September 27, 2013

Letter: There is hope

— You hear of tragic stories of cancer every day. This is a story of hope and encouragement.

Gene Poe will be 86 today. He is a walking miracle. In July 2011 he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, spread through the lymph nodes, and metastasized into his liver. He had a significant portion of his colon removed, multiple lymph nodes, and two-thirds of the left lobe of his liver removed as well.

Gene received his first round of chemotherapy on his 84th birthday. At times it has been hard, but he has never given up. He has done whatever his doctors told him he needed to do to get better. He has been surrounded by his family, friends and church family from the beginning.

The outpouring of love from his church has been tremendous. He is a member at Salem Baptist Church, and they have been sending him cards, calling, visiting, bringing meals and, most importantly, praying for him since the beginning. Many other churches have as well.

He drives himself to chemo, and most all his appointments. During this time he has also taken care of our mother, Hazel Poe. She fell breaking her left wrist, had surgery on her right wrist, and also was hospitalized for a medical condition.

He still mows his own yard, and helped his son-in-law plant and harvest a garden. He has always loved to fish, and continues to go to Chuck Harmon’s pond, as well as David Guess’ pond, pretty much every week that the weather is good.

Tuesday of this week one of his sister-in-laws had a procedure and Gene went to sit with his brother to keep him company during the procedure. He continues to take the chemo, and we pray it doesn’t come back, but as of August 2013 he is cancer free.

We give thanks to Dr. John Antalis for proceeding quickly when he felt something was wrong, Dr. Monica Verma for her expert care, but most of all we give praise and honor to the great healer, Jesus Christ.

There is hope. If you see Gene today, wish him a Happy Birthday.

Carol Pierce