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Friday, June 22, 2012

UPDATE AND HOW DO WE DO IT?

6-22 (2am)

Andrew has remained stable since yesterday.  Andrew's colonoscopy and biopsy was quick and uneventful.  Again, the reason behind the scope is to see if Andrew has gvhd of the gut.  His stools have been bloody and loose, indicating gvhd.  PLEASE, PLEASE PRAY, ALTHOUGH LIKELY, THE BIOPSY IS NEGATIVE FOR GVHD. PRAY FOR THE MIRACLE.  LET ME REMIND YOU OF THE MIRACLES AND ANSWERED PRAYER:

-REMISSION OF CANCER AFTER ONE ROUND OF CHEMO
-THE MIRACLE OF HIS CHROMOSOMAL ABNORMALITY CLEARING UP.  ALLOWING HIM TO GET A BONE MARROW TRANSPLANT.
-AND GOD ANSWERING PRAYERS FOR A DONOR MATCH ONE WEEK LATER!

Since yesterday afternoon, Andrew has not had a loose and bloody stool as of 2am this morning.  Maybe that is a good sign?

The biggest issue remains the poor condition of the lungs.  In light of his increased pressure needed to maintain the lungs being open as much as possible, the respiratory team went to a different respirator setting to see if Andrew would be more comfortable.  The setting was not necessarily a cure for the lungs.  Andrew's lungs have gotten worse, even though the lungs have cleared up on x-ray.  
I BEG OF YOU TO PRAY THAT THE LUNGS WOULD START TO SHOW MARKED IMPROVEMENT AND TURN AROUND TOWARD FULL RESTORATION OF HIS BREATHING.  HE IS TOTALLY RELIANT ON THE RESPIRATOR FOR HIS BREATHING.

Andrew's liver bilirubin have started to climb the past few days, although not in severely dangerous levels, the rising levels are of concern.  PLEASE PRAY THE LIVER WOULD HEAL AND THAT HIS BILIRUBIN LEVELS WOULD SHOW THAT THEY ARE INDEED HEALING.

Andrew seemed to be more comfortable yesterday, compared to the day before and may be reflective of the change in pain management.  PLEASE PRAY FOR COMFORT AND PEACE!
I asked Jennifer if she thought Andrew is afraid and Jenn said he may be.  I am praying desperately to our Lord that Andrew is at peace and God is reassuring him that he is in good hands.  Please pray Andrew is understanding Philippians 4:13:  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Pray he will be assured that God has his back.  

Yesterday, after the discussion with Dr. Sonali, without being said,  Jennifer, Yun (Andrew's mom) and I were overwhelmed and totally depleted mentally and emotionally.  It was like we were punched in the gut when Dr. Sonali said Andrew's chance of survival were poor if he had gvhd of the gut.  Thank God,  our dear friend and pastor, Michael, came on a moments notice and came to console and help us deal with our stress and grief.  Jennifer, Yun and I had the difficult task of discussing what to do if there was no hope.  We all agreed that we don't Andrew to suffer.  Hearing others who have faced similar situations and have said they would not want to let their love one suffer, in the midst of severe pain,  and not continue further treatment seemed so wrong to me.  Why wouldn't people pursue other options?  But I understand now how the comfort of my son is tantamount!  If that time does come, I would want Andrew to be comfortable, withdraw his respirator and wait for him to go home with the Lord.  This discussion was one of the most difficult things I have had to do.  

Some people have asked how I do it.  People say I am so strong, but the reality is that I AM NOT STRONG!  In my weakness, I trust that Jesus Christ is being strong for me.  There is no secret formula to how Jennifer, my family and I have survived.  It has been the grace and love of God.  Some of you may wonder, how I can trust in a God who can let children suffer and die?  Well, we live in a sinful and ugly world where innocent children and people die for no apparent reason.  But there is hope!  I believe that what Jesus Christ died on the cross to save His people from "death".  His blood was shed for me so I can "live".  This world is fleeting and an ugly place at times, but this world is temporary compared to the eternal glory that is promised by simply placing trust in Jesus Christ.  He is the reason I can say I have a modicum of peace in the midst of turbulent seas.  Andrew may pass away, but I know his trust in Jesus Christ will give him eternal peace.  We will all one day pass away, but I know where I am going.   I know in my heart if my son dies, I will see him in heaven.  Trust me, I am horrified he might die and I can't fully reconcile why this is happening, but I have my faith and trust that is carrying Andrew and my family at this moment.  Again, no secret, but it's  faith that has sustained me.  I trust in what John 3:16 says, yep the Bible verse you have seen many times growing up on tv at the end zone of  football games written haphazardly on a bed sheet,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

So, with that being said, I will cast my burdens upon Jesus, for he cares for me (us). 
Psalm 55:22 
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
I will update you on the biopsy results which come on later today.

Love,
Joe

8 comments:

  1. We are praying, Joe. My first thought when I woke up this morning was of
    Andrew. I am praying for a miraculous day.

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  2. Mindi Braselton RectorJune 22, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    Praying for a miracle! Thank you for sharing your beautiful testimony in the midst of all of this. It is a priviledge to be part of Andrew's army.

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  3. Joe&MichelleJune 22, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    Joe,Jennifer,Yun,Emily&Bry...we couldn't sleep last night anticipating for the biopsy result. What words can console your family~Praying your faith would pull you guys through. Remembering the joys & laughter we had many times when vacationing together,,Big hugs from the Kim's

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  4. We are constantly praying for Andrew and taking comfort in your wise and steady words, Joe. Love, Jennifer, Albert and Margot

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  5. Miracles, PLEASE, Hail Mary, Jesus and God!!! Please, we beg You, bring all suffering, pain and fear to wonderment, hope and true joy. We praise You for the current absence of pain and cessation of bowel problems. LUNGS, LUNGS, LUNGS DEAR GOD!!! Please help Andrew journey safely to his next phase of RECOVERY. Thank you, God, for all You have given, please put every bit of Your strength into Andrew now. I believe now is when he needs you the very most, Lord. We beg of You. PLEASE.

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  6. any kid would be lucky to have a dad like you. Praying for Andrew and the family.

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  7. Joe -- you will know when and if the time comes that you have to let Andrew go. There was no hope for my sister when the BMT failed. No one in my family was willing to accept that and let her go. I knew she was tired of fighting, and I knew she knew she was going to die. So I asked her if she was ready to let go, and she said yes. I asked her what she wanted for the end. She asked to see several friends from near and far. Everyone was by her bedside in less than 24 hours, and she passed away shortly after with everyone in the room, and my mom and I holding each one of her hands. I was so happy and relieved that she was able to die on her terms, with the people she loved around her. To this day, more than 18 years later, I have no regrets...no woulda shoulda coulda's. I was by her side every day, I donated my bone marrow to try and save her, but in the end this is what was meant to be. She actually left me with a tremendous gift since she passed away...the ability to live my life in a mindful way and always stay connected to the things that are really important to me. Learning to let her go taught me how to let go of many things in my life that were preventing me from finding true happiness and peace. I miss my sister terribly, but her gift is with me always.
    Trust your faith...God knows what is best for Andrew and he will give you the strength for whatever the next day will bring.
    Take care Joe and family.

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  8. KEEP UP UP UP JOE AND JENN AS MUCH AS YOU ARE ABLE
    CONTEMPLATE AND DEAL WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW AS MUCH AS YOU CAN.
    JUST WHAT IS RIGHT NOW!
    MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU!

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