Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Surgery Tomorrow

Well, after a wonderful respite between hospital stays we are heading back to Memphis. We have very heavy hearts going back there, knowing the tough road we have ahead of us. First the surgery, which is always scary, then the recovery, which is very long and heart-breaking. Then we have to start radiation very soon after (probably about 2 weeks after surgery). Please pray for his surgery tomorrow morning, which will begin early and probably take several hours again:

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

Our parents are coming up with us for moral support and to help take care of Holly, which is a huge blessing. We really do miss our Atlanta friends a lot--so it will be nice to have friendly faces with us.
Joseph did have a nice Christmas, with periods where he was laughing hysterically at Uncle Sam, or with his cousins Bella, Eli, and Will at a Barney video. Of course, he wasn't running around outside like he normally would, but he was walking around and sitting at the table for meals. At Mimi's house, he did run around from monster Big Daddy, holding onto Mimi's hands, then bopped him on the head with cardboard poles. That was a highlight for sure. Seeing him take his job so seriously to slay the monster was hilarious. It is very sad for Allen and I to see him so limited in his play, where usually he is so wild and free. We have faith he will get back there soon, and we are praying that all this treatment will help him do that.
Thank you all for continuing to pray and lift us up during such a hard time. I have to agree with Aunt Jennifer that I think God does give us more than we can handle so that the body of Christ can work together and support each other. It is so obvious to us we cannot do this alone and we are so thankful for everyone who is fighting for us in prayer.


Anonymous said...

We are praying for you and your family on a daily basis!!

Carrigan Family said...

Praying for your precious boy - I know our circumstances are different, but I can so relate to how your heart is breaking .... a year later - Ryan still has balance issues and can't run as fast as the other kids, but he is getting stronger - he has facial palsy as well and I miss that sweet smile everyday - it is a heartwrenching time and I wish that you all were not called to walk this road. My husband says this past year is like a tidal wave - the waves keep coming - it is only by the supernatural power of the living God that we get back up again. We are standing in the gap for you .... I know so often I couldn't pray and I am so thankful that He surrounded us with a legion of warriors who could pray - be confident that you have that and that He is attentive to our cries.

Anonymous said...

Yes, fighting for you in prayer...

Mary Vagnoni said...

So glad you had a good Christmas with everyone, we will remember your special prayer requests when we pray and especially tomorrow when we will all go to mass and have the congregation pray that the surgery will go well
love from
all in Houston

Margaret said...

I'm so glad that your time in Nashville was a respite and I hope you had moments where your heart was light and your burden lifted to enjoy the magical time of Christmas with young children. I thought of you so much yesterday and pray that next year's Christmas will be filled with Joseph and Holly running wild and tearing open gifts. Tomorrow you and the doctors will be surrounded with prayers. Thank you again for keeping us all updated.
Love, Margaret

Tiffany said...

Blessings to your family.
Praying for you all..

Anonymous said...

We are in DC with family and will be praying from up here for sweet Joseph tomorrow. My nephew is the exact same age as Joseph, so each time I play with him this week, I will pray for your precious 3 1/2 year old. No matter where we go, your entire family is in our hearts always.

Go, Joseph, for bopping Big Daddy with those poles--he probably deserved it =). I can just see it now.

Kathy, praying for you, friend, as you wait and love on your kids and grandkids. I love you.

Alison Fontenot

Courtney said...

I'm so thankful that you were able to spend Christmas with your extended family away from the hospital. Hopefully, you all are a little more rested to begin this next phase. I would LOVE to help with anything while you're in Memphis. Please use Jennifer as the messenger if you need to. I'm off work until January 2 and can watch Holly if need be. After I go back to work, I'll still be free anytime after 5:00 p.m.

It's a real privilege to pray for you all...

Much love,
Courtney S.

B.J. said...

We really miss you guys in the ATL. Beth and I were just talking about that very thing yesterday. Lots of love and see you soon.

B.J. and Beth

Laurie said...

Praying out here in California that Joseph's surgery to go perfectly and that his recovery is a good one. I am praying for you, his parents, to have Gods peace and hope as you wait for his surgery to be complete. He is in Gods hands and will be protected. Bless all of you as this trying time provides healing for this precious little boy. Praying daily for you.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I do not know you and might not ever meet you but I found your blog through a friend's blog and my husband and I are praying for your family, especially as the surgery starts tomorrow... We will continue to keep you in our hearts and lift you up!
Love, in Christ,
Alyssa & Desmond, Versailles, France

Mama C said...

