Letter From Douglas Anders, with a forward by Dr. Don
Submitted by Rev. Dr. Don Longbottom, Conference Minister
In case you missed it last week, please see the below letter from former Conference Minister, Rev. Douglas Anders thanking everyone for their much appreciated support. Please know this will be a continuing need for Rev. Anders until his treatments at MD Anderson are complete. If you have not already done so and are able, please consider making a donation. Those who are able to gift Southwest Airline travel miles, Southwest vouchers or Rapid Rewards points these are extremely helpful as Southwest is the airline that Rev. Anders uses to fly to Houston. Monetary donations are being coordinated through the conference office. If you wish to participate in this compassionate endeavor, please contact Stacey Silvey at the conference office.
To: Friends in the South Central Conference
Please know how deeply grateful I am for the support you have given me through directed Southwest Airlines miles and direct gifts. I am richly blessed by your generosity and thoughtfulness. Your gifts will help me in my every three week travels (via Southwest Airlines) to MD-Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Your prayers-encouragement-support for me as I continue to battle my Stage Four Colon Cancer is an expression of your deep love and willingness to provide care.
I continue my (experimental drug trial) chemo treatments-two different kinds of chemo at MD-Anderson Cancer Center. I go to MD-Anderson every three weeks for three days of preparation, testing and chemo treatments. To date I have had six treatments. I must continue to come to Houston every three weeks for the next two years (through May 2021). Initial assessment is that the chemo treatments are working well and the (colon cancer) tumors in the liver are shrinking. By comparison during the three years of chemo-care I received in St. Louis the tumors never shrank (they did not increase or move to other areas of the body either).
I am experiencing minimal chemo side-effects because the experimental chemo is a form of immunotherapy and not harsh chemical-chemo. I have renewed energy and stamina. I’ve gained a little weight (which is good with all the weight I have lost since I started chemo). For a person with Stage-Four Colon Cancer, my health is remarkably good. Despite cancer tumors in the liver, I have fairly good liver function. My Houston oncologist says that treatment results are cumulative and that as I have more treatments it will get better with each chemo treatment.
I am humbled by such good chemo results and give thanks to God, for the people who have prayed for me and for the researchers at MD-Anderson who gave me hope when all cancer treatments were no longer effective. I give thanks to good friends (and now retired clergy) Ron and Sue Krueger of Spring, TX, who open their home to me every three weeks and provide me with a car while in Houston. I remain vigilant in my fighting spirit against cancer. From the first day I was diagnosed, I said I would not allow cancer to define and for the most part that has been true.
I am strengthened in my resolve to keep fighting cancer by the continuing prayers-notes- cards-emails-texts-phone calls of so many friends, who offer an encouraging word and a spirit of hope. When you are on the receiving end of prayer, you are humbled, blessed and strengthen in spirit. Thank you for all you are doing for me. I continue to pray for the churches, Pastors and UCC members of the South Central Conference. May God continue to bless your lives, work and ministry. All the best to you.
2921 Moniteau Drive
St. Louis, MO 63121
314.546 6772 Cell