My daughter, Jennie, and her husband, Greg, have had an unbelievable four years (nobody could make all of this up!) … as briefly as possible, here is what has happened since 2011 ...
Greg was pastoring a little church in North Texas and Jennie worked part time at a bank …
In the spring of 2011, it was found that the melanoma (skin cancer) Greg had dealt with in 2005 (the year before they were married) had raised its ugly head and metastasized with two masses in his right lung and a larger one in a muscle in the back of his thigh. A benign mass on the front of his brain was also found. Since this was benign, the focus was on taking care of the cancer.
April, 2011, during their first visit to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, they were told Greg would face chemo and radiation … he told Jennie they probably wouldn’t be able to have children … Jennie said “I’m three weeks late … "
May, surgery to remove the two masses in his right lung. Greg was back in the pulpit two weeks after his lung surgery.
July, surgery to remove the mass in his thigh. After the two surgeries and rounds of chemo and radiation, those masses were taken care of… Recovery began and there continues be periodic checks to keep an eye on things.
December, 2011, their beautiful baby girl arrived … her name is Shiloh, which means His gift.
September, 2012, the little family moves from North Texas to the Houston area for a new job.
Summer, 2013, they are told Greg’s job is being eliminated in September. Jennie is working at a bank.
Greg is diagnosed with diabetes.
August, 2013, a huge surprise … they find they are expecting a second miracle baby!
One week later, Greg is unexpectedly scheduled for emergency brain surgery … the tumor first found in 2011 had grown to the point of threatening a stroke. Greg is home three days after the surgery and continues his course work for his MDiv (Masters of Divinity). His job and income end in September.
October, 2013, though the doctors thought the tumor had been removed completely, there was a sliver of it left and that was removed by gamma knife radiation.
November, 2013, they move a thousand miles north of Houston to Jennie’s home area. Jennie continues her job search which she began before the move, but no work is found … could it be because of the baby to come? Greg continues his studies and also is accepted to begin his first unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) which is required to be considered for a year-long residency for becoming a hospital chaplain. This unit runs from February through May of 2014.
March, 2014, beautiful baby Sophia arrives, another precious bundle of joy!
April, 2014, Greg's Dad is diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer.
May, 2014, Jennie is offered a job at a local bank. An answer to prayer for a job for sure, but difficult hours and very little time with their little ones.
Summer, 2014, Greg completes the requirements to obtain his MDiv. The hours involved with the CPE in addition to the health situations he faced really speak to the accomplishment it was for him to finish! He is also accepted into the residency program at a local hospital.
August, 2014, the year of residency begins for Greg. This requires generally 60 or more hours weekly. Greg enjoys this work, as he did his pastoral work. He is good with people and makes a difference in many lives.
August, 2014, Tests after yet another visit to the ER since this journey began, show that Greg is one step away from liver failure and his pancreas isn't much better.
December, 2014, Jennie begins a new job with better hours and a little more money, which helps a lot. Greg very proudly joins in the graduation ceremony for his MDiv on his 40th birthday … and he graduated with honors!
Which brings us to the reason for this request …
January 29, 2015, Jen, Greg and the girls are at Olive Garden when Greg unexpectedly had a seizure, fell to the floor and turned blue. Two nurses ‘happened’ to be there and started CPR. Several other patrons of the restaurant helped Jennie with the babies. Once in ER, he aspirated large amounts into his lungs which caused pneumonia and now they have also found he has MRSA in his lungs. Because of the cancer surgery in 2011, his right lung doesn't have the capacity of the left. The CT scan showed a mass on his brain, but an MRI was not able to be performed right away because of his critical condition.
February 2 (day 4 in ICU), they did the MRI, though he continues to have many difficulties with the pneumonia. The doctor said chances are the mass is another benign meningioma like the first one in 2013 … not another metastasis of his melanoma. Praise God! However, he still has much to overcome before leaving ICU.
To temper the great news from the MRI, Jennie also learned that because Greg would only be at the hospital for a year with the residency, he was not eligible for disability insurance.
Staying at the hospital day and night with very little away time leaves Jennie exhausted and vulnerable to migraines, and she misses her little girls greatly. Of course, all of this adds more stress for an already over-the-top stressful situation.
Their previous medical debt is large and Greg’s student loans are massive, these things along with everyday living expenses and whatever will be added with, at this point, an unknown number of days in ICU, then another brain surgery and further hospital stay make things really difficult. However, we are confident that God has a plan and He will see it through. We shall just continue to trust and will be Standing on the Promises.
For more detailed information on the above and to keep up with the medical updates, visit our CaringBridge site , or the website I created for them in 2012 … StandingonthePromises
We are so grateful for your consideration for this need ... from the bottom of our hearts we thank you.
May the LORD bless you and keep you always in His care,
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