The Journey

This morning I had a conversation with Rich and he asked me to share the following things with you.  I pray that God would allow me to communicate clearly the hope and excitement (yes – I said excitement) that Rich is feeling at this time.

Again I remind you to please use this blog as your official information source regarding all of God’s work within the Hayes Family.  Thanks!

The History

It was about 8 months ago that Rich wanted to surprise a friend and take him skydiving.  After doing a little research and calling the skydiving location for more information, he was told that 285 pound guys play football and 150 pound guys skydive.  Ouch.  That served as a wake up call for Rich.  He knew that 1Corinthians 6:19-20 said that his body was a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Time to get healthy!

Within the first few days of March 2010 Rich had someone mention to him something about a lump on his face.  Rich knew it was there but hadn’t really thought much about it but since he was trying to be healthier, he went to get it checked out.  First the dentist, then an Ear, Nose, & Throat doctor (ENT).

The ENT sent Rich for an MRI which revealed a tumor on the salivary gland on the left side of his face.  This wasn’t something common but 95% of these are really nothing.

On March 10, 2010 Rich went in to the have the tumor removed in what was supposed to be a procedure that would last about an hour.  5 hours later, the surgeon had removed the salivary gland, some lymph nodes, and the left facial nerve as these all were infected with cancer.  The removal of the nerve resulted in the left side of Rich’s face being paralyzed and an incision that goes from above his left ear to the mid-point of his neck.

The Present

Rich had a PET scan of his hole body, “Head to toe” in Rich’s terms, done Wednesday, March 17, 2010 to see if there was any remaining cancer in his body.  On Friday, March 19th, 2010 he was given the results.  The good news: there was some remaining cancer and it was ONLY contained in the neck and head.  The bad news: It was in the neck and the head.  The type of cancer is Carcinoma Ex Pleomorphic Adenoma.  Of that 5% above where the tumor might be something, this is 1% of that 5% that get this type of cancer.  In other words – this is EXTREMELY rare.  This is stage 4 cancer because of how much it has spread and the size of the original tumor.

In a consultation with the original surgeon yesterday, March 22, 2010 it was decided that Rich would have surgery TODAY, March 23, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.  The procedure is called a “Neck Ectomy”.  As a part of this procedure, Rich will have all lymph nodes on the left side of his neck removed along with all muscles which contain the cancer.

It is expected that Rich will be in the hospital for 2-3 days following the procedure.  This procedure is expected to remove 90% of the cancer with the remaining 10% being eliminated through radiation treatment which will begin at the end of next week and continue for 6-8 weeks.

On Monday, March 29, 2010, Rich will also have a small procedure done on the left side of his face.  Due to the left side of his face being paralyzed, Rich’s brow is already beginning to droop over his eye so he will have a brow lift done to help alleviate that.  He will also have a small gold weight implanted into his left eyelid so that he is able to close his eye while he sleeps at night.  Being paralyzed, his left eye is unable to blink and is open at all times.  Eye drops are applied hourly to keep the eye moist.

The Message

Very directly Rich stated, “God is in control and I am not.  I always have believed that but until you go through something like this, it is hard to make it real.  Romans 8:18-28 , in a nutshell, states that our present sufferings are nothing compared to the glory that will one day be revealed to us in Heaven.  The Holy Spirit will help us in our moment of weakness and all things work for the good of those who love him and have been called according to his purpose.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was afraid or upset.  I am also very excited.  I know that sounds like a weird word to use right now because we have no clue as to what lies on the other side of this and that is what is exciting”

Rich was very upbeat and cannot wait to see how God will be glorified through all of this, no matter what the end result may be.

His hope and faith in God are only strengthened when he looks back at how God revealed to Rich that he was to start a business that would help ministries.  Today, 9 years later, one third of Digital Lightbridge‘s business is giving their services to ministries FREE OF CHARGE!  A little over 2 years ago God very clearly sent a message to the Hayes family that their son Chandler was to go on a mission trip Australia.  Through lots of prayer, Rich and Lisa were able to release their 12 year old son to God, allowing Chandler to grow closer to the Lord and assist in ministering to the Australian people.  Then, 15 months ago while praying and asking “What’s next?”, God gave a foster son to Rich and Lisa, allowing them to pour out their hearts to a little boy who so badly needed the type of love that on Rich, Lisa, and the boys could give to him.  Rich has seen God do amazing things in his life and expects nothing less through this!

The Wrap Up

As for business… nothing changes.  It’s business as usual.  The Digital Lightbridge team can make everything happen.  Rich fully expects to be back in the office in a couple of weeks.

Please be praying for the Hayes family.  For peace that passes all understanding.  For strength to fight through all of the emotions they are experiencing.  For healing through the hands of the Almighty Father.  For rest.  For Chandler, Mitchell, and foster son – their emotions, their childlike hearts, and their faith in Christ.

As updates are available – they will be posted here in as timely manor as possible.  Again, we ask that all communications be funneled through the Comments section of this blog in order to consolidate and centralize your notes.

So as the Hayes family encounters this journey, let me encourage you with Rich’s words… Press On!

