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


| 19 Comments | No TrackBacks

God bless you.

Within the next two weeks, I will have either a heart pump or a repaired back or both.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

When I first discovered 15 months ago that I had end-stage congestive heart

failure, a brain tumor and prostate cancer, I prayed for God to heal me instantly and

completely of all three.

Many of you Christian sisters and brothers joined me by prayerfully touching and

agreeing with me and the desires of my heart.

God blessed me first with the brain tumor being declared benign.

God blessed me again to put my prostate cancer in remission with the aid of

brachetherapy or the implantation of radiation seeds by Dr. Brian Moran of the Chicago

Prostate Cancer Center.

God also blessed me to retard the deterioration of my heart through additional

medications prescribed by Dr. Allen Anderson of the University of Chicago Medical

Center, where Dr. Valluvan Jeevanandam has been the chief cardiac surgeons for years

It was Dr. Jeevanandam who performed a triple bypass on me Feb. 14, 2001.

When I was hospitalized 15 months ago, Dr. Jeevanandam suggested that I have

a Left-Ventricle Assist Device implanted as soon as possible because my mitral valve

and left ventricle were irreparably damaged and that my heart was not pumping blood

sufficiently and was getting progressively weaker.

I chose to keep praying and waiting for a cataclysmic healing of my heart, which

needed a heart transplant. My wife, daughters, sisters and brothers and close friends

asked to get the pump because it is said to be my best medical option to extending my

life until I can get a new heart.

After my first 10 days of vacation, where I have done mostly nothing but rest, the

signs now are clearer than ever that my failing heart needs help before my bad back.

I am already scheduled to undergo a back operation, specifically a lumbar laminectomy,

to be performed by Dr. Frederick Brown, neuro-surgeon at the University of Chicago

Medical Center, on Aug. 10.

For some seven months, severe stenosis issues in my lower back has kept me from

standing or walking for longer than a few minutes. Since Dr. Anderson has assured me

the back problem was not related to poor blood circulation, I decided to undergo the

back surgery first.

But painful aches, stiffness and occasional swelling in my fingers, feet, joints and

quick fatigue suggest to me that I might be better served having the heart surgery

first. That's why I am firing off an e-mail tp my doctors today asking their advice.

I will keep you posted as my fight continues.

God bless you.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


My prayers continue to be with you and your family as you go through your healing process. I pray that God would give you wisdom and judgment to make the best decisions regarding your health and treatment options. I also pray that He would inspire the doctors and other health care professionals in ways we never thought imaginable. I'm tempted to list suggestions, but that defeats the purpose of asking for methods we never imagined (smile). I pray that your body would respond favorably to the treatments, and God would continue to use you as a living testimony of His goodness and healing power.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks so much Valerie. You don't know how much you

inspire me with your kind words and prayers. You are an example of the abundance

of good will that's ready available to help the fallen and the failing. Surely, not all

angels are in heaven. Some patrol the earth.

Hi Mr. Banks,

As always I have said a prayer for you that everything works out according to His will. One thing that does come to mind as I read that I will like to pose to you is the issue of fear. Though I despise this term tremenodously "fear" does at time rear its ugly head in my day to day life. Be it fear of job loss, fear of losing those I value most around me or fear that things will not work out the way I envision them to. I am 24 yrs old & though I have not dealt with any major life changing issues or health difficulties, fear does at times bog me down. Though I know the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, how is it that through all the life altering situations you have gone through I do not sense fear? As always your words bring comfort & insight. I look forward to hearing back from you.

God Bless :)

BANKS' RESPONSE: How can fear itself be bad when the Bible tells us that

the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Rest assured that God has given us

fear, but He has not given us over to the spirit of fear. Fear makes us to do right

because the consequences of evil are awful. We only really the police when we

have done wrong or when we wonder if they will do us wrong. We do our

homework because we are afraid of flunking out of school. We stay away from

drugs because we fear the great harm they do to us and our family. We ought to

be afraid of getting sick with something that could kill us. We try to do the right

thing for fear of what would happen when we are caught doing wrong. Thus, fear

can be a good gadfly or prod.

