I was beginning to despair that Arrow would not get a good moment with her. For the first few days, any time we would hand him to her, he would begin to cry. Normally, she would get him to warm up to her by sitting in the floor and playing with him, but she simply can’t do that now. Today, she wasn’t even aware enough to hold a baby. She had said very little all day and had not expressed any emotions.
When we were leaving, I bent down to hug her while Arrow was on my hip. He was smiling and chatting. Unexpectedly, her eyes lit up and she went for that baby. They touched foreheads and smiled at each other. There were no cameras around, but I would pay a lot of money for a picture of that moment.
Let’s rewind. In June, I told you about Josh’s mom, Gigi’s, diagnosis of lung cancer. Gigi’s cancer was a pretty aggressive type, but we were told that the good part about that was the more aggressive the cancer, the better it responds to treatment. Gigi immediately started a chemo regimen. 3 days of chemo, 3 weeks off, and so on, and so forth.
Let me just say, true to herself, Gigi handled chemo like a champ. She was like the poster girl for an excellent cancer patient. Her side effects were mild; she would feel tired for a few days and food would taste funny. As the cancer in her body began to shrink, she actually felt better than she had in a long time. She felt so good, she tried to convince everyone that it would be ok for her to drive herself to her treatments. I don’t think she ever did that, but between treatments she did make a trip to visit a new grandbaby by herself, as well as taking Harlie to her out of town doctor’s appointments by herself.
After a season of the chemo, she had another body scan. There was good news and bad news. The good news was, the growths were shrinking. The bad news was, there were new lesions on her bones. So an even more intense chemo plan was introduced. 5 days on, 2 weeks off, and so on, and so forth. She had another body scan scheduled for November 12th, and we were all hoping to get to use the word Remission at that point.
Fast forward to a week and a half ago. Josh’s sister, Kristy, called Josh concerned because she was talking to Gigi on the phone and she began to slur her speech. She talks to her on the phone every day, and this is the first time she had heard this happen. A few days later, a cousin that is staying with them let the siblings know that Gigi was having some short-term memory loss. It was thought to be “chemo brain.”
By the weekend, her neurological symptoms were bad enough that Dan decided to take off work Monday and take her to her chemo himself so that he could ask about them.
On Monday, she was sent home without treatment, and an MRI was scheduled for the next day.
Tuesday morning I got the text from Josh. Brain tumors.
By the afternoon, more information. Lots of small tumors throughout the brain. We are looking at weeks.
Josh immediately headed up to be helpful. He sat with his mom in the hospital and helped bring her home when she was discharged. The kids and I headed up the next day. We all needed some time with Gigi.
As you can imagine, our hearts are breaking. We have thought of many possible scenarios, but I don’t think this one has ever crossed our minds.
Gigi with Maverick yesterday.
I was waiting for a go-ahead to write this post out of respect of family privacy, but I am writing it now because I think it is important for people to know how to pray. So here is how you can pray for Gigi and the rest of the family:
- The Ultimate Miracle. We are a practical people. We know where this is likely going. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean we believe in God’s healing powers any less. God may not be done with Gigi yet, and if He isn’t, well…He will take care of this thing.
- An Improvement of Cognitive Function. Right now, Gigi is not able to truly communicate. Her speech is slurred, she needs assistance in walking, she forgets things almost immediately. She is now having a radiation treatment that is supposed to shrink the tumors enough to help her sort of become herself again. Please pray that she will regain who she truly is. Tonight, Kristy shared with me that she just wants one real conversation with her. Just one. I think we all can echo that sentiment.
- Comfort and Peace for Gigi. Because she is not able to communicate, we have no idea how much pain she is feeling. We have no idea how aware, if at all, she is of the circumstances. It feels so helpless wondering if she feels helpless!
- Dan. My father-in-law is 13 years Gigi’s senior, and I don’t think he ever imagined having to live life without her.
- Adult Children. Josh has two sisters, Heather and Kristy, who are just now starting families of their own. Even though they are mamas themselves, they love their mama fiercely and this is not a road any of us were ready to walk down while our children are young.
- The Girls.** Everyone knows that Gigi’s 4 youngest are “The Girls.” Ages 13, 12, 10, and 7, Gigi is not only their mother, she is the ultimate example of God’s love to them. When their family broke and they lost their biological parents, she pursued them and adopted them. She may not have a degree in counseling, but she has dealt with all the repercussions of broken attachment and made them a family. When Harlie got sick, she became nurse and caretaker as well.
And this is why I am begging God for a miracle. For us, it’s a tragedy. But for The Girls to experience More Loss, and at this level? I cannot comprehend it.
So we covet your prayers.
**If you encounter The Girls in real life, please be sensitive to the fact that they may not completely understand everything that is happening. It is fine to ask how Glenda is doing, but please don’t ask about the specifics of her condition.**