“One Step at a Time” is an old timey hymn that so adequately describes the march on which we humans find ourselves as we come nearer to eternity with every passing moment. The first stanza reads, “One step at a time, dear Savior: I cannot take any more; The flesh is so weak and hopeless: I know not what is before.” These words describe our halting steps of late as Bonnie and I tackle her treatment to battle pancreatic cancer – again! The third stanza speaks, “One step at a time, dear Savior: O guard my faltering feet! Keep hold of my hand, dear Savior, Till I my journey complete.” Reminiscent of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (NKJV), Bonnie and I trudge forward. The fourth stanza concludes, “One step at a time, dear Savior: Thou knowest all of my fear; One word from Thy heart, dear Savior, And Heaven’s mansions appear.”
On Thursday, December 11, Bonnie concluded 28 weekday, daily radiation treatments; the effects of the radiation may continue working as well as producing side effects for up to another six weeks. For parts of seven weeks, Bonnie and I were residents of Hope House of Hospitality in Jackson, Mississippi so that we did not have to experience the wearisome and costly trek 90 miles each way, back forth daily between Winona, MS and Jackson, MS for Bonnie’s radiation and chemo treatments. The days were characterized by pain, fatigue and nausea, punctuated with time spent on office type duties accomplished with the aid of our two laptop computers.
Chemotherapy commences once more on Friday of next week, December 19. The punishment inflicted on Bonnie’s body by simultaneous treatments of radiation and chemo resulted in fallen blood counts, which led to the temporary suspension of both types of treatment. After that, she continued to receive radiation, but chemo was suspended until after the completion of radiation. We are hoping that without radiation therapy and only receiving chemotherapy, Bonnie will begin to feel better. Some of the ongoing problems are related to her original cancer surgery, and doctors and she are still attempting to find a happy resolution through the balance of medicines, etc.
This week, we managed to accomplish several feats. Shortly after our arrival back in Winona on Thursday, our printed Rushmore Newsletter for November arrived at our doorstep. Thursday afternoon and evening plus Friday morning, we were able to process it for mailing and take it to the Post Office; we mailed 950 pieces. I was able to finalize preparation of several tracts for printing – to be printed in India for use primarily in the USA. Bonnie and our daughter Rebecca wrote the final two articles lacking for the publication of the December edition of Gospel Gazette Online, and I published it to the Internet this evening; in addition, I prepared and sent emails to over 1,600 subscribers to Gospel Gazette Online, who live across the planet. I also published to the Internet the November Rushmore Newsletter and sent emails to over 600 subscribers to it.
Bonnie and I also restocked our suitcases for a weekend trip, which means we first had to launder the clothes that we had been wearing during our final week at Hope House in Jackson, MS. We, likewise, stocked our car with literature and loaded the equipment with which we travel to acquaint congregations stateside with our mission work and teach or preach biblical lessons, too. We drove to Collierville, TN to have supper with our daughter and spend the night. Tomorrow, we will get the oil changed in the Town and Country before heading to Cleveland, TN.
Sunday morning, I will make a PowerPoint presentation about our mission trip in February to Guyana, South America to the auditorium class of the Central Church of Christ in Cleveland, TN. During morning worship, I will preach a biblical lesson. If Bonnie feels healthy enough, she will teach a ladies’ class that morning, too. Later, we will travel to the Ooltewah, TN Church of Christ whereupon I will make my PowerPoint presentation about our mission work once more. This will be our first and longest car trip to visit stateside congregations since Bonnie relapsed with pancreatic cancer. The holidays always interfere with making appointments this time of the year, but after this journey, we will reassess Bonnie’s ability to accompany me on these outings as we schedule more appointments in the near future.
Bonnie feels the best and does well especially when she sleeps. The many hours of driving tomorrow and the days to follow on this jaunt will afford her plenty of rest time as we travel. As long as I don’t join her in a little shut eye along the highways and byways, and as long as we stay out of everyone else’s way and they stay out of our way, Lord willing, it will all be okay. Thank you for your continued interest in us and your prayers as well, particularly regarding my dear wife Bonnie.