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Thursday, February 19, 2009

He'll Bring a Better Day

Today was filled with information that causes the strongest to feel weak. As I write this, Steve has surrounded himself with his support group. The Scoutmaster's of Troop 175 have, through the years, been through births, deaths, graduations, illness, and marriage. As a unified group, they've laughed, cried, laughed, and watched as "their boys" have grown into men.

As blog readers know, our morning appointment was with Dr. Corwin, the radiologist. The news was grim. Steve won't be eating that hamburger for a long, long time. In fact, he won't be able to swallow anything but liquids as the radiation causes his saliva gland to deteriorate and his throat, mouth, and tongue to become a mass of blisters. With a warm, kind smile and a compassionate voice, Dr. Corwin discussed the need for 2000 calories of liquid each day. If this becomes impossible, a feeding tube will be inserted into Steve's stomach.
"What about mashed potatoes?" I asked.
"Too much bulk to swallow," he responded.
"What about cream of wheat?
"Too rough on the throat."

Dr. Corwin had nothing but time. What do we need? What are our concerns? Then began the examination of Steve's throat. The pain that coursed through Steve's legs, arms, trunk, and eyes was difficult to watch. With his gloved hand, Dr. Corwin dug into the cancerous cavity in Steve's throat. Then, with his same calm demeanor, he reported that we needed to see an oral surgeon to remove teeth that might cause problems during radiation.

So this afternoon at 3:00, Steve went to the oral surgeon. After an examination, Dr. Cummings explained that 5-8 of Steve's molars must be removed. With the return of the PET scan as it marks tumor locations, we will know if the oral surgeon will need to take more teeth. Radiation, it seems, makes the jaw bone very porous. Any tooth that has a filling or crown must be removed before radiation can begin.

Many years ago, I had a very difficult child in my classroom. To help me through my rough days, my daddy gave me a devotional book entitled Lord, Don't Let It Rain at Recess. In the book, one devotion is called "Thoughts on a Foggy Day." Today, that's where we find ourselves. The fog seems to envelop us. The message, though, has been tested through the decades. We don't choose what cards we're dealt, but we do choose how we play our cards. With that, please know that even through this rough year ahead we will lift HIM up and know that with every cloud there really is a silver lining. Go now, read Romans 8:6, smile, and know that we thank our Lord for every remembrance of you.

And, as always, we thank you and ask that you continue your prayerful support.

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