Thursday, September 04, 2008

Pink Bats and Ribbons

On May 11 (Mother's Day), the Chicago Cubs moved into first place. They have been there ever since, and currently hold a 5 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central. On Mother's Day MLB stadiums featured a program called Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer, in which players wore patches with pink ribbons on their sleeves, and certain players used pink bats, to raise awareness about breast cancer and funds to find the cure. This program was done in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen For the Cure Foundation. Daryle Ward, the Cubs' left-handed pinch hitter specialist, had not played very well early in the season, used a pink bat to knock in a game-winning 2 RBI double in the bottom of the 8th inning to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, and move into first place.

Being one of the most avid Chicago Cub fans in Joplin, MO (really there are a lot of us), I was pleased that they moved into first place. The pink ribbon thing was kind of cute. It was for a worthy cause. Today, however, pink ribbons are much more personally significant to me. It was only 8 days ago that my wife Rose and I went to a medical facility, and received the news that she has breast cancer. She had surgery yesterday, and is doing very well.

Yesterday she had a cancerous tumor that measured about 2 cm removed. A Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy was done (click on link to see a video animation about the process). 3 lymph nodes were removed for analysis. Right now, we're thankful that she came through the surgery well. We're thankful for many of our friends all around the world that have been lifting us up in prayer. We're thankful for the cards, flowers, e-mails, and meals that have made their way to us.

We are, however, in kind of a waiting mode. We would like to think that this cancer was discovered early, but we really don't know if that is the case. We will go on Wednesday afternoon to meet with the surgeon, and to receive the results of the lab work. At that point, her cancer will be staged, and subsequent treatment will be outlined. At this point, we believe that we are likely facing both radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Your prayers are coveted for her speedy recovery from the surgery, and for a cancer-free future.

We scheduled the surgery quickly, to give Rose time to recover, before a planned trip to South Texas where our son's family lives, and into Mexico, where our daughter, Kim, is teaching in a private school. I will preach at Central Christian Church in Brownsville, TX (3 services on Sunday morning, two of which are in English, with the other service being in Spanish).

I got a book in the mail today. It was actually recommended by one of my students whose mother has battled breast cancer. Written by journalist Marc Silver, it is titled Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) Through Diagnosis, Treatment, and Beyond. I've begun reading it, and have appreciated some of the advice. I'm not smart enough to do the right thing without adequate coaching.

Thanks once again for your prayers. We'll let you know how we're doing. It's good to know that our hope lies not in physical, social, economic, or political realities (apologies to McCain-Palin and Obama-Biden), but in our great God.


Anya said...


We are praying for you and Rose as you are in this time of waiting. We are praying for strength in the days to come. Enjoy your time with the family in TX and Mexico!

The Ansley's (Micah, Anya, and Evan)

Kat in Korea said...


I had you when I was at OCC. Long time no see. I will be praying for you and your wife. I know this is a challenging time. Please keep us updated. Prayers are with you

Katrina Presko

Melissa said...

The Fish family is the Tomko family's prayers. We are praying for the strength and peace of God to be with you during this time.

Take care, and have a fun and safe trip with your family :)

Tammy and Van said...

Good evening friends and fellow grandparents!
You have been and will continue to be in our hearts and prayers.
Much love
Van and Tammy

Mark & Kathy said...

Daid and Rose you are3 in our thoughts and prayers we were blessed by you friendship in Irmo and hold your family close at heart. Kathy and Mark Harris