Lynda’s Story

Site created on August 22, 2019

Thank you for visiting our mom, Lynda Blount’s, Caringbridge site. We are going to use this site to update our friends and family on her progress and also to record the Lord’s faithfulness throughout this immensely difficult journey. We will also keep this site updated with prayer requests. We thank you for your love, support and, most importantly, for your prayers. 

On August 13, 2019 our mom, Lynda, was going about a normal day. She was working as Finance Director for Dr. Greg Murphy’s political campaign and was preparing for a day full of meetings. She was walking down the back hall at her home in Bethel when suddenly she lost feeling in the right side of her body and collapsed. She called our dad (Ferrell), who immediately came home and rushed her to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville in record time, suspecting that she had had a stroke. 

We thank the Lord that she was not alone at our home in Atlantic Beach, which is where she had initially planned to be the morning of August 13, when this happened. We also thank the Lord that she had her cell phone in her hand when she collapsed so she was able to quickly contact our dad. Additionally, we thank the Lord that just as our dad was trying to get mom into his truck, the cable man pulled up and was able to assist him. We acknowledge that these things for what they are: tender mercies from the Lord. 

When Mom and Dad arrived at Vidant Hospital, they quickly took her back, as it was suspected that she had had a stroke. Shortly after being admitted, she had seizure, followed by another, which confirmed that it probably was something other than a stroke. An MRI confirmed the unthinkable: She had a tumor the size of a golf ball in her brain, and surgery was scheduled to remove it on Thursday, August 15. 

The surgery went as well as it possibly could have. We are grateful for the wisdom and skill of Dr. Stuart Lee, who was able to successfully remove 95 percent of the tumor. We are also grateful that the side effects from the surgery have been minimal, as we were warned that she could have lost her vision, ability to hear and ability to speak, because the tumor was located in the primary sensory area of her brain. 

On August 21st, our neurosurgeon, Dr. Lee, gave us the news that none of us ever thought we would hear. Our mom’s tumor was a malignant brain tumor called a glioblastoma — and it was a grade 4, which is the fastest growing kind. That was a hard day, but I (Betsy Gray) was so grateful to be able to be there with her when we got the diagnosis. We did a lot of praying that day, submitting it all into the Lord’s powerful and mighty hands. This side of heaven we will never be able to completely understand why bad things happen to good people. And although our hearts are breaking, we can say with all conviction that God is who He says He is…He is GOOD, and He is FAITHFUL and He has my mom (and all of us) in the palm of His strong hand. We have all been overwhelmed by God’s presence and peace in the midst of this suffering. 

After five days of recovery, mom was admitted into the rehabilitation center at Vidant Hospital, where she is currently working with physical therapists and occupational therapists to regain the motor skills and mobility that she had prior to surgery. She is working very hard and making great strides everyday, although it is extremely mentally and physically exhausting. She has asked for no visitors while she is in the rehab program so that she can focus on the task at hand: to regain her strength so she can get back home to be with her loving family. Additionally, her immune system is compromised as a result of her medications, so we are being extra precautious as we enter the cold and flu season.  

We are meeting with oncologists at Vidant the week of September 2nd, and plan to also meet with Dr. Henry Friedman at the Duke Brain Cancer Center sometime in the coming weeks. Our thought is that we will begin treatment (six weeks of radiation in conjunction with chemotherapy) sometime around mid-September. Mom is upbeat and positive, and most importantly, is trusting the Lord. Anyone who knows her knows that she is a very passionate and strong woman, which is what we all love about her. Again, we thank you all for your prayers as our family walks though this immensely difficult season. 

In His Love and Joy, 

Betsy Gray

“We will sing, to our souls

We won't bury our hope

Where He leads us to go

There's a red sea road

When we can't, see the way

He will part the waves

And we'll never walk alone

Down a red sea road” 

-“Red Sea Road” by Ellie Holcomb 

Newest Update

Journal entry by Betsy Gray Barrus

Hi Everyone -

It's been a while since I've done an update, so I wanted to post a quick update... 

Mom's recovery is going exceptionally well. She is getting mentally and physically stronger each day and is enjoying her weekly physical and occupational therapy sessions at Vidant. She is especially enjoying the occupational therapy, where she is doing painting therapy to strengthen her motor skills. 

Mom and Dad went to Duke on Thursday for her third injection for the Attac-II. Trial. The trial is going great and she is having no side effects from the drug, praise God! She did have a minor setback this week as her shingles has returned. Thank goodness this outbreak is not as severe as the one she had over Christmas. We are praying that it will remain contained and that the drugs will work quickly and completely. 

Please be praying for mom as she returns to Duke on Wednesday, February 19th for a follow up MRI. We are praying for supernatural peace leading up to the appointment. We are also boldly praying that there is no tumor re-growth and no new tumors present. We are trusting the Lord -- He is in control!! 

On Friday, February 20th, mom will undergo her second round of leukopheresis for the Attac-II trial at Duke. Please pray that this procedure will go well and that the doctors will be able to easily retrieve the cells they need. 

Also - If you haven't already signed up, please consider walking with us in the Angels Among us Walk of Hope to raise money for the Brain Tumor Center at Duke. The event will be held on April 25. Survivors will be recognized at 10:45 and the walk will begin at 11:15. I do hope that you all will consider coming and and supporting Lynda!! She has begun training and we are hopeful that she will be able to walk the 1.5 miles unassisted! She is such a strong woman and we are so proud of her! 

Below is a link to sign up:

We are so grateful for all of our dear friends who have supported our family so well during these past few months. Your notes, emails, texts and phone calls have really kept mom going during these dreary winter months. We are grateful that spring is just around the corner and I know mom is eager to be able to get out and about and visit with friend and family. 

With Love and Appreciation, 

Betsy Gray 
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