Pray for Rod Cathey

Rod CatheyYesterday evening (Tuesday, April 3rd), Rod Cathey had a massive seizure, lasting over 20 minutes. He was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance, where he continued to seize. They conducted an MRI at the hospital, and found a tumor in his brain, about 3cm across. It was large enough that it pushed the brain to one side in the cranial cavity, which caused the seizures

I spoke to Rod’s son Ryan at midnight; at that time Rod was still under sedation, and they were waiting for a consultation from a neurosurgeon. In the meantime, he is under observation in the critical care unit. His condition is very serious.

Please keep Rod and his family in your prayers today. As I know more about the situation, I’ll keep you all updated.

For those joining us recently, Rod is an important person to many of us here. He is a reader here on the blog. He was a professor in the School of Music at Azusa Pacific University when many of us attended, and some of us were in ensembles that he conducted. He also led the small group program that many of us toured with. He is currently the Department Chair of the school of music at APU, which makes him one of my bosses. We are friends with his kids, his grandson is in playgroup with my daughter.

More than all of that though, we count him as a friend. Rod, we’re praying for your full and complete recovery, and for the peace of God to sustain your family in the interim.

Updated Wednesday, April 4th, 11:35 AM

There’s been some encouraging news. Rod woke up briefly, and was able to recognize his wife Sharon. A nurse asked him to lift one finger, then two fingers, and he was able to do it correctly on his right side, but not his left. He has been in and out of consciousness since, but the fact that he woke up and responded is a very positive indicator.

An MRI is scheduled for later today, and they will decided how to proceed based on the results of that test.

Updated Wednesday, April 4th, 4:15 PM

From Karin Cathey, Rod’s daughter-in-law:

“Rod is off the respirator, and is breathing on his own”

Updated Wednesday, April 4th, 10:30 PM

From Ryan Cathey, Rod’s son:

They had a consult with the neurosurgeon. The tumor is located in the right frontal lobe of Rod’s brain. They are adjusting his seizure medication to try to keep him stable. Surgery to remove the tumor will happen in the next day or two. They are waiting for Rod to stabilize to a state where they can perform the operation.

He is still under heavy sedation, but he is in and out of consciousness and responding to people. These are positive signs.

Updated Thursday, April 5th, at 8:00 AM

No new news on Rod’s condition, but I wanted to let everyone know that there will be a public gathering to pray for Rod and his family, today at APU, in the courtyard outside of the School of Music. If you are anywhere nearby, please come. If you are not in the area, please join in wherever you are with a prayer for Rod’s swift and full recovery. The prayer meeting will be from 4pm to 5pm.

Updated Thursday, April 5th, at 2:30 PM

From Karin Cathey, Rod’s daughter-in-law:

Well, Rod had the MRI, and they are sure that he did NOT have a stroke. The neurologist came in and was very explanatory to Sharon and had wonderful bedside manner. While he was explaining things, Rod woke up and (Mike said that he had fire in his eyes) meaning: he knew where he was, and who was looking at him. The doctor asked Rod if he know where he was, and Rod said “hospital”. He asked him to do some other things and then Rod was really sleepy so he drifted off again.

The Family feels like he is making progress. Someone is in the room with him round the clock. Every time we would hold his hand last night, Rod would squeeze back knowing someone was there. Things are looking better. But now it’s hurry up and wait!!!!

The neuro-surgeon wants to wait (until the swelling in his brian is down) to operate. Then, when they go in they will decide if they can take it out/some of it out/biopsy it. They may end up taking most of it, and then following up with CHEMO. (That doesn’t mean that it is cancer!!!! CHEMO is a way of attacking the foreign matter.) At that point they will send it to pathology, and then tell us what Rod is dealing with.

I think as most of you know, we were having a big birthday dinner for the brothers when Rod started seizing…well, today is Mikes (ed: Rod’s Son) birthday, and all he wants from people that love him is to pray at 4:00pm if possible.

There will be a prayer time at APU in the School of Music at 4:00pm. Even if you are unable to be there physically please set some time aside to pray for this incredible Godly man… That is Mike’s Birthday Wish!

Thank you so much for everything,
In His time,
Kar Cathey

Updated April 6th, 12:40 AM

a text message from Joel Cathey, Rod’s son:

“They’re gonna do surgery at the beginning of next week. There’s more evidence that the tumor is benign. More info should be coming very soon.”

Updated Friday, April 6th at 10:45

For further updates, please refer to Scott’s site I’ll post when there is major news, but in the mean time, Scott is keeping a running log of updates. Thank you all for your prayers.

Updated April 23rd, 9:40 AM

Rod had his surgery last week to remove the tumor. They were able to remove most, but not all, of the tumor, as some of it was intertwined with sections of the brain that control motor skills.

A biopsy on the tumor confirmed that it was cancerous, and in Stage III. I’m uncertain on the specifics, but most cancers are graded from I to IV, with with IV being the most dangerous. Rod will be undergoing aggressive treatment to control the spread of the cancer.

