December 16, 2008

An Update from Dr. Cook

Dear Friends,

I wanted to give you an update on my recovery from leukemia. God has allowed me to live and to be cancer-free since I went into remission in March of 2008. My 3-month blood test was last week, and everything was just fine. The precautionary treatment is for me to take 10 chemo pills a day for 15 days every 3 months until March 2010. So I go to the oncologist every three months, and if the blood test is fine I begin taking these chemo pills for just 15 days.

I had not planned to give an update since my last report in March, but many have asked me how I am doing. How very grateful I am for the love and concern expressed by friends, the DBU family, and others in the Christian community! I decided to keep the prayer updates on the DBU website because I have had a number of individuals tell me that they wanted to share my journey with other cancer patients who are currently going through their own journeys with cancer. So we will keep the prayer updates on the DBU website for another year. There will not be any more updates unless I have a recurrence of cancer, but hopefully the prayer updates can be a ministry to those who are hurting and need hope.

I will never be able to express my deepest gratitude to all of you who have prayed for me and encouraged me with emails, phone calls, visits, and notes of encouragement. Please know that I am grateful beyond words for your love. To my Heavenly Father, I say thank you for doing a miracle in my life. I pleaded with the Lord, and He has done a miracle in my life. I am so happy to be able to celebrate Christmas this year with my wonderful wife, Sheila, my sons, Mark and David, my daughter-in-law, Nicole, and with the best friends in the world. But you know, I have now realized that every day of life is really just a gift from the Lord. I do look forward to spending eternity in Heaven with God. How wonderful that He has prepared a place for us, and how grateful I am that He sent Jesus into the world to give us abundant and eternal life. In the meantime, I ask the Lord to allow me to be a blessing to others. Hopefully, I will live many, many more years and can be a servant of the Lord.

I was a church pianist in high school for my home church in Arkansas and would often play a special hymn from the old Baptist Hymnal, “Make Me a Blessing.” I would like to close with the words of this hymn from my childhood. This is my prayer.

Out in the highways and byways of life,
many are weary and sad;

Tell the sweet story of Christ and His love;
Tell of His pow'r to forgive;

Give as 'twas given to you in your need;
Love as the Master loved you;
Be to the helpless a helper indeed;
Unto your mission be true.

Make me a blessing,
Make me a blessing,
Out of my life
May Jesus shine;
Make me a blessing, O Savior, I pray,
Make me a blessing to someone today.


Gary Cook