Praying for your sweet boy! Ours was a different sort of disease, but I know the pain of going to the hospital time after time for surgery. God is good, and He will be there with you and Joseph all the time. Good luck and God bless!

The Cheatham family in SC

trmills said...

We are walking with you on this road, Allen and Gillian, and our hearts are heavy, too, so that, just perhaps, yours can be a bit lighter with the knowledge of so many lifting you up in love. We wish we could carry more for you, but we will be faithful to pray. We are praying that you will feel God's nearness as He goes before you, is behind you, over and under. Will be waiting to hear about the surgery...

Jane said...

We are Rick and Kathy's Glade neighbors and have been praying ever since they each shared with us what is going on. Our God is faithful and the God of miracles. We are praying for covering for all of you, especially Joseph, and the medical team caring for him. Thank you all for the blogspot. It is so helpful. Blessings and peace... David, Jane, Laura, and Carol

Chloe said...

dearest gill and allen, I am thinking of you all the time and joe will be in my thoughts and my heart tomorrow. love to you all. chloe

Anonymous said...

We haven't spoken for quite some time, but I just heard of Joseph's fight last night. I just wanted to let you and your family know that we will be praying for you tonight before bed and throughout the day tommorrow (actually... continually until Joseph is the victor!). I think that words are probably somewhat unimportant in comparison to prayers, but I feel compelled to leave you with words that seem very simple, but have proven to be unbelievably powerful in my life... "Be still and Know that He is God"
You're in our thoughts and prayers!
Jen and Emma (Tootle)

Jody (atlanta) said...

Merry Christmas! Coming home and seeing your smiling faces in your holiday card was wonderful to see(BTW you amaze me with how you got cards out). Abigail and I send you many kisses and said many extra prayers tonight for Joseph's surgery tomorrow. I am sending you tons of strength and continued faith. We miss you lots, but you are always in my prayers. LOVE, Jody

Pat Graham said...

Gillian, We'll be praying for all of you tomorrow. -Pat

Jiggs said...

I believe that Jen and Emma said it far better than I can just now ... "Be still and Know that He is God". Trusting that you really do know that, I invite you to trust, as well, that the surgeon into whose hands you will be entrusting Joseph, your child, is the very surgeon that God has chosen to continue His healing of Joseph, His child.

I will be joining you in your prayers that God will be actively and tangibly present as He guides and directs the work of the person that He specifically selected to perform tomorrow's surgery and that the surgery results and Joseph's recovery will blow you away with the ways they exceed your hopes.

With continued Love and Prayers from Kansas City ...

Susan and Charlie said...

We are praying for you, your requests and your precious son. "He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection." Ps 91:4

The Babcocks

Elizabeth said...

I'm praying, too.

susan said...

Dearest Allen and Gillian...We continue in prayer for all that you mentioned for today's surgery and more....I read this yesterday from Amy Carmichael and prayed it for you:
"'God, who comforts those who are cast down, comforted us by the coming [the presence] of Titus [oh, Lord, send those to Allen and Gillian who will bring Your comfort].' Often and often the coming, the presence of someone we love has comforted us when we were cast down... And the Dearest of dear friends is always coming to us in such moments saying 'I will not leave you comfortlss; I will come to you.' His presence is like His every morning,' yet perpetual [I pray this is your experience]. 'Lo, I am with you always [all the days, and all the day long - I pray you can experience this by faith], even unto the end of the world.'" We cherish you and only long to be there physically beside you. Much much love to you both, Joseph, and Holly, from Susan, Brian, Cristi, Sasha, Masha, Katya, Ksusha, Anya, Alex, Trevor, Vasya, Sveta.

Chrissie said...

May the Lord be with Joseph today and use the doctors in His healing process. May God's Peace be with all of you as you wait for Joseph to come out of surgery and may He give you continual Grace and courage for what lies ahead. We love you and are praying for you. Chrissie & Rick

Wrights said...

We are praying for you today.

Nathaniel and Rebekah

susan and brian o'c said...

