Well, dear friends, it has been some time since Katharine and I have shared with you concerning the journey we began five years ago when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Your prayers throughout that journey have meant far more to us than you can possibly know. For the past three years, following chemotherapy, a series of good CT scans had shown "no visible evidence" of cancer. A year had elapsed since a scan, and several days ago she had a CT scan once again. This one was not a good one. It has shown the return of the cancer in both lungs. It is an occasion for us to again ask for your prayers. Emphatically, we are unshaken in our confidence in the steadfast love and unyielding faithfulness of God.
We have had much discussion with Katharine’s oncologist about treatment options in this situation. Since chemotherapy was so effective earlier, one option is to begin that once more. Another is a trial with a promising experimental drug, a once-a-day pill which is intended to interrupt the cellular communication system and prevent cancer cell growth. Katharine seems to be a good candidate for this drug, and has now begun a three month trial. In mid-September another CT scan will reveal its effectiveness. If the results are good we’ll continue this approach. If not, we will resume chemotherapy.
We have determined to follow our original summer plan to return to North Carolina, sell our house there, and return to settle permanently in Portland. And so we expect to fly back there on Tuesday, July 1. This will mean a trip back to Portland no later than mid-September for the CT scan. We will simply trust that God will guide us in this and that our house will sell very quickly. We would appreciate your prayers about this, as well.
As we move ahead day to day, we are placing no limits on what God can do, though we are prepared to receive from his hand whatever his good and gracious will entails. As a wonderful song of worship reminds us, quite biblically, "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning; great is thy faithfulness, O Lord."
We are indebted to you for your prayers. The strength and peace that God promises his children is multiplied by the prayers of friends.
Thank you so much for both your prayer and your friendship.
Jim and Katharine Sweeney
These two are heroes of the faith as well as long time pillars at Western. Their example of mature, feeling faith has touched us all deeply. If anyone wants to send a message to Jim and Katharine, I’ll be glad to pass it on to them. You can put it here as a comment or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org