Oct 17, 2017 Latest post:
16 hours ago
Thank you for stopping by! Welcome to our Caring Bridge site, created to keep you updated as to Bill's progress. We sincerely appreciate your support, your words of encouragement, and your prayers throughout this journey.
As most of you probably know, Bill Hall is the quintessential Renaissance Man! An avid hiker and cyclist, a member of Team FOG (ask him about this illustrious group!), he is just as comfortable at a NASCAR race as he is at a Hickory Choral Society concert or watching his beloved Duke basketball; teaching from Phillip Yancey's or Adam Hamilton's writings at First Baptist as sitting in his chair at home, reading Clive Cussler's latest novel or the newspaper, cover to cover (particularly the comic strips Zits and Pickles); visiting Europe, ancient ruins or the Blue Ridge Parkway, particularly with camera in hand, as playing with his adorable grandchildren; "solving" world problems with colleagues he's lunched with weekly for 30+ years as enjoying time with his own three children (and two daughters-in-law) who have grown into wonderful adults.
For 30 years, Bill was "Chaplain Hall" to young men who were incarcerated in Morganton, NC. Not fully understanding the definition of "retirement," after retiring from the prison, he then donned the chaplain's hat again for 10 years, holding the hands, literally and figuratively, of patients and families cared for by Burke Hospice.
For one who is so full of life, the recent diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia confirmed the reason Bill constantly felt like he had just finished a strenuous hike or bike ride -- without the joy of seeing God's handwork -- and why he seemed unable to "get back in shape" after recovering from a serious hiking injury in 2014 and a year of limited hiking and biking due to my (his wife's) mother's decline and death in 2016. When a routine physical showed significant changes in blood counts, the hematologist/oncologist who had been monitoring Bill's platelet decline for the past year, knew it was time to delve further into the mystery of what was happening. The first bone marrow biopsy confirmed myelodysplatic syndrome, specifically, refractory anemia with excess blasts. A referral to Wake Forest Baptist Health and another bone marrow biopsy confirmed the initial diagnosis, but also identified that Bill had acute myeloid leukemia.
The irony is not lost on Bill. His first wife, Adrianna, had chronic myeloid leukemia that became acute in her last days. In other words, two people who were not related by DNA, neither of whom had a family history of blood disorders or cancer, both wound up with myeloid leukemia.
So, tomorrow, treatment begins. It is the beginning of getting Bill back to having the energy to do what he loves. We are wrapped in the loving, grace-filled arms of an exquisitely personal God, and supported by an incredible group of family and friends, like you! We are truly grateful for your love, for your thoughts and for your prayers. I keep saying that I want God to hear so many prayers for Bill, his medical team and his family that God finally says, "Ok, ok!!! I hear you all!!! I've got this!!!"
Many thanks to you for journeying with us and holding us in your thoughts and prayers as we move through the coming days and weeks.