Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy News!

Well, it seems like this is the first time I have been able to report really good news. The surgery was very quick (I think less than two hours), so I feared that it was like last time where they got in there and realized they couldn't tell brain tissue from tumor. So, I was bracing myself to start crying again but I ended up hugging our surgeon, who was very sweet and gave me a nice big hug right back. He said they were able to get "quite a lot out" but the part around the brain stem stayed in there. So, they were able to relieve the pressure in his brain and even free the facial nerve that was wrapped up in the tumor, which is truly amazing. This is Gillian reporting, so in my layman's interpretation I might be messing things up...but I think it was the nerve that affected the movement on the left side of his face.
Immediately after surgery we went down to the ICU and Joseph's condition was astounding. He was talking and asking for me and Daddy, for a juice box, to sit up etc. We gave him a cup with a straw to drink some juice, but he immediately told us, "That's not a juice box!" I've never been so happy to hear him bossing us around again. Soon, we had his orange juice AND his juice box and he sat up several times to take sips. I was really amazed b/c he didn't seem this good after the last surgery. It also appeared to me that his left eye was shutting more in sync with his right eye, so maybe that is related to the nerve they were able to free up. Up till now his left eye was not responding the same as his right eye, which was worrisome since he needs to be able to protect his eye.
It has been wonderful to have our family here. Holly is having fun with her cousin in Memphis and Mimi is here taking care of her while we stay in the hospital. We are so relieved that the surgery went so well. Thank you all for praying for us and for Joseph. This little boy must be the most prayed for boy in the world! Please keep praying for his healing, and that he will be more comfortable and not in pain. It is great that he is expressing his needs, but it is really heart-breaking to not be able to make the pain go away. Overall, we are so happy with the surgery and with the amazing care he has received here so far. All of our doctors and nurses have been really amazing.
Ksusha, thank you for that sweet story of your friend's tumor. Keep praying for a miracle for Joseph. Love to all of you!

105 comments:

Sally said...

We've been praying daily, especially today. Thanks for the report.
Sally & Wes

suzanne morris said...

Praise God for successful surgery without negative side effects! You've been in my thoughts and prayers all day long. We'll keep praying and checking for updates, while you soldier on and work to get that precious boy back on his feet again. We love you guys!
Suzanne

Laurie said...

This is such wonderful news and prayers continue for Josephs miracle of complete healing. You must be so relieved and all I can say is that God is so wonderful. I hope you get sweet sleep tonight and Joseph does too. Praying for a speedy recovery and praising God that his facial responses are improving. Thanks so much for the update. I've been checking all day!!

Love, Laurie in Ca.

sj said...

I am so happy gillo. Bella-Claire and Eli jumped up and down when I told them that his surgery went so well. I am so thankful that you finally had some good news!!!
miss you. Hopefully we can chat soon and see when I can come visit.
I LOVE YOU!!

paula said...

Praying and praising God for little victories along the way!!!! You are always in our thoughts and prayers both in our home and at Brentwood Academy!!!
Paula Wilson

GRV said...

Thank you Heavenly Father for taking care of this precious child!! Please comfort and care for him and if in Your will please heal this child!! We give you the praise and glory for we know you are our Ever Present Hope. We know you are a God of miricles and we thank you!!
Please comfort his mother and father and the rest of his family, give them the Peace that only comes from You, the Peace that passes all understanding!!
Thank you Jesus for loving us!!
Greg and Janna Vaughan, Bolivar

Anonymous said...

Praise God! We are so, so happy to hear that the surgery went so well. Rob and I are planning to visit you guys sometime this weekend- we are here to do whatever you need.

Love,
Rob and Sara

Anonymous said...

Once again tears flow down my cheeks, but this time for joy! We're so thankful for this good news! I got to talk to Holly today as she answered Norma's phone twice without Norma ever knowing I called! She was talking away! So cute! We love you! Mel

Sam said...

Gill and Al,
what an answer to prayer! I can't wait to see you again soon!

Sam

Anonymous said...

