Thursday, November 13, 2008

~One Year Later~

Here is a picture of Jan taken on Halloween last year, just a few weeks before she had emergency surgery.

As I sit and think about one year ago today, it is a day I never want to relive.

I can't begin to imagine how difficult this past year has been for Jan. She has had to fight extremely hard. She was away from home while she underwent radiation treatment in Houston for 6 weeks. We were blessed that a friend shared their frequent flyer miles with us and they were able to fly home every other weekend. We have so very much to be thankful for.

God has blessed our entire family many times in this year. He has shown us many things, which I will share a few with you.

In March, 2007 we helped move Mom to the house/acre next door to Janet (their country folks.) Mom previously lived 3-4 miles from them. It had been our thoughts/hopes when the time came Mom would be able to live independently longer, if she lived closer to Janet (Donna and myself, we aren't country folks). It was very evident at the time of Mom's move, this was God's will. The house she bought and sold, neither one were put on the market. Everything just fell in place. Now, we look back and see how God had his hand in all this.

The week before 11/13 Jan had developed extremely severe headaches. Actually, she had been having headaches for some time, but not to this extent. (If you know of anyone who starts having headaches, not typical of their usual headaches, PLEASE INSIST the does a CT scan. Jan had been to doctors about these headaches, but no one ever did any testing.)

When Gerald left for work this Tuesday morning, he called Mom and asked her to go next door and see if she could get Jan to eat. If Mom had not been living next door, Gerald would not have called her and things would be different) God was at work here almost a year earlier, preparing. We thought she was having migraines and was dehydrated. When Mom went next door and talked to Jan, she responded to Mom. She had set her alarm for work, but had told me she doubted she would go. That morning she had "hit her snooze" several times. When Mom went back in after getting her something to eat, she was NOT RESPONSIVE. Still not thinking it was that serious, Mom called Gerald and he came back home. Jan's daughter-in-law works at the hospital where they were going to take her, so they called ahead and they were waiting in the ER when they arrived. The doctors were amazed that she was alive and said in the sense of "medicine" she should not be. That's God! He says Jan still has work to do.

Since they were waiting for Jan, she was rushed directly in. CT scan was done immediately followed by an MRI. The first thing I heard when I got there was she had multiple brain tumors. They were waiting on the MRI results and then were going straight to surgery.

When the neurosurgeon came and talked to us right as they were going into surgery, he said there was a lot of swelling, and this possibly could be an abscess and not a tumor. He also said he didn't know how long it would take her to come out of the coma. However, they had been giving her steroids since she got the hospital. Before surgery she was able to wiggle her toes, grasp their hands, so this was a good sign.

The surgery took 2-3 hours. She made it fine, but still we were told they didn't know how long she would be in the coma. But, during the night she would open her eyes and by early the next morning, she was out of the coma. She had no clue what she had been through. The first few days she didn't unless someone else initiated the conversation. It was very troubling because she was so quiet and different.

She was not able to retain any memory for several weeks. She was told numerous times what she had been through, but kept thinking she had had a seizure, fell and busted her head open. But, she could remember how to unhook everything after watching the nurses do. It was amazing to see the progress she made, EVERY SINGLE DAY for weeks, she improved.

She didn't want to treat at MD Anderson because she didn't want to be away from home. Not a few minutes after she went in to meet with her oncologist, she changed her mind. That's God!

I know this is kind of jumbled. I tried to condense so much that occurred in that time to just give you a glimpse, and I butchered it good.

There has been a great deal of time during the last year that Jan didn't feel good. We are thrilled that at this time, she feels better and she is "enoying life."

It is very difficult to think back to this day 1 year ago and everything that has occurred. We are truly blessed and very thankful we had the opportunity to CELEBRATE TODAY!

Jan, Mom, Donna, Jenny, me, and 2 of Jan's friends from work went to Panera Bread. It was really fun. Here are some pictures from today of Jan, Mom, Donna, and Jen.

The story doesn't end here, the fight continues! Please pray for Jan and her earthly healing. Pray she continues to feel good as she continues with treatment. Pray for peace of mind for her and our family.

Thank you all for everything!

1 Corinthians 13:13 ~ And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.



Denise said...

My prayers will not stop sweetie.

Tracy said...

Wow, reading through this gives me a whole new appreciation of the miracles God has done in her life!!! Thank you for sharing this with us. I love that you guys decided to celebrate together such a special day.

With continuing prayers,

Laurie Ann said...

God's handprints are all over this situation, aren't they? They have been all along. I'm so glad we serve a loving God, and pray for Jan's continued recovery and abundant life. I know it's tough on her, so her attitude makes her one of my personal heroes. She truly exemplifies the attitude of Christ in handling this.

Michele Williams said...

She is truly an amazing woman! Prayers continue....

Debra said...

Cheryl Kay,

I'm so behind on reading this but I'm so glad I finally got to~ what a blessing.

Jan definitely has some more work to do!! I love that you can look back and see God's Hands at work...beautifully done, sweet sis!

Blessings to you and Jan!!