Pastor to Have Two Surgeries This Week

September 30, 2014

Janet Sack writes on Saturday, September 27. 2014:

As Saturday evening draws to a close and we put an end to this very trying week, I just want to share an update on our weary patient

Bruce has been resting and remains in ICU. He will stay in ICU recovering from Thursday’s surgery and preparing for another embolization this coming Thursday. By waiting a week between surgeries (ideally this would be 6 months) the surgeon is “hoping” Bruce will be able to tolerate a longer surgery and a greater percentage of the arteries feeding into the fistula can be coiled.

On a positive note he is awake and asking for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! I don’t have the heart though to tell him that’s not part of his clear liquid diet.

The Sacks are definitely weary, each in our own ways today. But isn’t it like our God to have such a sense of humor, today in our devotion time His verse rested on our hearts and minds:

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, “Destroy him!” DEUTERONOMY 33 : 27

This reminded me of the times when we sing the familiar church hymn “leaning on the everlasting arms”. It’s fun to teach the kids to “lean” as we sing the song, and yes I may have gotten carried away on the “leaning” motion – but what strength I find today in knowing that He is there to lean on when we need Him the most.

I look forward to tomorrow, worshipping and praising Him in His sanctuary and leaning on His Everlasting arms. And with confidence I know our prayer warriors are continuing to lift us up as we continue to prayer for complete healing and guidance and wisdom in the medical staff.

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Pastor Has a Blood Clot

September 30, 2014

Janet Sack writes on Wednesday, September 25, 2014:
Yesterday, (Tues) Bruce woke with an excruciating headache, the first since his amazing and healing surgery in July. Throughout the day the prescribed medications did not resolve the pain and so by the end of the day we took him back to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital ER. He was admitted in the wee early …morning hours, basically so the surgeon could figure out what to do with him! That’s Bruce for you! By late afternoon Wed., the surgeon discovered a blood clot that formed in one of his 2 veins in his head. While there has been ongoing talk about completing more work on the fistula and possibly putting a shunt in his brain to drain the fluid, the MOST pressing issue becomes eliminating the blood clot, because the 2nd vein is blocked by the arteries joined into the vein, and well, because blood clots are not good. When, not if in my prayers, the clot is removed, the surgeon will then work on the AV Fistula. With that said, Bruce was admitted to ICU this evening, where he will be closely monitored, medications have already been started to break up the clot, and tomorrow he will be scheduled for an angiogram and cath. When those are successfully completed, again, not if, the surgeon will complete more work on the fistula.

So our urgent prayer request this evening, is wisdom, strength and guidance for the health care providers watching over Bruce and for the blood clot to be dissolved as quickly as possible so that the surgeon can alleviate additional symptoms by completing work on the fistula.

For those that have followed us over the years in this journey, you are aware of the spiritual warfare battle we have been facing. Bruce’s original problems, the Bells Palsy, surfaced the weekend before his final interviews with the Board of Ordained Ministry in March 2011. His visual obscurations and increased intracranial pressure was diagnosed within days of his Ordination Ceremony, on a stormy, candlelight night in June 2011. On July 21, 2014 we witnessed the miracle of the repair work on the AV Fistula, so tomorrow, September 25, 2014, with each of you as our prayer warriors, I believe we will witness yet again another miracle as I believe that this blood clot is an attempt from Satan to defeat Bruce and that attempt will NOT work.

This morning I was reminded of 2 Chronicles 20:15 Do not be afraid or discouraged….the battle is not yours, but God’s. What a great encouraging verse that compliments what so many of our prayer warriors have declared already – tomorrow we WILL see healing as God completes His healing work on Bruce and finalizes this spiritual battle.


5 1/2 Weeks After Surgery

September 30, 2014

Janet Sack writes on Thursday,  August 28, 2014:

I suppose today is one of those days when I have to admit that my mother was right, again! While my mom doesn’t use a computer and still attempts to “develop” her film for pictures taken on her cell phone, she was right that I have not posted an update about Bruce on Facebook for several weeks! How does she even know that?

It has been 5 1/2 weeks since Bruce’s surgery and recovery seems to be going well. He’s anxious to return to work full time, hates trying to figure out hospital and doctor billing questions and still works on chores around the house without even asking! Today he finished with physical therapy.

We covet your prayers for tomorrow as we will travel approx. 4 hours each way from Hazlehurst to Tallahassee for his follow-up appointment with the surgeon. An MRI prior to the appointment in the afternoon will be the determining factor in assessing how far he has progressed and what the treatment plan will be going forward. I will not share tonight what the possible outcomes could be tomorrow, but I will claim that we WILL continue to see God’s amazing healing over Bruce, all in His timing and ways and not our own!

Over the past month we have been asked different questions about Bruce’s surgery, so here’s a few answers….

…the surgeon went through the vein and artery in his legs to reach his brain, so his battle wound immediately following surgery was a band-aid on each thigh. (I’ll reserve any other “wife” comments about the surgical route to his brain!)

