3/25: Exiting times

hi all --

some updates from the week...

* zero, solas continues being a champion awesome kid.  i know i'm biased, but i must say that as far as i can tell, he really is The Most Special Little Guy.

* one, there's some new pics here: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/rebecca-tidewalker-s-miracle-fund/320816 -- most notably is the main picture showing a very very happy rebecca holding a very smiley solas.  and a couple more solas pics in the gallery.  the shiny-ness on her face is anointing oil that came from a catholic priest who made a room call this sunday (thanks, fr. aidan!).

* two, rebecca's physical condition has been slowly but steadily (and by steadily i mean 3 steps forward 1 step back) improving.  the doctor told us we could go home from the hospital tomorrow, which is very very exciting.  she's walking pretty darn smoothly with a walker and needs almost no help getting out of bed, and her eyes are tolerating light so so much better than they were.  we'll be staying with friends in san francisco (thanks soooooooooo much oh dear to pavini and ari and family for making space for us in their beautiful home) for the next little bit so we don't have long commutes to follow-up appointments, and then we'll transition back to sonoma county!

* three, holy cow AMAZING news from the MRI.  i'm not sure if i ever noted it on this list, but one of the places where they initially spotted agrowth in february was rebecca's brain. our oncologist said that it was small enough that it'd be relatively easy to treat (with something called a "gamma knife" instead of radiating the whole head).  as i mentioned last post, we did a follow up MRI last friday night with contrast.  "with contrast" means that they injected rebecca with a chemical that seeks out sugar-eating portions of the body (like cancer cells), and so it can illuminate cancerous growths that were previously slipping detection.

it's something that isn't great for babies, so we were waiting til post-delivery to do it.  'cause we're kinda into babies around here...

anyway, they took the shots and -- as i mentioned in my last post -- they found no new growths in the preliminary reading.  well, we've received the final reading and that's confirmed.  which is great!

but what's AMAZING is that they discovered that the initial spot they'd seen wasn't a tumor!  some sort of lesion, and it's not causing any harm!  so, no radiation for rebecca's precious head!  we're very much excited because just come on, wow...

* four, the primary area of improvement we need to see now is rebecca's lungs.  there's still growths in her bones, and some organs, but the last CAT scan she received showed the lungs riddled with tumors, some small, but some really growing into a significant size.  they're placing a burden on her lungs, such that portions of them have either collapsed or are subject to collapse in suboptimal conditions.  like laying down to sleep.

now, when i hear "collapsed lung" i think "breathing machine," so it's important here to emphasize that it's Portions of the lungs that are doing this.  she's not at 100% of her full capacity, but she's not at 10% capacity either.  they haven't given us a number along those lines, but i'd hazard to guess it'd be something like 50%.

...and if you asked me last thursday i would have put it at 40%.

we have various lung-capacity-buiding exercises we've been doing to boost their ability to do their lung-ly work, and they're working.  but it's a slow going.  like so many hurts and ouches in life, it's nearly impossible to appreciate the ease of a nice deep inhalation until it's not available anymore.

(...and if you were waiting for the point in your life where you have that moment of clarity which will give you the impetus to quit smoking, this is it)

but her capacity is good enough that the doctors are sending us home without an oxygen respirator required.  we're going to get one on our own to be on the safe side, but it's good to know her lungs have their vote of confidence at this point.

i share all of this because i'd like to focus our prayer energy there just as we did with the eyes before and the kidneys previous to that.  the tumors in her eyes must have shrunk incredibly for her vision to be so much improved.  so i'd like to continue the focus on her regaining perfect eyesight, but direct the tumor-clearing focus to the lungs.  let's get 'em taken care of, folks!  i have faith that our faith is unstoppable, you and me and them and those and all of us together, we apparently have cobbled together a mustard seed of faith. at least!  there's 5-year-olds praying with their undiluted purity of heart and there's 5-decade-olds praying with their seasoned faith and there's my mom who keeps turning 21 but has been developing relationship with God for 60 years and there's Celtic monastics and the Sisters of Mercy and the woman who heard about us through our acupuncture appointments.  there's family and Family and hippies and people with real jobs.  there's so much so much so much and all of it all of it and you.  you with your tender heart, giving thanks, giving praise, praying for healing.

thank you.

may rebecca's lungs and entire body be clear of tumors
may she regain perfect eyesight
we offer gratitude for the continuing health of baby solas

in faith,