Be Still My Soul - a second craniotomy on 11/9/23
Over the last 12 weeks, my oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has been monitoring an enhancement that has progressed for 3 consecutive MRI's. At my last appointment (10/4) the team recommended I undergo another craniotomy to remove a lesion and biopsy to determine what is growing - believing it likely contains new tumor. I'll have this procedure on Thursday 11/9.
The goal is to remove as many unhealthy cells as possible, complement with targeted radiation, and return to my maintenance immunotherapy routine in Germany post recovery. Thankfully, the procedure will be with the same neurosurgeon at MGH. She performed my first in February 2021 with great success.
In late September, my wife Kate underwent back surgery on 2 herniated discs. For most of the summer, she endured extreme pain making it difficult to sit upright, drive, and lift our boys. The procedure has proven successful as Kate has made great progress towards a full recovery. Still, we will have major limitations over the next month including lifting and driving restrictions, and the daily challenge of managing our 3 young, energetic boys.
In addition to praying for a successful and full resection through surgery, would you pray for us as we navigate the uncertainties and trials ahead. By God’s grace a friend felt compelled to provide live-in help for the next 4-6 weeks!
I feel prepared to walk this road after a season of meditating on Psalm 77. The week before my MRI, I posted a short reflection that I’d have a hard time putting to words now:
It was good for my heart to lament the depths of that childlike question. Pray for us to show patient compassion and understanding as we approach these discussions about surgery and cancer with our boys. Specifically, that they would know their heavenly Father in a deep and profound way as they witness the frailty of their earthly dad through surgery and recovery.
This fall, we participated in the PMC Kids Ride in Westwood, MA put on by world-class volunteers. We had a great crew, made some new friends and plenty of lasting memories!
While I worked at Northeastern University, I couldn't have anticipated the ways I'd be prepared for this season. After 10 years growing in my career, landing on disability has been humbling, but I walked away with tremendous support, friendships and network. Perhaps, the most unlikely is Ruthann. We sat across from one another for 5 years, eventually connecting through our shared faith. Recently, she’s accompanied me at appointments as a seasoned patient navigator. Come to find out, her family has poured their lives into pushing back the darkness of brain cancer - from Dana-Farber’s inception no less! What a providential grace my kind, patient and generous friend has been over the years.
Despite the recent circumstances, we had a great end of summer and transition to the school year. As the seasons change we are finding refuge and strength in the LORD who remains the same.
Be still, my soul;the Lord is on thy side;bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.Leave to thy God to order and provide;in every change He faithful will remain.Be still, my soul;thy best, thy heav'nly Friendthrough thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
- Kathrina von Schlegel