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Greetings from Chip & Doris Stam! Please join us for BE THE MATCH Stem Cell Drive. Thanks so much for your interest in keeping up-to-date with my cancer treatment. The support that has come our way (from family, friends, and strangers) has been a terrific display of God's care for us. We are blessed--and so hopeful for full recovery.
In the spring of 2007, I had severe back pain that finally led to my doctor ordering an MRI. They discovered that I had a compression fracture in my back (L3 & L4), which had been brought on by Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in my spine and ribs. Chemotherapy from August 2007 to January 2008 resulted in the elimination of the cancer. I was in remission for almost a year. We were so thankful to the Lord for the success of the treatment. In January of 2009, a routine PET scan showed a recurrence of the Lymphoma. An aggressive cancer was treated by aggressive chemotherapy (February 16-20 with five days in a row of chemo, and again on March 9-13). I had a stem cell transplant procedure (more chemotherapy and total-body radiation) with a hospital stay of June 1-23. The follow-up PET scan (Sept. 11) has shown two mystery spots. These are either "nothing" or something of concern. I am now waiting for the next PET scan (Nov. 18, 2009) so the doctors can determine what to do next. There may be some more treatment in store for me—either that or the proclamation: "Cancer-free!" We are content to wait.
If anyone wishes, I am happy to put you on the e-mail list to get more regular updates. Just let me know. Most of those will appear on this site under "journal." In Christ's care, trusting Him for grace.
With sorrowful joy, we write to tell you that Chip went to be with his Lord Jesus at 7pm, May 1. He is now free from sin and rejoicing in God's love--all because he is forgiven and the perfect righteousness of Christ is his by faith. He has gone now to a better country, a heavenly one (Hebrews 11:13-16). Although his outer body wasted away, God has prepared for him an eternal weight of glory and inheritance beyond all comparison (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). Chip fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). He did not fear death, knowing that the victory was already won through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. All praise to God! Chip was hospitalized last Thursday, April 21 and declined daily since that point. In the end the Lord chose to take him home when his kidneys finally failed, after years of treatment.
In God's kindness, we (his wife and children) were able to be with him all day. He died very peacefully, after hearing these Scriptures of promise in his last moments.Revelation 20:11-22:21, Psalm 121, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11, a portion of which reads: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. ... For you are all children of light, children of the day. ... But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us from wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
The last thing he heard in this life was 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24. Then we sang My Shepherd Will Supply My Need, a setting of Psalm 23.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
We hope that many of you will be able to celebrate his life with us May 6-7th. The visitation will be on Friday from 4-8pm at Pearson's Funeral Home in Louisville, KY. The memorial service will be held on Saturday at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary's Alumni Chapel, at 2pm. Reception to follow. The seminary's Legacy Hotel will have rooms reserved, if you are coming from out of town. We look forward to seeing many of you this weekend.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Clifton Baptist Church and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
As Chip often reminded us, his only comfort in life and death is, even now,
That I am not my own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.
Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him. (Heidelberg Catechism)
We are so grateful for your many prayers over these years, a long journey. God has heard our cries and has graciously freed Chip now from all cancer forever. While we grieve now and will miss him profoundly, we grieve with great hope in our Resurrected Lord.
O Death, where is your sting? (1 Corinthians 15:55) With love for you and gratefulness to God, The Stams