Joseph was prayed for at Midnight Mass on Christmas night, thinking of you today and have just good thoughts about Joseph's surgery. It seems that these battles are only given to people who can handle them. You all are constantly in our thoughts and our wish for you and your families is for a peaceful and healthy 2008. Love always

Chas and Catherine Morris said...

We prayed for you guys last night and are praying for the surgery and through the requests.

Anonymous said...

Your family has been on my heart and mind since I woke up this morning. I too, will be fighting for/with your family in prayer for this sweet boy.

A little background.... said...

hey this is ksusha.i am so happy that yall had a great christmas!we will keep praying for church the other day people were sharing what God has healed.1 of the things someone shared is that God healed a friend that had a tumer and the couldint do any about it.when she went back to the docter it was all gone, the had no clue they checked it again and again but it was nowere to be found

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Our hearts ache for you as you walk this path. Praying this morning that as you endure another surgery, you'll know in an amazing way the Peace that passes all understanding. . . even in a storm like this. We wish we were there and send our love, Mel & Steve
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deut. 31:8

Sara said...

praying and hoping...
so much love from all the Southards!

Sara B

stephanie said...

Just wanted you to know another corner of the world where prayers are being lifted for you all. (I stumbled across the blog through Melissa Platt, whose blog was a link on Jana Kelley's blog, who is a new friend we have through our nephew's fight with leukemia)

We have three boys and know just how precious they are. We are with you in prayer. May you find comfort in the small blessings God brings your way each day. Words cannot adequately say how our hearts ache with you as you walk this road. Hopefully it is encouraging to know how large your army of prayer warriors is growing.

Debi A. said...

May you know that Joseph and your family, the surgery and recovery are in our prayers. Rick Peabody is in a Sunday school class with me and my daughter is at New Hope where Kathy Peabody teaches. The church (Christ Community), the Franklin House Study Sunday school class and New Hope Academy are all praying for a miracle first of all. If that is not God's will at this time we pray for healing, strength and recovery and wisdom for all the MDs, RNs and health care workers at St. Judes.
Debi Armstrong

Emily said...

We are with you, Joseph, Gillian, and Allen, in spirit and in prayer. Lifting you up and boldly asking for complete and total healing.
the Davis's (Atlanta)

Betsy Huey said...

We are still praying for you in Atlanta.

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.
~Lamentations 3:22-25

Praying that even during surgery, you would not be consumed because of the Lord's great love for you.

Betsy Huey

Ann said...

Gillian & Allen
We were so happy that you were able to spend time in Nashville with Pauline Billy and the rest of the family at Christmas.We're thinking of you all the time and hoping that the surgery will go really well tomorrow love from all in Holland

Craig and Gwen said...

Praying for ya'll and missing you a ton! Glad you had a good Christmas and we are praying that the surgery went really well.


Jaime said...

We just received your card. I have thoroughly read this blog after we heard of little Joe's diagnosis. We are overwhelmed with grief, yet also with much hope and faith. My heart is so heavy for you two. Today is Joe's second surgery, and we are praying for all your requests. We so wish to somehow convey our love and support via this blog. We are committed to being on our knees daily for Joseph and for you both. We pray the peace that only He can give will guard your hearts and minds. We love you, Jaime and William.

Christy said...

Thinking of you all right now and praying for a good surgery report soon.

Anonymous said...

We were glad to get to see Kathy and Rick at Christ Community last week and give them a hug. We are praying daily for you all. Much love from Denver,

Drew and Jenny Matthews

carriehayes said...

praying for you and for all the requests today.

Ana said...

I will continue to pray for Joseph and pray for Joseph's family to remain strong. May Joseph's Guardian Angels help the surgeons during his surgery.

I will check back to see how the surgery went.

Anonymous said...

Gill, Allen, Joe and Holly,
I have been praying for you. I hope all is well and the surgery went as hoped for. Love you guys alot.
Jo Little

Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

Anonymous said...

I "stumbled" upon your blog about a week ago. I am a christian and have a strong faith in God...the God who heals and protects. I will be praying for Joseph as he endures this surgery. He is in Good Hands.

A little background.... said...

How are you doing i miss you sooooo mush. I have pray fore your family. I miss you family sooo mush God bles you.


A little background.... said...

How are you doing i miss you sooooo much. I have prayed for your family. I miss your family sooo much-- God bless you.