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

I REMAIN A HEALING IN PROGRESS

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God bless you.

It's been four weeks since an academy of doctors, headed by Dr. James Flaherty

and Dr. William Cotts, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, admitted me as an in-patient,

ran me through five days of tests, concluded that I did not need either a heart transplant

or a heart pump at that time and then altered my medications.

They wanted to see if the new recipe of medications could not only stabilize my

progressively failing heart but improve it. Remember, I was originally scheduled to have a

heart pump implanted in me on Oct. 26 at the University of Chicago Hospital. But the Lord

used Lee Stern, former Sting owner and a 60-year, commodity broker on the Chicago

Board of Trade, and his friend James Hodge, an executive administrator at the Mayo

Clinic, to open doors for me to go to the clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The Mayo Clinic examined me extensively. And although the doctors there placed

me on the heart transplant list, they also gave me encouraging reports about my heart,

assuring me that other measures could also help sustain me and they were planning to

try them after I was to be admitted to their St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester on Nov. 17.

But when doctors at Northwestern promised to take over where Mayo had left off

and provide the same care, which would spare me and my wife Joyce the expensive

relocation to Rochester, I decided to give Northwestern a chance to see what they

could do.

Well, so far, so so.

My heart is still weak.

I remain a healing in progress.

I'm still getting by without a transplant or pump, my prostate cancer has yet to be

totally erased and my brain tumor remains benign. But if I don't sense significant

improvement in my heart by next month and I continue to get weaker overall, I will have to

get that heart pump as a bridge procedure to transplantation.

I promised you from the very start of this blog that I would keep you informed of

this whole process with my ups and downs, my progress and my setbacks. I am still

praying for a complete healing of my heart and prostate. But I still suffer troubling

symptoms that tell me I am not yet whole.

I thank God that I'm still alive and that I still have hope and that something positive

has happened at every hospital stop. The Lord just keeps right on blessing me. But God

does not need me to lie about my progress to try to make Him look good before you. I

know that He's able. I know and all the redeemed of the Lord know that He can heal me

if He wants to. But if He chooses to heal me no more than He has already healed me,

blessed be His name.

A lot of people, with the help of false prophets and phony preachers, fake

healings to impress people looking for hope so that they can win these people's trust

and gain fame and fortune. Well, God doesn't need that mess and that's not me. I am

an anointed vessel of God and I deal for real on this healing thing. He has already

healed me SOME, but not completely. And I share every phase of progress and every

segment of healing as it occurs.

What matters most is that He has blessed me to still be alive, to still be receiving

professional medical care and to be able to enjoy these precious Thanksgiving,

Christmas and New Year holidays at home with my wife, our three daughters Nicole,

Noelle and Natasha, and our five grandchildren Lauren, David, Timothy, Caleb and

Nina.

Yes, I still have trouble climbing the stairs in my home. It's difficult and painful.

Yes, I still suffer pain from my prostate cancer, from my lower back, that underwent

surgery Aug. 10, and from my left groin's hernia.

Yes, my hands, legs and feet have grown sore, cold, fragile and weak from poor

circulation.

Yes, I still have dizzy spells and occasional shortness of breath.

Yes, I still have to take pain pills when I have to stand or walk for more than five

or 10 minutes.

Yes, I started seeing blood in my urine a week ago and now must get that matter

resolved.

Yes, I still can not enjoy a good night's sleep without taking a sleeping pill.

Yes, I have lost 55 pounds in the last five months, my appetite is poor and I now

weigh less than 200 pounds for the first time in more than 30 years.

But, I now take 15 pills a day instead of 21. Plus, I still draw a paycheck because I

am a member of a labor union that negotiated a contract that includes medical and

life insurance, medical leave and disability pay.

Most of all, I'm still alive. I'm still able to preach every now and then, do some

basic things for myself and my pain is tolerable.

So right now, I have much, much more to be grateful for than to complain about.

Don't you? Well, let's thank and praise God for that.

God bless you.

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4 Comments

Well Dear Lacy -

I just dropped in to see what condition your condition is in.

And I see that you're a little weary. A year and a half of this onslaught of health challenges must be simply exhausting. I've had something akin to that with my finances. And I've got a blood pressure issue that is vexing me. But, my burdens seem light when compared to yours. The truth that I have found in my situation, and witnessed in yours, is that, on any day, anything can happen. The progress that you've experienced gives us all hope and shows us that there are miracles unfolding in our lives all the time.

You have been given another Christmas. (Quite a gift for someone with your diagnoses!) And I wish for you and Joyce, Nicole,
Noelle, Natasha, Lauren, David, Timothy, Caleb and Nina a time of love and light and celebration. Then it's on to 2010 and complete healing (for both of us).

