Saturday, June 21, 2014

UPDATE: Results of Ericlee's PET scan

Dear Friends & Family,

Three weeks ago we first received the diagnosis that Ericlee has melanoma cancer in his lymph node at the right hip/groin. Through a good friend, we connected with a local oncologist, Dr. Liu, who works for UCSF in Fresno. He ordered a full-body PET scan for Ericlee this past week. We received the results on Wednesday, revealing that Ericlee’s cancer is not just in the right groin but there’s another mass above that in the iliac crest and a small nodule on his right lung. Dr. Liu said that the cancer is in Stage 4. This was devastating news for our family but we trust that even this was not a surprise to God and He holds us in His hands today.

This week we had the gift of going up to the mountains as a family. We are grateful for generous friends who opened their getaway home to us so we could enjoy some time with our dear missionary friends, Jeremy and Marcy Pusey and their kids, who just arrived Monday from Germany. We have been planning this getaway for several months as a chance to catch up with them and all of us to enjoy some margin from the high demands of our ministries. As God would have it, we were still able to go on this retreat. We enjoyed a time of resting, playing games, hiking to a waterfall, quiet mornings for journaling and reading God’s Word.

Although our cell service was spotty up in North Fork, we did drive down the mountain a bit to call the doctor and hear the results. We realized how perfect this timing was as we were able to process this hard news as a family. We have shared the news all along with our girls. We know they do not have a full understanding the circumstances, but we pray God will usher them along this new territory. They pray for Daddy multiple times a day and provide us a model of hope. We are deeply touched by the frequent prayers of our 2-year-old Zayla, who will go put her hand on the mass on her Dad, close her eyes and pray “for Daddy’s leg.” We are moved by the inquisitiveness of our 5-year-old Giada who wonders, “How will they cut that big bump off your leg?” and “When will all the good nutrients kill the bad guys inside you, Daddy?” Our 8-year-old Meilani is quieter these days, expressing her heart in drawings and paintings. We know we each process differently, and this is her way.

Ericlee’s appointment at UCSF is still set for this coming Wednesday, June 25. We appreciate your prayers as we travel to San Francisco and hopefully go into surgery right away to remove the mass. Ericlee will also be consulting with a doctor in San Diego, who is Gerson-certified, and offers advice specific to his case and needs. Ericlee feels 100% confident that we should continue the Gerson Therapy, which has had high success at healing melanoma cancer naturally. We do not believe that it is an accident he has been studying this method for several years. He has always believed that God created nutrition to heal the body of disease.  Ericlee will not do radiation or chemotherapy after surgery. We ask you to support us in this decision and ultimately honor Ericlee on the journey.

We are convinced that God is right here beside us during this trial. As we strolled through the mountains this week with our girls, we saw the intricacy of butterfly wings, majestic trees pointing toward heaven, rushing waterfalls speaking of His glory and power. He shows us His tender care as we read our Streams in the Desert devotional, and each day seems written just for us. He reminds us of His personal love as we open our mailbox brimming with encouragement cards, heartfelt letters and packages from friends like you. He shows His provision as so many have donated toward our medical bills and gifted us with organic produce for the juicing. Ericlee is filled with His peace that passes understanding. We pray this for each of you as well.

We have been steeping ourselves in this beautiful and challenging song by Shane & Shane with an excerpt from John Piper. (Click HERE to hear it for yourself!) The song reminds us that no trial we face – no matter how difficult - is meaningless. This is our hearts’ cry today: “Though you slay me, still I will praise you.”

For His Glory,
Ericlee, Dorina, Meilani, Giada and Zayla

Ways you can Help:
-Give toward our growing medical bills through Paypal or personal checks.
-Join our “Help for the Gilmores” facebook group for tangible needs.
-Send cards of encouragement to Ericlee Gilmore, 4711 N. Harrison, Fresno, CA 93704.
-Pray, pray, pray!!!

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