This past week, a few people had asked me for updates on my good friend David and on my mother-in-law Jackie, based on the previous posts I have written about each of them.
Before proceeding, and if you have time, I would recommend reading these past posts in order to better understand what I am talking about here (they are in chronological order, and none of them are terribly long):
Jackie remains in our home, and she is making great strides lately (no pun intended). She has begun to walk a bit more, and each day seems to bring incremental improvement. The other day she walked about 50 steps at once with the use of her walker and with very minimal assistance. She told me that she didn't experience ANY pain during her walk, which is a huge improvement.
She often uses her wheelchair or a rolling office chair to come into the kitchen now and get food or just to hang around with us. A few days ago she cooked a big meal complete with salad and side dishes for us. The kids enjoy having her around, because she is always willing to talk and teach them something. Her mental state is terrific and she hasn't had any further problems in that arena. Overall, I am hoping that she will continue to exercise with the goal of walking more over time.
I stopped by to see David this evening for the first time in awhile, and he was pretty tired when I saw him. He looked pretty rough in my opinion, but it had been a long day for him, according to Jan. His neck was swollen pretty badly from a recent surgery to remove some wires that they had to use previously to hold a flap in place in his throat. He was having a difficult time hearing me even when I felt like I was almost yelling, because he has fluid in his ears, according to his recent doctor visit. Jan told me that he has lost over 100 pounds since this ordeal began about a year ago.
While I was there, he communicated with me in several ways, by writing, some lip reading, and even a bit of sign language. I spent about 30-45 minutes with him, then I talked to Jan for about an hour before I left.
They are trying to keep their heads above water financially, since David did not have health insurance and he is clearly unable to work for now. I can't even imagine how much the medical bills will be for his treatment. If you are reading this, and you have any ideas that you would like for me to share with them about what David can do (perhaps from home) to earn money and have some livelihood, they are all ears. I sincerely wish that I had more money so that I could share it with them. They do have some family resources (mainly siblings) who have been helping out.
On the positive side of things, he walked around the house a good deal today, and he is trying to slowly regain the strength in his legs. He is able to eat a little bit of food now (rather than being fed exclusively through a tube in his stomach) and he has a small amount of taste from the taste buds in his throat. He is cancer-free (or at least for the moment), and he has the love of a wonderful wife, extended family and many good friends to carry him through this, along with his exceptionally strong faith.
If you feel led to pray for either or both of these special people in my life, they can surely use it. I hope that Jackie continues on this upward trend, and I hope that David is able to get more motivated and up on his feet more often as that will speed his healing process. To be honest, tonight was really tough for me, since I David is one of my longtime heroes and I can't stand to see him in this condition. I thank you for taking the time to read this.