To my dear First UMC Family,
First of all, thank you so very much for the many cards, calls, flowers, and especially prayers that have been raised on
my behalf during the past several weeks. The power of prayer has been felt in every inch of our being, and I am confident
that whatever is ahead of us will be made easier by that power.
I want to take the opportunity to share just a bit of the journey that we are now on. As you probably know, I went to the
Anson Hospital on February 8 with a fast heartbeat and a generally bad feeling. The doctors at Anson quickly identified
the problem, but could not bring it under control, so I was sent to Union that evening. There, the problem still was not
controlled, but in testing I was found to have an enlarged spleen, and also a tumor on the pancreas, both of which were
unrelated to the heart. I went on to CMC-Main, where surgery on February 13 removed the spleen and also the tumor,
and we thought the worst was behind us. Testing, however, revealed that the tumor had spread into pancreatic tissue and
lymph nodes. I am now preparing for chemo and radiation therapy, which hopefully will help prolong a good quality of
OK, that is the physical, medical part. The greater journey has been a spiritual journey, and that is what I want to share
with you. From the very beginning, not knowing what would be found, Gail and I have been at peace with whatever
would be the result, and that things would be fine, even if not the end result that we hoped.
The snow storm allowed a great peace to envelop us, with the knowledge that we were in the best of medical care, and
were the focus of the surgical team at CMC. No one knows what the outcome will be, but whatever it is will be the best
way for me – I will be cured one way or another!
As I was going into the operating room for the first biopsy on February 12, of course I was apprehensive on entering a
life journey I had never traveled. The words of an old Welsh hymn were suddenly in my mind, as clear as if they were
being sung just to me: “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah, pilgrim through this barren land. I am weak, but thou art
mighty, hold me with thy powerful hand....Strong deliverer, be thou still my strength and shield.” Only the phrases that
applied that day were the ones that I heard. Now, the third stanza is becoming more relevant: “When I tread the verge of
Jordan, bid my anxious fears subside. Death of death, and hell’s destruction, land me safe on Canaan’s side. Songs
of praises I will ever give to thee!”
That’s where I am today, and where I shall remain as long as there is life in my body. We will fight with the strong
assurance that whatever happens, all is well. God reigns, and all is in his control.
God Bless You! Benny