In Oct of 1993, on my 40th Birthday and I was standing outside on what was a beautiful sunny fall day at my home in Ohio. I vividly remember thinking to myself as I stood there, how good I felt at the age of 40. And except for a minor hypertension problem I was in excellent health. I owned my own 18-Wheeler, and I was making runs to California and back 3 or 4 times a month. Life was great.
Nov 4th, 1993, My life has changed radically. The week after my Birthday a routine test had shown something going on with my kidneys. They’d discovered a tumor in the right kidney. It’s now 8:00 am and I’m about to be wheeled in to the operating room to have my kidney removed at the OSU, James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Later that afternoon I woke up and was told the surgery was a success and I would be good to go. I went home and spent the next several week recovering from my surgery
Dec 1st, 4:00 PM, The Doorbell rang it was the Pastor from my church stopping by to see how I was doing. Just as he was stepping in, the phone rang, it was my Dr. at James Cancer Hospital. (was this a coincidence, I don’t believe it was) The Dr. said, I have bad news. The pathology report showed that the tumor was an extraordinary rare blue cell sarcoma. The James Cancer center had never had a case of it, in fact 1993 there had been less than 40 instances of it know in the world. What they did know is that it was a horrifically virulent type of cancer. No matter the stage at discovery, 1,2,3, or 4. No matter the treatment, even in my case, where the tumor was totally confined to the kidney, and the kidney was removed. There was only a 5 percent chance I would survive 24 months.
Monday Dec 20th, the oncologist wants to start an aggressive regiment of chemo today. It consists of treatments every day for 5 consecutive days, once a month for 24 months. I had to remain in the Hospital for the first regiment so they could observe how I tolerated it. I completed the first five treatments and went home Friday the day before Christmas. When I got home I laid down on the couch and never got off of it the entire weekend.
Monday Dec 27th, It’s the following Monday morning. The oncologist wanted to see me today. I felt horrible, and had to be driven back to Columbus by a friend. The Dr. takes one look at me and immediately admits me to the hospital. The Chemo was destroying my white blood cells and Immune system, for the next few days the WBC count keep getting lower and lower. Thursday Dec 30th. 10 PM, with my wife at my bedside, I get up to go to the restroom, I stood up and took a step or two and blacked out falling to the floor. When I woke up, I’m back in bed, a nurse standing next to me says; I thought we lost you! Your blood pressure was 35 over zero. It was not long before they moved me to the Critical care unit in the OSU Hospital. By morning my oxygen level had declined to the danger zone and I had a full-face mask with a 1-inch oxygen hose blowing in my face. This would be the longest day of my life. I was never told, but I had developed Sepsis and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. (ARDS)
January 1st, 1994, 2:00 AM. The Dr. on duty in the Critical Care Unit, told me if my Blood oxygen level goes any lower I would need to be put on a ventilator. The Dr. ask do you want that? I indicated I did. 5:00 AM, The Dr. said they were preparing to connect me to the Ventilator, my instincts told me this was probably not going to be good. I said a short prayer, I told God that if it was my time so be it, but I really wasn’t ready to leave this world yet an I really wanted to live, I was then induced in to a coma and connected to the Ventilator
10:30 AM, The Hospital contacts the Family and tells them I’m in the final stages of Sepsis. and I have maybe 5 hours left. And if they wanted to see me before I die, they need to get there quickly. No one had been there the past few days except for my wife who was always there, due to the distance and no one thinking I was in danger of dying. The 5 hours came and went, as did the days and the weeks, my life hung in the balance. During this time, my wife virtually never left my room, she stayed there faithfully and in constant prayer. As word of my grave condition spread, more and more friends and family were praying for me, The Coshocton Christian Tabernacle that we attended, as well as both Churches in my home town of Senecaville, and the New Life Church in Novato California where our son was a member were all praying.
