Friday, May 22, 2009

Prayer Request

Update on Steve and Barbara Willoughby:

Thank you for your continuing prayers and show of support and love to the Willoughby’s.

After recovering from the surgery to insert the portacath, Sis Barbara Willoughby commenced her new chemotherapy regime on Wednesday, 6 May 2009.

Last week was a particularly difficult week for Sis Willoughby as she suffered from a severe reaction to the chemotherapy with nausea, loss of appetite, muscle weakness and dehydration.

On Wednesday, 13 May 2009, she saw her oncologist who gave her an IV infusion to rehydrate her. Because her white blood counts were very low, she was unable to proceed with the next chemotherapy cycle.

She will be reassessed to see whether she can continue with chemotherapy on Wednesday.

Prior to the commencement of chemotherapy, a blood test was done to measure Sis Willoughby’s CEA tumour markers. Despite not having any drug therapy for 3 weeks prior, the results showed that her tumour markers had dropped from 286 to 196. Sis Willoughby and her oncologist were very encouraged by these results.

A short update on Bishop Willoughby … for the past two and a half weeks Bro Willoughby has had increasing weakness in his left leg which at times causes his leg to drag, he finds it difficult to climb stairs and his balance is affected. Alarmed at this development, the oncologist ordered a MRI. The MRI was performed on Wednesday, 13 May 2009. The results showed that there is no reoccurrence or growth of any new tumours in Bro Willoughby’s brain. What the scan did show however was an increase rather than a reduction in the swelling in his brain. Bro Willoughby has resumed steroid therapy and the radiologist and oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering have been consulted to provide an opinion on the brain swelling.

Let us not be discouraged and say that God is not doing His part. He is but we must also recognize that a daily battle wages. A battle for supremacy between Fear and Faith. Some days, it appears that Fear has the upper hand and that Faith has quietly crept away abandoning us to our worst imagined fears. But a curious thing then happens. We are reminded or we suddenly see the small blessings of the day and gratitude arises and Faith reappears. It is not easy to battle Fear. It’s not easy to ignore his whispers that ‘things will never change’, ‘you are losing the fight’ or his best line, ‘just stop fighting and give up’. For every one of Fear’s whispers, we must utter the name of Jesus. We must believe that and live like fear can be defeated.

The prayer pointers for this week are as following:

1 That Bishop Willoughby will not have to undergo surgery to address the brain swelling.
2 That Sis Willoughby will have no further severe reactions to the chemotherapy.
3 That in addition to physical strength, God will grant them extraordinary emotional strength to overcome unexpected challenges.
4 That in the daily battle for supremacy, Faith will triumph.
5 That the Willoughbys will stay in their position of authority as God’s children and servants.
6 That all the God-given dreams, visions and promises given to the Willoughbys that the enemy has attempted to archive will come alive in their minds and spirits as they embrace the fact that the best is still to come in their lives and ministries.

Friends, in life, there are many uncertainties. But there is one certainty that the enemy cannot take from us – we win.

May you continue to fight.

On behalf of Tabernacle of Joy, Singapore

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