Saturday, 4 April 2015

Biopsies and Birthdays

 We are living in days of grace.

Yesterday we remembered the amazing gift of life that Jesus Christ gave to us on that broken piece of wood He was cruelly nailed to.  Today we celebrate Sheba's 46th birthday.  Tomorrow we rejoice in remembering Christ's smashing death to pieces through His once-and-for-all-time demonstration of His indestructable life.

And in all of this we weave our ways through Dad's illness and recovery.

The day started with me vaguely hearing the nurses swarm into Dad's room as they always do at 5 am to give him his sponge bath.  I gradually faded into awakeness and gave an early morning good-bye to Dad.  It's my sweet-heart's birthday!  What a joy to have a small early morning-celebration with Sheba and our 3 kids and Oma. 

Asha and Enoch are currently a bit camera shy (or maybe their Dad is a bit camera crazy) but there is one member of the family for whom the camera is a new found friend:

Time stops for no-one - we knew that Dr. Stephen would be doing his rounds so it was back into the Papaya for me and up to room No. 511 to be with Dad. 

Sure enough, a few minutes later Dr. Stephen came into the room with the entourage.  Since Dad has a bit of pain in his shoulder again last night, Dr. Stephen suggested having another ultrasound and also aspirating some of the fluid that seems to have accumulated.   He also told Dad the results of the biopsies that had been done in the course of the major surgery.

As expected, the tumour is cancerous.  Turns out we can't even tell where it has started.  The pancreas, the intestine and the common bile duct have all been affected by the tumour.  Not surprising given the size and the density of the mass that was cut out.

Good news?  Well, one good thing is that the biopsy samples taken from the margin of the surgery - the part that was left behind are all negative.  It looks like all that should have been cut out was cut - and as much as should have remained was kept back.


One of the lypmph nodes seems to have given a positive result.  It may be that the cancer has already metastasized to a certain extent.

At present, the task for Dad is to recover from this operation.   We know that we are dealing with a very challenging condition - but the whole purpose of the operation is to extend Dad's life as much as possible - and plausible.  So we move forward.  With prayer and hope.  And thanks for all the interventions done so far.  And work with dealing with the challenges of tomorrow one day at a time.

We don't have all the answers.  We don't even have some of them.  We are learning day by day.

One good thing is that we are not alone in this journey.

From near and far people are praying for us.  And encouraging.  And being there.  We are very grateful for this.  The whole staff and admin at Bethany have been so kind to Dad.  And us.  We are very grateful.

The good news from the ultrasound is that the fluid accumulation does not seem to be more than it was 2 days ago.

The good news from the aspiration is that there does not seem to be any bile fluid staining or any pus - so it seems that we are not dealing with a 'leak' or an outright infection.

The whole body is such a mystery - and the healing process so much the more so.  We are reminded again and again of the truism that the medical profession treats ... but it is God who heals.

And on this special day, we also had some wonderful visitors.

First up - just as the ultrasound procedure was winding down was our dear Anand Sinha and his lovely daughter Medha who stopped in to see us.  It was our first opportunity to meet Medha who was with her Daddy as part of a Father-Daughter outing to Mumbai from distant Gurgaon where they live (leaving Mummy to hold the fort).

Medha - all of 5 years - is quite the word-smith and regaled me with a string of stories in the Bethany cafeteria while Daddy went up to see Dad for a few minutes.  When she and Anand came over to our place we were treated to her lego skills - and a running commentary on how she had made a whole city with a few blocks.  Needless to say, Enoch and Yohan had gone into the room to help her with lego - and didn't emerge for the whole time as they immersed themselves in their building.  Very grateful to dear Anand for his lightning visit - and for bringing little M with him!

Then just after lunch who should we have but the Varghese family from Ambernath.  Another birthday celebration with lots of hugs (and donuts) and the joy of this lovely family.

Its not often we have 5 young lads in the home (Asha was in a lonely planet of her own but was her normal gracious self about it).  What better to do than to play lego (and pillow fights too) and go down stairs for 'cockminton' (as Yohan puts it).

We were blessed to have Dad share about his adoption to Leena and Jim - and have them open up their hearts about how they brought their oldest into the family too.

Finally, at just after 6 we had our dear John Gabriel stopped by too.   He and I spent a wonderful hour in conversation and prayer with Dad.  These are days of gladness and grace.  Each moment is precious.  We are so blessed.

And in the midst of all of this - some studies were also done.  Asha and Enoch each have 6 and 5 exams respectively under their belts - and have 6 more coming up before the promised land of the vacations.

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