Dear Rev. Banks,

I haven't forgotten about you and most importantly, neither has God. I didn't comment on the Elizabeth article because your response was more than sufficient. My heart continues to go out to you and your family as you wrestle with yet another decision about your health. I'm sure you already have many opinions so I won't offer mine. I'll just say that you are continuously held up in prayer before the Lord. Someone told me last weekend that I was very influential in their prayer walk, which amazed me because I don't see that person very often. As I thought about it, I was reminded that we Christians truly don't know who is watching us and may be affected(positively or negatively)by our walk of faith. Although many of your blog's readers aren't literally watching you, we are watching you via your written word. I have no doubt that there are many in addition to me who are encouraged and uplifted by your faith walk. May God continue to bless you, guide you, and keep you in His ever loving arms!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, Marie, for your comfort and compassion. God

is pleased with your love for others and your willingness to share with and care for

others. Mine is an ongoing struggle as it is with so many more sisters and

brothers. Wak on by faith each day, Marie, and let Jesus be your guide.

Dear Lacy,

Thanks for sharing your update. I know we've all been wondering how you're doing.

I had a thought as I was reading your piece and I feel compelled to share it.

You have, indeed, been blessed. With not one, but three serious health issues facing you, you have all be eradicated two of them. Now, it appears that there is a non-negotiable challenge in front of you. I use to listen to a fellow preach who said, "When ever I have a problem or a challenging situation, I always say 'I wonder what good is going to come out of this.'" It occurred to me that, in this situation, the good that can come out of it is not only for you. Doctors, nurses, technicians all stand to gain something from your case and your surgery. You are unique, your situation particular. So, as they go about doing the work of diagnosing and treating, they are learning. That knowledge and wisdom they glean will be a blessing to the next patients they treat. This burden of illness will bless a multitude.

I am keeping you in good thoughts for a successful surgery and better health than ever. Is there anything impossible?

When you get a second, if you could offer up a word on my behalf, I'd be grateful. Things have been just a bit tough and I need some good outworkings to take place.

Thanks, Lacy. And keep us updated. We're all thinking about you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Lord, thank you for my fellowship and friendship with

John Powers. Have mercy and grace mightily upon him and grant him the desires

of his heart. You know the specifics of his needs and you make house calls. Bless

John with what he needs and desires for his good in particular and the Kingdom's

good in general. Make his crooked straight and his rough places plain. Level his

mountains and exalt his valleys. Anoint his head with your providential oil so that

his cup runneth over. Please do it, Lord, in Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My prayers are with you and your family. Although the road gets tough, God will not give us more than we can bare. Hold steady and know God is good!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you so much, Sharon. and may God bless you real,
real good.

Good Morning Rev.

I am touching and agreeing with you that the right decision has been made. Let us know when the surgery will be so that we can be in prayer at the moment that you go into the operating room.

Bless you indeed!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Sure thing, Donna. I will keep you all informed of the

surgery dates. Where would I go in such crucial and vital situations without

prayer? No where, no way.

Dear Bro. Lacy,

You keep us posted on your successes; we'll keep you lifted up in prayer.

Our prayers are with you and with your family. May the peace of the living God come with every victory you achieve through the grace of His Son Jesus.

Be blessed.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thank you so much, Myra, and I pray that God blesses

you bountifully, too, in your daily walk with Him.

Dear Mr. Banks, You are in my prayersm to Jesus the great High Priest over the house of God. I pray that the Holy Spirit will render great peace and comfort at this time, to both you and your family. I pray that you will be granted recovery and restoration to continue your ministry and be with your family and work for many, many years to come.
God bless you

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, Dolores. And to God be the glory, praise and

thanksgiving for the great things He has done, is doing and will do.

Dear Rev Banks,

I have been reading your blog since the beginning of your journey. I have had some serious medical problems myself with quadruple bypass in 2004, diagnosed with heart failure in 2005 an kidney failure in 2007, not to mention diabetes and a long list of other ailments.

Praise God, but for the past year and half, my heart and kidney tests no longer show failure, although I do get short of breath and swelling of my legs on a regular basis.

I did not write this, but I wish I had. I think this may pertain to you as well;

"God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, But he did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the day. If God brings you to it, He will bring your thru it."

God Bless you in your continued journey

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, fellow warrior Ben. I salute and applaud

your abiding faith in our healing God. You've been through a lot and you are

willing and wise to give God the credit for sustaining you through your health

challenges. My blog and the comforting and encouraging e-mails from you and

others confirm that we are not in this thing alone. There is strength in unity and we

accelerate and facilitate our individual recoveries through sharing with and caring

for one another. I pray that God, as soon as He wills, grant you total and

permanent healing for the rest of your earth days. And when you get it, I know that

you will give God the praise, the glory and the thanksgiving. As I am encouraged

by you, Ben, be ye also encouraged by me and the many others who are trusting

and believing in God for the healing of us all. Praise ye the Lord! May your joys

be full and your faith strong in Him, the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

Continue to put your trust in God. He, alone, is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He knows our ending from our beginning...and He's every step in between. Your current state is no surprise to the Almighty God. I'm so thankful that, even as we attempt to make sense of things and make decisions, our Lord is not wringing His hands or scratching His head in disbelief. No! He just looks for that one whom He can show Himself strong in. I believe that, in this hour, you can be that one! Psalm 25:3 reads, in part, "No one whose hope is in [God] will ever be put to shame..."
Continue to keep Him in remembrance of His word and of His promises of healing and restoration. I love you and continue to stand in the gap for you!

