Monthly Archives: January 2010

Gibbs

I got a text today from my Haitian friend Limanes, who was with us in Florida. The radiation did not work for her son Gibbs, fourth of five energetic and happy children.  He is three years old.  In November he was in constant pain, she was crying all day and exhausted.   Now she and her husband Josenel, who calmly rocks him singing Creole hymns, have the devastating results of the post-radiation scan at the same time as the catastrophe in their home country.  For Limanes, they merge in some ways I think, the horror and thwarted future emblematic of the destruction cancer has brought to their family.  I am heartbroken.  Please pray for her, for Josenel, for pain-free last months for Gibbs, and for the sustenance of his siblings.

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One Year

One year ago today Lucy underwent her 7 hour craniotomy at Egleston.  Now, in addition, relapse and radiation are behind her, and her diabetes insipidus, hypothyroidism, and adrenal insufficiency (the combined effects of losing pituitary function) under control.  After the post-radiation MRI last week, her doctors spoke very hopefully that we have seen the last of that “meddlesome” tumor.

From here she faces a lifetime of chronic illness (panhypopituitarism), a difficult thing to process as the acute heath concerns recede.  Her endocrinologist spoke firmly with us about the challenges ahead, primarily  the risks associated with adrenal insufficiency if she ever gets careless with her 3/day hydrocortizone, as well as a likely lifelong struggle against obesity.  We are tasked with getting her weight down before November, which feels impossible because of how low-calorie her diet already is, but we are gearing up for an intense effort in order to maximize the effect of the growth hormone, which she will begin getting one year after radiation.

Lamentations 3, as it has so often, speaks my thoughts for me.

I’ll never forget… the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed.  I remember it all–oh, how well I remember– the feeling of hitting the bottom.  But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They are new every morning. How great your faithfulness!

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