This morning, Rod suffered a significant setback in his recovery from surgery. He relapsed into seizures, and they discovered bleeding in his brain.

Please continue to pray for Rod and his family. We are all experiencing the emotional highs and lows of alternating good and bad news as updates are released, and I can only imagine how much more intense, and exhausting, those emotional swings must be for Rod and the family.

31 thoughts on “Pray for Rod Cathey

  1. Jonathan

    I haven’t known Rod long, however the few interactions I have had with him was one of the reasons I chose APU. He is an amazing man, in music, his faith, his friends, and his family. Let’s all show how powerful prayer can be and let’s get Rod back to his family and APU so that everyone else can experience the joy of his teachings.

  2. Chad

    Rod is, perhaps, the person who impacted my time at APU the most. I was sick about this last night.

    Full recovery, indeed.

  3. Darren King

    My time with Rod in Male Chorale was the turning point in my christian life.

    Lord bring him through this and restore him fully.

    Thanks for keeping us updated Mike.

  4. Paul

    Thank all of you for the ongoing updates. We will continue to pray for this man who has impacted so many.

  5. june

    I have a couple questions I’d love to run by you sometime. Medical questions that is.

    Feel free to ignore me though…it’s a perk of blogness.

  6. Jack & Aileen Scharn

    Rod & Sharon:

    What devestating news to hear of Rod’s condition. The info was shared at San Diego First Church choir rehearsal Wednesday night. We are praying and will continue to pray for healing, strength and courage. We love you and your family. The updated email accounts of Rod’s progress are encouraging. God bless and may you experience complete healing. Jack and Aileen

  7. Carleene

    I do not know Rod but I do know Daniel & Christy Semsen. Daniel has asked for our prayers for Rod and I want to let you know I am praying for complete healing, and peace for the family. May God have his hands on Rod and those who will be performing his surgery.

  8. Lynne Beresford

    We are praying for you all. For wisdom as your physician
    assesses you Rod – in making the best decision for your care & treatment, for your nurses as they care for you that their skills of care and observation will be at their sharpest, for you Sharon and kids God’s presence and comfort, and Rod for your healing and comfort, that you may be communing with the Holy Spirit during this time. Love you all so very much….Keith & Lynne Beresford

  9. Steve and Melissa Thun

    Rod, Sharon, and family,

    We were so shocked when we heard the news of Rod’s seizures and brain tumor. We want you all to know that we think of you and love you and are lifting you all up in prayer. May God give you all peace and strength. We are also praying for your medical team to have wisdom, guidance, and to provide loving, supportive care to you and the family. Thanks for letting us be a prayer support to you during this time. Steve, Melissa, Ryan, and Becca Thun- San Diego First Church of the Nazarene

  10. Ann Marie

    Cathey family, our prayers are with you. Margo told us of the progress during choir practice on Saturday. very encouraging. We all know that our Lord will take care of Rod. Anything you need, please let us know. We love you.

  11. Loren & Betty Harstine

    I worked with/for Rod when he was Music Director at Heights First Church of the Nazarene in Albuquerque, NM, and I was the secretary. Rod is one of the most caring, loving, compassionate & fun-loving Christian people I have ever met. I have missed his hugs & smiles. There are so many wonderful memories of our years together that I will not even begin listing them. He, and the family, are definately in our prayers & love. God is good!

  12. Fausto Barragan

    Rod was my director while a member of Male Chorale at APU in 1995. Mike was my roommate at APU my senior year. I Love the Cathey family dearly! Though I have not kept in touch I always remember Rod’s advice, encouragement, and at times tough love. Needed that tough love to keep me in line. Praying for you Rod. I love you dearly and thank God for your example. You are a great man. Words are not sufficient.
    Fausto Barragan

  13. j. howie briggs

    Dear Rod, My family and I have been lifting you and your family up in prayer over the past week and a half. You are in God’s hands and that is a safe place to be. Thinking of you, J. Howie Briggs, Glendora Community Church.

  14. Eric & Carol Miles Crane

    We just got the news about Rod and he & his family are our thoughts and prayers.

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  16. Janet Carruthers


    My choir and I here at Salem Academy are praying for you….
    I want you to know what a blessing it was to have you as our guest director at the ACSI Choral Festival in Kirkland last month. Your love for the Lord and for the students was very evident, and the singers and directors made an immediate connection with you. Thank you for being such an encourager….. and now we want to encourage you!

    We’re so glad you are getting better and that you are surrounded by so many people who love you.
    There are many here in the Northwest who are remembering you and praying for you daily.

    With thoughts and prayers,

    Janet Carruthers
    Salem Academy

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  18. Judy Hinman

    Hi Cathey Family:
    I’m so concerned about Rod as my friend, and yours, Betty
    DeLaPorte is. We both loved you guys so much!
    All of us who knew you at Heights 1st in Albuquerque think
    of our great times we had here with you.
    We are praying for you all!
    Love, Judy Hinman

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