Praise God! Alleluia! - Jo

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is such wonderful news! I'm so glad that the surgery went well.. Continuing to pray for a miracle for Joseph.
love,
Allison O.

Anonymous said...

What an answer to prayer today was! It was good to see everyone and give all a hug, and to know that God was glorified today! You will be constantly in our thoughts and prayers. By the way, Allen isn't it nice to have such an old and wise big sister around? Happy birthday Jennifer! Love, Martha and Karl

Mary Vagnoni said...

Wonderful news,the power of prayer! We won't stop now!

Chas and Catherine said...

We are so excited to hear the wonderful report! We will keep praying!

Chas and Catherine

Audrey said...

AMEN!

courtney said...

Awesome!! We having been praying for you guys all day. Praying for continued healing and wisdom for the doctors. Love to all of you!

Robert, Courtney, Hannah and Emma Grace

Jaime said...

Praise Him for this wonderful news! I pray for comfort and rest for Joseph and for mom and dad. I pray that Your love and peace will surround this family.

andrew said...

We are so glad to hear the good news... thanks for updating us. Y'all are continually in our thoughts and prayers.
-jane and andrew

Lynn T said...

That is great news Gill and Allen. We are thrilled. I love hearing the story about the juice box! We miss you all. Tell Joseph we are so proud of him. We will continue praying.

Love you,

Lynn

Wrights said...

Praise the Lord for happy news!!! We will continue to pray for Joseph's complete healing and for a quick recovery and that he'll be comfortable. Thank you for keeping everyone updated.

Jai said...

God is AWESOME! Yes He IS, Yes, He IS! Continuing in prayer for Joseph and your family.

Rebecca said...

Great news. Hooray! :)

Rebecca

Rebecca said...

Great news. Hooray! :)

Rebecca

Anonymous said...

We're so happy for your family! Thank you, Lord, for encouragement for you all! We will continue to pray for Joseph and for your family - for healing, strength and understanding of God's abiding love!

Chad, Jennifer, Amelia and Benjamin

Craig and Gwen said...

Horray!! I can picture him demanding the juice box right now and it makes me smile. LOVE YA'LL!

Gwen

Margaret said...

What an uplifting update! You were way, way overdue for some good news! I'm so relieved that today went smoothly and Joseph's recovery already looks promising. Now we can give thanks for a good today and prayers for good tomorrows.
Sweet dreams tonight to everyone- Margaret

beth and bj said...

It was wonderful to talk to you today and know that you are surrounded with such good support and love. We miss you and are jumping up for joy with you over the successful surgery!!! Thank you Lord for answered prayers =)


Logan gave us the biggest smile when I told him that the doctors got a lot of the bad stuff out of Joseph's head. His comment was, "now he can come home and play with me and jump around?"

Melissa P. said...

yay! praise god for a succesful surgery and good news! continuing to pray for all of you!

Kellie said...

We are all smiling back at you!! Such sweet news and lots of prayers for you all tonight!
The Hutchins family

melanie said...

so glad things went so well! i know many people are praying - many more than just those who leave comments. I'm going to add a link on my blog to help further spread your prayer support.

Melanie (I heard about you through Oasis at church)

Heinzfeet said...

Praise the Lord! Man, we're pumped! Love you! It was so great spending time with you over the holidays!!! See you soon...I'm heading to Memphis as soon as you need a running buddy!
Ash

Boothe Farley said...

just want you to know we have not forgotten you! God stirs you in our thoughts frequently. sellers prays every single night for joseph and "for a piece of him." i, again, have no idea what that means, but in my heart, i interpret it as asking the Father to give joseph - and you, his precious parents - a peace. so thankful the surgery went well.

blessings... and prayers for a joyful, incredible '08...

conor and boothe

Anonymous said...

This is truly great news---a mighty miracle. We will continue to pray for healing and for peace.

"You are worthy our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." Rev. 4:11

Continuing to pray,
Annette

Anonymous said...

PRAISE THE LORD!!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!!

Anonymous said...

Our God is so faithful - we praise Him for this good news and ask for continued blessings for you all!

carriehayes said...

awe... thank you LORD! what great news! thank you for the update! we will continue to pray!

