oct 4th – update

Dear Friends:

It has been a long time since I could sit down and spend a little time to update you, so I am grateful for a quiet morning today to do just that. This will be a lengthy explanatory update, so bear with me. I will give you news from both Kent and Kevin’s family situation.

First Kent: He continues to do VERY WELL following the removal of the stents. The trip to Tucson actually helped the recovery process immensely due to the dry air there. Also, he spent his time seeing his friends from around the world, a pleasure that I had wanted very much for him. He had the strength and stamina to speak with great power on Wed. morning to the entire conference. Many people remarked that they had never heard him so powerful, in both passion and content. I agree. We were then blessed with a prayer session over Kent and I. Many sweet prayer warriors brought us to God’s throne together as a family. It was a precious time. The trips there and back were uneventful. We are getting to be experts at finding electric outlets in airports for our travel nebulizer, and Kent continues with his treatments as if we were at home.

Several of you have asked why Kent is doing so well when we were not even sure that he would be able to breathe if the stents were removed. This is the best explanation we can come up with (with the doctors’ help). Last May, four factors were happening almost simultaneously; the Relapasing Polychondritis was rampent in Kent’s airways, we began asking for prayer in a fervent and organized manner, he was placed on chemtherapy to try to control the disease, and Kent became the patient of a team of drs who decided to place stents into his airways. Those factors shaped the next four months of our lives.

When the stents were placed on May 24th, Kents airways were swollen, irritated, and inflamed due to the disease. They were collapsed, a condition which is irreversible short of a miracle. His breathing exchange rate was 5% the day before surgery. Placing those stents saved his life. He almost died the next week due to the thick, long-existing mucus that had been in his lungs, and which blocked both the airways and the stents. God’s grace spared his life, and he learned to cough up the mucas daily. Again the mucas built up, and again a stay in intensive care was necessary. By the end of his third hospital stay, we were learning how to use nebulizer treatments every four hours to help with the inflamation and to try to thin the mucas. He got an infection, and another hospital stay was required. Three weeks later, another infection sent him back into the hospital. The hospital stays were about every three weeks, as were the infections. We added the Vest (the “Thumper”) to our at-home treament schedule, and it seemed to be a great help. It was August by this time, and lab studies proved that the treatment with the chemo-therapy was doing well – the inflammation markers by which we could tell if the disease was active, were down. The inflammation in the airways settled down, and when a bronchoscopy was done in mid-August, we were told that the tissues looked good – not irritated or swollen. So now it looked like the disease itself was under control, but the stents were causing complications. Kent’s body did not like them, and was producing massive amounts of mucas trying to get rid of the foreign bodies in the airways. This led to hard coughing for several hours a day, no stamina or energy, and a good location for infection to flourish. The doctors decided to try to take them out.

It was a scary proposition. No one knew if he could breathe well enough without them. So after their removal, he was taken back to surgery prep for the next 6 hours while he was slowly weaned onto his own breathing capacity. He stayed pretty sick for the next 36 hours, but woke up on Friday like a new man. He was breathing well, and has ever since. The disease is still being quiet. We know it is still there, because it is fooling around with the ear canal in his left ear. It is getting awful tight on his hearing aide on that side. But it has apparently done its damage and left the lungs for now. The tissue has recovered somewhat, and we are praying that it stays that way. We still do normal treatments at home, with both the nebuliaer and the Vest. He is still on chemo, so we are still careful with his exposure to crowds. I miss being able to go to movies! Isn’t it funny how the little things can seem like big losses when life changes?

Over all, we are so grateful for the difference prayer and people have made. God’s grace and His gifts of time with people we love has been overwhelming. The people, like you, who have kept up with us and prayed for us, have been more precious than we can find words to express. So life is progressing now in a much less critical atmosphere, and I am thankful. The Fall is beautiful in Oklahoma, and we are enjoying being able to get out more. Kent and I took a walk around our little lake yesterday, the first walk since June. It was lovely. The lake was calm, the flowers were still blooming, and grass was still green, the little birds were chirping, and the herons were fishing. It all seemed to welcome us back. I am personally looking forward to a little down time now. Rest, walks, and cool weather are my cup of tea.

Now, about Kevin and his family: I remember walking around the lake last spring with my neighbor, Debra. Both of our husbands were critical with their diseases, and neither of us expected our husbands to live through the summer. Kevin died last week, as you know. I have spent hours at their house, talking, hugging, providing food and housing, and just trying to love them. I thought that God was telling me to be ready to talk to Kevin about Him, and I was ready and willing. I thought long and hard about exactly how to approach someone who prided himself on being tolerant of every line of thinking about God, and who had seemed not to personally need any God. But the opportunity did not present itself, and I must admit that I was confused and disappointed. But God has His own ways and reasons, so I just hung around anyway. On the Sunday evening before we left for Tucson, Debra and I sat outside and talked for several hours. She had lots of questions about eternity and spiritual things, so I was able to share with her.

The next Saturday, I sat down at the funeral, and a couple from my church sat down behind me! I was so surprised to see them, and asked how they knew Kevin. John told me that he had played golf with Kevin regularly. They had met by accident at the golf course, and Kevin rounded out a foursome. The other three were Christians, and John had personally talked to Kevin about the Lord on two occasions. It was so good to hear that Kevin had heard the Gospel recently. 

The day after the funeral (yesterday) I went over to the house early, because I had breakfast food for them. Only the immediate family was left. Debra said she had been trying to tell her sister the things I had shared with her the previous Sunday, and would I answer some questions? So, again, I was able to share. I think that the investment in this family is just beginning. Please keep praying for Debra and her family. They need the Lord and support. THANK YOU for your concern and prayers. I love all of you. Davidene

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About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

4 Responses to oct 4th – update

  1. Jim White says:

    Kent and Davidene,

    So wonderful to see you at the conference and looking soooo good. We were so pleased that Kent was able to deliver his message and what a message it was! Praise God! Thanks also for the precious time together in catching up. It is our hope and prayer that Kent’s health will continue to improve and you will be able to carry on the work that the Lord has laid on your hearts. Be Blessed!

    Jim & Susan

  2. Cathy Westm says:

    Lifting you up in prayers & love!

  3. Kim Keller Shelton says:

    I have tears of joy flowing down my face. Thankful for so many answers to prayer. We will only know when we reach heaven if Kevin made a decision, but it is reassuring that God sent so many christians his way.
    Love, KIm

  4. DEBBIE PITMAN says:

    DAVIDENE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR KEEPING US INFORMED OVER THE MONTHS OF KENT’S BRUSH WITH DEATH!!! ISN’T IT INTERESTING THAT WE ASK FOR MIRACLES, BUT ARE A BIT SURPRISED WHEN THE LORD—–AS MARSH SAYS, “DOES HIIS THING”.? THERE IS SUCH A FINE LINE BETWEEN STAYING YIELDED & PERSISTING AT THE THRONE FOR MERCY. BLESS YOU FOR BEING ATTENTIVE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT IN KEVIN’S FAMILY.
    IT HAS BEEN A PRIVILEGE TO BEAR THIS BURDEN WITH YOU. NOW I DO PRAY FOR A TIME TO BE ABLE TO REST BESIDE THE STILL WATERS & HAVE YOUR SOULS RESTORED.
    WE LOVE YOU VERY MUCH, DEBBIE PITMAN

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