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Tuesday, 22 March 2005

Isabel's surgery date

Just a quick follow-up…

First of all, thank you to all of you for your amazing encouragement. I am truly blessed.

Secondly, the meeting with the surgeon went very well. James and I were able to clarify on certain things. The procedure will be 3 hours and the incision will only be a couple of inches. The only major risk will be when they sever the blood vessels between the stomach and the spleen in order for them to manipulate the stomach. Otherwise, she will be right back to normal within a week (hospital stay is 6 days). I feel a lot more at peace with our decision and I look forward to Isabel gaining some proper weight. I have also talked with other parents whose children went through this procedure and there was definitely a consensus on the feeling of “I wish I’d done it sooner”, so who knows.

Surgery date has been set for May 11, 2005 at 12:00 pm.

I will make a point of keeping you all updated on the outcome. Thank you for your prayers and for being part of this journey with me. God bless you all in your own journeys and know that my prayers always seek you out!

Thursday, 10 March 2005

Another request for your prayers

Blessed family and friends,

It has been far too long since I have written and already relief fills me as I type these very words…

I’m sorry to come to you only when I need prayers. I want you to know that I pray for all my loved ones every night and thank God for all of you. It is much like a gift to me for it is almost like an invitation for memories to remind me of how you have entered my life, and my heart.

Many things have happened since I last wrote. Too many to delve into details but the bigger ones being:
- James and I now share 50-50 custody and an undying love for our two girls and a friendship that has truly stood the test of time.
- Mélina continues to fill my days with amazement at her loving spirit and talents. She is growing quickly and makes me laugh with her sense of humour!
- I started a new job as a Program Manager with Junior Achievement.
- We got a ShiTzu puppy named Tobe.
- Isabel started kindergarten. The day was very moving for me as the children in Isabel’s class began to chant her name as I wheeled her in front of the classroom. I felt like Moses parting the sea of children as they made way to welcome this special being. They surrounded her and gentle hands touched her face as Isabel smiled at all of them. It felt like a sacred moment between angels and I almost felt guilty for witnessing something so simple, so pure and unspoken.
- Isabel developed asthma.
- Isabel has gone blind in her left eye.
- Isabel has been growing less and less tolerant of food and has thus lost weight consistently these last several months.

The latter is why I write to you now. Isabel now weighs less than 2 years ago (20 lbs) despite the fact that she has grown in length. I am frustrated, tired and scared. Manitoba Home Nutrition Program has monitored her closely and tomorrow we meet with a surgeon. A Fund Placation is inevitable. Without it, Isabel will continue to vomit and grow weaker and weaker. She is already skin and bones and has to work very hard to fight infections. They will want to do the surgery within a month or two and she will be hospitalized for a week.

The procedure itself lasts two hours and involves opening the chest cavity to access the stomach. Stomach tissue will then be stretched to overlap the esophagus creating a barrier and preventing stomach content from coming back up. She will no longer vomit and choke, which used to cause infections in her lungs.

Isabel has been rushed to the resuscitation room on several occasions this last year and a half. I am more aware now than ever that her little body is fragile despite her strong spirit… and yet she never shows frustration at the lack of parallelism between the two.

I ask for prayers of wisdom. We have been asked several times to discuss medical intervention and palliative procedures. I cannot ever look doctors in the eye without bursting into tears… especially when Isabel is in my arms. Would it mean giving up on her or would it mean letting her go? This is an internal struggle that breaks my spirit.

I know that Isabel’s time here is limited. We have been told that life expectancy could be up to age 12 and that children like Isabel often go in their sleep, a final seizure in which they do not return. I only pray that I am there, that I get to say goodbye and thank her for coming to us. Isabel was born, much like a sacrificial lamb, to teach so many of us to value the circumstances we find ourselves in for they can never break the spirit. She has touched so many lives without ever saying a word, and so many people know that toothy grin of hers. Children always ask for her and they always miss their “Lizabel”.

Mélina was born and touched certain people’s lives who were questioning being here at all. I believe that she saved their lives. Her independent spirit used to make parenting seem quite challenging at times, but I see now why she was blessed with such inner strength. Mélina has had to loose much parental time and rather than being resentful, she includes herself in what needs to be done for Isabel. Her tenderness and love for her little sister, reminds me to find your place in everything you do.

Who would I have been without my two children? What life would there have been to live without the love they awoke in me?

Blessed beings. Their hidden wings are not hidden from me. I know Mélina will be here a very long time, but I can’t help the feeling that Heaven’s song calls to Isabel. Sometimes I fear that she is waiting for me to embark upon a degree in medicine or food nutrition. Sometimes I fear meeting what she came here to do, for I do not want to let her go. But I honour her mission, whatever it is, and am glad to have those around me who remind me to be strong in my own path.

Yes, it has been far too long. I can now cry as I take the time to acknowledge the path to-date and the ones who have encouraged our every step.

Thank you for your presence and thank you for loving my children through your prayers. I appreciate those of you who contacted me to remind me to get back on the wagon with these updates! I will try not to use “life” as an excuse not to sit down and write again because it is “life” that finally comes back to me through this very outreach.

God bless you all.