BANKS' RESPONSE: So stand there, my dearest daughter Noelle Banks,

precious, God-fearing mother of my wonderful grandson Caleb Emanuel Banks.

Stand there in the praying and praising, trusting and believing gap for me and my

fellow health sufferers. Help us make it through the night of fright and fight to that

bright morning of happy wholeness from God's healing. Yes, weeping endures

for a night. But joy cometh in the morning. And here you are with us in your own

struggle of unemployment. God is also giving you a taste of life's terrible tempests.

You have joined the growing ranks of those who played by the rules, worked hard to

get a degree, a good education, a spotless reputation, a near-angelic character.

All this to have the system to cast you adrift, a single mother struggling to live the

Christian life and raise your son up on the old-school Christian way. The greed and

evil of too many in the highest positions have poisoned our culture, economy and

general society. If there ever was a time we desperately needed cataclysmic,

divine intervention, that time is now and that place is here. And as you tell your

dying father to hold on until his healing comes, I likewise tell you to hold onto God's

unchanging hand. This is not the end for you. Your faith in God is too strong and

our God is omnipotent. So hold on. This is but a test. And someway, somehow, God

will bring you through if you keep the faith and faint not. God will turn the tide for

you, And you who go forth bearing precious seed shall later come rejoicing and

bringing in the sheaths. So be not weary in well doing. For in due season, ye shall

reap. Hold on. Don't you get weary. Hold on through the tears, the jeers and fears.

Hold on through the pain and rain. Hold on through thunder and blunder. Hold on.

Let us forever be diligent and vigilant in our faith in the Lord Jesus. He will carry

us through and give us the victory over our adversaries. And we will use that

victory as a platform and springboard for new praise. Blessed be the Lord God

of Israel and the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Blessed be our God Jehovah. Blessed

be His name.

We've come a long, long way trusting in His Holy Name. We've all been in prayer for your medical decisions and outcomes, your day to day ups and downs. We've lifted you up to the Most High knowing that you are His and that He knows what is best for you. We know He's keeping you, protecting you, loving you. And that Holy Spirit just keeps you full and running over to lift us up. Praise God! It has often been said to just give it to God and leave it with Him. I'm convinced He wants to hear from us early and often, He wants us to acknowledge and exalt Him,let Him know we know and believe His Word, thank Him for His blessings, and ask Him for what we need. My prayers this morning are not just for you and my usual prayer list, but also for the many people who follow along on this blog, who love the Lord and love and admire you, and the ones who don't. We serve an almighty God, Rev. Banks. Aren't you glad? Keep us posted, okay.

BANKS' RESPONSE: To be loved by the all-loving God, who says He Himself

is Love, is already super, super, super good. But to know that our All-Loving God is

also All-Powerful and All-Merciful make our salvation more solid and secure. To

be Loved by an All-Loving, All-powerful, All-knowing, All-Caring and All-Merciful

God is the best of the best.

Visualise the healing process every day and it shall be so.
May the God of all gods bless you,heal your body and bring you comfort during this trial.........and this too shall pass.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, PJ. Well said, well received and well believed.

Grace & Peace Pastor Banks! My prayers and my thoughts are with you and your family during this challenging time. I just want to encourage you to continue to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. He is the alpa and omega, the beginning and the end. He knew that this day and this hour would come in your life for He is all knowing and the good news as I'm sure you know is that He will never leave us or forsake us. Keep the faith and be encouraged Man of God! To God be all Glory!!!

BANKS' RESPONSE: If there is anything I had better ever keep no matter

what, it's my faith in God. When all else fails, He never fails. So my hope is in

Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end and the unlimited

in-between. Yes, on what more can I build my faith? Nothing and nobody less than

Jesus and His righteousness. So I dare not trust the sweetest frame. But wholly

lean on Jesus' name. Thanks, T. Benson for your encouraging epistle. God bless

you greatly.