…No, it’s not a bad haircut…..because of the radiation, dyes, chemicals, etc. used during the surgery and other diagnostic tests he has lost some hair around his upper left ear, the location of the fistula. We understand it will grow back. We’re not sure if he will lose any more or not. The good news is he hasn’t needed a hair cut in 2+ months!

…while the eye doctor’s have not told him specifically he couldn’t drive, we have both decided it would be best for him not too, a decision we made in late February. The surgeon did recommend he hold off driving for the first month. He’s pushing the limits on wanting to drive locally, but know that those living in Hazlehurst are still safe on the roads, for now!

We are praying in confidence for tomorrow….

Jeremiah 29:11
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


God Provided a Rainbow!

September 30, 2014

3982659_origJanet Sacks writes on Saturday, July 26, 2014:

In the midst of the storm, God is faithful. It’s been a stormy week for the Sack Family, and yet on Friday at 5:15pm (for those looking for the answer to our math question) as Bruce was released from the hospital we journeyed away from Tallahassee Memorial Hospital with this vivid beautiful double rainbow above us.
Joyfully, we had a very fun filled night with the kids in Valdosta, David and Emily both realize their father is back and the bar has been raised in coming up with random jokes, songs, phrases. Bruce wore them out last night! Elizabeth is just not quite sure of what to make of her rejuvenated father, she hasn’t seen him this way for half her life!
We want to thank everyone who has supported us, encouraged us and prayed us through these past days and even months. We are amazed at the incredible progress in Bruce’s physical healing, and while we know there could be other outpatient procedures throughout the years, we know we wouldn’t be celebrating today without your uplifting prayers for physical healing. Thank You – Thank You – Thank You
The Lord shared these words with both Bruce and I this morning:
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8
So, with this update said, and our thank you’s shared, God has laid it on our heart this morning, that we need to spend this weekend in worship, prayer, praise and thanksgiving. So we will be shutting down our phones and computers and stealing away for some precious time with our Lord and Savior. We will return to Hazlehurst on Monday afternoon where Bruce will begin a few days of physical therapy to rebuild his leg strength and stamina.


Leaping for Joy!

September 30, 2014

Janet Sack writes  on Friday,  July 25, 2014:

So, for our Facebook friends that we went to high school with, I have a math question I need an answer to that I simply don’t remember learning how to solve in our days at Susquehannock High School…

So here goes….
If a surgeon discharges a patient on Thursday at 7:30 am, the patient is showered and dressed by 8:45 am on Thursday, the physical therapist requests he be transferred to inpatient rehab care at 1:00 pm, what time will patient “B” actually leave the hospital? Hint: Sometime after 11:45 am Friday morning.

So the mind is willing, but the body is not quite ready to leave the hospital unassisted. Disappointing news for the patient, but good news that today we (ie. the hospital staff) are busy trying to transfer Bruce to an inpatient rehab center, hopefully in Valdosta, for him to spend a few days building up his physical body strength.

Psalm 28:7 (NIV)
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him

So today, while our hearts leap for joy, we continue to praise God and remember that we are only in recovery day 4. We persevere through the time delays knowing with confidence that Bruce will be “leaping” in the days ahead as he continues to gain his physical strength!


Brother Bruce to Leave Hospital Today

September 30, 2014

Janet Sacks writes on Thursday, July 24, 2014:

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

What a great scripture verse this morning shared by friends on Facebook. Today is the day we “press on.” After a great day of rest yesterday and a move out of ICU to a regular room, Bruce has been up walking the hallways, eating and yes, still talking, all the while trying to piece together what was real over the past week and what was part of his dreams. With that said, we are one final step away from him walking out the door of the hospital later today so that we can begin our journey of rest and recovery in the comfort of our own home and surroundings! We invite you to praise God for the incredible journey this past week has been in the physical healing Bruce’s body has so long needed and we invite you to join us as we now, “Forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead because we, the Sack Family, are now fervently pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us.

Amen & Amen


Victory in Jesus!

September 30, 2014

Janet Sack writes Tuesday July 22, 2014:

I know many of our family and friends are anxiously waiting for an update on our impatient patient! We are quickly learning the rules of hospital time! The recovery process has begun, he is doing more and more on his own, has fewer tubes and connecting wires and has been sitting up in a chair all day. Unfortunately, for the nursing staff especially, he has not slept since they woke him up at 5 pm YESTERDAY, and he hasn’t stopped talking, mostly coherently, but then again we are talking about Bruce! (oops did I just type that) We know that his body has been pumped full of medicines (some with caffeine), dyes, fluids and other things that just aren’t part of our normal organic low-sodium diet at home. So, today, I believe has been a day of cleaning out the toxins and as the nurses explained, getting used to having fresh oxygen in the brain! They said it first! I’m confident he will progress steadily through this healing process. Yesterday was a triumph in both a spiritual and physical sense and we covet your prayers this evening as we end this day, singing the old familiar song, Victory in Jesus

I heard about His healing
Of His cleansing pow’r revealing
How He made the lame to walk again
And caused the blind to see
And then I cried, “Dear Jesus
Come and heal my broken spirit,”
And somehow Jesus came and brought
To me the victory

O victory in Jesus
My Savior, forever
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him
He plunged me to victory
Beneath the cleansing flood