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
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
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
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
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.