Friday, November 16, 2012

In Awe of the Almighty God

A week ago today, I underwent my second brain surgery, a craniotomy. The procedure temporarily removed part of my skull near my cerebellum, so Dr. Sills could attempt to remove the tumor, located in the middle of my brain. Success! They were able to remove the entire tumor, piece by piece! As you know the tumor is a ‘Tweener.’, so we have to wait for the pathology reports before we get the final clear. There is a small chance I may have to undergo radiation to remove some of the tumor. Dr. Sills equated it to a weed in your yard, you may pull the weed, but some of the seeds may remain behind and cause problems.

I was told the surgery would leave me with double vision and impaired balance; in fact Dr. Sills reminded my family while I was in post-op that I would experience these side effects, BUT I was completely healed by the ONE HEALER, our savior Jesus Christ. I awoke from surgery with no double vision and very slight balance issues. The Drs. were amazed that I had no side effects, but we who relied on the power of prayer, knew the mighty protector would not waiver. Also, I was to be in the hospital 4-5 days, but I was released on the third day!

Again, I want to thank everyone for all the prayers, thoughts and kind words, every single one has been felt! Thank you for your embraces. I stand in awe of the mighty Lord our God, and only hope you experience his unfailing love and compassion. God is Good. Remember true joy comes from relationships and loving others. Interaction with your friends, loved ones, family and Christ will provide you with comfort, peace and healing.

Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive. Matthew 21:22

“And He said…’Your faith has made you well; go in peace.’’ Luke 8:48

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Still Doing Great!

Cliff went for his first PT appointment today. It was great. They are going to work with him a little on balance and regaining full range of motion in his neck. He's still resting most of the day, but goes up and down the stairs and wherever he wants, whenever he wants. Keep sending prayers his way for a continued speedy recovered.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Cliff is home! We were discharged today and Cliff is feeling good.

Going Home

So Cliff has been such a stellar patient that he is going home today! He should be discharged by late morning. YAY!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Jet's Pizza...Yum

Thanks Travis for the Jet's Pizza. I brought some up to Cliff last night. He loves it. Much better than the questionable dinner they served him.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Evening Update

Cliff continues to do well. He sat up for dinner and is currently watching MS State vs. LSU with his buddies, Matt Kimball and Nick Travis. Thanks guys for coming by!
Cliff's cousin Meredith Moore sporting her maroon pants and new bangs. Love them! She's also an Ole Miss grad, it's about time you crossed over!
Axford Girls say "Go State"

It's Cliffy!

Cliff is doing great. PT and OT came by and had him sit up for a little while. He's feeling good. Dr. Tomych (spelling?) said the MRI scans came back clear.

Reed, Carter and Hunter McNeer (Cliff's cousins) in Greenwood, MS


We just heard that Cliff has been upgraded to floor status instead of ICU. It sounds like we will be moved to a step down room. He will get more sleep. Even before we move rooms, they will only check on him every 4 hours instead of every hour. Remember to email me your pics for Cliff. We'll take them even if you don't have maroon on. I showed Cliff some of the earlier pics and he LOVED looking at them.

Cliff's buddy Robby Oliveri
Clay and Troy Leach at UT vs. MS State Football game
Lamonte Stamps at MS State!


At this point, no visitors please. Movement and activity make Cliff feel nauseous so we are trying to keep him still and quiet. He did eat some jello and applesauce this morning and kept it down. He's also more coherent. They took him at 4:30am for an MRI. Keep praying for him. He's making good progress.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Bring on the Pics

Well...Maroon Friday is drawing to a close and I have a few more pictures to post. However, I know Cliff will LOVE looking at these pictures when he's awake and coherent. So...if you have a special picture for Cliff, please email me at (yes I still have an aol account, get over it). I'll post them and Cliff can have the best time scrolling through. He's resting with a few bouts of nausea. They will take him for an MRI after midnight tonight.

Annaclaire Wilbanks (Casey's Cousin) in Mobile, AL
Second Grade Teachers at Madison Crossing Elementary School
Charley Jones in Brandon, MS
Tucker Jones in Brandon, MS
DeVonne Grizzle (Jane's coworker)

He's Resting

We've all been able to see Cliff. He's in neuro ICU at Vanderbilt. He has a little pain in his head and neck where they cut. He's also a little nauseous from Dr. Sills poking around in his brain. Cliff has some confusion which is normal. His eyesight so far looks good! No double vision! We won't know about the balance until he's more mobile. Overall...he's doing well. He really needs to rest the next few days. Too much excitement makes him feel bad. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. It has been incredible to see such an outpouring of love and support. We love each of you and know without a doubt that God has Cliff in the palm of His hand.

More Maroon

Audrey (Cliff's cousin) in Magee, MS
Breckyn (Sarah's friend) in Yazoo City!
Extreme Bulldog fan, Chip Wilbanks (Casey's uncle), we are not convinced this is true Maroon.
Hamilton Moore (Cliff's cousin) in Florence, AL
Ashley (Casey's sister) and Henry (Casey's nephew) in Clinton, MS
Zella Bernick in Nashville, TN

It's All Good!

Cliff is out of surgery. Dr. Sills was able to get the entire tumor. We should see him in an hour. :)

2:30 pm Update

Last word from OR is that all is progressing well.

Breaking News! Big Daddy (Casey's Grandfather) is now a Mississippi State Bulldog fan! Joining him are Nanny and Izzy Lou/Little Bit.

1:00 pm Update

Last word from the OR at 12:25 pm was that tumor removal is in progress and going well.

Carter and Andrew Ramsey (Thanks Shelley and Chad for lunch!) in Franklin, TN
Milo/Honey (Thanks to Cliff's friends at KVD) in Nashville
Davis Quick (Casey's brother-in-law) in Vicksburg, MS

More Maroon Friends!

First incision made at 10:00 am. Going well so far.

Jeffrey Duckworth in Guntown, MS
Judy (Cliff's aunt) and Jane
Gage, Sarah (Cliff's sister-in-law) and Tripp (Cliff's nephew)
Tami and Michelle (Casey's co-workers in the cockpit of Black Hawk not in Maroon, but nevertheless trying to brighten the day!)
Lily Quick in Clinton, MS
Her Royal Highness, Clemmy Quick in Clinton, MS
Conan and Bully gettin' cozy
Todd Clark (Casey's brother-in-law in Jackson, MS)
Corkie (Dog Ashley is sitting)
Gage and friend Annie

It's Maroon Friday at Vandy

So...we are all sporting our MAROON in support of our Bulldogs today! If you are wearing your MAROON, email me at and I'll post you on the blog. Cliff will love looking at it later!

We didn't wait long this morning. Cliff was pulled back only 10 minutes after we arrived. Nick, Joey and Tommy from our Sunday School class at Brentwood Baptist were here and prayed with us. Thank you guys!

Jane and I were able to speak with the anesthesiologists and Dr. Sills before they took Cliff back for surgery. They told us to expect it to be a long day.

Tami and Melissa from Father Ryan High School brought us all Panera Bagels, Coffee and Coffee Cake. Thank you! We are all set for the day.

Keep Cliff in your thoughts and prayers. Pray for no complications and no nausea from anesthsia. More later. :)

Sophie and Allie

Molly (Casey's sister), Angie (Casey's mom), Sandra (Cliff's aunt)
Casey and Molly
Larry (Cliff's dad) and Gage (Cliff's brother)
Angie's friend Lisa from Clinton, MS
Mary Logan and Rosey Kate in Madison, MS
Jake Roberts (Casey's cousin) in Alaska!
Casey and Travis (Cliff's BFF and fellow squirell enthusiast)
Jane (Cliff's mom) and David (Cliff's step-dad)
Kenny (Cliff's uncle), Jenny (Cliff's aunt) and Lauren (Cliff's cousin)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

God's Will Be Done

As my surgery date draws near, I’m at peace. The anxiousness and worry have subsided for I know God’s will, will be done. I’m thankful for the family and friends He has surrounded me with; His love has clearly overflowed through them. I thank you all for the thoughts, calls, kind words and most importantly prayers. Your prayers have lifted me up and put me at ease this week, thank you.

I’ve received countless verses over this journey, and I leave you with a few that God has clearly used to put me at ease this week.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

James 1:2-5 Consider it great joy, my brothers whenever you experience various trials knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete lacking nothing.

Isaiah 41:10 Do not be afraid. I am with you. Do not tremble with fear I am your God. I will make you strong as I protect you with my arm and give you victories.

Psalm 62:5 Rest in God alone, my soul for my hope comes from Him.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

God Knows Our Needs

It’s normal to experience fear and anxiety, but with my previous surgery I was at complete peace, I did not fear. I can’t say the same about Friday’s surgery...This surgery is a lot more involved and the complications greater. I have been wrestling with my upcoming surgery the past few days.

Tonight, we met with our Sunday school class. We don’t normally meet on Sunday nights, but we are going through a transition, so we were meeting to discuss the next steps. At the end of the meeting, I was prayed over by members of the class and to say it was powerful is an understatement. My anxiety and fear were lifted as commanding prayers were delivered through the Holy Spirit by my peers. God knew this is what I needed in this moment.

Casey and I cannot thank our friends and family enough who have lifted us up and continue to do so. We feel your prayers.

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be Strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you, He will not leave or forsake you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Surgery Scheduled

My surgery date has been scheduled for November 9th at 8am at Vanderbilt. This surgery is much more involved than my last surgery and will take between 4 and 8 hours. After surgery I will be in the hospital 4-5 days. Recovery is expected to be between 1 and 2 months.

Please pray for complete healing. Specifically pray for no side effects after surgery; no double vision, no impaired motor skills and no loss of balance.