Jennifer said...

I love that Eli & Bella jumped up and down with the good news.

I love Logan's response to it.

I love that little Sellers prays for "a piece of Joseph" and that it makes sense to her.

All these prayers and excitement from the little children warms my heart. Its like there is this huge team of kids working together, coming before God on Joseph's behalf. Its amazing, really. This whole network of tiny people in communion with Christ.

So glad I could share today with you guys. So glad that today is happy day. The good news is the best b-day gift I could ever get...

So whats with the old lady jokes about my age, Karl?!?

amber said...

WooooHOOO! We are so thankful and rejoicing with you all! You've been on our hearts all through the last few days. Yesterday, we were driving through some enormous mountains here in Arizona and were reminded that the same God who created the beauty around us is the same God that is intimately involved with Joseph's and your needs. It moved us to pray again. Thank you for the update. We are not going to give up in praying for a complete healing as well as continued strength as you go through this difficult situation. We are praying for the pain to be eased as well!

God Bless you!
The Hess Family

Jean Joiner said...

what good news about the surgery and his recovery so far. we're praying for you guys and miss you!

sj said...

I've writeen this before, but it was right before a new update so I think most people missed it.
I was wondering if you bloggers who read all these responses, would email me so that I could have you contact info. It would be nice to be able to communicate if we needed to plan something for Gillian and Allen.
thanks sj
lexvols@yahoo.com
sj

Anonymous said...

God is GOOD!
Praying in Charlotte,
Chap and Jane

Chloe said...

That is the best news I have heard this christmas! I am so happy for joseph & for all of you who have been through this. Love you loads Gill! X Chloe

Anonymous said...

OH, this is such a welcome report!Thank you so very much for keeping us posted; we know that you must be overwhelmed emotionally and physically. Joseph and all of the family will continue to be in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.
Sending our love and positive energy to Memphis.
Jeanie & Paul

Jeanne said...

So, so thankful to hear the good news! We've been praying, praying, praying...what a wonderful lift of spirit to hear such a positive answer to prayers for good/effective surgery and early recovery. Will continue to in prayer for very good recovery so that next treatments can get started and that the Lord would powerfully use those therapies to completely heal Joseph! Thank you for the good report and for keeping us informed...I've become compulsive about checking the site frequently. :-) Love, Jeanne (for all the Fell's. Cate's very good about praying for Joseph :-))

katy said...

whoohooooo!!!!!

Betsy Huey said...

What wonderful news! Praise God!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jesus for giving Joseph a successful surgery. Thank you for guiding the surgeon so clearly. Please grant Joseph relief from his discomfort and peace and rest for Allen and Gillian. Amen

Anonymous said...

Gillian & Allen - what a great report! We are so thankful that the Lord made the tumor distinguishable. We will continue to pray for Joseph's recovery and healing, wisdom for his medical team, and strength and rest for you. We love you - Scott & linda

Jan Collier said...

Allen and Gillian,

I am about to hit the floor with thanksgiving for this news! I rejoice with you and am so thankful that things went well. I'll keep praying, and GOD BLESS YOU and ALL who are preparing the way for you and making your path easier to travel...

The Johnson Kids said...

Praise God!!! I have everyone I know with him on their prayer list. Will keep praying for him and you and for healing!

John and Sue Burch said...

Allen and Gillian - Know of our continued prayers for little Joseph. Praise the Father - the Great Physician for seeing him through this last surgery well. And giving you all much to rejoice about. We trust that you will see many ways He takes care of you and Joseph and Holly over the next days. Blessings - John and Sue Burch

Ann said...

That's brilliant news we're so hppay for you love from all Ann

maija said...

Every naptime and bedtime when I put Jane down, Jane and I pray together for Joseph. Our hearts are with you and we will keep praying. I am so heartened to hear this good news.
love, Maija and family

carolyn & dave said...

