like a drink of living water, it refreshes our souls. I trust God will continue to bless your healing and bring your children all of His abundant daily blessings.

I pray that we all trust God and show our love to one another as we walk through our lives by faith and not by sight. May God's everlasting light of love sustain us all.

BANKS' RESPONSE: You are so correct, D. Drew, so very, very correct. Love

for each other is the Father's sweet meat and merciful manna from on high. Thank

you for reading my blog and for e-mailing your encouraging comment.

Jeremiah 29:11 God has not stopped the work He has begun in you.
He hass the final say. As God lengthened the life of Hezekiah by 15 years, after he turned his face to the wall and cried out before Him, I know that God is not a respector of persons.
What He did then, He continues to do today.
You will be a testimony to the grace and favor of the Almighty.
Remain steadfast, unmovable, abiding in His word.
By the stripes of Jesus, all 39 of them you declare you are healed and I stand in agreement with you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: I take strength and focus in your Christian advice,

Lisal. Hezekiah is one of my heroes and his healing holds out hope for us all. God

is a tear reader and in heaven He has special angels who are on the moan patrol

looking for tears, which are liquid prayers, to read. They can discern and read the

agony and anguish in each sufferer's tears. So if we cry and cry right, God will hear

and attend to our every need. And rest assured that we may fool man, who can

only make judgements based on what he sees on the outside. But we can't fool

God, who looks inside us and knows when we are sincere and when we are not.

Also, the number 8 symbolizes new beginnings. They gave you 8 months to live in your oldself. May God perform a new way, life, walk, inner and outer man for 2010.
The world is waiting for such a time as this, our young men need you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, again, Lisal for your prayers and support.

I urge you to check out the website of Doug Kaufman at
www.knowthecause.com He also has a television program
and you can watch the show online also. He is a good
christian man, who for years, has tried to share what
he has found out about cancers and other ailments. He
has a newsletter with a lot of valuable information, and
also a few books. I pray this will give you the tools to
completely conquer your heart problems and cancer. God
gives us a lot of knowledge, we just have to know where
to look for it : ) God bless you and your family, and i
hope you will research this information.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Peggy Lee, for your kind words. Others

reading this blog may be helped by that same advice.

Dear Rev.Banks,

First of all i want to thank you for sharing your heart warming story for all of your readers and followers,like me.My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your entire family and followers.If i may,i have been through some very difficult times to since i had surgery in June,1999.I had a Dermoid cyst on my ovary which was benign. My Doctor had to remove my ovary even though he said to me before the surgery he would try to save it.After the surgery everything went down hill from there.I went into SEVERE depression and didn't even see it coming until it was knocking at my front door so to speak.I was talking and praying with God to help me understand what was happening to me at that time.I asked him to guide me through what i was dealing with on a daily basis,no matter what it was.I didn't really start praying/talking with God though until i was in my early teens.Why you might ask?I was raised as a Jew and i have nothing against Judaism whats so ever.But i knew that my beliefs were more Christian based.I was adopted when i was 3 weeks old and my father passed over when i was 8 weeks old.I know though that God had a much higher purpose for dad.A beautiful neighbor of mine knew what i BELIEVED in and she started taking me to Church almost two times a week and sometimes more..My mother wasn't happy about that one bit but i insisted it was my choice not hers.(In a nice way i approached that with her)She did come to terms with it but was very hurt by my religious beliefs.In Jan,2000 i went to see an excellent Psychiatrist who diagnosed me with being Bipolar in less than 45 min.What i said to myself.With all my talks with God i didn't understand why he wasn't giving me answers when i needed them most.I realized that God wasn't ignoring me but was truly showing me the way in baby steps.I know why he did that.He did that to show me i must go through many different experiences good or bad on my many paths in my life so far and learn from them and apply that to every new path i go on in my life.How right he was and is,AMEN!It has been eight years now in early March this year when i decided to stop all medications i was on and off of(40+ to be exact)in that time frame(My Doctors were not to happy with that decision but i was and that was my choice not there's)It is now mid April and so far there are no signs of Bipolar or severe depression at all!The moral of this story i am sharing here with you is that it doesn't matter what one is going through.We have to listen to God first,while also being our own best ADVOCATE,along with listening to our GREAT Doctors up to a certain point though.I have so much of my life back now since before my surgery.I know for a fact that God was my true BACKBONE along with many prayers of friend's,the Church and many more BELIEVERS.You keep on"BELIEVING"what God has guided you to do and also what your heart says to do and i know what ever happens you will always be in God's loving hands for eternity.God Bless You And Your Entire Family Always.Amen.You are truly inspiring to me,let a lone for countless other's.. I know you will NEVER,ever give up in what God has in store for you,either here on earth or in the next chapter in your life with God!Thank you for listening to my story.

