Thursday, February 19, 2009

An Update on my Mom

For those who read my blog and don’t know, my Mom is not doing very well. Back in September she had surgery to remove a tumor on her uterus. That tumor turned out to be cancerous and had spread to the rectum and the bladder. So, what the doctors thought would be a relatively quick one-hour procedure, turned into a very difficult, six-hour surgery. During the surgery, my Mom had a stroke that left her partially disabled. As she recovered from the surgery, we found that she would never be the same again. She could barely move her right arm and had great difficulty speaking and swallowing. I don’t think she ever recognized me the week following her surgery.

Through a long process of therapy, she did recover the ability to talk some, albeit with much difficulty and never able to sustain long sentences. She learned how to swallow liquids and soft foods such as Jell-O and milkshakes. She even regained enough strength to use a walker. That progress allowed her to finally go home after 2 plus months in the hospital and rehab center.

Going home was a great accomplishment but it also marked the peak of her recovery. After getting home, she lost all motivation to continue with the stress, pain, and frustration of rehab. Her frail condition did not allow her to start chemotherapy and it appears that the cancer that the surgeons could not remove has started to grow and attack her body again. All these things have caused my Mom to be basically bed-ridden for several months now. She sleeps nearly all day and of course cannot go to church.

My parents are members at Heritage Bible Church in Riverside, California. HBC is a small congregation. The church has been around for a while but it is essentially equivalent to a church plant. Since my Mom cannot go to church, the church has decided to come to her. Each Sunday after the morning worship service, the entire church comes over to my parent’s house and sings hymns for my Mom. It doesn’t take long. They only sing a few hymns. But the impact and blessing has been tremendous. My family and I flew out to California to see Mom this past week and enjoyed the chance to participate in this ministry. Here is a picture.

Our trip to California marked the first time in many years that the whole family could be together. The highlight was getting Mom out of bed for the first time in weeks for a family picture. We praise the Lord for the blessings of this trip and the wonderful memories it will afford us in the future. Outside of a miracle, this was the last time for my family to be with her this side of glory.