Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Gary Austin Update: Living With an 'Ostomy'

The following update is excerpted from an e-mail received yesterday from Gary Austin, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who is undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer:

Living with an "ostomy" is a life-changing experience. It seems to be "working" ok. We had to go back to the hospital yesterday for the Ostomy Nurse to walk me through the process of taking off the old one and putting on a new one.

They have disconnected my colon completely for now; this ostomy is attached to my small intestine. Because I can lose more fluid this way, I have to drink Gatorade everyday to keep my electrolytes up. I also have to drink extra fluids.

I go back next Monday, April 8, for a CAT scan, using the contrast dye. That's the same stuff I had an allergic reaction to in February. They've given me some pills to take 12 hours before and 2 hours before the scan [scheduled for 8 a.m. on Monday] to help counteract the allergic reaction. Sure hope it works!

After the CAT, then we meet with the surgeon. The plan is to schedule the date for the tumor removal surgery. A lot depends on what they see (or don't see) in the CAT scan. I think that surgery will be more involved than this "minor" laparoscope I had last week. With that in mind, I'll be on my back for sometime. You can pray that I'll gain back a measure of strength and endurance for that important event. I need to get that tumor out.

The church has already arranged for someone else to speak on Sunday. Jean and I hope to be able to go to services, but they didn't want me to worry about getting the message ready, etc.

The Cedar Rapids Prayer Alliance (pastors from several churches in town that I meet with each week for prayer) will be meeting at our church this month. Their concern is being on location of one who needs much prayer at this time. They know I'm a special "target" of their prayers. Our church leaders are glad these men want to meet at CR Grace.

Thank you for your continuing prayers and contacts.


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