Then the Sepsis destroyed my one and only kidney and I had to be put on Dialysis. Then it Destroyed my Pancreas and I became Insulin Dependent Type 1 Diabetic. The ARDS collapsed my right lung, which required a drain tube in my chest. Everybody who came though the critical care unit during this time who was not aware of my situation, thought I was a burn victim. I literally looked as if I had 3rd degree burn over my entire body. I lost all my hair, finger nails and toe nails. Except for my wife, who never gave up hope, the rest of the family was talking about my burial arrangements during this time.
God has answered all the prayers! I was removed from the Ventilator and I regained consciousness. I was alive and awake, I had survived! But, all though a live, I had severe life altering health problems. I was on Dialysis, and was told I need a kidney transplant. I was a Type 1 diabetic. I still had the Drain tube in my chest. I had lost 70 lbs. All of my muscles had atrophied, I could not hold my head up, it would fall to one side or the other, I couldn’t lift my arms, let alone walk. And there was one more biggie, there was no way of knowing until I regained consciousness. But I was now Blind. But what I did awake with, was a fighting attitude. And it never entered my mind the challenges that lay before me could not be conquered. Both my wife and I were praying for a miraculous healing. During this time I have never felt closer to the Lord. I felt as if I was walking in lock step with him. Donnas Meek, the assistant pastor at our Church along with his wife, would come to the hospital every few days and pray with us.
It was late morning, I had just returned from my Dialysis treatment and was lying in bed listening to the TV with my eyes closed. I remember opening my eyes and I could see, I was so shocked, I closed an opened my eyes again, I could really see, I started shouting I can see I can see. Later that day the Optometrist came and examined my eye’s, They had no explanation why my vision returned. I had 20/20 vision and to this day it still is perfect.
I so hated the multiple daily insulin shots in the stomach. Somehow, I believed the Dr. had told me, if I could walk 100 steps, I would not need the shots any more. They had begun giving me physical therapy a few days after I regained consciousness, but only after regaining my sight, had gotten me out of bed were teaching me how to walk again. The pain was incredible, but I fought with every ounce of strength I had to walk.
Not only did I want to walk, but I did not want them shots any more. Finally, on this day I did the 100 steps. I was elated an could not wait to tell the Dr. so he would take me off them horrible insulin shots. The next morning the Dr. showed up, I proudly told him about my 100-step accomplishment, and reminded him what he had said. He gave me a strange look, and asked me what I was talking about. I said again you told me I could walk 100 steps I would not need the shots anymore. The Dr. said I never said that, how would walking 100 steps cure Diabetes. I was so very disappointed to say the least. A little later that day, the nurse came in to check my blood sugar in preparation for my shot. My Blood Sugar was perfect! And to this day it still is.
Most of all, I could not fathom a possible life of Dialysis. In life, I have always been a free bird. I come and go at a moment’s notice. The thought of being anchored to a Dialysis machine 3 day a week to me was unthinkable. And I could not understand why the lord had brought me through so much, yet I had to possibly go through rest life on Dialysis. The night before Donnas Meek and his wife were there for a visit and Prayer. I shared this burden with them. When it came time for them to leave, Donnas said, let’s pray about your kidney and ask the Lord for healing.
The next morning, I was awaken at 7 A.M. to eight people White Coats surrounding the right side of my bed. One of them said we are from the Nephrology Dept. and we are here with great news, we had drawn blood during the night for tests and my kidney function was normal, and you no longer need Dialysis. An to this day 24 years later, it still works great.
After nearly 8 weeks since I entered the hospital, although very weak, I walked out under my own power. But before I left my Dr. meet with me, he said, I just want you to know that no one here accepts any responsibility for your recovery. You are truly a walking Miracle…
After going home, I knew my life would be completely back to normal if and when I could go out and climb in my truck and go trucking. On May 5th against the everyone’s advice. I climbed in my truck and took a load to California, and I have never looked back.
You’re probably wondering what the 5th Miracle was? It was the Deadly Cancer, that has never been seen again.
Thank you Lord for your Awesome Blessings and Healing Grace.
God Bless my Wonderful Loving wife