Look at this...
1. That God would give the surgeon wisdom and precision and safety.. DONE
2. That there would be mimimal negative effects on Joseph's nerves from the surgery...DONE
3. That they would be able to take a lot of the tumor out safely...DONE
4. That Joseph would recover as well as he did from the last surgery and be in mimimal pain...DONE

What a mighty and loving God we serve! He answered all your requests. There is nothing God cannot do. He truly is our saving Lord. Dave and I think about you all constantly. You're in our hearts and on our minds. We love you!

Carolyn & Dave

Carrigan Family said...

Praising Him for this wonderful news!!

Dinah said...

I am praying at all hours of the day...even the middle of the night when I wake up with a hot flash! Thanks for keeping everyone updated on the latest progress. God is mighty!
Dinah Freeman

Laura R said...

Praise God!! I am so thrilled to hear the surgery went so well and has had some positive effects immediately. Of course we will continue to pray for Joseph's recovery from surgery and the rest of his treatment.

With love, Laura and Dan

sj said...

Thanks Carolyn for posting that. It is encouraging to see how God has answered specific requests. It is sometimes hard to see and feel God amidst all this pain, yet this blog reminds me often that He is faithful and still working even when I don't feel Him. Thankfully his realness isn't dependent on my feelings!!! Praying specifically that Joseph is being relieved from any pain or discomfort he is in.
Miss you all terribly.

Melissa said...

We are friends of Matt & Lynn in Tuscaloosa and we have been lifting your family up in our prayers along with our Riverwood Church family. Our daughter who is almost 4 reminds us to pray for him each night. Very exciting news!

Much Love,
Tim & Melissa

the harmans said...

yay!!! what encouraging news! we're praying for a miracle in johnson city!

lindsey and andy harman

Kara said...

What wonderful news! Praise God for that! I will continue to pray for healing and keep us posted on the progress! Prayers from OK going up for you!

Kara
sahm22boys.blogspot.com

Lisa Allen said...

We are praying for Joseph, and will keep praying for him. We're also praying for you, Allen and Gillian. We can't even begin to imagine the range of emotions you are experiencing. We are so happy that the surgery went well, and we are glad to hear he was "bossing you around" so soon after surgery. Our 3 year old bosses us around too. I keep reminding myself that it's music to my ears, and I know Joseph's sweet voice is music to your ears. We miss you in Atlanta!

Love, Bill, Lisa, and Tripp Allen

trmills said...

woohoo! We are rejoicing with you!

Jody (atlanta) said...

SUCH FABULOUS NEWS!! We love you all and will keep praying. If you need anything done in Atlanta house or area call me....happy to help. We are praying things continue to be 'happy news'.

Katie said...

Praise God! I was so happy to hear the surgery went well. What JOY! You are all lifted up in prayer everyday my friends... will continue pressing in and asking God for a miracle! Give Joe and Holly a hug for me :)
My heart is with you all,
Katie Lazas

susan said...

Yes, thank you Carolyn!! SJ bringing tears to my eyes. Oh, what a gift that His love and faithfulness doesn't depend on what we feel or don't feel. Praising God for bring me years ago to be a part of this family. I love you all so much!!! Joseph thinking about you all day. Praying for rest for the journey,

Susan

Tracey said...

What a joy to see such a happy post from you guys!! We are so thankful that the surgery was a major success and that Joseph has had many improvements already - wow! Truly a Christmas gift:) We continue to pray for you guys daily (and miss you lots).
Love from the Shells

Kelly said...

I didn't realize Joseph was having surgery because I had not read the blog recently, but I did pray for a miracle for Joseph this morning, and I am so thankful to see that his surgery went well! God is Good! You all will continue to be in my prayers! Kelly Lathem

Amanda said...

Oh I'm so glad to hear how good things went. Audrey Finney let me know about you and we have been praying for your family. We will continue to pray for little Joseph...I can't imagine what you have been through but we all know that God know exactly what you are feeling and is always with you!!
The McKee's

Michael said...

Praise God that Joseph was able to have more surgery on the tumor and that it went well. Praying that God will do everything to kill and destroy the tumor...not a very sophisticated prayer, but that is what we want. Gillian and Allen we are lifting you up in prayer too... I know this is so hard on you all emotionally and physically. We love you all and pray for God's daily grace and mercy. Shannon and Michael Pierce

Kate Etue said...

