Featured Post

Perfect Imperfection

Tonight we put up our Christmas tree, the first Ravella/Gilbert tree. Actually we have two trees. One is artificial. It is perfect. It has p...

Monday, December 10, 2007

ICU Update 10 Dec

This may be a hard email for some of you. I will be frank about the physical battle we face. Or as Andrea's Dad says we will look at the mountain before us, but we keep our focus on God, our hope, who moves mountain with a single word. Although Andrea has a huge mountain in front of her when you look at it from above it is nothing.

Today we had to make a decision on how to proceed with Andrea's treatment. I talked with Andrea's Oncologist, Dr. Osswald and I laid out three keys to the decision. First, does Andrea still want to fight? No matter what we decided Andrea has to fight the battle. Second, I had to hear Dr. Osswald thoughts on Andrea's condition. Had her cancer progressed to a point where Andrea's condition would not improve or if she got off the vent does she have a good enough chance to get back to where we were three weeks ago. Dr. Osswald said, if she still wants to fight he recommended going ahead with the trach in the hopes of her getting off the vent sooner. We had the ICU docs come in and we all agreed that we would go with Andrea's desires.

We went into Andrea's room and I explained the situation and asked her what she wanted to do.
Her response was she wanted to fight. So the trach will be put in on Wednesday.

Her condition right now is complicated.

Her cancer is progressing but I still think this is not the major cause of her problems. It will eventually be the cause if we don't get her off the vent and back on chemo. The cancer has made her lungs weak and therefore harder for her to recover.

She has not been able to take any food for about two days. Of course that makes her weak and complicates her recovery. They started food through her IV right now. This should improve he strength over the next 12 hours. This is a temporary fix used just to help get her over the hump and give her enough strength to get off the vent or just be able to get out of the bed. I'm hoping the more she moves the more healing she will have in her stomach.

Her liver may also be contributing to the stomach issue. The cancer combined with all the drugs it has to process may be making it not function properly. This can add to the swelling around her stomach as well as the inability to digest food.

She has had little progress in her lungs for two weeks other then what we say on Saturday. So the trach is not a magical cure for lungs, she will still need to win the battle of her lungs. Whatever the cause.

It is hard to prioritize theses but she first needs nutrition and strength, then her lungs to gain back their strength, then off the vent then moving and her stomach to take food. Then back to chemo to fight the cancer.

Sound like a big mountain to you? It is...to us

But not to God. Imagine standing at the foot of the Rockies and having to get past them. They would seem so daunting you might say it was an impossible task. Now Next time you fly look out the window at the mountains. Don't they seem so small? Look at a photo from the space shuttle? They are nothing. Step back and look at your life from God's perspective. These issues are even smaller to God. We are not at an impasse in God's ability. Don't project our limitations onto God. He does not fit into any box we create because our minds can not begin to understand who he is and the depth of his love for us. His words are true and his promises are real.


  1. You are so right. God is so big and nothing is beyond him. You're all in my prayers.

  2. God's perspective is all that matters. We're fighting with you in constant prayer. I want to thank you for the way you're sharing everything. It's like we're there with you and in the room with Andrea. It's where I want to be right now. Thank you. Gibi

  3. Is still is the Great I Am! Praise His holy name!

  4. Psalms 46:1-3 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

    This is the first verse Andrea shared with me when I met with her to do an article about her for the OCSC newsletter. She has the kind of faith that moves mountains. I believe in her strength Jim, just as I believe in yours...because you have the strength that comes from God.