I will never forget the Tuesday back in late March or early April when my friend, Dr. Janice Galli, called me just after suppertime. I had been sick since I returned from Senegal at the end of February and she finally said it was time to check things out. We ran about 4 million tests (that may be ministerial hyperbole) to figure out the problem. After an ultrasound, an MRI, and something called a HIPA, they realized that I had both a bad gallbladder and a diseased spleen, both of which were removed on May 3. But in the process of poking around the gallbladder in the various tests, they had found a something unexpected.
“Dave, we found something when we were running the tests.” I knew from the tone in her voice it wasn’t a treasure! “There is a tumor on your kidney.” She’s a cautious woman, but she told me that every single tumor she’d ever seen like this had turned out to be cancer.
The first time you get a call from the doctor telling you that you have cancer is a day you will never forget.
The next few days changed everything, of course. I followed up with a specialist, a surgeon who told me that the tumor was small, found early, and that my chances of full cure ranged in the neighborhood of 99% – not bad odds.
On June 26 I underwent robotic surgery and had the tumor removed. My doctor just about gushed about how well the 5 or 6-hour surgery went. He was amazed at how clean the margins were and how little I bled – kidneys tend to gush, I suppose. I didn’t lose much blood and my blood count was actually higher after surgery than before. I told him I had people all over the country praying for me. I get to keep my kidney and have a 95% chance of long-term cure from this cancer.
In between these surgeries, my wife Jenni also had a surgery done, on her thyroid, and the growth she had there turned out to be cancer as well. So in the space of 2 months
We are blessed to be recovering and healthy. I am finally on the recovery trail (after a bout with the Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease that has been going around – that is NO FUN) and feeling human again.
But you can imagine the bills that pile up when you have three surgeries. Jenni had hers in the same hospital I had my first one in and as we were waiting, the registration lady asked if we wanted to make a down payment on the surgery. I hadn’t planned to do that and said I was surprised that three weeks earlier when I had surgery they had not asked for that and that I’d gotten no bills since. She said she would go and look up my bill on the computer. She came back smiling a bit later and said, “You don’t need to give us a down payment. After what your surgery cost, this is going to be on your insurance company.”
Our church has been through some rough times financially in recent years and one of the things we’ve had to do is change the church’s insurance plan from a low deductible to a high deductible plan. I figured that Jenni and I were going to be on the line for between $10,000 to $15,000 above what insurance would pay.
We dug ourselves
Then a miracle occurred. I realize that it may not be technically a miracle. No water was walked on or seas parted. But for us, the hand of God was clear. Brent Hobbs call me one day and asked if I would be okay with him setting up a Go Fund Me and asking people for help. I probably should have said, “Oh, no, Brent, I won’t accept charity, don’t do that.” But we were pretty desperate and I thanked him and rejoiced.
I have in my possession a bill for $23 from one of the hospitals. When I pay that, all of our medical bills will be paid. It is possible that another bill or two will come in – it hasn’t been two months since the surgery – and I’ve got a little money set aside in case that happens. The Go Fund Me raised about 5750 dollars and a prosperous and generous family member contributed as well
Before my surgical wounds have completely healed and while I am still recovering from the trauma of surgery, we have had all of our medical bills paid.
Our family has always used the phrase, “It’s a Christmas miracle,” to describe good things that happen to us. I think that is from a favorite 80s movie. I describe this as an “SBC Voices Miracle.” Again, I realize this isn’t a suspension of the laws of nature kind of miracle, but to us it is a work of God and a blessing.
Thank you. Thank you to every one of you who gave generously to help with our financial needs. Thank you even more to everyone who
My wife is walking regularly and is doing great. I hope to get back to walking and leading a regular life this week – Lord willing. I’ve been preaching every week but not doing a lot else – that nasty virus may have helped me take the time I needed to heal up.
This has been a tough year – 6 months of illness, more pain than I can imagine, and the challenge of a mountain of medical bills. But with your prayers, your support, and your generosity, God has walked us through this and we are blessed.
Thank you. Thank you. And thank you again.