Praise God for a good surgery today. I'm praying for a good night's sleep!

Kate

Ana said...

Great News!!! I hope Joseph's recovery is quick and he keeps everyone on their toes while he runs around like a little boy should.

I will continue to pray for Joseph.

Ana said...

Great News!!! I hope Joseph's recovery is quick and that he keeps everyone busy while he runs around like a little boy should.

I will continue to pray for Joseph.

Oldqueen44 said...

Praise God.

The Deavers said...

We pray for Joseph with all of our kids when they go to bed. Tonight I told Mack (5) that we needed to pray for little brother James (almost 3) who broke his arm today, and for cousin Emma who fell off her bike and broke her knee earlier in the week... Mack interrupted to interject "and don't forget about Joseph!!" Not a chance! I can't wait to tell him the good news in the morning!! Praise God!
Clell, Jane, Mack, Carlisle, James and Jennifer

susan and brian oconnor said...

Fantastic news. We are in Montreal with Killian and Marie and all thinking about you. Pauline: lots of snow here, we were telling them about your time up here and how you found the cold difficult! Joseph, great to hear you are so alert after the surgery, keep up the good work. love always.

Laura M said...

answered prayers...here's to many more in the days to come. bless you all!

Anonymous said...

we rejoice with this wonderful news! thank you for sharing it with us!

we know that your journey stretches on ahead of you still, and we continue praying praying praying.

love,
josh, keely & salem

The Kohrs said...

This is amazing news!!! Certainly more evidence that God is watching over you and guiding you through this time. What an answer to prayers!!

Love,
The Kohrs

Brea said...

Praise God! What wonderful news! We will keep praying for Joseph's recovery and for his full healing.

Ruthie said...

HALLELUJAH!!!! This is the news I was praying and hoping for!! I am delighted to hear that the surgery went so well and he is "bossing you around!" :) Praying for a quick recovery, a successful treatment, and a MIRACLE!!

lots of love,
Ruthanne

Katherine said...

Dear Gillian,
We are friends of your mom & dad and knew you as a little girl
This news has been devastating. Thank God the surgery seems to have been so successful. Let's hope and pray for a really good outcome from the radiation.
Your dad will keep us updated but we wanted you to know we have beeen thinking about you all and have you in our prayers
With love
Katherine & Ian Brick in Nashville

Anonymous said...

Where did the post from earlier today go? I came back to get the information and it was gone. Will you repost, please? Sara

Jennifer said...

Sara - email me; jenpbarr@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful God we have! As I was praying with my daughter Mary Dodd last night for God to help her tummy feel better, she said first mommy we should pray for Joseph, " that God fills his tumor with love, then there will be no room for any bad." She often prays that God fill her body so the devil won't have a home inside of her... I am sure in her sweet innocence this is how Joseph can be healed. Children's faith is so precious, I know God intends for us to have the same simple stong faith as well. Praise God!
Much Love
Wren, Gresh, Henry & Mary Dodd

Anonymous said...

The kids just prayed for Joseph tonight and they asked me how his surgery went. So I ran down to check and was so happy to see your update!
Katy, Mark, Jake, Landon and Lilla

Praise be to the Lord,for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Psalm 28:6-8

Holly said...

I am so happy for the good news about Joseph's surgery. Praise the Lord!!! Thank you so much for letting us all know. We think about you guys and really miss you! I'll be glad when you are all back home in Atlanta! Love ya! Holly, Trent and Connor

Emily S said...

Allen & Gillian,
We learned about Joseph's tumor on Christmas Eve and we have been praying for all of you. We are so glad to hear the good news of the second surgery, and we hope that more good news follows. We pray for Joseph to have strength to endure all that he is going through.
Love,
Emily and Michael Sutherland

Sarah Norsworthy said...

Yay! for the good news! so happy to hear. God is so good. Still praying...love you guys! -Sarah

Anonymous said...

