Tuesday, March 20, 2007

in the valley

here's an email i received today from mike lawrence. a few weeks ago i posted about mike's daughter, sam, who had what they thought was a brain tumor. sam has a number of disabilities. i have seen in mike and kathie his wife True Faith - not attached to results turning out the way they wanted, but just being willing to Take The Next Step.

"After being fired by the oncologist a couple of weeks ago because she doesn’t have cancer, this morning we were fired by the multiple sclerosis specialist because she doesn’t have that either. The official diagnosis now is 'encephalitis' which, to my understanding, is roughly translatable to 'some kind of virus or bacteria infection.' By all indications, the infection has run its course; there are no symptoms like fever, headache, elevated blood count or the like. There was a nasty lesion in her brain, which, since the infection has now run its course, is in a slow process of healing. They say it is likely a one time event and that likely she will have a return of all functions to the pre-infection level, with perhaps some complications from the residual scarring.

"So, since Feb. 6, when they told us they were almost sure it was a malignant brain tumor, here is where we stand on this trek. I would still be terrified, but at every fork in the road we have been directed down the safest path available; so I am still hopeful and full of faith in God – something like not being afraid in 'the valley of the shadow of death.'

"Samantha is incredible. She has been right beside us in all the discussions about tumor, the ms, and the treatments involved etc. Even with her limitations, she understood and just sat there with a limp right arm and limp right leg and took the news and went on to the next treatment, doctor etc.(sometimes she was a little demanding and/or grumpy).

"I think about analysis, coincidence, bad luck, good luck, free will, fate…. and I think about God and Jesus at this time of Easter. If I felt enlightened or good or bad or smart or even stupid, this might be a diatribe or indictment, or perhaps a sermon. I don’t feel any of that. My highest aspiration is to be like my daughter, limited and perfect, afflicted and healthy, fearful and faithful; just to go on to the next treatment or doctor or even God, 'I’m doing ok here not feeling too well, but the news is good and I’m glad you’re here and please help and keep helping.'

"Thank all of you for your prayers and support."

and so there you have it. pay attention.

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