Friday, October 10, 2008

Come soon Jesus

UPDATE: The pathology report showed that the tumor was cancerous. I haven't spoken to Justin, but our uncle said that he is in good spirits and positive. He was released from the hospital today and is going to be staying at a rehab center in Jacksonville -- I don't know for how long.

I think it's really poopy that my 19 year old cousin has cancer. But I KNOW that God is bigger than this and no matter what, I pray that He will be glorified through this. Justin is a fighter and a survivor... and God is even stronger than He is.

Please continue to keep him in your prayers.

UPDATE: Yesterday morning, Justin had PT and he walked a few steps with a walker. He's still weak, of course, but he is able to move his legs. The PT said that he should be walking like normal in 6 weeks and make a full recovery as far as his motor abilities go. PRAISE THE LORD!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!! Thank you Jesus!

He was in much better spirits yesterday than he had been on Friday when we left. He thanked me so many times for coming down and being there with him and apologized profusely for his attitude on Friday (which of course I told him was understandable and I didn't feel like he needed to apologize for it). A bunch of friends from school were in his room playing Apples to Apples with him and he had a couple friends coming up from Jacksonville and then our uncle and cousin were driving up too.

Now we're just waiting on that pathology report... Which, at the time I had talked to him, he still didn't even know there was a possibility of cancer... But if it is, I feel quite sure that he is going to fight it and fight it hard and win. This kid kicks a$$ and God well... he kicks bigger a$$.

My cousin is 19 years old and goes to school in Savannah. About two months ago, he started having some back pain and went to the doctor about it. They did some x-rays and didn't really see anything and told him that it was probably just arthritis. Well, earlier this week he noticed that his legs wouldn't work right, but he could still walk and things were fine. Thursday morning he woke up and couldn't walk. His roommate took him to the ER and they did an MRI and a CT scan. They discovered that he had a tumor on his spine around T3 or T4 and wanted to get him in for surgery yesterday, but because he had already eaten they decided to wait until this morning.

I decided to go down there to be with my cousins and grandparents because Kayla, his sister, is only 16 and really young and my grandparents are completely and totally incompetent and basically Kayla was having to be the adult. For those of you that don't know the background info, my aunt was a druggie and was killed 5 1/2 years ago in a car accident, and my uncle has been in and out of prison (like 8 or 9 times) for their entire life and is currently in prison for violating parole... again. So, it's not a good situation to begin with.

Anyway, I decided that I needed to go down because well... Kayla and Justin needed support and Kayla was having to be the adult for everyone and that just isn't a good thing. So, my dad met me in Columbia and we went down together.

We got there and Justin was in surgery. They anticipated that it would take 8 hours, but it only took about 3. The surgeon came out and talked to us. Everything went well in surgery and they were able to remove the entire tumor. However.....

During surgery they tested the motor and sensory neurons to see how they were responding. After removing the tumor, the sensory neurons were responding well and had actually improved, but there was no response from the motor neurons. He can move his toes, but he was able to do that before surgery.

Based on the MRI/ CT they thought that the tumor was benign, but after the surgery the physician was saying that they aren't sure at this point and he said something about "where it might have originated from" and he said that it has some "characteristics" and then he just kind of stopped and said that at this point, they aren't able to determine anything and we should have results from pathology on Tuesday or Wednesday, but it didn't sound promising.

Justin is in the neuro ICU tonight because of the weakness in his legs and they wanted to be able to keep a watch on him. He starts PT tomorrow and should be moved from the Neuro ICU.

He was very distraught because he thought that the surgery would happen and then everything would be ok and he'd be up and walking and you know... fine. As far as I know, he isn't even aware yet of the possibility of cancer, but he is very very aware of the fact that he may not ever walk again. He is very pessimistic about all of this.

I can't imagine what it must be like to be 19 years old and one day everything is fine and the next day wake up and be paralyzed from the waist down. But even more, I can't imagine going through this without the hope that comes from having a relationship with Jesus. Justin isn't a Christian and my prayer is not only that he will be healed but in the process that Jesus Christ will be lifted up and Justin will come to know Him and have a relationship with Him.

Please continue to keep him in your prayers and his sister as well. She is having a hard time dealing with all of this and she is being so amazingly strong and mature about it all... but she's still just a little girl. These kids have been through more in their <20 years than anyone should EVER have to go through in a lifetime.

It's just not fair, but I serve a God who is bigger than any of this and has the power to make the lame walk and the blind see and the deaf hear. I serve a God who can turn cold hearts of stone into warm, beating vital hearts.

Thank you all for your prayers. I'll keep you updated.
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