[I know I haven't blogged anything in a long time, but I am rejoicing over this update and must share with you.]
February 11, 2014
To all our dearest family and friends!
It has been a long month and the need to write another update has me chomping at the bit! Rather than send so many, I try to wait until Kris’s monthly care meeting is held at CORE. That way, I can truly give you a full update on how she’s doing. It gives me the greatest joy and utmost happiness to tell you all that Kris is progressing tremendously and doing better than she has for some time.
While away from Kris, we are able to sit in on the monthly care meetings via conference call. When the meeting began today, the first therapist announced Kris is doing extremely well with the motorized wheelchair. Her OT person then explained the medical director feels Botox injections to her right shoulder and elbow may increase movement and help her to straighten and use her right arm more. That’s especially important now that Kris is using her right hand to tie her own shoes. It’s still a little shaky, but what a feat in her will to “do it herself!”
Truly amazing, however, is her walking. Standing straighter and with better balance for longer periods: that is just fantastic! Since the surgery to lengthen the Achilles tendon in her right ankle, we now are told she is walking so well and that right foot lifts and bends with each step. What’s more, the CORE medical director now says she can walk without her AFO (leg brace) for at least four hours each day while walking, and may eventually do so without it all together. What a prayer answered!
She has been steadily improving in forming words and even with her Skype texting and typing. When we Skype with Kris every evening, we often work with her to form words, especially to use her jaw and tongue and lips. Two nights ago, Kris was able to say “My name is,” then pretty closely said, “Kris.” We have to work on the “k” sound, but those words were clearly audible. We are just so amazed and thrilled, and her speech therapist confirms she is doing very well with all the vowels as well as the letters “v, y, w, r, m and n.” Wow!
What has been so remarkable, however, over these past weeks is that she is now asserting herself more as she tries so much harder to speak, and now is putting several words together. Swallowing is greatly improved as well. Kris is beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and she wants a life of her own again. After all that she has been through, I have no doubt of that. She is so amazing!
From the Pennsylvania note-worthy news, it’s all good, too. Son John has now traveled to the Cancer Treatment Center near Chicago for three chemo infusions and, while experiencing nausea and stomach pain afterward, he is far and away better than he has been. A CT scan of his head shows no melanoma there!!! And the doctors feel the pain in his abdomen area might be the cancer shrinking. Can you imagine our joy over all that news?!!!!
He will go for one more infusion and then he will have a pain pump implanted to automatically dispense pain medication as it’s needed. This should take care of the truly frightening amount of pain medications he has had to take for so long, and slowly cause his need for those to dissipate. For all of it and for the truly outstanding care he has received from the CTC, we thank God every day. There is no better way to say it: God is good… all the time!
Prayers of thanksgiving, prayers of rejoicing, yet prayers for continued healing for both Kris and John are truly appreciated. The photo above of Kris was taken back on December 8, 2013, as we were enjoying a Sunday afternoon movie (one of those great old ones). These are moments so special and so treasured.
Blessings and love,
Carol and George
We are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).