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Friday, June 8, 2007

Perspective

Cousin Jim and Pat recently lost their house to a fire. They lost everything including their beloved dog, Charlie. They are trying to reconstruct all of their records and important papers. What a loss. I received a note from Jim saying that in comparison to what is going on with niece Heidi and niece Janetís son Jonathan, their loss is miniscule. That isnít true, but it is true that Heidi and Jonathan are facing a much greater task.

Over ten weeks ago Jonathan had an emergency appendectomy. He didnít recover as well as one would expect. The next weeks have been one emergency after another, one operation after another. It began to feel as though he was not going to pull through. We all began to breathe a little easier when Janet wrote the following:

He's strapped to a bed that moves back and forth to get the fluid moving. His fever is finally down but his white count is still up. I've never seen so many IVs, tubes, drains, or bottles connected to one human being. He is still on the ventilator so he can't talk, but he did open his eyes a little bit. He is still septic and has pneumonia on top of everything else. The doctor is optimistic. So are we. If you would have asked us on Monday night when his fever was almost 105, we would have told you this was the end for our boy. Now we will just keep praying for a full recovery and a calm summer with him getting stronger.

At the same time, my niece Heidi, in Montana, was going through her own medical emergency. Just two years ago, she was diagnosed with three different kinds of breast cancer. She went through chemo and we began to feel that she was out of the woods, but when I arrived in Billings, Heidi was having trouble with swollen gums and bruising. She went to several dentists and doctors and was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). She has been admitted to the hospital for 30 days to undergo chemo and will then go to Denver for 60 to 100 days for a bone marrow transplant. They have three kids: Whitney, who is 19; Seth, who is 14 and Morgan who is 8. Her husband, Mark, is often out of town so there will be a juggling act going on in their house. The situation is complicated by the fact that Heidiís mother, Eunice, is living in their house. Unfortunately, Eunice is unable to care for herself and is under the care of Hospice.

My sisters and I are going to try to help in whatever way we can. I have a stack of books that I will take back to read to Eunice. We hope to encourage and comfort the children and perhaps take some of the burden off of Carol who is still assuming much of the care of Eunice.

Perspective - A sense of proportion.

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