Sunday, December 11, 2011

Boy of steel

12 hours post op

December 11th and it is officially two weeks to Christmas day. Normally this time of year I am jumping off the walls driving people crazy with my incessant Christmas movie marathons and Christmas music. I can never seem to get enough Christian joy and spirit into this amazing holiday season. But this year Christmas means something completely different. I am writing this blog from the ICU. Last night Christian went into the operating room at 2am for an emergency laparotomy to decompress his abdomen. This evening he is resting semi-stable in the ICU as we wait for his abdomen to heal, yet again from surgery.
Uncle Peder came bearing gifts! YUM
Thursday afternoon we were transferred to the ICU because the increasing amounts of pain medications he needed required that his vitals were monitored very closely. As the day progressed he seemed to be having escalating pain that couldn’t be tamed. Sharp gut wrenching pain that makes me want to jump out a window rather than watch his eyes light up with fear as he pounds his head and the bed trying to cope. Between the wave like pains, he had a few moments of levity and release. Especially with uncle Peder coming to visit and play with his Star Wars guys. Unfortunately the intensity and frequency of his pain increased throughout the night and into the next day. A projectile vomit at 1:30am was the indication sign they were waiting for that something horrible was going on in his abdomen; they immediately mobilized the surgical team.  The scary part of this whole scenario is that he was, and is currently, neutropeonic. Meaning that he has no immune system from his last round of mega chemo. But in order to prevent something catastrophic from happening they had to open him up to determine what was causing his intense pain. What a horrendous feeling to know that they are going to operate on one of the "dirtiest" parts of the body while he has no immune system. Knowing full well that a bad infection and fever could be the end for our little man. The next few days will be very tumultuous as his counts return to normal and his body begins to fight off infection and other post operative issues.
Transfered to the ICU
Thankfully when the surgeons opened him up there was no leaking bowel or damaged bowel or any bowel repair to be made. There were some adhesions that needed to be released thus decompressing his abdomen and allowing his bowels to once again move freely. When the surgeon walked into our unit room at 430 it had only been 2.5 hours since I left Christian. I knew it was either really bad or really good. So I was ecstatic when he reported that it was in fact the best case scenario and Christian was already in recovery. Before most of my family even knew something horrible was going on – it was over. I immediately felt shameful that I had not trusted my heart that Christian was going to be lead through this journey safely. I had so many doubts cast into my mind during the surgery - it was all that I could do to lay in our unit bed and wait. I couldn’t talk or move – I felt as though I couldn’t even breathe. Was I ready to let Christian go?  When the good news came that Christian had done marvelous my mind played over all of the amazing victories that Christian has experienced. Circumstances that seemed insurmountable, he smashed down with a ridiculous amounts of strength. Our ICU doctor, Dr Megan Mahoney, said yesterday before it was determined that he needed surgery, "I want you to know that I am very worried for Christian, he is really sick.... he is small and skinny and only 26 lbs, but he is 26 pounds of pure steel, he is the boy of steel”.

We had so many prayers and messages of hope come through for Christian yesterday. We were lifted up by friends and family: Pastor Doug driving to the hospital at 330am to be with us during surgery, Uncle Peder and Auntry Ryan spending the day playing Star Wars, Laura G dropping off treats –exactly what my tummy would have ordered! And on and on. Random cards and messages of hope from our families and our Airdrie families (thank you Magas family) that arrive just as we needed them. God is providing for us through our community and our families. We prayed and prayed yesterday that we would be buoyed up. I was at the edge of my limits and felt very despondent. Then all of a sudden I had a peace come over me like everything was taken care of. And it is. It started over 2000 years ago with a small child born in a barn – He came to save and love us all. This year for Christmas I still want to watch my movies (in fact I am on my second one already tonight!) and make cookies and put up my tree; but I want to make sure that the gift of Jesus, the gift of grace, hope, and faithfulness are the focus of our celebrations. Because these are the gifts that are guiding us through this thorny time. These are the gifts that supply Chris and I will the ability to live each day and move forward with Christian’s treatment with peace in our hearts and hope for our families future. Merry Christmas.

Today I am thankful for:
1.     Home Alone
2.     Chips and Dip
3.     The large stack of Christmas cards Christian got in the mail on Friday. God bless you all. 


  1. God bless you all. Your message is beautiful. May Christian be healed and whole, and may you all have a blessed Christmas. -Martha from the States

  2. "Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53: 4- 5
    "He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)
    Thanking God today for that Gift that came 2000 yrs. ago and the hope that He brought. Christian is truly an amazing boy and we all can stand to learn a thing or two about strength from him and his amazing family.
    We are praying that throughout all that is going on that God astounds you with the most amazing Christmas ever. God knows your heart and your love for that precious boy. He has also seen your faithfulness. Please never be ashamed when those dark moments pull on your heart strings. It seems you always find your place back in the Father's arms. I suspect He is thinking that you and Chris are pretty awesome. I can picture that smile of a proud Dad looking down on you. : )

  3. Christmas miracles happen every day! Christian will be in my prayers for recovery and a long,beautiful,happy life! God bless your family!

  4. From Newfoundland, there are many prayers of courage, good health and love, coming your way to family and medical crew who all work so hard to give these children the best care they deserve. I hope you all can heard our thoughts and prayers coming your way.

  5. From Houston, TX! God bless and keep fighting little man!!! We are praying for you and your family!!

  6. From Barrhead Alberta,
    I pray for you and your family everyday. Keep on fighting Christian!! May God bless you and keep you. Merry Christmas!!
    Danae Bauer

  7. Praying everyday for strength and healing, God bless you all!

  8. Boy of steel. I like that. I've been reading this blog; every entry, and I believe that Dr. when she said he was 26 pounds of steel. He is such a little fighter. Keep fighting kiddo. So many people are pulling for you. Praying for you. Sending you love and peace and strength. I am so happy that the cards are pouring in. (It was not a mistake for you to post your address Megan!) Bless you.

    Lise Wendt

  9. My heart goes out to you and your family. Take strength from knowing all the people who are thinking of and praying for you. God bless you little man!

  10. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. I stumbled upon your blog randomly through facebook one day, and I know things like that dont happen just because. I hope that you feel encouraged that even though I am sure you havent met many of these people that have left comments, that they are praying and support you in the body of Christ.
    Is ther any way specifically that we can pray for you Megan?

  11. Sent your card already ,but I wish I could send me. So sad seeing you back in ICU with all your tubes . I know you will be happy that the breathing tube is out . Now I hope you can take time to heal get stronger and go home and enjoy Christmas like a little boy should. Nanny wishes you the best Christmas and hope you are feeling so much better. Talk to you soon. Silly Auntie Sarah will be there soon she can play with all you star wars and batman toys with you .Uncle Peter will have to teach her how to make all the noises. Love to all miss you xoxo

  12. I do not know you or your family. But please know I have been praying for Christian daily ever since I heard of his illness. Also praying for all of you to stay as strong as you can. Please know you are not alone. If I could have one wish this year it would be for all of you to be together for Christmas! God Bless!
    Lori Harnack

  13. I wish the best to Christian as the entire family this Christmas season. You are all in my prayers. I wish you a speedy recovery and a great 2012!!!

  14. Wishing Christian great healing and all of you peace and the warmth of family love this Christmas. We are praying for you.
    Lorraine Burke in Victoria