Lance Russell

First post: Dec 18, 2016 Latest post: Sep 5, 2019
Thanks to our friends and family who have so graciously poured out prayers and well wishes to Lance during his recent illness.  We will use this site to keep you up to date and so you can know specifically how to pray for us.  

Lance had not been feeling well for quite a while,  Looking back,  many things now make sense that really hadn't before.  Over the last several months Lance had been experiencing random aches and pains, headache, intermittent light nausea and general lack of energy.   These symptoms began to worsen over the last 3 weeks - increased pains that didn't make sense - general bumps and bruises that normally wouldn't hurt were now excruciating. On Monday, December 5, Lance was sequestered for jury duty.  Throughout the trial Lance began to feel worse and worse with each day.  The jury he was serving on reached a verdict on early Thursday afternoon.  That evening Lance and I were to attend a special Christmas Dinner hosted by Governor Hutchinson at the AR Governor's Mansion at which his brother Derek was speaking (He did great by the way!)   Lance made it through the dinner but by  2:00 a.m. Friday morning Lance's pain had reached an all time high, followed quickly by extreme nausea.  By 8 a.m. that morning, Lance was violently ill.  Upon arriving back in Memphis Friday afternoon, we were convinced he had a bad stomach bug, which he tends to get whenever they go around, and tried to treat him at home with anti-nausea medication.  By Saturday morning we realized this was not working.  By now he was dangerously dehydrated, dizzy and with incoherent speech.  We finally took Lance to Germantown Methodist Hospital ER.  By the time we got to the ER Lance could hardly walk.  Doctors quickly gave him fluids and ran blood work.  They were surprised that the massive amount of fluids and anti-nausea medication Lance was receiving did not impact his pain or nausea at all.  After a few hours the ER doctor came in to discuss with us his findings from Lance's blood work.  He was alarmed at the high level of calcium in his blood and the presence of blast cells (immature white blood cells that should not be in the blood stream).  Both of these markers indicate a strong possibility of leukemia.   Things began moving rather quickly from this point.  We were visited there in the ER by a leading oncologist of the  West Cancer Clinic , who graciously was not on call but came anyway and were informed then that Lance's condition did, in fact, point strongly to ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia).   It was agreed Lance should be transferred to Methodist University Hospital to be better cared for as a possible leukemia patient.  As soon as he arrived  the ER of Methodist University, doctors began a round of chemotherapy and a massive series of tests that continued for the next two days:  MRI's, CT Scans, Echo cardiograms, Ultrasounds, rounds and rounds of blood work.  Throughout this time he was still experiencing extreme pain throughout his entire body as well as nausea and headache.   On Monday he underwent a bone marrow biopsy.  This test was to be the most conclusive as to what exactly was going on with Lance and which exact type of leukemia he had.  Lance's oncology team met with us met with us Tuesday night to confirm that it was in fact ALL as had been suspected.   

Lance's oncology team tell us they are 95% sure they can get him into remissions -that is get the cancer cells to go away.  We will begin a full-time Chemotherapy regimen called Hyper CVAD, during which Lance will be in isolation for the next 4 - 6 weeks here at Methodist University Hospital.  We are told this is a tough time but Lance is super healthy and in rock solid shape and is ready!    His spirits are very high!  The tricky part comes after we get to remission.  Lance's doctors say there is a very strong chance the cancer will return.  Before we get to that point we will have many decisions to make as to where to get further treatment and what method to use.  

For now, Lance's chief prayer request is for Luke and Charlie as he is very saddened that he will be unable to spend Christmas with them (or Luke's birthday on the 19th).  Please pray specifically that God will give Luke, Charlie and me strength during this time.  

Next, please pray that God will give Lance's doctors wisdom in getting him through this first stage and into remission quickly.

Pray for Lance, that he can survive being cooped up for 4 - 6 weeks.  He craves being outside so this is an especially difficult challenge for him.  

Pray that Lance's team of doctors and nurses will communicate well with the specialists they are constantly sending him to within the hospital.  It is a lot of coming and going and we don't want details to be overlooked.  

Once we are at the point of remission, some tough decisions will need to be made as far as sending Lance away somewhere for treatment or staying here.  Pray the doctors and all of us will be well-prepared to make those decisions.  

Pray for continued strength for Lance to get up and fight everyday with a good attitude.  

Pray that his business continues to run smoothly in his absence.  His fellow employees at Ford of West Memphis are truly his second family and one of his greatest joys is working for and helping them achieve their goals.  

Please pray for Derek as he and Lance are mid-stage in several business deals where they rely on each other heavily.

 Please pray for wisdom for Lance and me in communicating the present realities to Luke and Charlie.  

Overall, we feel good about the challenge ahead of us!  We know  it's going to be a hard year, but we are grateful that we found out about Lance's sickness when we did.  Even one week later could have had made a difference.  We are most grateful for the love and support you all have shown!  We truly feel lifted up by each text and phone call.  We wish we could respond to each and every one!  In time, we will!  But until then, we plan to keep up to date through this platform and especially will covet your prayers as we know God is in Control and has Lance in the palm of his hand.  God loves His children greatly and we trust in Him!


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