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God bless you.

I've just finished the worst vacation of my life with my wife Joyce because I was in

almost constant back pain that kept me from standing or walking for more than a minute

at a time.

But thanks to Thursday's approval by my cardiologist, Dr. Allen Anderson of the

University of Chicago Medical Center, I have been cleared to go through with my

back surgery (a lumbar laminectomy) on Monday morning at the University of Chicago

Medical Center, where Dr. Frederick Brown with perform the operation.

Because of my high risk as an end-staged congestive heart failure patient, who is

also fighting prostate cancer, I had to get an OK from Dr. Allen. His examination of me

on Thursday yielded two pieces of good news:

1. Dr. Allen examined me and concluded that my heart is strong enough to undergo

the operation, which will be done under general anesthesia. But he suggests that I remain

a couple of days afterward so that the UCMC medical staff can make sure there are no

immediate cardiac complications, or any complications for that matter. Upon recovery,

the next move probably will be the implantation of a heart pump, most likely the

Heartmate 2.

2. My PSA, a barometer of prostate cancer, is now at a fantastic low of .83. We

discovered this from the blood test that Dr. Anderson ordered. All other vitals are

also good. But this is the first time I can ever remember having a PSA under 1.0. This

means my prostate cancer continues in remission and is progressively dissolving.

Thank you, Jesus!!!

Yes, with my brain tumor being healed and declared benign 15 months ago, my

prostate cancer is also being healed, but more slowly.

Now, to get my back straight so that I can stand, walk and exercise better

and strengthen my diseased heart. With so many things wrong with me medically, I just

wanted to get at least one more vacation out of the way before my next rounds of

surgeries because one never knows the exact outcome.

Anyway, who schedules a vacation to undergo surgery or to recover from sickness?

Thank God for a union and a labor contract that provides for workers to take sick leaves

and not be punished for being sick or for seeking and receiving treatment.

Still, the last place one wants to suffer pain is on a vacation with a loved one in a

beautiful setting. Joyce, my wife of 41 years, and I spent five days in resplendent

Vancouver, overlooking its panoramic harbor, and 11 days in sun-splashed Orlando. But I

was refined to either sitting or lying down most of the time.

When we went grocery shopping, I rode the electric wheel chair, which made me feel

ashamed as I rode while my darling wife walked. I didn't feel like a man even through

people flashed smiles of compassion at me, assuring me that they understood my


So now it's on to my back surgery. I thank you for your continued prayers in

advance. But thank God, I not only have you praying for me, which is great. I have my

own prayer telephone in my bosom. And I am using it to pray for myself, too.

God bless you.

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Dear Lacy -

First, thanks for the beautiful, thoughtful prayer you sent for me. I printed it and read it often. I'm eager to see the good that comes from it.

Now, who does Back Pain think he is messing with you? He must not read this blog. You've beat back Brain Tumors and Prostate Cancer and you have Congestive Heart Failure on the run. Back Pain better watch out, because you're going to get him next.

Your recovery continues to amaze. God will be holding your hand throughout this latest surgery and the recovery from it. Then it's on to getting the heart pump. Then you can really dance with joy!

Please keep us updated. God bless you.

BANKS' RESPONSE: In the name of Jesus, we have the victory. In the name

of Jesus, Satan will have to flee. In the name of Jesus, all things work together

for good for them that love God and are the called according to His purpose. In

the name of Jesus, we are more than conquerors. In the name of Jesus, we can

walk through the valley of the shadow of death and fear no evil because the Lord,

our shepherd, is with us and is comforting us with His rod and staff. In the name

of Jesus, we are a royal priesthood and a chosen generation. That is why you and I

need more faith that Jesus authors and finishes if we are to excel and prevail.

Thanks John for your prayers and I pray for your increasing faith in God. In the

meantime, in between time, blessed be the tide that binds our hearts in Christian

love. The fellowship of kindred minds and souls is like to that above."

Dear Rev. Banks,

I am sooooo happy to read your blog tonight. You've been in my mind and heart since the last one and I often wondered what was going on with you. I'm pleased to know that you and your wife were on vacation, taking a certainly needed break from focusing on your health issues and treatments. I had to smile at the part about the electic wheelchair because I had to use a wheelchair when I recently traveled to visit family. A fractured bone is NOTHING compared to what you're going through, but I can relate as I also felt ashamed, but I realized that it was yet another example of how the Lord teaches us about compassion and patience for others in situations similar to or worse than ours. I've also realized that as we pass one test, He allows another to come, likely more difficult because we need to be challenged as we go through the refining process, the end of which is that we will come forth as pure gold. I suspect that late in the midnight hour, you are often awake ruminating on your life and what is happening to you. You are not alone. After I've had my "pity party", the Holy Spirit comes to sooth me and remind me that God must think very highly of me because He's confident that I will come forth as pure gold, despite my human doubts. He thinks very highly of you also and you will also come forth as pure gold, I can already "see" the aura. May the Almighty Hand of God guide the hands and minds of the doctors, nurses, and technicians involved in your surgery and recovery. We claim complete healing in the name of Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. God bless you real good!

BANKS' RESPONSE: Well, sisters and brothers, here comes some more pure

gold. Seldom have I occasioned a mind reader so deep and deft as Marie. You

describe me nocturnal musings so well in detail. The same for your command of

sound Christian doctrine. So whatever our individual states, we are each asked to

be patient with one another, as that old gospel song urges, because God is not

through with either of us yet. But when He gets through refining, shaping and even

trying us in the furnace of affliction, we shall indeed some forth as pure gold. How

often have I said as much in sermon. And believing thus, I am moved to sing, with

slight editing, this praise with that musical gospel goddess Albertina Walker:

"Lord, keep me day by day
In a pure and perfect way
I want to live, I want to live, yes,
In a building not made by hand

Lord keep my body strong
So that I may do no wrong
Lord give me grace to run my race, yes,
To a building not made by hand

I'm just a stranger here
Traveling through this barren land
But Lord I know there, for me somewhere, yes,
Is my building not made by hand.

Just another hurdle in your've got the best COACH and you recall everything HE has taught you, you've done your best to spread HIS WORD, and you've got fans galore praying for and witnessing your triumphs. I am already looking forward to a good report. Hope to see you guys soon. Stay in prayer.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, fellow teammate of faith and struggle. We run

the plays that our heavenly coach gives us and we do the best we can to execute

for His glory first and foremost, for a team team win second and for personal gain, if

any, last. Regardless, I know that we shall never execute those plays or run this

Christian race in vain.

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Lacy J. Banks

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



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lacy Banks published on August 7, 2009 3:30 PM.

HERE COMES MY MOST SERIOUS SURGERY YET. HELP ME LORD JESUS. was the previous entry in this blog.

I'M SPENDING MY UNHAPPY 66TH BIRTHDAY IN THE HOSPITAL. is the next entry in this blog.

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