From: Win Apel [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Subject: Brain surgery
Dear Friends, Family, Colleagues, and Acquaintances,
We all recall where we were and we what we were doing on September 11, 2001, I am no exception. One additional thing that happened to me that day, though, was that late in the afternoon of 9/11 in Boise, Idaho, I learned that I had prostate cancer. With excellent medical care, the prayers of many, and the intervention of God’s hand, the cancer was gone in less than two months. As I had completed two marathons before that cancer, I resolved in late 2001 or early 2002 to run a marathon in all 50 states and ultimately on each of the seven continents within the decade. That was accomplished in 2009 with the Boston Marathon in April (running for the Dana Farber Cancer Institute) and with The Bush Capital Marathon in July in Australia. Win & Lorrie’s Web Page. So the last decade began with prostate cancer that God saw it fit to heal, and, as decades go, it was a great one. Lorrie and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, I saw my three sons graduate from college, got to meet my grandchildren, and was able to transition to the position of General Counsel at Weeks Marine--an excellent company with wonderful owners and fantastic employees. Life is great. As that exciting decade ended, I began to wonder what God had in mind for the next decade.
Well, I discovered the new challenge over this past Thanksgiving holiday while Lorrie and I were visiting my oldest son, Trey, his wife Jessica, and our grandchildren in Concord, California (as well as our youngest son Brian who came up from his Navy base in San Diego). What happened was on Saturday, November 27, I went for a six-mile run (with Trey on his bicycle), returned to the house, showered and ate, and then felt tingling and numbness in my left arm and fingers which Lorrie immediately recognized as a medical emergency. After a call to 911, I was rushed to John Muir Medical Center in Concord, CA—a cardio vascular center. Originally thought to be a stroke, a CT scan proved otherwise: there was a brain mass on the right side—possibly an edema but most likely a tumor—causing the symptoms. As a result I was transferred to the neurointensive care unit at John Muir Medical Center in nearby Walnut Creek, CA. An MRI confirmed the CT Scan. Surgery was needed.
The next step, of course, was to decide what to do where. The best idea was to go to the Brain Tumor Center of Excellence at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, where our middle son Peter is an orthopedic surgery resident, is finishing his Ph.D. in neuroscience, and who could , of course, recommend the best neurosurgeons at one of best neurosurgery centers on the East Coast. And that has happened. In fact, Trey in Concord, CA, was able to upload the MRI images (and other test results) to an FTP site where Peter and his chosen surgeons have downloaded and already studied the results. Thus, Lorrie and I flew back to NJ on our regularly scheduled flight on Monday. On Tuesday my brother Scott flew to NJ, and on Wednesday he and Lorrie are driving me down to Winston-Salem. I am already scheduled to be admitted Thursday at Wake Forest and the surgery will be Friday at 1:30 pm EST. Recovery will be at Peter’s house until I can travel by car back to NJ. A flight will not be necessary. Hard to say how long we will be in Winston-Salem.
As I said at the beginning, I have been wondering for some time about how this next decade would begin. Now I know how it is starting, but what I do not know is specifically what God has in mind for me these next ten years, but I do know something. I know that God is good all the time, merciful, faithful, and loving. “And we [all] know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). I also know that good eating and good exercise will keep one physically fit but not enough to meet the challenge of all maladies or of death. However , being spiritually fit is enough for both, and the key to that spiritual fitness is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. One only need recognize four spiritual laws, and accept Christ by faith as the center of one’s life.
In the meantime, Lorrie is being the great logistics coordinator and can answer any personal questions you may have. Please contact her any time at 208-850-1027 or email@example.com. For any business-related issues, please contact my administrative assistant, Colleen Feeney at 908-272-4010 or firstname.lastname@example.org so she can direct you to the right person in the Company for whatever issue you have. In addition, my oldest son Trey has started a Web Page on the CaringBridge Website where he and Lorrie will be periodically posting medical news. It is a great site, with available alerts and more, as I have followed the progress of others there but never dreamed that I would ever be one of its subjects.
For those of you used to my many emails, and sometimes ones longer than this one, you can see that this email will be the last one for a while. Take care, have faith, and trust God. I do.
(Win) V. Apel Jr.
SVP, Secretary & General Counsel
Weeks Marine, Inc.
4 Commerce Drive
Cranford, NJ 07016 USA