To help financially during this time of great need, please forward your offering to Tom's sister:
Darla Wexttsen, 16738 N. Tolle Lane, Mount Vernon, IL 62864
checks may be made payable to "Grace Community Church"

There is also a deposit account set up at US Bank to help defray Deb's uncovered medical expenses.
Visit any US Bank branch office to make a deposit in cash or by check for "Deborah A. Smith Memorial Fund".
Please be sure to mention Charity Paddock or Nellie Haverkos to be sure the gift is properly deposited.

If you use this link to join, then go shopping there, as much as 26% of your purchases will help the family.

RECENT COMMENTS (Add one by clicking on a post"s Comments link)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Abundant Thanks and Update from tom and deb

Dear Friends in Christ,

Charity told us about the blog, and said "you've got to get ready to be loved". Wow, what an understatement. I logged on last weekend while Deb was in the hospital. But since our computer is on the second floor, and Deb can't do steps now, we had to wait until last Thursday when Darla brought her lap top out. You gave us not only an immense agape hug, but also fresh faith.

And faith is what we need. The last three months have been the most vicious warfare we have ever been in. The Enemy blindsided us. The first two Drs. we went to, and the first three MRIs, CAT scans and other tests couldn't discern what was really going on. It wasn't until a Physician's Assistant recommended a bone scan that we discovered the tragic truth that Deb had at least a dozen tumors on all her long bones.

Dr. Needles of the Pratt Cancer Institute in St. Louis did another round of tests including a biopsy and concluded Deb's cancer began as lung cancer and quickly spread to her lymph nodes and bones. Once the cancer gets to the bones it becomes very aggressive.

Need of the hour? A miracle. We still believe in miracles.

Thanks for continuing to pray alongside us.

tom and deb

p.s. Your cards, gifts, and emails have brought us to our knees. Someone on the blog said the costs are staggering. This is true. In the past seven weeks we have spent just over $6000 at the pharmacy. Our health insurance has included several surprises. The big one being our pharmacy card is only a "discount card" which means they don't really pay anything, just negotiates a little off the price of the pills. Like 5 to 15 %. If you dear friends had not responded to the Spirit's prompting, I don't know where we would be. Thank you so much. Ephesians 2:10


MarcO said...

Dear Deb & Tom,

I received an email yesterday from Gary Sweeten telling me that you are very ill Deb. I don’t think I have words to say how sorry I am or even words to comfort you. I know that you are in a great deal of pain.

Since we last saw each other back in the late 1970's, my Linny has experienced much illness. In 1987 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Within a week she had surgery and was on chemotherapy immediately after the operation. She survived that ordeal. In 1994 she was stricken with a strange neurologic disease called Raeder’s neuralgia. This disorder caused her to have severe head and facial pain. Initially her doctors said it would only last a few months. Unfortunately it lasted for more than 10 years. This condition affected not just the nerves in her face and neck, but also her heart and blood pressure as well has her ability to balance herself. She eventually had to use a walker whenever we left the house. It got to the point that all the doctor could give her was anti-seizure medication and oxycontin to control the pain and seizures. After going toxic on the anti-seizure medicine she decided that she had to eliminate the pain medicine as well. She eventually began to get better. She still has health issues, but both of us will never forget the pain that she endured.

Linny is still unable to work or drive a car. She had to give up a career in nursing and public relations. We spent all of our savings and then some on her medication and insurance and had to file for bankruptcy protection.

Due to our experience, I have some inkling of what you and Tom must be going through. No one told me that being middle aged was going to be this frightening or difficult. I had no idea that I would ever be totally freaked out every time I had to take my wife to a doctor appointment, scared that the doctor would tell us about some new malady. And I never realize how much pain someone so close to me could bear.

The lessons that I have learned are to simply take one day at a time. In fact some days you have to take one hour at a time. And put all of your trust, all of your faith in God and look for His comfort.

One other lesson is you need to be most conscious of is that if you are in pain, you will not become addicted to your medication. So please do not let that become a worry.

I am so blessed at the days we all spent in our youth starting up Fellowship Christian Church. Deb, you always were my favorite person there. You were level-headed, while the rest of us were so impulsive. I thank you for opening up your home to Linny and I and for the friendship that you and Tom gave freely to us. Perhaps when we left Cincinnati, we did not leave on the best terms, but I still cherish those wonderful and sweet days when all my friends were gathered together to ask the Lord's blessing. Those days always remain great memories.

I see by the blog that you have raised a wonderful family and you and Tom are grandparents to beautiful children. Linny and I have our two wonderful daughters and four grandchildren that are our delight.

You and Tom are in my prayers.

May the Lord continue to bless, heal and comfort you,

Big cyber bear hugs from

Marc & Linny O'Hara

Sharon Hertenstein said...

Hi Deb, Since I have never posted a "blog" before, Here's hoping you get this...My thoughts and prayers are with you and Tom daily...I remember when I was baptized by Tom, You were the first person I saw when I came up from the tank..I will never forget the amazing smile on your face..And also what you said to me...You said I was a newborn baby...With my fear of water, Tom had to coax me under twice...But it was you that held my hand...."Dancing to the praise and worship music at Community was always lead by you" What a wonderful dance instructor you are, You taught us that dancing to the music was praising God...We will now join you in dance as you did us, and hold your hand....I know God will heal you, AND we will all dance together with you once again.

Anonymous said...

Tom and Deb,
I just finished listening to Kingdom on the Podcast(is that what it is? I'm so not tech!)and it brought me to tears. Thanks for the job you guys did of uniting so many of us in CSF then FCC then CCF! I treasure those days of your love and nurturing to a bunch of college kids looking for answers. I'm glad you were there to point us in the direction of Jesus.
What a blessing it is to read what so many of my brothers and sisters are saying to you. I thank my God that you are such a big part of my walk with Him. Deb, your steadfast love and support of Tom and your involvement in the ministry(and our lives, too!)was a true testimony of your walk with God. Thanks!
We love you guys!
Ed and Robin

Jack said...

Tom and Deb,
Hope u all don't think I have forgotten you (like I ever could).I have been speaking to LULU, or Jim and Darla about you guys . Jim and I have been remodeling again for the last time I hope. Deb I am going to surprise visit (guess it isn't a surprise now) you soon. I love you with all my heart. You are the strongest woman I have ever known. You are a shining example of who I want to become. We all love you both soooooooooooooooo very much...Jim,Jackie, Abigail and Autumn

Angie Shope said...

Pastor Deb,
I just wanted you to know that you are ever in my heart and my prayers. I will continue to stand,in faith, with you, your family and all these wonderful friends here.

Romans 4:17 says "As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations, before him whom he believed,even God, who quickeneth the dead and CALLETH THOSE THINGS WHICH BE NOT AS THOUGH THEY WERE.
Romans 4:20-24 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith giving glory to God;
And being FULLY PERSUADED that, what he had promised, he was able to also perform.
And therefore, it was imputed to him for righteousness.
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
BUT FOR US ALSO, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.

I continue to "call those things which be not as though they were"! until they are! And give praise and glory to God for the hope and healing we have in Christ Jesus!!!

I heard Joel Olsteen preaching this and I felt this was a word for you:

Jeremiah 29:11~ For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not evil; to give you a FUTURE and a HOPE!!!

He said: Don't let Satan deceive you, don't let time defeat you...Your best days are not behind you!!! They are still ahead of you!!! AMEN AMEN!!!

My kids wanted you to know that every night they pray for you, cause they KNOW Jesus "will take good care of you." What precious child like faith!

We love you very very much!!!

In His Awesome Love~
Taylor & Ashlyn