Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

More good Ruthie news

I’m so happy to share with you who have been praying for and thinking about my sister Ruthie and her fight against Stage 4 cancer some good news. She had a wound on her chest from where doctors had to insert a chemo port earlier this year. The wound wouldn’t heal, so her oncologist had to withhold a powerful chemo drug from her until they got the wound closed — this, because the wound never would have healed under the influence of this drug. Well, today the wound was finally declared healed, and tomorrow they can restart the big bad voodoo daddy drug. She’s been doing surprisingly well on the chemo she had been taking, so bringing the even more powerful drug into the mix should help more. My folks called tonight to say Ruthie was thrilled by today’s news, and is feeling more optimistic now than she has in a long time.
I want to again thank you all for your kind words and prayers and good wishes. Don’t stop now!
I have to say too that I have been skeptical of my sister’s determination not to know mortality stats and other information related to her kind of cancer. She has maintained all along that it’s useless to know that stuff; her view is that it cannot help her — she’s been doing everything the doctor tells her to do anyway — and can only hurt her, by sapping her inner determination to stay positive and fight this stuff. My skepticism is not out of a lack of respect by any means, but only because that’s not how I would act were I in her shoes. However, given how well she’s doing, I’m wondering if the girl isn’t onto something powerful. We’ve come a long way since this day. Please, if you have time, go back and read it, and thank God that she’s still here, and getting stronger every day. Know hope!
Interestingly enough, about a half hour before my parents called with the news, I was putting Lucas to bed and saying evening prayers with him, as usual. And we prayed for Aunt Ruthie’s healing, as usual — but as I did it this time, something wasn’t the same about it. I had a strong sense of her body getting stronger, and being made whole again. It was odd, so I quietly prayed even more for her. Shortly thereafter, my mom and dad called with the good news. IJS.

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Fr Mark in Baton Rouge

posted July 21, 2010 at 8:04 am

Glory to God for the “big bad voodoo daddy drug!”
(that’s only available in certain parts of Louisiana, right?)

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posted July 21, 2010 at 8:15 am

Glad to hear this, and yes the prayers will continue.

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posted July 21, 2010 at 8:39 am

Such wonderful news. Your whole family must feel so good about this. Thanks for letting us know.

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Hunk Hondo

posted July 21, 2010 at 9:14 am

Here’s hoping and praying that more great news is to come!

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Elizabeth Anne

posted July 21, 2010 at 9:54 am

God is great! Such wonderful news, Rod!!

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posted July 21, 2010 at 10:06 am

Praise God, and I continue to pray for your wonderful sister and her family!

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posted July 21, 2010 at 10:46 am

We always imagine all the terrible things that will happen, but the truth is, we’re not psychics.
I frequently remind myself of this when my mind starts to wander down a pessimistic path.
I remind myself too to remember that “all things work together for good to those who love God.”
Glad to hear she’s doing so well.

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posted July 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

It is perfectly understandable (and reasonable) why Ruthie would want to avoid any prognosis/survivability stats. They are averages based on the population as a whole. But any individual cancer patient’s survival is based on their own highly-individual factors. If it helps her not to know these things, trust her judgment and respect her wishes.
It’s very easy to say, “If I had cancer, I’d [insert whatever here.]” Believe me, you don’t know until you go. Nobody knows how they’re going to react to cancer, either psychologically or medically, or what coping strategies work best.
Glad to hear her port healed. Those things can be a nuisance while healing, but fantastic once they’re “operational.” I hated mine (which was probably way less invasive than Ruthie’s) for the 3-4 weeks it took to get better, but now I really appreciate it. Best of luck to her.

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Charles Cosimano

posted July 21, 2010 at 11:19 am

It is always good to start the day with news like this.
Oh, and she’s right. When someone is in that kind of danger, the last thing they need to know is a bunch of mortality statistics.

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John in Austin

posted July 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

I honestly felt tears of gratitude welling up as I read this good news. The reaction surprised me only because I have never met you or your indomitable sister, but maybe online interactions aren’t so impersonal after all.
I will continue my prayers for Ruthie and her whole family. Thanks be to God!

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posted July 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm

So glad to hear about Ruth’s progress! It seems like there was some wisdom in her not wanting to hear the statistics. There is a very real mind-body connection in play in our health. It won’t stop a heart attack or a stroke in progress, but it can play a real role in many other illnesses.

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posted July 21, 2010 at 12:57 pm

What great news, Rod. I’m happy to hear it. I’m kind of an information junkie too. (Well, not “kind of” — I *am* an information junkie.) But if I ever face something as devastating as cancer at a young age, I’ll take Ruthie’s example very seriously. I tend to have a hard time being optimistic in the face of negative statistics, so if I could stand not to know (and that’s a big “if”), less information would probably be better for me. Continuing to hold her in God’s healing Light…

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posted July 21, 2010 at 2:13 pm

thank you for posting this great news – we will continue our prayers for Ruthie and the family – admit I teared up a bit reading this.

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the stupid Chris

posted July 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Every step in the right direction is a good step!
We’ll keep praying…

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Rick Road Rager

posted July 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I mention her name at every Sunday’s worship service during our Sharing of Prayers. And our monthly newsletter next month will include a notice asking for the congregation’s prayers for her.
And she’s right! A positive attitude and willingness to “fight” is worth much more than any statistics about the diseases. Data is OK to get some perspective on an overall problem, but it’s the work of the Holy Spirit within our beings that give us real strength!

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posted July 21, 2010 at 7:24 pm

C3PO: But sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3720 to 1!
Han Solo: Never tell me the odds!
‘Nuff said.

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posted July 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Han Solo, indeed!
Thank you so much for sharing this news with us. Heavy duty chemo can be rough to undergo from what I hear but it can really zap the bad stuff. Here’s hoping Ruthie, with her wonderful spirit and courage, beats this! I remember her and you all in my prayers every day.

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posted July 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Han Solo, indeed!
Thank you so much for sharing this news with us. Heavy duty chemo can be rough to undergo from what I hear but it can really zap the bad stuff. Here’s hoping Ruthie, with her wonderful spirit and courage, beats this! I remember her and you all in my prayers every day.

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