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Without going into detailed specifics the doctor has given me the “all clear!” sign. No more chemotherapy required. No more surgery required. The pathologist sent 36 slides of the tumor to the Mayo Clinic because of its rarity to confirm the findings. Bottom line: your prayers and positive thoughts worked! Thank you, my Brothers. I am forever in your debt for the Love and Respect that you have shown my family and me since this was first diagnosed last November. I look forward to seeing all of you soon and sharing our Brotherhood! God bless all of you!
Dr. Pool is ready to do my surgery Thursday morning (April 12). He was the “decider” about whether there would be more chemotherapy or not, and whether the CT Scan showed that the tumor could be removed. He is confident on both points.
My dearest Brothers:
First, I want to thank everyone who was in attendance at the 2012 ATO Zeta Mu Reunion & Hog Hunt at the Trails End Ranch in Medina last weekend. I have received word through several Brothers that the business meeting was temporarily ‘suspended’ for a prayer for me and the current health issues that I am facing. I can’t thank you enough for that and how much it has meant to my family and me over the past few days. Many tears of gratitude have been shed by my family and me. God bless all of you.
Second, I also understand that an auction was held on Saturday night during which a bag of what was reportedly my ‘short hairs’ that have fallen out during my chemo treatments sold for $175.00 and is now in the Zeta Mu chapter’s bank account. Let’s just say that I’m glad I could be of help to the chapter despite my absence at the reunion!
Congratulations to ATO brother Richard Hainkel on becoming a first-time grandfather to close out 2011! Richard’s daughter Aubrey gave birth to Isla Blue Anders (7.5 lbs) on Saturday, December 31, 2011! Aubrey and her husband Grant welcomed their daughter into this world at 5:19 p.m. Richard and his wife Lori can be reached at (512) 423-0026.
For those of you who don’t know what the thymus is (I didn’t!), it’s where T-cells “go to school” to learn how to fend off diseases in your pre-adolescent years. As you mature and reach puberty, the thymus breaks down and absorbs itself into your body. It disappears. Except in a very small handful of people. Some bodies don’t break down the thymus while others - for reasons not yet known - develop a thymus again! Yours truly is in the “grew one again” category. (“Damn Vulcan physiology!” - Dr. McCoy, “Star Trek”) Interestingly, there are only about 400 known cases of thymoma in the U.S.
Brothers: first, I want to again thank all of you who have been keeping me and my family in your thoughts and prayers, as well as the positive energy you keep sending our way. It’s helping us during these days of uncertainty. I said I would update everyone following the visit with the oncologist on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. Here is what we now know: I have thymoma, a tumor in the thymus. Mine is about 8 cm x 5 cm and located near my aorta.
Brothers: your prayers and positive thoughts worked! The biopsy results came back and I do not have lymphoma! I have thymoma. From what I understand (so far) this is a tumor of the thalmus gland. I am meeting with an oncologist later today to discuss options for its removal. I’m not out of the woods yet but things are looking much more positive! God bless all of you for your prayers, positive thoughts and words of encouragement over the past few weeks! I will update again after I meet with the next doctor. L&R
Over the past couple of weeks I have once again experienced our Brotherhood in action firsthand. As many of you may now know, I am scheduled for a biopsy on Tuesday, December 20 at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. I have a mass (8cm x 5cm) located near the left side of my heart. The doctors believe it’s lymphoma but the biopsy will confirm or negate that diagnosis. I never thought I’d be facing something like this. Since the initial diagnosis, I have spoken by phone with several of you who have given me the strength and courage to face what’s coming, as well as emails. I appreciate your outpouring of Brotherly love and concern more than you’ll ever know. As soon as I can update everyone on my diagnosis, I will do so. In the meantime, I appreciate your prayers and positive thoughts.
Love & respect to my ATO Brothers.
The Sam Houston State University Bearkats football team has now won a total of 12 games in the 2011 season and continues to hold its #1-ranking in NCAA Division 1 FCS (Football Championship Subdivision). The Bearkats defeated the Stony Brook University Seawolves 34-27 in round 2 of the subdivision playoffs on Saturday, December 3 before a crowd of 8,100 fans at Bowers Stadium in Huntsville, TX.