December 30, 2008

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I have been wanting to take the time to make a post to show all the changes Jack has gone through physically since March of 2005 when he was diagnosed with a baseball sized brain tumor. His body has been through so much, his spirit has stayed strong except for when the medicine took over last year while he was on steroids. He is a tough young man.

This first picture was taken right before he was diagnosed. He was in the last 90 days of his kindergarten year at school.


I took this picture several weeks after his brain surgery. He was in the midst of posterior fossa syndrome at this time. He couldn't speak or eat which is why he has the feeding tube. We stayed at Our Children's House in Dallas for about a month until Jack could eat again.


This was taken while Jack was in chemo. He had had his port inserted by this time, you can see the scar below his collar bone, and the scar on his head where the shunt was put in for a couple of weeks after his brain surgery. (this pic doesn't show the shunt area). He is also dealing with ptosis at this time which is the name for eye lid droop. The chemo causes alot of muscles to just kind of drop out and not work properly. Jack's flat feet got flatter, and his eyes drooped. The eyes went back to normal, but Jack's feet are flatter than an inverted pancake today. Can you say arch support? ; )


This picture was taken while we were in Orlando, Florida on Jack's Make A Wish Trip to Disneyworld. We stayed at a great Make A Wish property called Give Kids The World Village. It was a dream trip for Jack and my other two kids. What a blessing.


After Jack's Gamma Knife Radiation treatment in March of 2007, six weeks after the procedure, Jack's brain started dangerously swelling from all the radiation. His face became paralyzed and after taking him to the local ER and then transported to Dallas Children's he was put on high doses of steroids. The steroids quickly helped the brain swelling get under control, but wreaked havoc with his physical, emotional and mental self. You can see the difference physically, what it did to him mentally was cause him to turn within himself. He could not interact with others easily. He lived in a little shell for almost a year. Books were his refuge. During this time he had his 2nd eye surgery to correct the eye from turning in which was caused by the brain swelling, and he underwent Hyperbaric treatments at the hospital 5 days a week for about 3 months each morning. The Hyperbaric was to help the healing happen quickly and efficiently in his brain.


And now here is the picture I took a month or so ago for our family's Christmas Card. He is back to himself again, still has right side facial paralysis, we are continuing to ask God to heal that, but we are overwhelmed that Jack is doing so well and couldn't be more content to look upon him with amazed and enamoured eyes just grateful that we can walk through our days together.


Jack has touched many lives with his courageous spirit, not the least of all mine. Seeing how Jack faced 3 years of treatments and an unknown future with a smile, it has allowed me to grab onto life and face each day with a smile and a desire to make the most of each day given. I am grateful for all the prayers of our friends, family and blog readers who have been our greatest cheerleaders. God heard each prayer, and we are eternally grateful for your part in Jack's life.

11 comments:

Karen said...

Tammy, This is such a beautiful love story of hope and courage. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Karen

Anonymous said...

A great recounting of the faithfulness of the Lord. Thanks for the reflections. DeLynda

Holly Packer said...

What a precious post!! Praise God for the healing He has brought to Jack!!!

Linda said...

You have, as usual, done a great job of telling Jack's story. He is a remarkable young man from a remarkable family! Praise God for his healing.

JoAnn said...

I love seeing God in your pictures. Thank you for revisiting such a difficult and painful time for your family. My fav. picture? The last one of Jack's beautiful face!!! Love,
Jo Ann

Michelle said...

Brings tears to my eyes. He is a trooper and here for a reason. God Bless and Happy New Year!

Susan said...

Inspirational. God is so faithful in all things. We love you.

ChristyCate said...

What a beautiful reflection that inspires for the coming year! With God, 2009 shall be nothing but fine! oh... and happy birthday, Derek!

Kevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

What a journey! Thank you for sharing, Tammy, and although I know you would not have chosen this path you and your family have been on, it's the difficult quests that expose heroes and inspire common folk.
Praise God for His amazing creation of the human body and for healing.

mad4books said...

Thank you for this post. God bless Jack...a modern-day David who took on Goliath--and WON!