#2 of 3 Letters
Hi beloved Reed family and friends,
It’s me again – Patrick – writing from our front room in our beautiful home in SLO. We made it home last afternoon — Jana driving all the way — after a reassuring WADA procedure at USC’s Keck Medical Center in LA. Jana’s mom graciously hooked us up with a hotel a short jump from the center and we were up and at ’em before 5 a.m. The Keck Center was hopping at that early hour — like LAX but extremely efficient. Our prayers for the procedure were answered: no complications of a potential stroke or carotid dissection during the test (my running has paid off and my cardio risk was called ZERO – which we’ll take!). The test confirmed that I am a true leftie and my “eloquent speech housing” and processing are in my left parietal lobe. This is wonderful news because Dr. John Park of Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara can be more aggressive as he goes for complete resection of the right-sided tumor next Wednesday. We still do not know my ultimate prognosis. That will depend on what type of cells we find in the biopsy and are still hopeful for a complete resection of a low-grade tumor.
Thank you ALL for the unbelievable and heart-warming outpouring of support through your prayers, offers to help, cooking, chores, helping our girls out, medical connections, etc. We are so blessed by the good Lord, and you each are truly His hands and feet!
…Now, I am in the familiar no-man’s land of waiting for the “big race.” In marathoning parlance, I would be finishing off a final sharpening 10-miler right around race pace with some excellent strides for warm-down and refining and confidence-building. Then, I’d be in taper mode for the week. My regimen now is in the same vein but a lot more refrained: hydrating on coffee;), pouring over color options for my future mohawk, considering on-line gift purchases for my 3 lovely ladies, wolfing down apple fritters, bear claws, etc. (All in all, a sedentary and not so bad way to be in the run-up to Christmas.)
Fundamentally, I/we are truly leaning on our faith in Jesus Christ. As I mentioned to Jana last night, this is it, game on – this is the true ULTRA marathon, the real game. Now, it’s time to step it up. No doubt, nearly each of you has been in such a predicament as this in your life. This is what it means to be mortal. And how one responds is the culmination of what is one’s true grit – or better stated – true faith-level.
It is truly astounding how quickly our family’s world was flipped on its head last week. Seriously, not 12 hours earlier I was listening to Francis Chan Sermons and praying to the Lord to use me, to show me my calling. And He is ever faithful! So, I implore to you each to reach out to Him and ask how He will use you — and respond with Isaiah, “Here am I!” My call to you is to ask and then respond in this way. This is the one real choice we each get to make — the summation of our free will and we are never too old or young to assent.
A quick note on our girls, Lucy and Anja – and then on Jana. Lucy and Anja are alerted, for sure, and pressing along. We are trying to keep their schedules as ‘normal’ as possible. I am so thankful that we
have been pouring Jesus Christ into them since before they were born. Just last night, Commander Erik Ernstrom and the Awana’s team at Grace SLO continued to minister to our ladies and their buddies. This is the community we so thrive by. So, bottom line, Lucy and Anja are scared – as we all are – but hopeful, too, looking to Jana and I for confidence. Like solid coaches, we continue to hold their hands, look down the track or across the cross-country course ahead, and imagine the thrill of the win, and we aim to impart that inspiration into their souls. Not knowing what’s ahead, we do know that the past has gone and the new has come. And to Jana, WOW! Can I brag about what a soulmate she has been this past week! Clearly the Lord has been working on us “for such a time as this.” Jana has been nothing short of perfect in her love, respect and care for me. How blessed am I? As I said to her yesterday before the WADA test, it’s worth it to fight this battle along side of her because of how the Lord will mature us. The bible commands us to rejoice during suffering. This is my current task.
Thank you for standing shoulder to shoulder with our family in this fight. As you know, I am not used to losing:) Our great battle will start on December 14th, a week from this moment as I scrawl these words… My 3 brothers — Dave, Chris and Matt – are lucky able to zoom out here for long-sought bonding time. I’m lucky they were able to rearrange their schedules and so thankful for their immediate families springing and supporting them.
Next update to come after surgery on 12/14. Sorry for the mass e-mail, just easiest right now. We love you each and cherish your prayers to Almighty God – who, above all, I aim to glorify through this ordeal – no matter which way it goes,
Patrick, Jana, Lucy and Anja
P.S. Jana snapped these photos of me yesterday as I was heading into the WADA test. I was hooked up to an EEG during the procedure. Thumbs up to all of you for being there for us!