How does one begin to tell your child that her life is going to change in a way that no parent wants to venture into. Our job is to protect our children. Yet you realize you are faced with a job you do not relish. We are faced with the job of telling our precious daughter Brooke that although she has lived 30 years with a painful, chronic, debilitating disease she now faces an even tougher enemy.
Though I walk through this valley, I must remember that when bringing the news to her it must be truthful. There will be tears, disbelief, confusion and many questions, ones I know I do not want to answer, we cannot deny her the truth. She deserves to know in part what lies ahead even though I do not quite know all that is ahead. She must prepare, do what she needs to do, say what she needs to say,partake of life to the fullest as this wretched diagnosis will allow her to. She must make the choice even though every fiber in me says protect her,shield her, guard her every moment. This is one time we must walk through that valley with her.
Brooke was just diagnosed with a severe case of pulmonary hypertension in both lungs. There is no cure. There is no medicine to take to improve it at this time. She must be on oxygen 24/7 to bring her relief and make her life bearable for a time. Only God knows any type of timetable, but the doctors, although extremely kind and considerate, know that the outcome does not look promising. They will assist in allowing her to live as comfortably as possible while they scour the globe looking for something promising. They will put in every effort to try to hold back the inevitable this unforgiving disease will bring.
There is no magic pill, no surgery to correct this except maybe a heart lung transplant, no exercise or diet that will take this disease away. And so now we will wait, we will watch, we will hope, we will sing, we will laugh, we will enjoy each and every moment.
It came as such a surprise. Those months and years of her complaining of her chest hurting and feeling heavy. It is here and it comes with a vengeance. As I watch her breathing so differently from just 7 days ago I am amazed at how quickly things have changed for her. She is home, on oxygen. We thought the wheelchair was cumbersome , now there will be an oxygen tank attached to it with tubing around her face to bring pure clean air.
We have told her this is severe, there is no cure. We have told her this will not stop us from helping her to enjoy life to the fullest. It will take more ingenuity, more strength, more stamina, more leaning on God for every minute of every day, more helping hands, but we will do it for her and with her.
I do not want to walk through this valley. I want to flee from it. As I write this, even the word "flee" does not express the mother urge in me that wants to whisk her away to that place of sugar and spice and all things nice. But it is not to be. So I will take her hand in mine,holding on to it tightly and step by step we will walk together through this valley.
Though we walk through the valley, we also remember the faithfulness of God. We do not understand all this but we do know who holds us in the palm of His hand. We do know where our hope comes from. We do know His mercies are new every morning. We are thankful we know HIM.