Growth found on lung

Posted in From Al & Libbie, Prayer Requests at 2:03 pm by Al

Dear friends and family,

Once again my family and I are in a place we need your prayers. (We are all always in need of prayer, but this is one of those providential moments where we are a little more needful!)

You may recall the melanoma I had removed last year. The Lord heard your prayers and the prayers of others and brought me safely through that time of trial. You all were so encouraging to us during that time, for which we are deeply grateful. Through that experience we learned afresh how important it is to share with the community our need and to see the Lord work through the prayers of his saints.

As you have already guessed, something that may be related to the melanoma has “surfaced,” and we are again asking you to join us in prayer.

Because melanoma is dangerous when it spreads to internal organs, physicians have developed a protocol of ongoing “surveillance” for those who have had a melanoma removed—e.g., quarterly appointments with a dermatologist (to watch for external signs of recurrence) and then annual chest x-rays and blood tests (to monitor for internal signs at the sites where the cancer most likely spreads if it is going to do so.)

Like the results of the surgery in October of 2004, my initial blood work and x-rays in January of 2005 were fine.

Last Thursday I had the January 2006 x-ray of my lungs. On Monday I learned that the x-rays had revealed a 3cm growth that had not been there last January. My physicians have been quite concerned and I have already begun a series of tests to identify the nature of this growth.

There are a number of possibilities, some benign and some not. It is the history of melanoma that has raised the most concern. Scar tissue from some past illness or injury has been ruled out in that the growth was not there last year.

The testing: Yesterday (Wednesday) I had a complete physical, including blood tests with my family doctor. (One bit of good news is that none of my lymph nodes were swollen.) The blood test results should be in soon. The next test will be a CAT scan on Wednesday, the 25th and then likely a biopsy after that. I have an appointment at Penn on Monday, Jan 30, at which point most of the results from the initial testing will be available and we should be informed in more detail the nature of what we are dealing with.

So please pray with us. We are in that period of limbo between a presenting problem of unknown nature and the definitive interpretation of that presenting problem. At the moment I can say the Lord has given us great peace in the matter, though it has challenged us at moments more than the original melanoma did. We have been much comforted by reminders that He is our salvation and refuge. Mostly we are resting in him. God can heal. He alone heals! And he alone gives grace to face any trial. We will receive with joy what he has to give us.

Thanks for joining us in this. We will keep you updated (with shorter notes!)

Blessings, Al and Libbie and family

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