BANKS' RESPONSE: What a wonderful, wonderful testimony, Abigail. Thank

you for reading this blog and for e-mailing and sharing with us. You and I are on

the same page in terms of God having the last word and in terms of using our

faith as a prime ingredient in our decision-making. Please, continue to share this

testimony with as many people as you possibly can. Make sure that God gets

the glory, the praise and the thanksgiving.

Greetings Mr. Banks,

First, I would like to give all the praise, honor and glory to Almighty God. Mr. Banks, I have been a silent supporter of your healing journey. I started reading back in June or July of 2008.I found out about your previous blogs and had to go back and get caught up.I became worried in late December 2008 and also January 2009,because there was long pause before the blog was updated.

Mr. Banks please stay encouraged. My English Professor says (the word you is improper in writing), but you have been an inspiration to me. I lost my grandmother a year ago and was devastated. I was reading about your loss has a small child, and also about your sons. Your trust and faith in God is immeasurable.I pray that you will make the right decision soon for your recovery.

Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. I believe in all honesty that this statement describes you well.

I heard this sermon in church a couple of years ago by a very respectable pastor from Chicago. He is an exceptional speaker.He preached that, getting up is serving notice on the devil that he's had the last day making you cry because the last person that got up on him made him suffer the greatest defeat of his life.If you ever get up when you have been down, the devil get scared. "Everytime you get up, you give the devil a flash back of the greatest defeat of his life.

God Bless, and I will continue to keep you in my prayers.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Jacqueline, for your continued prayers and

support and I apologize to you and others reading my blog for my occasional long

pauses between my posts. Now that the Blackhawks are in the playoffs and I help

cover them, along with other assignments, I find myself falling behind in posting

more frequent entries in my blog. Bear with me and I promise to rectify this soon.

Thank you for your faith in God and for your confidence in my faith in God. In due

season, I will reap if I faint not. I pray that all is well with you and your family. God

bless you real, real good.