Dear Rev. Banks,
I am new to your blog,but I can empathize with your struggle. My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999. We thought he had it beat. It reared its ugly head again in 2003 and took his life in 2004. Before this trial, I never really understood what it meant to have a 'gift of faith.' Without this gift, I could not have endured watching him suffer and try to hide his pain from me. Without this gift, I could not have endured not ever seeing him again. Because I have faith and I believe in Jesus' promise, I know I will see him again. This has given me great comfort and the ability to live the rest of my life in peace and joy.I thank God everyday for allowing me to share in helping a loved one transition to His loving arms and His perfect mercy.Although this illness is terrible, your family has been blessed. They get to travel this journey with you; they get to shower you with their love and care; they get to hear your words of comfort and wisdom to them. Your life has been a blessing to them. Your blog serves as a reminder of what a true, perfect gift faith is. May this gift of faith be with you no matter the outcomes, for it is not our will but His will that prevails. God's love, mercy, peace, and care be with you and your loved ones through this storm.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Patricia, what a wonderful, loving, caring and sharing

wife and caregiver you must have been to your dear husband. Thanks for your

heart-touching testimony to one who had a ringside seat to the horrible suffering

of a dying loved one. I have the same in Joyce, my wife of 41 years. Quiet,

faithful, loving, hard-working, obedient, disciplining and caring, she has been the

perfect wife for me in my struggles. I do not expect her or anybody else to

fully understand my pains, my good days and bad days. But she truly does the

very best she can for a job in which a precious few have any training. Thank Jesus

for your abiding faith in God. It is that same faith that is seeing me through. I dare

not wholly trust in well-wishers or false comforters or naysayers. My hope is in God

through a faith authored and finished by Christ Jesus.

Good Evening,,,
wanted to send healing thoughts and prayers your way,,,,,
Love and Light from Mokena Il..

BANKS' RESONSE: Hi neighbor! I live in nearby Hazel Crest. Thank you and

God bless you.

Go to LSI for your back - the laser spine institute. The surgery is minimally invasive, and you'll be back on your feet the same day. Call them to get their input on your situation.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Could the lumbar laminectomy and the laser spine

procedure be the very same thing under a different name? Whatever, I have

needed relief for a long, long time. It's much harder to walk with pain, trying at every

twist, step, stand turn, to minimize the endurance of the agony. So I contort my

body every which a way seeking walking bent, lean and shuffle that relieves my

suffering. It takes much more energy to walk that way than to walk straight-up and

natural with no discomfort. Whether I get it from an invasive procedure or by laser

beam matters little to me so long as I get lasting relief for a change and no longer

have to soup myself up on addictive pain pills.

Mr. Banks I have read your articles since I was 16, I'm 37 now I hope you and your family receive all the Blessings that you all desire, stay srong in The Lord Mr. Banks and I will continue praying for your family, all the way from Afghanistan.

Jermaine Drayton

BANKS' RESPONSE: Wow, Jermaine! All the way from Afghanistan? Thanks

a lot for still thinking of me and praying for me from so far away. I pray that God

keep you safe, too. Are you in the military serving our country? How is your duty

there despite your being in harm's way? You may be the very first person to e-mail

me from a foreign military post. Please stay alert, do your job and we all are

praying for you, too, and all the others in our armed services. I served our country

as a Naval officer during the Vietnam War. But all my duty was done stateside

working for the Department of Defense.

Hello Rev. Banks,how are you feeling?I just wanted you to know that I'm praying for you and the surgery you are about to have on Aug.10th.I pray for your healing.I pray for your wife and family.Make sure you be a good and obedient patient,don't give your wife a hard time.Just relax,take it slow and easy,don't rush yourself.Let God's will be done in and with your body.Take care.Prayerfully, Marcia,Rev. De Ville and the entire Alpha Temple M.B. Church family.

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you, Marcia. And please thank all the Alpha

Temple family for keeping me in their precious, priceless prayers.

I suggest you get a better heart surgeon and worry less about the outcome since this is the same God who gave you the defective valve in the first place

BANKS' RESPONSE: I'm confused by your comment, Drake. It appears to be

either cynical or sarcastic or both. No human heart surgeon is perfect and can

guarantee success. But to ask for a better heart surgeon than God and to blame

God for any emerging defect in my flesh, which was never perfect and meant to last

forever, borders on shear blasphemy. Please explain your comment. But I will not

tolerate playing with or disrespected God on this blog.

Leave a comment

Lacy J. Banks

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



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on July 22, 2009 5:31 AM.


BACK SURGERY NEXT AS PROSTATE CANCER SUBSIDES. is the next entry in this blog.

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