Lisa and I have an update to share regarding my condition… and its good news !! (feels like the first time we’ve received good news )

Today Lisa and I met with the Oncologist at UT Southwestern. We were quite impressed and appreciated her honesty and sense of urgency.

Given that we still didn’t have any genetic testing results, she outlined treatment options that we could begin, then pivot if any of the tests came back positive.

The options we discussed included the Immunotherapy that we HAD researched and found as the leading best option (not the one the MD Anderson had recommended ☹ )

Or… that same immunotherapy combined with 2 chemo drugs for a variety of reasons. It was really encouraging to see her recommendation match up with the volume of research we have done.

Lisa and I came out feeling for the first time that we may have a plan to go forward with.

We let her know that we would discuss it tonight and advise tomorrow regarding our choice, then we would start treatment next Friday or the following Monday.

So, we’re feeling pretty good about it, and had reached a point of acceptance of what we need to do in order to begin healing.

Then a couple of hours later, I received a call from MD Anderson.

The MD Andersson person called to let me know that I TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE ALK GENETIC MUTATION!

This is really big news. This is not the BEST of the mutations to test positive for (EGFR), but definitely exciting news and an improvement !!!

This changes the treatment plan completely and improves the prognosis.

The treatment plan for the ALK mutation includes an oral, pill based drug – no chemo, and much less significant side effects.

We’ll likely talk with the Doc at UT Southwestern tomorrow about the possibility of pairing with Immunotherapy or not, or other potential variations.

Either way this is exciting news and an answered prayer for sure.

Thank you for you continued diligence in lifting us up to the Lord for the 6 core prayer requests.

  • God will be glorified in some way through all of this

  • Complete healing, with no signs of disease remaining

  • Mental Strength, Peace of Mind, and Acceptance of God’s will for Lisa and I as we walk through this together

  • Wisdom in all decision making

  • Physical relief from pain and discomfort

  • Blessings for all that have and will be touched, and have extended their prayers of support (this includes each of you)

In many ways, this feels like the first bit of good news we have had, so we are so grateful.

With gratitude for all your prayers and support,

Tom


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Friends and family

Some of you I haven’t spoken to in a good while, others I see frequently. I’m writing to give you an update and to ask for your help.

Beginning in November 2019, I began having a number of tests and diagnostics run regarding an important health concern.

A few weeks ago I received a confirmed diagnosis of metastatic lung cancer. Since that time, Lisa and I have received an overwhelming outpouring of love and support.

We are still awaiting a final treatment plan from MD Anderson in Houston, TX. In addition, there are a number of non-conventional treatment methods that we are taking.

We are committed to bringing to bear all possibilities and options to improve potential outcomes.

As followers of Christ, we know that the most important thing we can do is to lean on and ask for our Father’s help.

We know that God can heal me. We believe that he wants to heal me.

When Christ healed people, He often gave them instructions to take some action before the healing materialized.

Examples include the 10 lepers that He instructed to go show themselves to the priests (as they went they were cleansed), and the blind man that He told to go wash in the pool of Siloam.

In case after case, God’s miracle appeared after they took some action.

I was recently inspired by a message that focused on Luke 5:17 -26.

In this passage a paralyzed man’s friends carried him to Christ and dug through the roof to get the man in front of our Lord to ask for healing.

Another passage that comes to mind is the one in Matthew 15: 21 – 28.

In this passage a persistent woman continued to pester Jesus and His disciples with her requests to save her daughter from demon possession.

Despite being told to go away by the disciples, she persisted with her requests. Ultimately, Christ told her “Dear woman, your faith is great. Your request is granted.”

We are modeling these examples from Luke and Matthew, leading us to create a large, disciplined and persistent prayer team, lobbying for God’s favor.

I’m asking you to serve as one of those that brings me before the Lord to ask for healing, to carry my mat.

I’m asking you to be part of My Team. I would ask you to do the following:

  1. Pray and ask God specifically for the items I’ve identified below

  2. Pray consistently three times each day – if possible at the times listed below

8:00 or 9:00 AM 3:00 or 4:00 PM 9:00 or 10:00 PM

The specific requests that God has placed on my heart are as follows:

· God will be glorified in some way through all of this

· Complete healing, with no signs of disease remaining

· Mental Strength, Peace of Mind, and Acceptance of God’s will for Lisa and I as we walk through this together

· Wisdom in all decision making

· Physical relief from pain and discomfort

· Blessings for all that have and will be touched, and have extended their prayers of support (this includes each of you)

There may be other items that come and go in addition to these core prayer requests, depending upon circumstance.

For instance: we currently have a second round of testing and analysis that is being done on my second biopsy.

They are testing for the presence of one or more mutations that may appear.

Testing positive for one of these is a favorable outcome, as each of these have drug therapies targeted specifically at each one.

Our additional prayer therefore is that we will get a positive test for the EGFR mutation. This one has several drugs ( a pill, not chemotherapy ) available to treat it.

An occasional email or text reminder that you’ve been praying for us would be great as well.

I would also ask that you also share this message with faith friends and family that would be willing to help as prayer partners.

Please feel free to share this message with them and any subsequent special requests. Prayers of many (and from afar) avail much

(I’m also reminded of when Christ healed the Centurions servant without going to his home, because the Centurion deemed himself not worthy of Christ coming to his home.)

We would love to see the extended prayer team get much, much larger, resulting in many people praying consistently 3 times a day for us.

Email notes from My Team are also welcome, directed to my personal email address; tomr@yourconsent.com Notes like this from around the world are super encouraging.

Please let me know of questions about what I’m asking or any details that are not clear.

This is a challenging and emotional journey that we have been thrust into.

Its my belief that God can and will provide healing, but we must take action first.

Thank you so much for you continued prayer and support.

Thanks for all the love and support, you’re my Team –

With gratitude,

Tom Ragsdale