Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Dad's first day at Bethany Hospital

We admitted Dad at Bethany Hospital this morning.  Very grateful for the wonderful care Dad has received so far.  He is in good spirits and free from pain (though clearly very yellow).  I was 'on duty' most of the day with Dad and had the privilege of some good chats with him in between times of him taking naps and seeing him eating with gusto!  The latter because for the past 10 days he has been on a strict 'hepatitis diet' - no proteins, boiled food only etc... and now he is free to eat what he wants since his jaundice is not that the liver isn't working (medical jaundice) - but rather obstructive jaundice

Today's big task was to do a CT scan on Dad.  The basic reason is to see whether there are nodes at other parts of the body.  The initial report was encouraging - no nodes seen.  We are very grateful for this.  If there were nodes, that would mean that the growth has spread and probably metastasized.   No nodes is good news.   But we know that we are still on a very long road - and are just taking the first steps.

Dr. Stephen Alfred will thus be doing the ERCP procedure tomorrow morning on Dad.  Dad will be in full anaesthesia and Dr. Stephen will use an endoscope to access the entrance to the common bile duct which is currently blocked by the growth.   He plans to introduce a stent - a small tube - so that the bile fluids (from the liver, the gall bladder and the pancreas) can flow into the small intestine as they are meant to - which will relieve Dad of his deep jaundice.

Stephen says he is very hopeful that he will be able to install the stent.  There is, however, a small chance that the growth is so firmly attached to all sides of the common billiary duct that no way can be found to slip the stent around it.  In that case, Stephen will not try and force his way through the tumour - as it could result in a rupture on the other side.  90% of the time the stent goes in.  We hope that Dad falls in the 90%!

Mum loves flowers and it is no surprise that she took this shot this afternoon of a tree just outside our 6th floor window!

We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of calls and emails and comments on facebook etc. - all expressing a common desire for the very best for Dad and Mum.  Each one of you who wrote or called are so special.  Please forgive us not being able to reply to each note - but each one is deeply appreciated!

As I write, we are almost at the end of the 10th March 2015.  We never thought we would be spending this day this way in the hospital.  Sheba, the kids and I are at our home tonight - with Mum spending the night in room no. 512 of Bethany hospital with Dad.

We are very grateful that Dad is in no pain at this time.  He says he feels great and not as if there is a tumour at all (though he does look very yellow and is quite itchy).  We would be the happiest folks around if we found out that the growth has melted away.  At the same time, we are also aware of just how little we know.  Despite the images of such clarity so far - we are very limited in really understanding what is going on in Dad's body and just how extensive and aggressive this growth is, which has successfully blocked Dad's common biliary duct.  The next few days should give us some more clarity - and also open up the different treatment (or non-treatment) options.

What we do know is that we are safe in the arms of Jesus.  He has gone before Dad.  He knows all the things that are going through Dad's mind and soul at this time.  He is holding Mum's hand - as well as the hands of all of us as we step forward into this new chapter of our lives together.

Thank you for being part of the journey.  I will leave you with an image of Mum and Dad just as I left the room at 8 PM to come back home.  God has granted them 48 years of marriage together - we are seeing the products of many years of loving others, and being loved by each other.

 How good is the God we adore,
Our faithful unchangeable friend!
His love is as great as His power,
And knows neither measure nor end!

’Tis Jesus the First and the Last,
Whose Spirit shall guide us safe home,
We’ll praise Him for all that is past,
And trust Him for all that’s to come.


  1. Praying and believing with you all for complete recovery and many many more years for uncle and aunty in the LORDs service :)

  2. Thanks for the detailed updates. Praying for all of you at this critical time together. I know you are in good hands. May our Lord give you His peace even through this& Bless you.