A Time For Hope - Update from Les Morgan

To Our Supporting Churches and Friends: A time for hope

Houston, Texas
Saturday, 1 December 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our son Everett, 22, is in his third cycle of chemotherapy for Ewing's sarcoma of the left pelvis, diagnosed in September. Each cycle lasts 21 days: the first five days he receives intravenous infusions of high-dose chemotherapeutic drugs, then the next sixteen days he recovers from those drugs' toxic side-effects. Although the drugs kill fast-growing cancer cells, they just as effectively kill fast-growing normal cells, such as bone marrow cells and cells in the lining of the mouth and GI tract; and it takes time for those vital tissues to recover from the insult of chemotherapy. During the recovery period, Everett makes almost daily visits to the hospital, so that his doctors can monitor his progress and treat any secondary illnesses that may arise during his weakened state. He must also use the time to replenish his body's minerals and calories. The goal is to help him recover enough to be able to tolerate the next round of chemotherapy. So for each 21-day cycle, there is a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up. For everything there is a season, and for Everett, now is the time for chemotherapy.

It is also a time for hope. Just before Everett started his third cycle of chemotherapy, his doctors repeated some scans that indicated he is having a good response to treatment. An MRI showed the tumor has reduced in size, and a PET scan revealed greatly diminished metabolic activity in the tumor, meaning we can expect it to shrink much further. Everett's oncologist, Dr. Joseph Ludwig, reminded us that because of the size and location of the cancer, treatment is still very difficult. But we have reason to hope.

Tomorrow as the church begins its season of hope--the celebration of the Advent and Incarnation of Christ, the Savior of the world--our hope is that God will use the doctors, nurses, and medicines of the MD Anderson Cancer Center to save our son. Every night at bedtime, we place our hands on Everett and pray that God will touch him with his healing power and remove every last cancer cell from his body. That is what Advent is about: the hope of real differences made manifest in people's lives. Our years of directly facing human suffering in Bangladesh, and now our experience in caring for our seriously ill child, have taught Cindy and me that Christian hope is not about the fulfillment of vague and obscure desires. Hope, like the Incarnation, is about flesh and blood, things we can see with our eyes and touch with our hands; and in Christ, God invites us to hope and pray in those concrete terms. For that is how he cares for his people.

I am reminded of that hope every time I walk into our apartment here in Houston. Strung across the ceiling of our living room, that is also Everett's bedroom, are scores of cards from many of you. As Everett lies in bed and looks up, he sees all those messages of hope that encourage him during this time of chemotherapy. And each night as Cindy and I sit by his bed, put our hands on him, and pray for his healing, all those cards, like angels, announce to us the good news that God is with us in our suffering, that we should not be afraid, and that now is a time for hope.



Leslie Y. Morgan
PC(USA) Mission Co-Worker/Bangladesh
7500 Brompton Rd., Apt. 552
Houston, TX 77025

1 comment:

trudeau said...

Hello from Shreveport and warmest wishes, Everett and Les and Cindy, from a teacher at Caddo Magnet High.

A detailed, illustrated report on life in Bangladesh was presented to my students by Cindy when Laura was a student at CMHS. Laura once cautioned me, "Please teach students in S'port to say bäng'glə-dĕsh'."

My thoughts are with you in this horrendous passage.

And congrats to the blogger who started this site for siloam medical ministry.

warmest regards,
Robert Trudeau

Bednar Clan on a Mission

Bednar Clan on a Mission
the Bednar family of Cleburne, Texas spent the day volunteering at the clinic. Amy took over nursing duties and lab draws, former Navy medic Dave helped with vitals and intake and the rest of the clan worked in the food bank and pharmacy.


The Pool of Siloam Medical Ministry and Free Clinic is a non-profit faith-based organization created to share the Love of Jesus through ministry to the medically underserved. We believe that by building Christ-centered relationships built on mutual trust and respect and by providing our patients with tools of education, screening, medication assistance, medical supplies, equipment, counseling and accessible excellent health and dental care, we can empower them to take better care of themselves. Our services include free adult medical care, women's health clinic, mental health counseling and lab testing. Through our diabetic program, we provide routine diabetic eye exams and limb and wound evaluation. Our Breathe Free Program provides pulmonary function screening, medications, nebulizers, oxygen, CPAP and BiPAP equipment where indicated for cardiopulmonary patients. In partnership with other ministries at the New Room, we are able to provide meals, food and clothing. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings, we join our friends from Hope for the Homeless to make rounds on the streets and in encampments to provide care and first aid.

With the exception of an Executive Director / Clinician, an Administrative Director and a counselor funded by the Methodist District, we are staffed by volunteers who provide hundreds of hours of service. We are housed by rental agreement in the New Room, an outreach mission center of Grace Community, a United Methodist congregation. We are funded by grants, gifts and in-kind donations. Your support makes it possible for us to continue to provide services for our patients.

Living by the Clock

to live each day without regret
to move to the tick of a finite clock
to live each day as if it were the last
before you stand before your God

to imagine that the person you love
might be gone tomorrow
that the moment for reconciliation
may be lost

that the friend not met
might have been your soul-mate
that the child left behind
might never be found

that the word not spoken
might have been someone’s salvation
that the life not saved
might have saved the world

that the wound not dressed
might fester and kill
that the path not taken
might have led to home

that the call not answered
might have been the voice of God
to live each day
as if it was your last

to celebrate each Sabbath in rest
like your life depended on it