Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lab Report

O.K. - The lab report on the tumor found during the colonoscopy was positive for Cancer.  Three CT Scans confirmed it.  The plan is that I will enter the hospital on Friday the 18th for "4 or 5 days followed by 4 to 6 weeks recovery;  Unless there are further complications."  So, folks, you may not hear much from me for the next few weeks.  So many of you have written notes to express your concern and prayers and I DO thank you. 

Someone posted a picture that I have said I'm going to tape to my bed.  It says something like, "If I'm not here, I've gone to look for myself.  If I should return before I get back, please keep me here."  I think that is going to be appropriate before this ride is over.  ☺

Sincerely, Thanks Everyone, for keeping my spirits high.  My vital signs continue to be near perfect. (i.e., temp 97, bp 117/76, heart rate 71.)  I'm like the fellow who fell off the 20 floor sky-scraper.  As  he passed the 10th floor, he was heard saying, " far so good!"

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Two Funerals And The Big "C"

Frances' Neice, Ramona Evans fought a valiant battle with cancer for the last several months.  We visited her in the hospital twice recently where she and her husband were praying and believing for healing for her body.  I've never seen a more solid faith expressed by any couple than was displayed by Mike and Ramona.  When the doctor said, "She's dying.  You should sign the DNR papers and let her go quietly."  After conferring with his beloved wife, Mike said, "Doctor, we understand what you are saying.  We understand your point of view.  But - we are coming from a different perspective.  We believe that God will heal Ramona.  We want to fight this all the way."  Sadly for her family and us but gloriously for her she found the words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 to be true.  "Death is swallowed up in victory."   The celebration of her life was last night at the Parkwest Church of God in Knoxville, Tennessee and she was buried today.

Meanwhile, Ramona's Dad (Curtis Fritts) whom I have written about in this blog before, entered into the presence of the Lord on Monday.  He had pulmonary fibrosis.  Curtis was the kind of man who never complained.  He was a leader in his church and in his home.  He and his wife have demonstrated to me what the "gift of hospitality" looks like and feels like in real life.  Curtis was an excellent cook (learned in the Army) whose specialty was Coconut Cream cake.  Oh My!  They were always perfectly moist and good, with only one flaw...they didn't last long.  Curtis was also an outdoorsman.  He and I spent many happy hours together in our younger years walking in the mountains looking for deer, examining bear tracks, exploring new areas of woods and fields and streams.  We also shared an interest in guns.  He and I went to the CCP (Concealed Carry Permit) class together about 10 years ago.  He was a chess player who always beat the socks off me.  In my earlier years he taught me how to be at ease with other people.  I was commending him for his ability to talk to anyone and everyone no matter whether they were what we called "high falutin" or just "ordinary folks".  I'll never forget the statement he made.  "Ask them to tell you about themselves and you won't have to talk much after that."  And there's one other thing that I must tell ... he made it possible for me to spend more time with Frances while we were courting.  He and Beth were already married and living across the alley from her parents.  They invited us to their home for dinner.  I learned later that after I had left, Curtis turned to Beth and said, "Of all the boys that have visited Frances - she will marry this one!"  His insight was accurate.  I'm not sure how he knew, but he "Just KNEW it" he would say in later years.  His funeral was Tuesday night at his home church in Farragut.  We buried this man of God on Wednesday morning.  I was honored to be asked by his family to say a few words at the graveside service.

And now the Big "C".  I went to the doctor a few days ago for a check-up.  He referred me to a Gastro-interologist.  Tuesday I was admitted for and upper G.I. endoscopy and colonoscopy.  It had been ten years since the last one - so it was recommended by my General Practitioner.  Today's news is that I have a cancerous tumor, located in the lower colon.  I feel great.  My vital signs on Tuesday were near perfect.  I came out of the anesthesia and had full intentions of attending the funeral of Frances' brother-in-law (Curtis) on Tuesday evening and burial next morning.  However, due to some discomfort I decided it would be best for me to stay in the motel.  I did attend the graveside services for both funerals and attended Ramona's funeral on Wednesday.  Yes, I'm tired, but not unusually so after all of those stressfull events.

I must give credit to our two oldest daughters who went with us and drove the car up to Lenoir City for us.  Frankie and Ruthie, you were great company to your Mom and me.  Thanks!

Fred's Monday Meal

About Me

My photo
Cleveland, TN, United States
I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton