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From the Bishop

Treatment Plan Update

Bishop Iker is scheduled to begin his first series of chemotherapy treatments today at the Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, on the UT Southwestern campus at 2201 Inwood Road in Dallas. The treatment begins at noon and will last approximately five hours. Four additional follow-up treatments are scheduled through Tuesday of next week. These will last between three and seven hours each.

This change in the original treatment plan, from one chemo session every 21 days to five sessions every 21 days, has been ordered due to a new conclusion that he has a “double hit” of lymphoma. This means that in addition to the originally diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, there is second rarer variety involved which is aggressive and active at the same time. Results of additional pathological studies are expected early next week.

Bishop Iker has cleared his schedule for the weekend and first few days of October. He plans to resume normal activities later next week.

The Bishop is feeling well and experiencing no pain. Once gain, he expresses his appreciation for your prayers and support.

September 27, 2018

New Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

The pathology report on a biopsy taken from my chest wall on Sept. 7 now indicates that I was initially misdiagnosed as having a large sarcoma tissue growth that would require intensive radiation for five weeks, followed by surgery. This finding was based on the results of a CAT scan and an MRI reviewed by several doctors, as well as a sarcoma specialist.

The new diagnosis is that I have diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, which is still very serious, but is more treatable and responds well to chemotherapy, whereas sarcoma does not. The growth is large, aggressive, malignant, and requires immediate attention. Tomorrow I will have a bone marrow biopsy to further define my condition.

At this time, the new treatment plan is for me have six sessions of chemotherapy – one session every three weeks over a period of 18 weeks. After a time of recovery, I will receive radiation treatments, but surgery is not anticipated.

Thank God for answered prayers. And thank all of you who have prayed for me and my family, as well as for the many cards and emails we have received over the past several days.

Much remains unknown at this time, and your continued prayers are needed. A consistent theme for me in the weeks to come is

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (II Corinthians 12:9)

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
September 25, 2018


Dear Friends in Christ,
 
For the past two weeks, I have been undergoing medical tests to determine the cause of severe pain attacks I have experienced from time to time over the summer in my lower back and right shoulder. A soft tissue mass has been identified in my right chest wall, that needs to be removed. It is a rare type of sarcoma, thought to be malignant, that is large and aggressive and doesn’t respond well to chemotherapy.
 
After consultation with a specialist in this field at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Dr. Alexandra Callan, it has been determined that following a PET scan at the Moncrief Cancer Center here in Fort Worth, I will begin a series of radiation treatments in October. It will be done five days a week for about five weeks in an attempt to reduce the size of the tumor. After about five weeks to recover, I will have surgery in December or January to remove what remains of the growth. A recovery time of about six weeks is anticipated.During the radiation weeks, it is not anticipated that my regular pastoral duties or Sunday visitations will be affected, though I will need some time off after the surgery.
 
Though the long-term prognosis has yet to be defined, Dr. Callan sees no reason at this time why I should not be able to continue my episcopal ministry until my planned retirement on Dec. 31, 2019. God willing, things will proceed as planned in the process leading to the election of a Bishop Coadjutor on June 1, 2019.
 
Your prayers for Donna and me and our family will be very important in the months to come, and I am deeply grateful for your concern and support as we deal with this.

On my desk at home is a favorite Scripture verse, inscribed in marble from Philippians 4:13: 
 
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

By God’s grace, it is true.
 

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
September 12, 2018


 
TO THE CLERGY AND LAITY
OF THE DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH
August 20, 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

After prayerful discernment and reflection, I have decided the time has come for us to begin the search process that will lead next year to the election and consecration of a new Bishop as my successor.

As you know, I am now in my 26th year as your Bishop, and in a few days I will celebrate my 69th birthday. In order to make way for new leadership, it is my intention to retire on December 31, 2019.

The first step is the election of a Nominating Committee, under the provisions of Canon 40, on the “Election of a Bishop.” In September and October, 14 clergy and 14 lay members will be elected to serve on the committee, and the Standing Committee will elect a chairman. A profile of the Diocese will be compiled in October, and then nominations for Bishop will be received until the end of December.

The Nominating Committee will research the list of nominees and conduct interviews in the early months of 2019. The Committee will provide the names of at least three nominees to stand for election at a Special Convention on June 1 of next year. The Bishop Coadjutor-elect would be approved by the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America at their regular June meeting, and tentative plans have been made for his consecration on Sept. 21, 2019.

The new Bishop would serve with me until the end of December, and his formal installation as Diocesan Bishop would be held in early January 2020.

As we move forward together in the months ahead, we are confident of God’s grace and guidance as things unfold. Thank you for your prayerful support of this process, that it may be led by the Holy Spirit.

Faithfully in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth