[Original posted, Friday, September 2, 1:06 AM]
Long-time readers know that I have a friend, Don Cook, who has been battling cancer, stage IV melanoma, more specifically, and I have requested (and continue to request) prayers for him, his wife, and their two girls. He has been undergoing chemotherapy, including protocol changes, to address primarily one tumor that is inoperable because of its proximity to vital organs. Here is the latest.
His last several scans have continued to show little change in the tumor. However, more recently he has started experiencing severe pain requiring heavy-duty meds. It is suspected that the tumor is now causing pressure on his spinal cord, but it is not clear whether this is because the tumor has grown, or is the effect of necrosis. He has been going through another round of treatment this week, and we hope the tumor finally begins to shrink.
Again, as Hurricane Katrina's aftermath demands attention, I ask you to pray for Don and his family, and I encourage you to use Fr. Tharp's prayer to invoke Pope John Paul the Great, among others.
WE adore You O Christ, and we praise You,
because by Your holy cross, You have redeemed the world.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Ss. Peter and Paul, pray for us.
St. Jude, pray for us.
St. Benedict, pray for us.
John Paul the Great, pray for us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
I guess it is clear that there is new growth in the form of additional tumors. He has changed treatments and is on a 24/7 pain management regimen. He also has tested positive for Hepatitis C, which excludes him from any experimental trials. It it wasn't before, it is now prayer crunch time. Please insert saintly intercession and divine intervention here for Don and his family.