Monday, March 17, 2008

Heather

First and foremost I wanted to start this blog out with another apology.
It seems in my desire to get out a blog on CEREC I have forgot my first rule of blogging. DON'T TICK OFF YOUR FRIENDS.
I have opinions about the CEREC but I had no intention of throwing my colleagues under the bus. I am truly sorry to those that I might of jaded in my attempt to give my opinion on the subject.


Now about Heather.

Heather is an 11 year old patient in my practice. I have not seen this family in awhile but I was not too concerned. I did see one of their neighbors and asked how the family was. She said, "You didn't hear?". I said "Hear what?"
Well their 11 year old, Heather, has a brain tumor.
WHAT!?
So obviously the rest of the day I was in a funk.
As a father of three I pray everyday that God will keep them safe. And I know pain is coming their way and I pray that He will give me the strength to handle it.
But a brain tumor.

What do I do?
Do I call them and make them answer the same questions they have been answering for the last month?
So this is what I did. I have stationary with my initials on it for letters and stuff. I wrote them a hand written letter saying something like...
I just heard about Heather. I am so sorry to hear about Heather. I didn't want to call you so you have to hash it out with me all over again. I just wanted to let you know that my family is praying for Heather and your family. If I can help in any way please let me know. Also if you are keeping a e-journal (because people that go through this, I think, staff at hospitals recommend this. Two reasons, so they don't have to say the same thing 100 times a day and for therapy) I would like to know the link. I gave my email address.
Turns out she is keeping a e-journal.
The dad wrote me an email saying thanks for the letter and here is the link.

Turns out Heather had brain surgery 2 days after the diagnosis. Then she headed out to St.Jude's in Memphis. Where she and her mom are staying for a month. She is starting the next stage of her treatment, chemotherapy.
This sucks just thinking about it.
I read her journal and you can tell the mom is doing everything she can to stay positive. He pride in joy is in pain. He princess is throwing up at all times of the day. Her baby is sick.
At the beginning of this mess Heather thought it would be cool to get a mohawk. Now she has lost all her hair.
Imagine having an 11 year old daughter, sick, bald, in pain and smiling.

I don't know the prognosis and I am trying to get up the nerve to write the dad to talk to him.

But I was in church yesterday and my pastor talked about a specific verse that caught my attention.
Now lets review the age old questions that Christians and non-Christians are always asking, "Why does God let this happen?"
Now I am not a theologian (obviously) but some of the answers that I have heard over time are...
God didn't create evil.
God works through all things for His purposes.
Jesus suffered.
You can be more like Jesus.
And I think they are all good, but about this verse...

Is is Philippians 1:29
"
For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him but also to suffer for him..."

It is a little out of context (and not exactly what Heather is going through) but Paul talks about having the ability to suffer as a gift from God.

Doesn't sound like a gift we want sometimes.

It kind of puts it all into perspective for me. At anytime, any day, the time when you least expect it, your world can get rocked.
Sickness, death, bankruptcy, fire, hurricanes (I know about this one)...
It is funny I know this is coming. I know something is going to happen to me. My family, my kids, my office, my practice. I try to prepare myself everyday for the potential of rocking. At the end of the day I try to thank God for NOT rocking my world that day. I thank Him for the gift of safety that day, for my kids, wife, family, office.
But I know tomorrow is another day and another potential for rocking.

Being this is Easter week I can't help but think of suffering and the product of suffering. For Christians it is everything. It is life.
This is not why I wrote this blog but it turns out to be good timing.

Please keep Heather and the Braswell family in your prayers.
I will try to keep you updated but if you want to update yourself

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/heatherbraswell

Hope you had a great weekend.
I hope to see you Wednesday,
(Unless my world gets rocked, you never know),
john

3 comments:

Mihcael B said...

John,

You do not have to keep apologizing for posting your thoughts. The idea of a blog is just that. And anyone who wants to add to, or agree with you can post a comment. Just as those that do not. Why is it that those that do not agree with you and Cerec, post messages as a response. Only good things come from open commuication.

Michael

- D. (just the initial) said...

Hi!
First time reader here. Just stumbled across your blog (which is how I ususally find my favorites anyway) but I was wondering where your 'about' section is..... Do you have one? That's what I read first. Ya know to see who you are, etc.
Did I miss it or don't you have one?
Keep me posted.

gatordmd said...

Hi D,
I hope this is going to be one of your favorites.
My January 2nd blog was called The State of the Blog Address. It tells a little bit about me and what I am trying to accomplish.
Hope this helps.
See ya
J (just the initial)

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