Rev. Banks,
I feel compelled to reach out to you as you have reached out to me without knowing. You are not checking out just yet as God have you fulfilling a very worthwhile purpose. I marvel at how your journalistic and religious skills are interwined as you publicly share your personal story while giving Glory to God. I happened upon your site approxiamtely 6 months ago as I was reading the Chicago Sun Times On-Line. I know this was by faith as I am from New Jersey and don't normally read Out of State Newspapers On-Line. My struggle began 6 months ago when my mom was diagnosed with Cancer in 2 places - pancreas and umbilical. I searched endlessly on the Internet for all I could find as I wanted to be well informed. I became oversaturated and sick to my stomach with what I was reading as I found out mom has 2 of the most deadliest Cancers there are.
We had been to the surgeon and we were making plans for pancreatic surgery when the 2nd site was tested and came back positive. Surgery was cancelled and we were sent home. In mom's mind, she was sent home to die. In the family's mind, with all I was reading, mom was going to die. After accepting and grieving, we did what needed to be done. We wiped our tears, looked to God, and gave him our burden. We then decided we would do our part because mom wanted to live. Mom was diagnosed in November and began Chemotherapy in December.
I found your site at this time and it was a Godsend as it gave me the strength to go on for my mom knowing that someone else was also having a battle of their own. My mom is 73 years old and had always looked 10 years younger than her age. She had also battled Breast Cancer 10 years ago and felt she was in the clear. So this took us completely from left field.
She has had 3 months of Chemotherapy followed by repeat Cat Scan which showed slight decrease in one of her tumor but no further growth. She then had 6 weeks of Radiation and Chemotherapy. She is presently on 2 weeks holiday after which her Doctors plan to put her back on Chemotherapy. Another repeat Cat Scan won't be for 4 weeks as they say the Radiation is still at work.
These 6 months has surely been a struggle and so I relish today. Mom has been off Chemo for 1 week and she is almost her old self. I took her to church today for the 1st time in 6 months. Looking at her, you could not tell she has been battling Cancer (and in 2 places!) Mom has 10 grandkids and she can tell you something about each of them and why she need to be around in their lives. Her 1st Great Grandchild will be Christened next Sunday at 6 months old. I am glad that she will be in attendance as her "old self".
Chemotherapy takes a toll on her. She is nauseous, no appetie, lose her hair, and weak with no energy when it is at its peak. Sometimes I think and believes that she thinks too that she is at death's door. If it was up to me, I would tell the Doctors STOP! But I know mom is not ready to give up. I offer her reassurance everyday when things look gloomy and find myself repeating to her what the Doctor said as she may not remember. Whatever she feels like eating, we may spend the day trying to find as we know her appeite is poor. Then when we bring it home, she may not want it tomorrow. She takes 3-4 pain pills a day and measures her health improvement with it. Less pain pills means less Cancer. We are not there yet but nevertheless, her pain is controlled. She take 8 pills total a day and complains. She wants to take none.
I am a Nurse of 20+ years and it has helped me to understand and deal with this struggle. I tell mom she didn't send me to school for nothing. I am her Primary Caregiver and is at every MD visit with her. Otherwise, she would tell the Doctor, "eveything is fine". I sort with some difficulty through her Medical bills and Insurance coverage. I have 2 brothers who live Out of State and comes on extended visits regularly. They are my hands and mom's hands as needed when around. I work in Management and my job has given me time off as needed to be with my mom. Everyone at work has been totally understanding but I know I can't keep at this pace forever.
Mom has been the backbone of my immediate family for the past 20 years. I live upstairs and she lives downstairs. My husband, 3 sons, and I have managed to keep a busy life outside the home because Mom/Grandma was there to keep it together. Well, it has been 6 months, and WE have not been able to keep it together like Mom/Grandma did.
The Doctors say we will need to treat her Cancer as a Chronic Illness such as Diabetes or High Blood presssure. She was diagnosed with Diabetes one year prior. But just as you take a Blood Pressure medication the rest of your life, she may need to have Chemo the rest of her life. We are accepting that if that's how we can have mom around. Mom and I have an understanding that we are in this together. We are trying to make some adjustments in her life. We laugh at some situations we find ourselves in where we might have cried instead. There are times also when we do cry. Her diet has been moved to a more Anti-Cancer Diet. Her environment needs to be stress-free (this is hard as she still try to own everyone's problem). We reflect happily on the past while making new memories. My goal for her is to live happily and enjoy life big and small. Thank God today, tomorrow, and always. My Moral everyday with her is to, "give God your burden and let him take care of it for you in HIS way".
I thank you for sharing your private experience with readers like me and I thank your readers for giving back. I have gained so much from your site. I have laughed and cried with you and felt better afterwards too. I pray that God will bless you with many more memorable years with your family. The LVAD seems worthwhile as Chemo seems worthwhile with my mom. Grab every chance you get because it means that much more to those around you.
Ingrid

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you, Ingrid, for blessing all of us with your

beautiful and invaluable testimony and for your kind words encouraging my healing.

You are a mighty tower of power for your mother, I gather, for the whole family.

You are the rock and, true to your Christian faith, you refuse to take credit for

something that you did not do and for something that does not belong to you. To

God, and God alone, be the glory, the praise and the thanksgiving. I also want to

thank you for reading my blog, e-mailing encouraging comments and for letting

God use you as His premium vessel. Through you, He has been ministering unto

and sustaining your dear mother. I join you, the rest of your family and your mother

in praying for her healing. I am moved by your faith. So are the mountains in your

life. They have to know that they are living on borrowed time. As any given

moment, by your faith and God's grace, those mountains may have to relocate

into the uttermost and deepest parts of the sea.

God bless you man of God. Peace be unto you.

