Life changes in an instant.
I went from cleaning and laundry to a leadership conference which was extremely intense. In the middle of our dinner break, I got a text from my daughter Mary asking me to call her. I told her that I could only text her at that point and she texted me back that Catherine's husband had cancer. I immediately called back.
Ray had had some symptoms of gall bladder attacks while he was here for Christmas, and we assumed he'd go home and get scheduled to have his gall bladder out. Instead, when he went to the emergency room with severe pain, they decided to put in a stent and did a biopsy at the same time, and the results of the biopsy showed adenocarcinoma of the bile duct. This is an extremely rare cancer that almost always presents in people who are 70 or older, and the prognosis is not good. There seem to be no statistics at all on younger people like Ray, who is only 35. He developed pancreatitis from the procedure, and the first stent didn't work, so they did another stent which has given him some relief. The lung scan was clear, which is some good news, since that is apparently the first place it would metastasize. Tomorrow they will be meeting with the oncologist and surgeons to discuss their plans.
This has all seemed surreal. Ray and Catherine have three small children, 10, 8, and 5. His parents are helping with the children, and taking turns with Catherine with hospital visits, but they have 12 of their own, and not all of them are grown; in fact their youngest is younger than Ray and Catherine's oldest.
I am enrolling as many people as possible to pray for Ray and his family. Yesterday, I asked my Beginning Experience group, and I asked the choir today, and my small group from the leadership conference; I chose to withdraw from the program, because I need to be able to be in contact with my family and stay updated on Ray. And I'm glad I only sent out two Christmas cards so far, because I can enlist all my friends and relatives as I send them my cards. I feel grateful to be uplifted by so many praying hands.