As always, Casey and I thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Revelation 8:4 - "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, and is and is to come."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It's a "Tweener"

From Cliff:

Today we met with Dr. Sills. We weren’t scheduled to meet with him until October 1st for my post-op visit but the clinic called and asked us to come in. Needless to say, we were a little anxious to hear the results since they had already been delayed a week.

Dr. Sills told us the mass is a "tweener." Just like me, the mass doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up. The tumor is a Pineal parenchymal tumor of intermediate differentiation (PPTID). It was recognized in the 2007 World Health Organization (WHO) classification as a new pineal parenchymal neoplasm, intermediate in malignancy (WHO grade II or III) between pineocytoma (grade I) and pineoblastoma (grade IV). Dr. Sills gave me four options, but only recommended the first two: (1) remove the mass, (2) do nothing and observe it, (3) treat with radiation or (4) treat with meds. Dr. Sills said his conservative opinion is to remove the tumor.

After discussing with Casey and my family, we are leaning toward removing the tumor. Obviously there can be complications with the surgery, but if we choose to observe the tumor there is no guarantee that it won’t grow or cause more problems. I feel God’s will is for me to remove the tumor. When we pray, the Bible tells us to pray specifically. Many prayer warriors, including my Mom, have been praying for the mass to be gone. With the help of Dr. Sills it soon will be!

From my reading last night in Joshua 1:9 “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

God is good all the time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

God Breathed!

From Cliff:

You may never truly experience the power of God until you experience a life crisis. I am humbled and amazed by the ever powerful God Almighty through this entire experience. He is good all the time. He has not failed me and walks beside me.

I can say without a doubt that I have felt God Breathe. This experience has shown me his power and his almighty presence. I ask that you, my friends and family, hold me accountable and help me keep life in perspective; life isn’t about the newest iphone 5 or dominating in fantasy football, but experiencing God’s every day gifts of life through family and friends. The simple things: truly treasure the ones you love--your family and friends. Don’t take life for granted.

We are here to glorify His Kingdom. I have been praying to God daily for Him to use me for the betterment of this Kingdom. This experience has shown me that God will use you in His own way in His own time. This is God using me to glorify His Kingdom even through sickness.

Romans 8:28. We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. This verse doesn’t mean that everything that happens is good, but that everything, both good and bad (as we see it), work together for good.

As we were live streaming church on Sunday, Mom says: Cliff I want you to know how much God has taken care of you in this situation. He is in control. Simultaneously, the worship leader recited the verse that Gage and I have been leaning on the past couple of weeks. Psalm 62:5-6. Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. It’s amazing how clearly God speaks to you in crisis. I used to ‘just’ read verses of scripture, now I hear Him speak. Thank you Lord.

As we await the biopsy results (will be next Tuesday at least), I rest in God alone, He is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken! God is good.

Thanks to all my family and friends who have reached out with prayers and love during this time. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the unconditional support you have shown to me and my family. Thanks to my wife, who has not faltered. She is my rock-my best friend, and I’m truly grateful for her love and support. I would not be who I am without her. Thank you to my Mom who spent the week taking care of me and providing us with delicious meals and a clean home. Thanks to all my family and friends who made the trek up to stand beside me during my surgery. I truly appreciate the love and support you showed Casey and I. Words simply cannot express my gratitude fully. Thank you.

God is Love. He is good all the time.

Deuteronomy 6:5. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Feeling Better Day by Day

Yesterday was a great day for Cliff. It was a rainy day. Cliff loves the rain and was able to rest and relax. He's sleeping well at night and not doing anything crazy on the ambien. Today, he and Jane enjoyed a Five Guys Burger for National Cheeseburger day! A big thank you to Jane for her support and for taking care of us this week. :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Fantasy Football Time

Cliff had a great night of sleep thanks to a little Ambien. He did try to go out of the window to use the bathroom...but at least I woke up in time to redirect him. :)
He and Peter have gathered all of the iPads, computers, and iPhones around the table to set up Fantasy Football lineups. In a few minutes, we'll watch BBC livestreamed on TV. Mike's preaching on the book of Revelation "Living in the Land of Dragons."

Saturday, September 15, 2012


In the words of Phillip Phillips:

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm going to make this place your home

Cliff was discharged today! He's headed home.
He's tired and hopes to get some rest after a very sleepless night (the steroids he is still on keep him up). We'll keep you updated. But thank you for all of your prayers. Everything went as well or BETTER than expected. :)

Here's a pic of Cliff and his BFF Peter who came to visit from Baton Rouge.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Comedian Cliff

Before we even got in the room, the nurse told us that Cliff was asking for pizza. He's feeling really good! Already flirting with the nurses. He's hungry and craving jets pizza. He's gotten the clear to eat so we've got a pizza on the way. He may be able to go home tomorrow depending on how he feels. Dr. Sills said that he had no "red and blue thoughts" in his brain...only "maroon thoughts." Thank goodness!