Thank you for all of your prayers and letters of encouragement. Each day, we are witnessing the power of prayer and the mercy from our Father. We are so grateful to be blessed with such wonderful family and friends.
On Feb 27th, JohnD had a severe attack of pain over his left side of his chest. We immediately rushed him to the hospital, very anxious that something was seriously wrong. On examination of him, the Dr could not find anything of concern, and suggested that x-rays be taken, to rule out possibilities of problems with the lungs. On the chest x-rays, the large tumor was easily visible, located behind the heart, above the spleen, and inside the lung area.
On the 4th of March, we were referred to a thorasic surgeon at the Zuidafrikaans Hospital in Pretoria. He placed JohnD on the theatre list for the next morning. He removed the tumor, and we then waited for five long days for the diagnosis. My sister, Claire, flew in from Sydney to come and help. She was an angel in all aspects. Her training as a ICU nurse was a tremendous source of comfort to us. While waiting for the results, JohnD had to be taken back into theatre a second time, as there was a build up of fluid on his lungs . While he was under, they did the lumber puncture - to establish the condition of his bone marrow.
After 11 days in ICU, he was dismissed from Hospital, and we came home for four short days. Ken then took JohnD back to Pretoria on the 19th of March to have a port-a-cath put in, and to start with the first session of Chemo. Claire returned to Sydney, and Jenny was able to come and spend a week with me too. She was such a help with both Micaela and JohnD, and also in the office!
Since the first round, he has lost his hair and had some rough days, but we moved on to the second round with more of an idea of what to expect which definitely helped. Another big blessing this time, was Samantha’s home. (She lives in Botswana currently) The house is located just 5 minutes from John D’s room, which as you can imagine, was ideal for us and our family. We were very comfortable. God has been extremely faithful in putting us in the proper hands. John D’s doctor has been tremendous. He has spent immeasurable amounts of time with us answering our questions and addressing our concerns and he is especially good with John D. I have never experienced a more attentive and caring doctor, truly a blessing to us.
After four days of all the various medications, it takes about 2-3 days for John D to start feeling somewhat normal (whatever that feels like). He has the common side effects that he battles with the most, but he is being strong. His friends and my cousins came to visit while he was in the hospital which is always a treat for him. He has gotten to have some play dates here at the house, where he still plays like a 9 year old boy, with a few precautions of course.
We are all doing a bit better as we settle in to a new routine. After giving up pets and making double sure not to spread any outside germs, we are beginning to be able to find a new normal. God has provided strength and a renewed peace of mind with time. For that we are grateful.We are all counting down, only 4 more rounds of treatment to go, and we trust that this battle will be finished. We trust that it has already been fought and won; we just have to make it to the end of this road.
The ranch is showing signs of the change of season, with winter approaching. We are delighted to have four new baby buffalo, and we are looking forward to the arrival of our first hunters from the USA this coming Sunday. We have BIZ with us from the US at the moment, for a month, and she is a tremendous help. She arrived while we were in Pretoria, so that was a lovely surprise for both children. She spent three months with us last year, and is like one of the family. The children continue diligently with their schooling at Dad & Mom’s, providing a much needed haven and sanctuary for them.
Thank you again and God bless Love Ken, Jo, Micaela, JohnD, Dennis & Carol