One more thing I've been meaning to say: I had to register for the draft in 1972. I didn't, however, have to go to Viet Nam. And you know why? Because you went. You and your comrades in arms did the hard work. Thank you for that.

Have a wonderful, blessed holiday.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Praise God! Merry Christmas and happy New year, John. It is a supreme blessing and honor to share this foxhole with you because you are a true warrior. Once you become a fellow soldier and friend, you will fight and defend to the very end and beyond. Your courage is awesome, your loyalty is relentless and your determination to win is limitless. There is no betrayal or coward in you. Once you commit to support a fellow warrior, you will not turn your back on him. Jesus is my best friend. No contest there. But behind Jesus, I rank you right up there with my blood brothers and sisters. I am struggling with serious health issues. You are struggling with great financial challenges imposed by your lengthy unemployment. But you refuse to be selfish in your suffering. You dare to share with and care for other people who are hurting. Every day that passes with you remaining unemployed is an indictment against the American system. You are a symbol of millions of able, deserving workers who have been laid off and, in too many cases, failed by the American system. Your compassion is genuine and your intelligence is among the best I've ever encountered. I pray that you will excel, prevail and win in 2010. I pray also that President Obama's health care program becomes the new law of the land and rescue millions who have otherwise would have no health insurance and consequently lose their life's savings, their homes and even their lives.

Hello Rev. Banks,
I have so been waiting to hear how you are doing.I can't imagine how you feel waiting day in and day out for the doctors to make a decision,and waiting for God to heal you,but I am happy that there has been some healing in you.That comes from that faith the size of a mustard seed.To God be the glory for all that he has done.I'm happy that you have such a loving and caring wife and 3 loving daughters to help support you thru all of this.As God sits on the throne watching over you and healing you,I will enjoy hearing you give your testamony about his goodness and mercy.You and your entire family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.I look forward to seeing you,hearing you preach and sing in 2010 as does my father Rev. De Ville and the Alpha Temple M.B. Church family. Your sister in Christ Marcia

BANKS' RESPONSE: As always, Marcia, I'm extremely grateful for your prayers and best wishes on my healing behalf. You, individually, and Alpha Temple, collectively. Your father is a marvel. Chicago lost a priceless public servant when voters failed to retain Rev. Leonard DeVille as an alderman. The odious irony is that voters thought he was simply too good for their good, which makes no righteous sense whatsoever. But I regret that even I did not know how great he really is until he lost an election he should have won by a landslide. It's somewhat similar to America choosing Bush over Gore after the Clinton administration had revived this country's economy and placed our nation of positive ground. Then Bust and his confederate stole the election and we all were the worse for it. I don't know if you heard about it, or if you got take of it, but my last preaching fellowship with Alpha Temple on the fifth Sunday of last month was one for the ages. We all threw down some hard and heavy worship in the rich ol'-time way. We went back to our roots in that one and I felt some joys of worship I had not savored in years, Marcia--indeed, decades, even a half century or more. We all went back home to Mississippi in terms of fire, faith and fervor and the Holy Ghost smoked the house and smote us in a purging way. What a catharsis! From the opening prayers of deacons Johnny Echos and Percy Gilbert, that service has "special" written all over it to the very end. As it "rained" outside, the Holy Ghost "reigned" inside. I don't know how many times I've listened to the tape since then. It's an instant all-time favorite. Merry Christmas, Marcia, to you, your family and all of Alpha Temple.

Lacy,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you for a happy - and most important healthier - new year.
Gd bless.

BANKS' RESPONSE: Thanks, Ricardo, and happy New Year to you and your family.

I see that you're a little weary. A year and a half of this onslaught of health challenges must be simply exhausting. I've had something akin to that with my finances. And I've got a blood pressure issue that is vexing me. But, my burdens seem light when compared to yours. The truth that I have found in my situation, and witnessed in yours, is that, on any day, anything can happen. The progress that you've experienced gives us all hope and shows us that there are miracles unfolding in our lives all the time.

You have been given another Christmas. (Quite a gift for someone with your diagnoses!) And I wish for you and Joyce, Nicole,
Noelle, Natasha, Lauren, David, Timothy, Caleb and Nina a time of love and light and celebration. Then it's on to 2010 and complete healing (for both of us).

One more thing I've been meaning to say: I had to register for the draft in 1972. I didn't, however, have to go to Viet Nam. And you know why? Because you went.
all star shoes You and your comrades in arms did the hard work. Thank you for that.

Have a wonderful, blessed holiday.

BANKS' RESPONSE: God bless you and happy new Year.

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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 December 20, 2009 4:09 AM.

NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL CONFIRMS MIRACLE IN PROGRESS was the previous entry in this blog.

THE MIRACLE OF THE CHRISTMAS CROSS. is the next entry in this blog.

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