A Bumpy Road

These last eighteen months have definitely been a journey on a very bumpy road, and this week those bumps were much more intense. In the last several weeks, Dave has been having difficulty with weakness in his legs which has made it a struggle to walk. We thought it was due to all the medications he is taking and that it would get better, but this week it got much worse. On Tuesday he was able to walk on his own even though it was difficult, on Wednesday he needed a cane to be able walk, and by Thursday it had progressed to needing a walker.

With this rapid decline, he was rushed to Cedars on Thursday for an emergency MRI. Before the procedure, the doctor informed us that they suspected that the leukemia had spread to the spine. That was very devastating and so scary. After spending 2 1/2 hours in the MRI machine (crazy long time in that little tunnel), we were sent home to wait for the results. Some of you know what that kind of waiting is like, with a knot in the pit of your stomach that just won’t go away. Brutal. Thankfully, late afternoon Friday the doctor told us that the MRI showed it is NOT leukemia in his spine. Thank you, God! Huge relief!!

So the diagnosis is NOT the worst thing it could have been, but it could still be significant. The MRI showed degenerative changes in Dave’s spine and they aren’t sure why or what that means. Doc’s words: “This is unusual and complex and has us perplexed.” We will be seeing a neurologist in the next couple days for further diagnosis, and will hopefully have more definitive answers. At this point they can’t tell us if this weakness and inability to walk is temporary or permanent, if he will get better or continue this decline. We are greatly relieved that it isn’t a return of the leukemia, but we are still very concerned about what this means for him.

Dave is very tired and overwhelmed, but still spends most of his days at his desk in his home office preparing messages and planning for the future. Please pray for Dave to find rest and peace during this time of struggle and uncertainty, and please, please pray for wisdom for all the doctors.

Here’s the verse we are clinging to these days, from 1 Corinthians 12 in the Message translation. God says to us:

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into it’s own in your weakness.”
And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

We appreciate your prayers and your support more than you know. Thank you!

Carol Stoecklein

Kayla Stoecklein