Saturday, August 25, 2012


Jimmie Baxter Hill – Elder, evangelist, missionary, co-director of International Bible Teaching Ministries, husband, father, grandfather and best friend – passed from this life on Thursday evening, August 23, 2012 at 10:40 PM.  He did so with complete trust in His Lord and surrounded by his family.  A memorial service is being planned for Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM.  The location will be:
                New Hope Road Church of Christ
                3353 New Hope Road
                Dacula, Georgia

An article concerning Jimmie was posted today by Adam Cozort:

Your continued prayers for both our family and the mission work that Jimmie loved so dearly will be greatly appreciated.

- Linda

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Go ye . . .

We have been back from the hospital a whole week now and I still feel disorganized.  Making room for an extra bed and other medical equipment while keeping the house looking like "home" was not an easy task, so I am very grateful that I had lots of help.  But there is still more to do.  Hospice has been very active in offering aid.  Julie has been wonderful to assume the task of reading the mountain of material they provided to help us prepare.  So many have taken care of so many tasks that I'm reluctant to list them by name for fear I will leave someone out, but I have appreciated each one.

In some ways this week has been a bit overwhelming, filled with too much activity, information and exhaustion.  But in others it has actually been a good week, filled with family, friends and laughter.  Finding a box filled with old family videos has been a treasure although watching myself in one of them still makes me cringe.  (Jimmie directed what is probably the silliest home movie ever made while trying to fill a rainy day in Samoa when Julie was 5.)  Yet my favorite memory of this week has been Jimmie giving Cole a "ride" on his hospital bed before they snuggled up to read together.

Jimmie tires quickly now and still has occasional bouts of hiccups.  (They were a bit more frequent and difficult today again with some of those episodes where his diaphragm seems to freeze . . .very distressing.)  Pain and shortness of breathe are also a recurring problem.  But Jimmie is still Jimmie.  Yesterday he set up a Bible study with the Hospice orderly who arrived to help him shower.  Jimmie looks for ways to go into all the world to preach the Gospel even if it is by wheelchair . . . I need to be more like that.

- Linda

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Do you ever feel like you are in one of those "life comes at you fast" commercials?  So much has happened in the blink of an eye, but I only have time for a short synopsis . . .

I began to notice Wednesday afternoon that something was wrong with Jimmie so I called the oncology nurse and then William Howard (a dear friend) to help me.  The ER was packed but Jimmie was back in a room within minutes.  The decision to admit him was also quick due to two unrelated problems:

  1. he was having a severe reaction to the newest medication he had just started for the hiccups
  2. he was bleeding internally somewhere because his hemoglobin was 6.0
The drug reaction began to clear as the medicine left Jimmie's system, possibly sped up because of the 7 units of blood they pumped into him over the next two days.  Poor Jimmie had so many holes poked into him that I would wince when they arrived with another needle.  They also scanned and imaged him from "top to bottomous" as Jimmie likes to quote the Cowardly Lion.  And the verdict was that the blood was coming from his lungs somehow - possibly swallowing it instead of coughing it up - so they really had no way to halt it.   All chemo was stopped and Hospice was called.  Yesterday Jimmie came home by ambulance.

But the good news is that he is feeling better since returning to the land of no-IVs and Western movies. Of course, visits from loved ones have given his spirit a boost as well.  Jimmie was pleased to see brethren at the hospital, many from the area he had not seen for a while, but he was kept fairly sedated there so chatting was more difficult.  All of his siblings have been here this weekend - a planned visit that did not turn out quite as planned.  Some very dear friends, Kieth and Ann Fields, drove up from Florida despite the fact that Kieth is in a neck brace following surgery and was restricted from traveling.  My sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Joe Segler, were more than 2,000 miles away at the Glacier National Park when things worsened, but they loaded their RV and are on their way, scheduled to arrive tomorrow.  But probably the biggest boost is knowing that Julie, Cole and Jasper will be arriving tonight.  Getting to see his grandsons is no doubt the best gift Jimmie could receive, because today is his 59th birthday.

- Linda

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Horrible Hiccups

I am listening to a wonderful sound - Jimmie sleeping peacefully.  There has been very little of that in the past 5 nights.  Just after my last post about hating hiccups they hit Jimmie again with a vengeance . . . and kept on going.  Remembering how devastating the aggravation, sleep deprivation and sheer agony became last fall, I have to admit to becoming a bit frantic.  I quickly searched for the medicine that helped Jimmie with the hiccups the last time, checked with the doctor to be sure it was safe for him to take with his current prescriptions, and was thankful when he got some relief on Friday.

