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9781449738471

Just Along for the Ride: The Amazing Journey of William Baine Roddy

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  • ISBN13:

    9781449738471

  • ISBN10:

    1449738478

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-03-12
  • Publisher: Author Solutions
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Summary

At the age of forty-six, Bill Roddy, a vibrant and magnetic man, was diagnosed with colon cancer. His diagnosis pierced the heart of his mother-twice diagnosed with possible colon cancer. "Just Along for the Ride is a beautiful story of a mother and son's love for each other and the love of both for Christ. The sufficiency of God's grace in the most difficult time of life is an eternal truth experienced in a fresh and new way in the lives of these two beautiful people. You will be overwhelmingly blessed as you make the journey with them." -Dr. John Bisagno, Pastor Emeritus Houston's First Baptist Church, Speaker and Author "Anyone can benefit from reading about the all-too-brief life of Bill Roddy. It is at once inspiring, heartwarming, and humorous. Bill's story is a road map for anyone who desires to both give and receive the utmost from this life and, more importantly, throughout eternity. It would be a meaningful addition to any library." -Robert E. Driver, PhD Professor of Finance and Ethics LeTourneau University "NASCAR is a sport that rises and grows stronger in the face of adversity. This is the character of the sport, and it is merely a reflection of the character of its fans … and Bill is a perfect example. Faced with adversity, he chooses to move forward in life with faith, hope, and love. His story as told by his mother will awaken within us all a desire to face challenges as Bill did … determined, focused and confident that God is in control. Those of us who are involved in NASCAR know the fans of this sport are what make it great … and Bill is one of the greatest!" -Billy E. Mauldin, Jr., President and CEO Motor Racing Outreach (MRO)

Excerpts

Chapter One Never Felt Better “I never felt better in my life, and now they are telling me I have colon cancer. I have to have surgery.” My son’s voice with a powerful note of certainty boomed over the telephone line, and his words pierced my heart with the force of a jagged thorn. I had expected the call from him about a colonoscopy scheduled that day, but the result of the procedure unnerved and shattered the moment for me. “A pathology report determines whether a mass is cancer or not, Bill,” I offered in hope the mass seen during the colonoscopy was benign. “The gastroenterologist knew by looking at it, Mom. It’s cancer,” Bill countered. Three months earlier, in April of 2009, he drove to a hospital in Austin, Texas, and staggered into the emergency room. Attendants threw him on a gurney and raced him into the operating room. In twenty-eight minutes, a surgeon had inserted two stents in his heart. Doctors determined from blood tests that internal bleeding had contributed to a heart attack. Several weeks before his heart attack, our family met for my birthday at Bill’s house, and I was stunned to see him so devoid of color. I spoke plainly, “You need to see a doctor, son. You look pale.” “I work inside and never see the sun, Mom. I’m OK.” After the birthday weekend, Bill’s pale appearance remained a concern. When Carrie called saying Bill had had a heart attack, it confirmed my fears. Jim Robertson, my neighbor, offered to drive, and we raced to Bill and Carrie’s home in Pflugerville, Texas, close to St. David’s North Austin Hospital. When I saw Bill the next day, he looked much better than I’d seen him in March, and he felt good enough to hassle nurses and doctors about getting out of the hospital. Scores of tests and several procedures ordered in the hospital failed to pinpoint the source of the internal bleeding, and doctors ruled out a colonoscopy following the emergency stent placement. Although Bill wanted to go home sooner, doctors ordered six blood transfusions before discharging him a week later. Bill recovered quickly from the stent procedure and went back to his job. As soon as allowed by the doctor, he rode his bike every day after work. During the next few months, physicians continued to monitor him but found no evidence on laboratory reports of the source of his internal bleeding. Bill seemed assured that he was well and flew with his family for a planned July Fourth weekend in Florida. The second week in August, evidence on laboratory tests substantiated bleeding from the colon. The doctors ordered a colonoscopy, disregarding the risk factor from the recent stent procedure. After the initial shock of colon cancer found during his colonoscopy procedure, my anxiety eased somewhat. I’d had several scares myself that involved tumors diagnosed as possible cancer. When I was twenty-eight, doctors found an obstructed colon, and I underwent a colectomy—the removal of a section of the colon. Much to my relief, the colon mass was benign. In 2007, on routine examination, a physician discovered a mass in my abdomen revealing the possibility of ovarian cancer. I sought a second opinion at M.D. Anderson. Dr. Helen Rhodes, MDA Gynecologic Oncology Center, ordered blood work and a sonogram. The mass proved to be a cyst. Dr. Rhodes ordered follow-ups for the cyst and a colonoscopy, my first. My own assessment was my health was great, and I didn’t schedule the colonoscopy for months, shortly before my next appointment with Dr. Rhodes. The delayed colonoscopy revealed a large polyp in the upper right colon that required surgery. For the second time in my life, I was scheduled for a colectomy for possible colon cancer. I debated if I even wanted to go through another colon resection and called Dr. Rhodes at MDA. An appointment for a second opinion at M.D. Anderson was set up with a surgeon, who ordered a repeat colonoscopy. Bill and his daughter, Amanda, accompanied me to MDA for the colonoscopy. A skilled gastroenterologist, successfully removed the large mass during the procedure. To my relief, the pathology report came back with the diagnosis of a precancerous polyp. I had avoided a second colon surgery, but I was guilty of assessing my own health and postponing a colonoscopy. I’d committed the unthinkable delaying colon cancer screening. When a polyp is removed before it has a chance to become malignant, the cure and survival rates are higher. I hoped the pathology report on the mass in Bill’s colon would alleviate pressing fears, less than a year after my own scare. While discussing Bill’s colonoscopy over the phone, he and I talked about my experiences. I had avoided surgery twice when I went to M.D. Anderson for a second opinion and treatment. I sensed a positive attitude with Bill and pictured him squaring his broad shoulders in a military brace. His voice resounded with inner strength as always. My son was a fighter. He tackled problems head-on. He never took a backseat when challenged, but I wasn’t surprised at his closing remark in a less detached voice. “It’s in the Lord’s hands, Mom. I’m just along for the ride.” From that moment on, he tackled his predicament with the zeal of a scientist. Almost dispassionately, he checked out statistics on colon cancer, as well as the best hospitals and doctors in the United States for colon surgery. Bill’s pale face in March continued to nag at my mind. From my own experiences, I remained hopeful about his prognosis, and I prayed he would have a reprieve from cancer. His faith in God uplifted my spirits. I prayed for Bill’s healing, in God’s grace and glory. My son’s large, twinkling blue eyes and smile were his trademark. Blond as a child, he was fair with a ruddy complexion. He had a muscular, athletic build. At six feet tall, his height came from a long, straight spine. He wore sports or dress coats well. No doubt I was prejudiced, but I thought he was handsome. Bill rarely had a sick day at school or work. He would turn forty-six on August 22. He was such a happy soul. As I thought of my aggressive, robust son, another long ago day in Gainesville, Florida, surfaced.

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