What a uplifting post! We are so relieved that the surgery went well. We hope you can rest easier tonight and that Joseph will be comfortable as he recovers. We will continue to pray for all of you!

scott and paige cunningham said...

It was great seeing you guys yesterday. I hope our visit was not too intrusive for Turbo Joe. THank you, though, for letting us see him. I wanted to eat him up.

I hope Holly likes the UT cheerleader outfit. Paige wanted to be sure you knew that that was my idea (in case it was a stupid gift). My thinking was that you probably didn't have a UT cheerleader outfit for her, and probably would never buy one. But, if one was given to you, you wouldn't hate having it. That's a pretty lame rationale, in retrospect, but I also thought it was a funny gift.

love scott and paige.

Ingrid said...

Hi gillian and allen
dleighted to hear that the operation was not as traumatic as you had thought for joseph. hope he is recovering well and that you are gettiing some rest. we are thinking of you and send all our love. Ingrid in Sandycove.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you all and praying for Joseph. Glad to hear his recent surgery was successful - we will keep him in our prayers.

Love to everyone,

Marion, Gerry, Laura, Fiona and Gerard (Ireland)

sara b said...

Oh what joy it brings to my heart. Lifting you up and asking for strength, peace, and wisdom as you continue to fight this battle.

much love,
sara b

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear of that surgery went well. We will continue to pray for quick recovery.

Melissa and Chris

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year! I pray that '08 will bring miracles & joy to your family & perfect healing to sweet Joseph.

Anonymous said...

Praying for strength and peace for you this morning. I am sure you are feeling overwhelmed as you unpack and settle into your "home". I am also praying that Holly will feel better soon and that Joseph won't get her cold. I keep thinking about the scripture verse that is posted on the blog and praying that God will continue to be your guide through the whirlwind.
Being around you all is like being in the presence of God, I see Him in your arms as you hold Joseph, in your voice as you comfort him, when you are so tired from lack of sleep, I see Him holding you up and carrying you allowing you to give above and beyond what one is capable of doing, I see Him in your laughter which is such a joy to witness when Joe P. gets that sweet smile on his face. I see Him in all the loving hands and hearts of everyone who has reached out to you to help. In the midst of the pain I have to believe that He is there. As our dear friend Peggy once said, "This is not the road that I would have chosen to go down, but because I believe in His promises, I have to believe that God will go down this road with me."
Missing you all and praying constantly.
Love, Mimi

courtney said...

Thinking of you all today. Happy New Year. I pray that as the newness of the year is ushered in, a complete healing will also accompany it. We are constantly praying for the complete obliteration of Joseph's cancer. Knowing that God is capable of doing more than we can ask or even imagine-

Praying,

Rob and Courtney

Jiggs said...

Carolyn & Dave said it far better than I could in their post on December 28, 2007 at 12:07 PM. I'll simply echo their thoughts by adding my own ...

Thanks Be To God For Answered Prayers and for His continued healing of Joseph.

Just a note ... Ann and I had a great visit with Matt, Lynn & Will in T'ville this past weekend. One image from that visit I'll carry in my heart and soul for a long, long time to come is the look of absolute trust and peace on Will's face as he and I were praying for Joseph the afternoon I got to lay him down for his nap. Thanks be to God, as well, for the lessons of faith taught to me by children whose parents allow them to know Him!

With continued love and prayers from Kansas City (although it WAS a lot move fun in T'ville ...)

Margaret said...

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
Margaret

Anonymous said...

Thinking of your precious family. Happy New Year!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, our God is awesome and ever so kind to go every step of the way upholding you and blessing Joesph.
Love to you all, Margaret and Art

Beth &BJ said...

miss you! We are glad that you got to leave the hospital and can be together at Jennifer's house. Praying hard for all of you.
Love,
The Slotkins'

The Dicus Family said...

great news!we are still praying for your sweet boy.God bless!anna and robert

Anonymous said...

We hope you are adjusting in your new home. I loved my time with Holly and Winnie Kate. When I returned home I realized my sweater had been used as a tissue by one of the girls! I hope they are both feeling better. Our prayers continue for Joseph --he is on our hearts constantly. We love you.
Norma