Three Months After Treatment

From James:

If you remember, please pray for our friend Ellen, whose father is in the hospital after a heart attack. Also pray for our friends Mak and Pannie. Pannie’s mother is ill from cancer. There are so many people in need of prayer and support. Even if you just pause right now for a moment to pray…

It has been over three months since February 2, when So Young’s radiation treatment ended. (She did not undergo chemotherapy and, God willing, never will.) The comments we receive on this blog continue to be a source of encouragement for both of us, and even more so the tangible encouragements we receive every day from family and friends.

For example, this coming Friday, May 13, will mark 6 full months of receiving meals from family and friends. Yoon and Rose brought the first meal on November 13, 2010. Shortly thereafter, Hayong began coordinating them, among many other aspects of the care we have received. She has extended their delivery one month at a time, as it has continued to be evident that people want to give in some way. We receive two meals a week in this way, but each lasts two nights at a minimum, so that provides for four dinners. Mom also makes a home-cooked meal for us at least once a week, and again this meal lasts at least two nights. We literally think of these meals as manna from heaven — a direct gift from God.

Three months after treatment means we are halfway to the true “end” of treatment, in a sense. Our radiation oncologist, Dr. Kristin Redmond, told us that radiation continues to work for roughly 6 months after it ends, meaning that, if the tumor is going to shrink, it will do so for that amount of time. The true end of treatment will be August 2. Then we will know just what effect it had.

So Young is doing very well under the circumstances. Her eyesight is still quite bad, but it is good enough that she can see the “big picture” — people, cars, etc. — without much detail. Reading is very difficult. You won’t see her picking up a book to read. She is enjoying audio books more these days, however, and we own an iPad, which she initially did not like but now has taken to because it is easy to zoom in. She reads large letters slowly, and then only material that has good contrast (e.g., black on white). She often can’t recognize faces immediately, so don’t be surprised if she mistakes you for someone else or has to ask who you are. Driving is out of the question, and that limits her daily activities quite a bit.

So Young is in great physical shape, obviously, given that she is running 3 – 10 miles regularly as she prepares for this Sunday’s Marine Corps Half Marathon (13.1 miles). She is experiencing a lot more aches and pains this time. Her pace is also slower than usual. Her reduced performance is understandable given that she is fresh out of radiation, which is known to wear you down, let alone the fact that she has a brain tumor. She is very hard on herself about her performance at times. 

General fatigue still persists. It is especially hard for her to get up in the morning. I noticed this symptom since before she received any kind of treatment or medication, especially right before her biopsy surgery last year.

Her appetite continues to be poor. Food tastes funny to her, she says. The idea of a food might make her happy, but when it comes down to eating it, well…

We have had an eventful few weeks. Shannon and Lindsay were baptized on May 1, affirming the faith in Christ that they have had since their mom led them to Jesus years ago. Lindsay ran a 5k race and auditioned for the school talent show, playing the piano. Shannon performed in a chorus concert and has started to show interest in cheerleading.

Here are a few excellent pictures of the baptisms, courtesy of Bernard, Shannon’s youth leader. The man in the pictures is our pastor, JP, who also baptized his son that day.

Shannon Gives Her Testimony

Shannon Gives Her Testimony (Bravely)

Shannon Is Baptized

Shannon Is Baptized (She Didn’t Drown!)

Lindsay Gives Her Testimony

Lindsay Gives Her Testimony (Courageously)

Lindsay Is Baptized

Lindsay Is Baptized (She Made It Through!)

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11 Responses

  1. How great to see the tender encouragement on the face of JP toward the dripping wet “la petite”. This being “born again” business, passing from what we have always known into what we do not understand, just holding tight to the faithfulness of the One who has reached out + invited us (Phil 3:14) is so challenging.

    Even years of practicing the Christian faith is nothing if God in Christ is not with us in our deepest moments of coming to need to see things a new way. Thanks for your friendship + your compassion + your prayers. Proverbs says “Brothers” are born for adversity. My Aunt Bo always told me, “Nothing improves your prayer life like big trouble.”. Amen to that.

    We will be praying all the way along the route with you, So Young + James.

    Love,
    Ellen

    • I love the quote from Aunt Bo! That is so great. I always appreciate your wisdom and words of encouragement. We love you and continue to pray for you and your family.

      Love,
      James and So Young

    • Ellen — I just remembered that I want to post some pictures soon of Shannon massaging So Young’s feet. She devoured the book you sent her and quickly became an expert. I mean that literally. I’m actually pretty amazed at how much she retained and was able to do. So Young says it really helped. Pretty cool! — James

      • What a heart to minister… Yea, Shannon! I am not kidding. Feet are the root of the body. If you want a healthy body, tend to those roots. And somehow I can not help visualizing Jesus stopping to wash dirty feet the night He prayed the High Priestly prayer + served the last supper. All a mystery.

        Run for the Roses you all,
        Champions All.
        Love,
        Ellen

    • I love your post, sister friend. You are in our prayers also.

  2. Your children are so beautiful! And what a meaningful and blessed day it was for all of you…
    We think of you everyday, and we are very very proud of you! And I am sure God is, too!
    Love, Grace and Grant

    • Thank you, Auntie Grace! So wonderful to hear from you. The girls are beautiful, aren’t they? We thank God for you and your thoughts and prayers.

      Love,
      James and So Young

  3. I’m so glad things are going the way we would like them. A little faster wouldn’t hurt, but the great thing is she’s going in the right direction. Sending you guys fast running vibes.

    • So Young says, “Fast running vibes from a Boston marathoner? I’ll take it!”

  4. So Young says, in response to all of the above, “I love you all and thank you!”

  5. There is no greater joy than knowing that those you love belong to Christ.

    So Young and James, you make me happy. Courage.

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