Stories

This past year

About 10 months after my PET scan showed “no” cancer…my next one showed some new enlarged lymphnodes with, er, “activity”. My oncologist suggested more chemotherapy, but, was willing to let us wait to see how it all progressed. Pamela and I decided NO MORE CHEMO!! so we checked out a million different natural therapies and decided on going to the Bio-Medical center in Mexico. We drove out there in July, 2016–actually, we drove all around the country, visited friends and family, went to the Grand Canyon–(yeah, check that out and tell me there is no God!!) and managed to make it to Mexico for treatment as well.

About 6 months–and a couple of PET scans–later I went back to Mexico for follow up treatment. The cancer was continuing to grow, but we still held out hope. However,  I was starting to feel pain and having a lot of trouble sleeping. Eventually the pain became unbearable and sleep was not happening at all. A friend had suggested we check out Dr. Gil Lederman at the New York Radiosurgery Center. We called and made an appointment–the first opening they had was a month later–and here God showed up in a big way AGAIN. A friend of ours–a well known actor and great brother in the Lord–called the office on our behalf and, praise the Lord, someone had cancelled that day and we could go in right then!

We went and the doctor scheduled a PET scan for the next day…the results were, um, not good. The cancer had spread and the tumors were huge so he said…when do you want to start the treatment? We were scheduled to go to Puerto Rico for a month or more to do some ministry so Dr. Lederman said, ” Go, go to Puerto Rico and we’ll start when you get back…oh, wait, if you go to Puerto Rico you won’t be coming back!!   YIKES!!  It had never really sunk in before that the cancer was actually potentially fatal, but it sure did then.

I started treatment right away, pinpoint laser guided radiation, one tumor at a time. After 10 treatments I had about 2 weeks off then went to start on the next tumor and, guess who, showed up again! Before the treatment the doctor said, “we have to talk”  (uh oh)  BUT…it turned out what we originally thought was the 2nd big tumor was actually part of the first enormous tumor and because it was all one it had all been treated and there was nothing more to do!! PRAISE THE LORD!!.

PET scan followed a couple of weeks later. There were originally a few more small lymphnodes showing cancer so we figured we’ll just take care of them and there you go…BUT, the scan showed NO activity or enlargement in any areas and we were told I am currently in FULL REMISSION!

That is God at work. All glory to our Creator. The truth is so many people were praying for me and us that we know that we know that we know that this is 100% answered prayer!

WOW…sometimes we feel guilty about being amazed by the things God does as He does them ALL THE TIME!!!    Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…

Another PET scan scheduled for Oct.    Please keep praying.

God bless you all

G and P

 

The “Studio” Story

This is the long version…

When we had enough songs written to record a CD we started praying for a way (mostly, funding) to get into the studio. Our hope was to record at Shore Fire Studios in Long Branch, NJ with our friend and brother in the Lord Joe DeMaio. Joe is not only one of the most talented recording engineers we know, but his studio is VERY well equipped with all the latest gear as well as an enormous selection of vintage equipment. For me (George) the baby grand and B-3 were enough.

So, we prayed and prayed and prayed for God to make a way. Over the following months we were told, more than once, to “go for it” and God will provide. Yes, we were certainly tempted and we knew that IF it was God’s will He certainly would provide all we needed (and more) but, if it was wishful thinking or convincing ourselves it was God’s will, without really being sure, we were going to end up owing a friend and a lot of other people a lot of money that we did not have. So, we continued to pray…for a year and a half. Then…

We got a call that Pamela’s mom was very ill and unlikely to make it through the night. As we were in N. Y. and she in Florida we were in a bit of quandry as to what to do; and, just as a bonus, our car had been totaled by a deer just 2 days previously! Here is where God really began to show Himself. First, the rental car the insurance company paid for had been upgraded for free because the rental company did not have any cars in the price range we were allowed, and when our friend said “You have to go now, or you’ll never forgive yourself for not trying” we jumped in and headed for Florida (in a brand new Ford Taurus–thank you Lord). We drove straight through and, praise God, we made it in time to spend the last 24 hrs of Mom’s life with her. What a great blessing! After a week of taking care of business we headed down to Ft. Lauderdale to see some friends, then back up the east coast towards home. We got to stop at my uncle’s house, went to church with him, witnessed to his wife, and continued our trip. Our plan was to stop at Cape Kennedy to see a space shuttle launch, but, we were late and missed it; however the delay (boy, God really has it ALL under control!) got us to exactly where we had to be exactly when we had to be there.

We decided to go as far as either Jacksonville or St. Augustine to spend the night, and around 4 in the afternoon, Pam was dying for something to eat so we started looking for a restaurant. Driving through Palm Coast, Fl (never heard of it before this) we saw a place called 386 and pulled in. The restaurant didn’t open until 4:30 so we turned to go but, the owner came out and said we could come in and sit at the bar (club sodas all around!) and at 4:30 we could sit and eat. We sat and yapped with the bartender and the owner, Frank for the next 20 minutes or so. Turns out Frank is originally from Belmar, NJ where we played for years in a bunch of bands, most notably The Blackberry Blues Band…Frank says, “Oh yeah? My brother owns a studio in Long Branch!!!” WHAT?? Your brother is Joe? “Yup, I’ll call him right now.” So, Frank calls Joe and puts me on the phone and, after telling the Joe the whole story, he says “No problem, call me when you get home and we’ll work something out!” So we did and he did and now the CD is done!

Any questions about how amazing our Lord is? He orchestrated EVERY second and EVERY inch of that trip AND the making of the CD. We worship a mighty mighty God who loves us all very much. How much? For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

 

The Cancer Story

On July 13th we went into the studio. I (George )was recovering from a minor (?) case of pneumonia and also had a vicious case of poison oak (or, sumac) and looked a bit like the elephant man. We made it through that night recording the basic tracks (minus guitar) and scratch vocals (which, incredibly, turned out to be the final vocals–man, Pamela is old school amazing!) and drove home. The next day we were back in the hospital for a shot and medrol pack to ease the poison…whatever.

All seemed fine, though not completely right and about a week later we were back in the emergency room for what our doctor feared might be an aortic aneurism. Good news, bad news…it was NOT an aneurism BUT turned out to be a large, fast growing, mass brought on by (we soon found out) non-Hodgkins large B-cell lymphoma! Lots of words ending in phoma were tossed around, all of which essentially spelled Cancer. And here again, God showed up in a fairly amazing way.

I grew up in Stuyvesant town on the lower east side of Manhattan. The family moved to north Jersey when I was eight which was the last time I saw one of our neighbors–who I’ve known literally since the day I was born–Marty Oster. Marty’s mom passed away from cancer at only 46 years old and, spurred on by that, Marty eventually became one of the top oncologists at New York Presbyterian Hospital…guess who we called!

I ended up in NYPH for about a week and after a biopsy started a course of Chemotherapy which lasted for approximately the next year. That sure made the following sessions in the studio a bit, er, interesting.

Long story short, the chemo did what it was supposed to do (killed the mass and the cancer cells and nearly every other part of me) and I was “cured”. Turns out, that’s not really how it works and my little friend has re-appeared…Going a different route, so far, this time. We’ll see what God has in store.

     Romans 8:28 says: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. KJV.  I heard a pastor say “all means all and that’s all all means” so… ALL things, including this, God is working for my good! His thoughts are not like ours. I can’t figure it out, but I know that I know that I know that He is working ALL of this out for my good!

May the Lord bless you and keep you…

GM