FR. GREG FAMILY UPDATE
Dear Parish Families and Friends –
Hi Parishioners and Friends,
As you know, I traveled to MD Anderson in Houston on October 16-17. I had my first MRI since the summer when I had treatment of radiation and oral chemo for a brain tumor. Unfortunately, the MRI was still too affected by the radiation. Thus, the doctor was unable to determine if the tumor was better or worse. The doctor has me on oral chemo and made an appointment for me on Nov. 17. Please keep praying for me! Jesus Reigns!!!
Hi Parishioners and Friends!
The first week of treatment was a cakewalk. However, I knew a fight was waiting for me here in Houston. I have fallen five times now (once hitting the back of my head - OUCH). I get headaches. I walk around often dizzy from the medication. The radiation makes me tired with fatigue. Lastly, the oral chemo taken at night makes me consume water endlessly through the night to fight dehydration and then up countlessly to urinate so it's hard getting a good night sleep. I am uniting all my sufferings in union with Jesus' Passion and that has always been Catholic teaching and truth. As your Pastor, I encourage you to do the same as well - for yourself, your family, your parish, or maybe even for me. Love and miss you all and looking toward already the second week of October when I am HOME - St Patrick of Merna and St Mary's!
My Parishioners & Friends,
After two days of Chemo and Radiation, I am still up for a Cardinals vs Astros game with my best friend Fr James Seitz who flew in to Houston to support me from Minnesota. Love and miss ya all! Jesus Reigns!!!
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
I would like to let you know that Fr. Greg's family made the very difficult decision to put Fr. Greg on home hospice this week. The originally prescribed pain medications for Fr. Greg's headaches weren't doing enough. Fr. Greg and his family are much at peace and though Fr. Greg does continue to struggle and get worse the Lord continues to give them the grace they need. On behalf of Fr. Greg and his family I thank you for all your love, support and prayers.
Fr. Dustin Schultz
I would like to first, and foremost, thank everyone for all of your thoughts, prayers, and cards that I have received over the past few months. Although I am no longer able to text or write myself, I still want to hear from you. My dear sisters have served as "secretary" for me in responding to phone calls, texts and the many letters/cards and gifts I have received. Although they may not always feel like it, they are truly angels of God. I feel very blessed to have them in my life.
I do believe that your many prayers have served me well this summer. At my last visit to the neuro-oncologist at Northwestern University Medical Center the end of June, I learned that the growth of my two primary brain tumors had slowed and that there was no evidence of any new tumors present. Hallelujah! However, the side effects of my chemotherapy and adjunct therapy tend to wear me down, so I often do feel tired, stiff, and a little weak. Also, because of the brain hemorrhage I sustained last November, my speech is significantly impaired and will likely never improve from what it is currently. Nonetheless, I try to continue to serve by hearing confessions and con-celebrating at mass with Fr. Schultz and Fr. Pica. I so much appreciate their patience and support in helping me to make this possible. I also appreciate the support and graciousness I have received from our own Bishop Jenky in allowing me to remain in the rectory at St. Patrick of Merna.
In closing, I ask that you continue to pray for me. My next visit to the neuro-oncologist will be on August 17, so I am hoping and praying that I get another favorable report. One of the goals that I have set for myself is to be on that bus trip later in September to watch the Cards versus the Cubs game at Wrigley Field. The Cards won 3 out of the 4 games I was present for at the end of May, so I believe it's important that I attend that September game!! Most importantly, remember that Jesus loves you and me. This is what truly sustains me on my "bad" days when I'm not feeling 100%.
Love and peace to you all!
Monsignor Greg Ketcham"
Father Greg did not qualify for the clinical trial but in on a new chemotherapy drug. Your continued prayers are felt and appreciated.