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Stories that will make you laugh and cry- from Uncle George- an old hippie

Brain Cancer Healing and the Mercy of God

Chris, one of my employees on Crew 3 out of  Odon Indiana, informed me that the doctors removed a small tumor out of his sister’s brain. The prognosis was not good. I sat down here to write him an email. I thought about other people that I have known who had brain cancer and decided to write this story.


I hope she gets better and she does not suffer very much. To be honest brain cancer is rare. I have known 2 people who had full fledged brain cancer. My long time family doctor and LSU Football team doctor told me that brain cancer was so rare, that if I knew 2 people, who had it, then I would never need to worry about getting it, it is so rare.  


The 2 people I knew personally were both very special people on this earth, very special. Both passed away within 6 months of diagnosis. The first was a male, His name was Rick Miller and he worked at Louisiana DEQ in 1984 when I got hired. I noted that he was like the life of the party in the morning coffee break. Everyone loved being around him. He was one of those kinds that I wish I could be. Since he had a high powered job with a high profile, he was well known by every industrial plant and television station in Louisiana. About 2 months after I met him he told me he told me he had just found out about his diagnosis of brain cancer, and 6 months later he was gone. Hundreds of people from all over the state were at his funeral. They still talk about him today.


The other person Sharon was a tragic event in my life. For some reason she was deprived of oxygen during early childhood and she had the mind of a 4 year-old for the rest of her life. She was a very strikingly beautiful young woman about 18 when I first met her. She had long dark brown hair shoulder length and jet clear blue eyes that could focus on you like a child. Every time I saw her she would run across the field at the farm and hug me and touch my shirt. Say, George, nice shirt, is it RED?


Her daddy, Grandville Evans and Catherine went together to purchase some adjacent farmland near the town of  Slaughter, 20 miles north of Baton Rouge. They traveled together to nurseries across Louisiana and Mississippi to purchase blueberry plant seedlings. They purchased the blueberries and planted them in adjacent fields and for the next 12 years they became friendly competitors in pick your own blueberry f arms. Catherine and I met and got married when the plants were about 2 years old. We labored together in the fields for the next 15 years. We were there every single week-end from May 1 to July 4, bush hogging, pruning plants, picking blueberries as the temperature hovered around 90 degrees in the hot humid sun. 


We all worked together in separate fields. We camped in camper trailers close together. We had breakfast together and we barbecued. Grandville was most proud of his charcoal roasted corn on the cob. They were the closest friends that I have ever had. When Grandville and I were not farming, we were hunting deer.


Once Grandville took me on a duck hunting adventure I shall never forget. We were in a game preserve near Whisky Bay Louisiana. We got there long before daylight. Grandville made a cart for all of our shotguns, coffee bottles, breakfast, duck blind, and duck decoys. His large Lab Retriever duck hunting dog actually pulled the cart with the aid of a harness. We unloaded the truck and walked into the wood long before daylight and we did not see the sign that said, “This wildlife area is only open in Monday and Wednesday.” The problem was that it was Tuesday and the preserve was closed.


By daylight we were settled in our blind next to the lake. Grandville used his duck call to call in several flocks of ducks. Together we shot about a box of bullets. Thank the good Lord we were bad shots. At about 9AM we heard a four-wheeler headed our way down a trail. A fellow in an orange vest was bow hunting when he heard our shots. He road his 4-wheeler up to us and warned us the duck season was closed on Tuesday. He said that we walked past a guard station and 2 game wardens would be waiting for us there when we came out to give us a ticket. I was shocked, here I am an inspector from the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and tomorrow my name would be in the headlines for being arrested for duck hunting out of season. I saw my livelihood slipping gout the door.


I thought about it and told Grandville that we were going to leave our guns in the woods covered up, and walk out of there with the dog. We were going to tell the game wardens that we were out training the dog and not duck hunting. Those shots must have been some squirrel hunters.


Grandville stopped walking and looked at me right in the eye. He said that he was a member in high standing with the United Pentecostal Church and that he had not told a lie in 20 years. He said don’t worry, God will take care of us. I thought – right!!


Wouldn’t you know it, when we got to the guard house the game wardens were gone. Who would a thunk it?


Grandville came up to me one day a year or so later as I was swinging on the porch swing in the cool breezeway between my camper trailer and my tractor shed. He poured himself a cup of black coffee and said Sharon was sick. She had been having dizzy spells and strange headaches. I thought about my friend who had passed away from brain cancer a few years earlier. He started out with the same symptoms. I told Grandville that I thought Sharon had brain cancer and she would live about 6 more months. He laughed and shrugged it off.


