Before you read this post, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading the links below if you haven't already done so. Otherwise, you will not really have a basis for fully understanding this one. Several of my Active Rain friends have expressed sincere concern and interest about what is happening with my mother-in-law Jackie and my good friend David after reading these posts:
I wrote one previous update (Update on my mother-in-law Jackie and my friend David), but I thought the time would be right for another one.
As I wrote in the last update, Jackie had a scary reaction to her pain medication, which resulted in her complete loss of memory, then loss of speech. We had her admitted to Seton Hospital in central Austin, and they removed her from all of the medications. She spent about 10 days there, and she returned to our home about nine days ago. We have seen gradual improvement in her mental state, and much less confusion. It is much like a veil being slowly lifted from her mind. Yesterday, she still seemed to be hearing things incorrectly a little bit, but much better than before.
Today, something truly amazing happened. My wife wanted me to get up so that I could spend time with Jackie, because she was 100% herself mentally. Her appetite has improved as has her attention span. She is reading a magazine and watching TV right now for the first time since all of this started. We watched some episodes of "Monty Python" with her and the kids this morning and she laughed and joked with us. In fact, she was teaching my son some history and economics earlier. Overall, this is a huge blessing and there may be light at the end of the tunnel now after all.
Physically, she has a long way to go with her back, and she may have to eventually undergo another rather long surgery to get truly better since she can't walk yet. However, we have seen improvement on that front as well, as she seems to be in much less pain over the past couple of days. We really wanted to get her mind back before we made any decisions on additional medical procedures. Having mental clarity may help her to make some progress with physical therapy - time will tell on this.
I was shocked when she specifically requested Mexican food for dinner since she has been eating like a bird for weeks. Also, she read "Texas Monthly" magazine and marked two articles for me to read, which is the kind of thing that she has done for years. Overall, today really seemed like a miracle from God (answered prayers) and I hope to have more great news to report to you.
As for my friend David, he underwent a highly invasive and long cancer surgery a few days ago (about 10 hours). They removed his tongue and larynx (voicebox) completely. It remains to be seen if there is a way that he will eventually speak again, which made me cry more than once. However, David and his wife appear to have a good attitude about things, and I know that he will find a new way to communicate well if speech is not an option. His wife Jan mentioned that they may use sign language or even lip reading to communicate. There may also be some way for him to "speak", but it is too early to tell and they have other things to think about for now. (EDIT: The doctors said that there are still some cancer cells in his jaw that they couldn't remove, but they are hopeful that these may die due to lack of blood supply. Jan asked for prayer that this would not turn into a recurring tumor).
Jan's latest post to her blog indicated that she and David are both in good spirits overall, and I was touched when she wrote of the fact that she was happy that it was his voice that was taken instead of his hearing, sight, or mobility, because he still has his independence. Overall, their faith in God will likely help them through this tough time of transition. As I wrote previously, David is one of the most faithful and bold men that I have ever met, and that has nothing to do with cancer or his current condition. I will say that the last words I heard from him in his natural voice were, "I love you." What a terrific way for me to remember his voice.
If you are interested in praying, please pray for continued mental clarity and physical improvement for Jackie, and pray that David will be out of the hospital soon and back home with his loving wife as soon as possible. Also, they could obviously also use prayer for determining the best method of communication for him going forward, and for his overall physical stamina as he recovers from a really difficult surgery.
Thanks for taking time to read about these two loved ones of mine. I really appreciate it!