Here’s the latest update on Chris! Thank you for your prayers, I know he can feel them as well as his family!! (As a side note his dad is an OBGYN and is involved in mission work as you’ll see noted in the email!)
Friends, I actually intended to give your email inbox a rest but we’ve had so many requests for an update that I have chosen to err on the side of an update over email exhaustion. I must admit that I have a small sense of guilt in involving so many of you in our challenge because so many of you have dealt or are currently dealing with issues and challenges of your own. For example, one dear set of friends on our list are dealing with a new melanoma issue and yet their letters and prayers have been more faithful and frequent than you can imagine.A second thing that’s personal to me is a combination of both appreciation and remorse that we are being cared for at MD Anderson. The appreciation is for the facility, doctors, and incredible care of the nursing staff. For example, there are 2 wards that care only for head and neck cancers that have needed combination cancer surgery and plastic surgery. Yesterday, Chris had 2 RNs that cared only for him and only one other paient, and both nurses daily experience is only for patients with similar needs. This is in distinct contrast to most hospitals where their economies demand that one nurse care for upwards of 6 very different kinds of patients. The word remorse was used because I know how fortunate we are to be here. My recent experiences in Kenya and northern Nigeria are in such ineffable contrast with the riches we have here versus the poverty of care that most of the world receives.As I write this, Chris is doing great. Post op days one and two were challenging as relates to his tracheotomy, and yesterday was a miserable day of nausea which finally passed last night. This morning he is walking with a walker and progressively being relieved of a variety of drains and tubes. He is now tolerating his tracheotomy well, with the good news that it will probably be removed by the weekend. We think he will be discharged on either Friday or Saturday. This letter goes out to so many, but specifically now for our prayer partners, the next moment of significance is the final tissue report. Our prayer is that it will be a tumor type different than reported in Chicago, that the margins are clear, and nodal involvement is minimal. If you really want to be bold, appeal that we can avoid the need for radiation therapy altogether.To close, I intend to send next a forwarded email I received from the fistula hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Some of you know that this obstetric complication has become a passion for me. My goal is to become fully trained and then serve on a regular basis in a place that meets the needs of these women. If you have a spare moment, you should visit the web site fistulafoundation.org and you will appreciate the value and incredibilty of the email even more. Finally, if you have 9 more minutes, view the trailer that’s linked from the home page. It will make you appreciate everything you have.As always, thanks for caring.