Pastor Health Updates
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October 18, 2017, 12:00 AM

October 18, 2017

Pet Scan results from Tuesday (yesterday) were better than expected. There’s a small spot on my liver and lung, but the cells didn’t highlight as expected, which is good. However, a high reading on the Tumor Marker Test shows a presence of cancer cells.
The scan did reveal a blood clot in the abdomen area, which has been painful and necessitated being put on blood thinner (Eliquis) and pain meds for the time being. (10/19 update - pain has subsided. No more med)
The PowerPort was inserted this morning (Wed.) and my first 3-hour chemo treatment was this afternoon at West Clinic, Germantown. I got home at 7:00 this evening. There have been no ill side effects so far.
Every other Wednesday I will receive a 3-4 hour treatment and go home with an infusion pump until the Friday afterwards when it is removed. The present plan is for 6 treatments over the next 3 months. Then another check-up will determine where we are at that point. So, 1 down, 5 to go.
Thank you for all your prayers, cards, gifts, calls, etc. You are an amazing church family! I love each one of you.

Pastor Ritchie

October 17, 2017, 10:00 PM

October 17, 2017

UPDATE: As most of our facebook friends know, my husband, Charles, had a petscan scheduled today. After finishing the test, and after he had been resting at home for a few hours, a nurse called from West Clinic saying that the doctor spotted a bloodclot in his abdomen. He was advised to immediately return to the clinic. They gave him a blood thinner to take, and sent him back home. He was told that it wasn't any big deal. The doctor just didn't want it to travel. He told us that the porta cath would be installed tomorrow morning, and he would receive his first chemo treatment as well. I am going to get a flu shot asap so I will not get sick and cause a very serious situation for him since chemo will compromise his immune system. Thks FB friends for being with us as we go through this.

Jackie Ritchie

October 11, 2017, 11:00 AM

October 11, 2017

UPDATE on my husband's condition and his oncologist's treatment plan: First of all, my husband is doing better than a lot of people who have had done to them what was done to him and who have had cancer stage 4. 
Charles has always been active and athletic. However, he is running a different type of race now than he has run in the past. Almost a year ago he ran a 5k with our daughter. He has hiked the Appalachian Mountains in East Tennessee several times. His favorite hike there was one he hiked a distance of 31 miles in one day. He has always loved athletic challenges. Well, he is embarking on another type of race that is very challenging with hurdles along the way in unknown territory. 
We just received a call from the office of his oncologist. Charles is scheduled to have his staples from surgery out Monday. Tuesday he will have a petscan. Wednesday they will start chemotherapy. The oncologist is taking an agressive approach to treatment. He probably has assessed Charles' current condition, and has decided that the benefits would be worth the risk, and that Charles would probably be able to weather the treatment physically.
Charles had thought he would have more time to get his strength back and have a break from all the drama and suffering he has gone through lately. His surgeon had urged him to wait until 6-8 weeks after surgery before he started chemo. The call and treatment outlined by his oncologist has come as somewhat of a shock to him. The game plan has changed. 
This morning I observed from a phone conversation he had with an individual that the Lord has given him the grace to have an outlook that was both strengthening and comforting to him.
Thank you for your loving, prayerful support! I am sure that much of the positive developments, including trusting the Lord and His timing, is the fruit of those prayers.

Jackie Ritchie

October 9, 2017, 5:00 AM

October 9, 2017

When I was 13 years old a tornado struck our house in Memphis, Tennessee. It was in May, 1967, on a Sunday afternoon.
Dad shook me hard from a nap on the couch in our living room saying, "Get up, son, quick!" 
As we ran into the hallway, I glanced out our window and saw it coming. It was frightening! As it went over our house it took part of our roof with it. We were immediately standing in 3 inches of water. All of us were fortunate to be alive! 
Our plight was shared on all three news networks in town and the two newspapers. A steady line of onlookers drove slowly by our place to get a glance of our seeming misfortune. However, it gave me a new appreciation of life. 
You see, even a storm can oftentimes serve God's divine purpose!
We see and experience the tragedy and trials of devastating storms. They catch us at inopportune moments of our lives. Our preparation for them is sometimes left wanting. Yet, they are as much a part of our lives as the peaceful sunrise, or a full moon over the mountains.
Storms cause us to move out of business-as-usual mindsets and address issues we would normally not have chosen to be on our plates. They remind us of what and who matters most. 
In the Bible, Jesus' disciples observed His miraculous power during their storms! (Matthew 8 & 14) Also, having encountered some of life's toughest situations, the prophet Isaiah reflected, "You (God) have been a shelter from the storm!" (25:4)
As we hear the birds sing on those incredibly sunny and cloudless days, may we also not fail to hear the reminders that a storm can bring!
Now, go face this week with His perspective!

Pastor Ritchie

October 8, 2017, 7:00 AM

October 8, 2017

Had our own little "Welcome Home" party lining the street as we were finally able to complete the trip back to Bartlett, TN from Lake Saint Louis, MO last night! What a thoughtful expression of love!
Never would I have ever thought there would be a 10-day hospital stay on my itinerary this time. But, our stay, even though a life-rearranging painful and challenging one, was such a blessing in many ways!
We met so many medical professionals and others who were exceptionally loving, caring, and compassionate that our hearts have been ministered to by the Lord's great grace!
I clearly see what our Lord desires! We will use this "uninvited" bump in our journey to sit at His feet, only to arise with renewed hope and strength to continue being a vessel the Master can use! (2 Timothy 2:21)
Let it be so!

Pastor Ritchie

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