Unfortunately, the celebrations were short-lived.  On Saturday suddenly the magic pills lost their magic and did not phase those nasty spasms.  Zip.  Nothing.  On Sunday it got worse.  Jimmie started having episodes where the diaphram would suddenly freeze.  He did not hiccup.  He also did not breathe.  Just watching it was absolutely terrifying.  I don't want to even imagine how bad it must have felt. 

On Monday the PA at the doctor's office noticed that Jimmie's calcium level was extremely low and suggested that might be the cause.  Low?  Jimmie has been plagued with high calcium for months due to the cancer and just took the treatment to bring it down again a few weeks ago.  Apparently the shot zapped it too much this time.  The PA told us that if it was the low calcium causing the problem then no prescription drug was going to have any affect on the hiccups.  Okay - that rang a bell.  He suggested I get some calcium supplements when I went to our pharmacy for the new prescription he was calling in.  But Jimmie had another freezing bout hit while he was having an IV of fluids there.  As soon as he could gasp some air again I grabbed my purse and scurried to the tiny drug store downstairs.  Jimmie started on the calcium pills before he even left the building.

And I think they are helping.  He continued to hiccup today but said that they were not as severe.  He also had several good breaks from them that allowed him to get some badly needed sleep.  Even more important, he did not have any freezing episodes.  So to borrow a phrase Jimmie's doctor likes to use - I am "cautiously optimistic" that we are going to beat the hiccups.

But other kinds of optimism are actually in short supply at the moment.  Last week the doctor said that he did not believe Jimmie had much longer to live.  When pressed he replied that if everything continues to go as it is presently, perhaps two months.  Those were very difficult words to hear.  They were impossible to write so I chose to ignore them for a while.  But that is not the kind of thing you can ignore for long.

Many of you have told me often that Jimmie and I are constantly in your prayers and I truly appreciate that.  I do not know how anyone deals with such events without the blessing of prayer.  And we continue to need those prayers – prayers that Jimmie’s health will improve if it is God’s will and if it is not, prayers that his passing will be easy.  

Jimmie said a few days ago that he really does not like being sick, but that he would rather be sick in Christ than without Christ.   I really do not want to lose Jimmie, not in two months or two decades.  I can't even remember a life when he wasn't my best friend and husband, the one who urged me on to better things and made me laugh in even the toughest times.  But I know that Jimmie is prepared for eternity.  I know that the joys of heaven are greater than anything we can even attempt to imagine.  And I know that God has a plan.  We must always put our trust in Him.

- Linda

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Things I Hate

I hate hiccups.  Pain, fever and a host of other unpleasant things are not fun but at least you know there is a sound reason for their existence.  They are a useful warning tool of bigger trouble.  But hiccups?    They are like cockroaches - startling and nasty and absolutely of no earthly good that I can fathom.  And cancer hiccups are the worst.  I never knew there was such a thing until Jimmie suffered so with them just before his surgery last November.  After that if he had even a quick hiccup it would make me cringe.  For the last month Jimmie has had brief bouts of hiccups again, but today he had one of those excruciating long episodes that just wreck you.  I really hate hiccups!!

I hate waiting.  Generally I'm a very patient person perfectly able to deal with delays at doctor's offices, airports and the like.  But when something bad could happen and you have to simply wait to see if it does, that's a whole new level of stress.  The doctor stopped one of Jimmie's chemo meds and the blood thinner injections because he felt they were the cause of the blood leaking from his lungs early Sunday morning.  He told us that stopping the blood thinner was risky since the cancer has thrown some clots into Jimmie's lungs in the past, but he felt the risk of Jimmie drowning in his own blood was even greater.  Neither possibility sounded good to me.  But if Jimmie can avoid bleeding for a few weeks  then he may put him back on either this or another chemo.  I really hate waiting!!

I hate feeling helpless.  Being sick or in pain is truly difficult and not something any of us ever want to do.  Yet, watching a loved one suffer and not being able to help is far worse than any sickness I have ever experienced.  On Monday the doctor also reduced the second chemo medication to 1/2 of the dosage Jimmie was taking because the full dosage was making him sick.  The hope is that Jimmie will become tolerant of it.  The hope is that this medication will boost his immune system and Jimmie will start feeling better.  But in the meantime there is very little between Jimmie and this aggressive, fast-growing cancer other than prayer.  I really hate feeling helpless!!

But mostly, I hate cancer.  A friend on Facebook made that statement the other day and I was surprised at how vehemently I instantly agreed with her.  Cancer is horrible. It creeps silently spreading ugliness and decay.  It takes wonderful, beautiful people that you love and destroys them utterly and completely.  I really hate cancer!!!

But then I realize that God must feel this same way about sin.

- Linda