16 thoughts on “The Journey

  1. Thank you so very much for posting this. I have been out of state for awhile and didn’t know what was going on until I read this. My family and I will be praying for Rich. I have been so very priveledged to work with Rich with charities for the past several years. He and his team at DLB were some of the first people I met when I moved here in 2004. I was so impressed with them and with the incredible work that they do for charities. Rich is and will continue to be a true gift to the Body of Christ in the Tampa Bay.

  2. Dear Rich, Lisa, Chandler, Mitchell & little son, who was placed in your loving hands…

    First, Lisa…I passed you coming out of the car loop yesterday and saw you. You waved back to me with the biggest smile on your face. My heart was in awe. I, then and there, called you on your cell phone. We talked and I was so inspired by your sweet voice and positive outlook! Everytime I have seen you, you are one of the most positive people I have ever met! Your loving heart will guide your family thru this!

    Secondly, Rich….As Lisa and I were talking for soo long.. hee hee..I was getting ready to pass your office..I told her..I am just going to stop in and say hello! I am soo glad I did! I pass your office every single day and tell myself..I need to go see my buddy Rich! I am sorry I haven’t done that sooner. Your spirit is amazing Rich! The first thing you did was show me a picture of your new foster proud you are! We talked about the “old Cub Scout” day’s and how our boy’s have grown up soo fast! Thanks for the tour of your have an amazing place and are doing some awesome work! Rich, you also are a true inspiration! We talked about this new “journey” you will be taking..and the whole time I just thought..what an amazing person! I am in awe of your spirit, your amazing outlook, and your big smile and hearty laugh!

    May you both know..that I will keep all of you in constant prayer! I know everyone is doing what they can for your family…but please know…I am only a phone call away! Justyn and Jaryd would love to see Chandler and Mitchell again! 🙂 said it better then anyone! “God is in control!” May he guide you in this AMAZING journey!!

    With all our LOVE and prayers,
    Maria, Jeff, Ryan, Justyn and Jaryd Johnson

  3. You know that you are not walking through this alone.

    Romans 12:4-5 “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body,and each member belongs to all the others.”

    We weep when you weep, we rejoice when you rejoice. We love you and we are praising God for how he is using this already in the hearts and lives of those who know you. We have been praying all day and that won’t stop.

    Using your own words again…press on…and we will be right there with you!

  4. Wow, the story of how God works through His people in the Old and New Testament and in today’s time is truly amazing. Your journey of faith is so encouraging. Thank you for your testimony, your love for Christ and your personal expressions of how you feel. Your family is on our lips and heart in prayer. We will continue praying and lifting you up through out the weeks and months ahead. Love from your fellow brother and sister in Christ, Keith and Linda

  5. Dear Brother and Sister-
    We love you and we are praying for you day an night that God fortifies you with His strength and protects you all from the fear that comes NOT from Him.

    In His humbling and ever-loving grace,
    Chad and Krista

  6. May God’s strength and peace be with you and your family and friends as you travel this journey. Thank you for opening your life and being an encouragement to others.

  7. Rich & Lisa,
    Your shining faith is a great example and Yes, God is in control. While we may not understand the trials, God will be glorified and your family blessed through your faith.
    Our C12 Group has been and will be praying for your full recovery and quick return to your family.
    God Bless,

  8. Rich,

    Typical Rich Hayes attitude! I would expect nothing less from such a true servant of God. Your attitude reflects the faith you possess in our awesome God. I know He is goint to continue to do awesome things in, through and among you my brother! Love you and we are praying for your healing!

  9. our staff, my family and my men’s group are lifting you all up in prayer. thanks for the blog to keep us all informed. Looking forward to seeing God’s plan revealed. Blessings – George

  10. The future is blinding bright! Can’t wait to see what our Lord does through this.

    2 Cor. 4:10 – Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

  11. Rich!!! God is in control!!!! Isn’t it wonderful the Love that he has for each of us and know our family will be praying for your recovery!!! I hold you up and know that God is working in you!!!
    Many prayers for you and your family

  12. Rich,

    I don’t claim to be in the same boat as you. For that matter, not in the same ocean. However, you mentioned early on in your blog that you are actually excited. I got it instantly. I too have a strange excitement in my personal life.

    Over the past 13 years I have been losing my hearing. It has been determined that without surgery, I will go totally deaf. My hearing has significantly decreased as of late and I am facing the possibilities of not hearing any longer. Surgery is not an option right now for multiple reasons. Yet, I’m excited.

    I’m scared and upset and am “not done hearing yet”! My children’s giggles, the I love you’s, the ocean, music and the list goes on for a while …..

    I believe this isn’t how this chapter ends. God is working, I can feel it to my soul. Deaf or otherwise, I am HIS! I have peace that he is the owner of my soul and this silly old body is temporary.

    Rich — I want to encourage you in any way I can …. when the room is dark and quiet, when it’s hard to hear God whispering “it’s ok, son” … please please know … He will NEVER leave you. I admire you and John and I are praying for you and your precious family. You are dearly loved.

  13. Pingback: The First 100 Days « Richard W. Hayes

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