I am a youth minister, motivational speaker, author, counselor, and kidney dialysis patient of 7 years. I suffer from a very rare kidney disorder which cause both of my kidneys to shut down. You may ask, "What does this have to do with the heart pump?" Well, as I minister and encourage others, my situation may not be the same, but they are in their own way.

A brief testimony to uplift your faith higher in the Lord. I was given 2 minutes to live after complications of a previous kidney transplant (that was 11 years ago). I was told that I wouldn't see the sunrise after complications of another kidney related operation, (that was 8 years ago). I suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest at home 2 years ago. Statistics say that 2-8% of victims survive, if they receive CPR from a trained medical personnel or ambulance staff. Over 59% of them die during admission and half during the first 24 hours. The other half to survive suffered mild to major neurological disability. I walked out 48 hours later without ever receiving CPR, never had life support, left the hospital without any problems, and later that year I graduated Summa Cum Laude with my PhD in Business Administration. I was diagnosed by doctors to have a life expectancy of 21-30 years. This disease claimed my oldest brother at the age of 21. I was told I couldn't have kids due to my condition. By God's grace and mercy, I am 29, married with 2 kids. I will turn 30 in February. Everywhere I preach and speak as a motivational speaker (especially to youth) whether locally or traveling out of the states, I tell my story to let someone know, that despite all the doctors best efforts, as you said, the last word ALWAYS will belong to God.

That being said, it doesn't take away from God if we have to rely on the knowledge that he gives the doctors to help us survive. That's why we wear glasses, hearing aids, heart pumps, and receive dialysis treatments because God had given ways for us to survive. All miracles are not always done by parting of the Red Sea, if you catch my drift. But there are many medical miracles that God has provided us, and even within these, it takes God for them to work. Sometimes we have to be like Martha at the tomb of Lazarus. "Even Now!" Though I am on dialysis for 7 years now, "Even Now!". Even now I believe that I am healed, and God can make me whole again. But just as the Hebrew Boys said to the king. If he don't do it, I won't lose my faith because I believe he's still able.

If you ever get a chance to pick up a copy of my book, "Whatever You're Going Through: A True Story About Overcoming Life's Obstacles" by Henri M. Parker. You'll read of these miracles, amongst others done in my life, and how God, as you said never let me down. This book has been used for motivational lessons and readings in my local schools, hospitals, and youth organizations to give hope and guidance to even the difficult decisions of life we face. Again, we may not have the same situation, but we have the same situation. In fact, according to doctors, I now have 8 months to live. But do you not know, that God is ABLE!! I join Maurette Brown Clark with her song "It Ain't Over".

Whatever God tells you to do, don't waver. If he says do the pump, do it with faith that even while on the table, he can still work a miracle. If you don't get the pump, believe that God has kept you this far, and he'll keep you for as long as he has planned. As I live my life, my words are simple, "All is well." I will live until God says it's time because without a doubt he has the last word. But if he provides a medical miracle for me to survive, and it doesn't have a greater risk than living without it, then by God'[s grace, I will walk in faith, and not by sight.

May you find peace and hope in the word of the Lord. All your help comes from the Lord.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Praise the Lord! Wow! What a powerful testimony of

praise! Thank you for reading this blog, Henri, and for e-mailing your encouraging

testimony. We can never receive too much encouragement to trust God and to

hope for His blessings in the time of trouble. The struggles and the victories you

describe in your testimony reflect a man of tremendous faith. And that is the

primary challenge of us all when our health is threatened. We must have faith in

Jesus for Him to either heal us directly or through the agencies of earthly media,

to include doctors and other God-gifted specialists. After all, the earth is the Lord's

and the fullness thereof, the world and THEY that dwell therein. He owns, oversees

and operates all. He is, indeed, our all in all. Where can we really go but to the

Lord? Thank God for your faith. And thank God for your willingness to share and

encourage others to look to Jesus, the hope of all glory and the author and the

finisher of our faith. May God continue to bless you, my brother, real, real good.

hope

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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.

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This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on April 5, 2009 10:06 PM.

My Dear Daughter Just Got Laid Off. Lord, Give Us More Grace And Mercy! was the previous entry in this blog.

YEA THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH is the next entry in this blog.

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