Two weeks later we met again at the porch swing and he was crying. He said that I was right; the doctors had confirmed terminal brain cancer. We all prayed for healing.


To be completely honest my second wife, Marie, the English lady had cancer. An Air Force Flight surgeon confirmed the cancer with all of the x-rays, cat cans, and biopsies. They quickly scheduled a radical intestinal surgery at Keesler AFB, Biloxi Mississippi. The weekend before the surgery we stayed in the military dormitory for the Regional Medical Center. The doctors informed us that the surgery would remove most of Marie’s intestines and leave her a diabetic dependant on insulin and that she would wear a bag to replace her bowels for the rest of her life. She was 34.


That Friday night we walked along the beach, looked at the million stars and listened to the waves along the ocean. Marie had left 2 children in England to marry me and move to Fort Walton Beach Florida. Their daddy told them that if they stayed in England with their grandparents that he would give them Mercedes Benzes. I told them if they moved to Florida they would need to get a job to help support the family. Now partner, what would you do?


I told Marie on that dark beach on the Gulf Coast that I would quit the Air Force and we would move back to England and live out the rest of her life with her parents and her kids. This was a large move for me, because I had been in the Air Force for 12 years and was not sure that I could get a job. I had gotten out twice before and could not find a job. Besides after 2 years I was fed up with England. The people were great; there was a lot to see like castles and such. I even saw the Queen, Prince Charles, and Dianna. But I am a Louisiana red neck and England is a very cold country mostly year round. The skies were always gray. I felt a huge since of depression there. It did not help that I was always broke and I missed LSU football.


Although I had not been to church since my first divorce, I still believed in the power of God and Jesus to heal the sick. I had seen several preaches in the Assembly of God and other full gospel churches lay hands on the sick and they be healed. I had faith like a mustard seed. That Sunday morning at Keeler AFB, we woke up and got dressed. I picked up the phone book in the dormitory room and opened it to the church section. I closed my eyes and pointed to a church. It was an Assembly of God Church off of Highway 49 in Gulfport Mississippi.


When we got to the church they were singing old fashioned hymns.  We slipped into the 4th pew on the right towards the back of the church. We joined the congregation in singing a hymn. When the song was over they started praying out loud. The preacher stepped off of the pulpit and started walking down the isle and said,” Some one is here because they are sick.” He walked down the isle past us, stopped and turned back. He reached past me, took Marie by the hand. He said you are here because you just found out that you have cancer. He placed the palm of his hand on the very spot where the cancer was located. We started crying. Then he walked her to the pulpit. The preacher put his hand on Marie’s head and spoke in tongues. The congregation gathered around her. She collapsed to the floor. The church sang and praised God.


When the service was over, the preacher called us into his office and explained that Marie should proceed with the surgery, but the doctors would not find what they expected to find.


The next morning, Marie was admitted to the hospital and checked into a room. The doctors came in and once again explained the surgery and the consequences, of being a diabetic and on a bag. They explained that the surgery would take about 4 hours and that I was to wait in the surgery waiting room, then proceed to the intensive care ward. My momma drove up from Columbia Louisiana for support.


After about 3 hours the nurses came for me and said the surgery was over and that Marie was back in her original room. She would not be needing intensive care. The surgeon came into the room and explained that somehow the cancer had shrunk from covering her intestines and pancreas to just a small tumor just a few centimeters in the duodenum in the center of the small intestine. They said they removed a small portion of the duodenum and sewed it back together. They removed all of the cancer and the area around it. She would need an x-ray every six months for 3 years and then annual x-rays for a year. She would not need any chemotherapy or radiation and for all purposes would be normal.


I do not understand the miracles of God. I have seen a lot of people pray for healing. Some were healed and some died.


I was with Sharon’s family in her hospital room the night before she passed away. She had tubes in her nose and down her throat. She looked more confused than anything. She looked at me when I came into the door. In spite of the IV in her wrist she pointed at my shirt. She could not talk, I could almost read her mind- Nice shirt, is it red?


Grandville picks fresh blueberries, covers them with chocolate and makes the best candy I have ever tasted. He takes care to pack them in special boxes. They look a lot better than store brought. He opened a box and passed it around to the family and friends in the hospital room. It was one of the saddest things that I have every seen. Although Sharon was 34, she had the mind of a four year old. She reached out with the hand with the IV and her eyes asked for a chocolate. They could not give her one because she could not eat it because of the tubes.


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