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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Doctor/Nurse (11/02/06)

TITLE: Proof My Husband Has A Brain
By Joanne Sher


"Thereís a mass on his brain that shouldnít be there."

Those words echoed in my mind. How could they not? Iíd heard them last Friday, and here it was, the following Monday morning, and we knew little more.

Next time, could someone remind my husband not to develop a serious illness on a Friday afternoon?

The ordeal had started less than a week earlier, with a migraine. Marc stayed home from work Tuesday, hoping to sleep it off. He felt better in the morning and tried going in, but the pain came back with a vengeance.

He came back home and went to the doctor, who gave him a shot. It helped, but not for long. The migraine returned - this time with vision issues. We went back to the doctor Friday, and were sent to the ER for a CAT scan.

Thatís where we first heard that haunting proclamation. They immediately transferred him to a different hospital, where the best neurosurgeon in the area was on call. A lot of good that did, as it was now Monday morning, and we hadnít seen him! Other doctors had come by, but not Dr. Stern.

An MRI had confirmed the mass was a tumor, but gave us no further information. So my husband and I sat in a hospital room waiting for news we were fairly confident was NOT going to change our lives for the better.

Marc and I didnít talk about what was going on. We chatted about our son Andrew, my pregnancy, hospital food, and Marcís lack of solid sleep (they had to wake him every two hours to test his blood). The light conversation stopped us from dwelling on the possibilities too much.

Finally, two unfamiliar faces entered the room - Dr. Stern and his nurse, Jen. Dr. Stern got right to the heart of the matter. Marc needed brain surgery - and soon. The tumor was likely one of two different types, and benign. The surgery should last four to six hours, and would be performed that Wednesday. The plan was to remove the tumor completely.

Wednesday morning, bright and early, Marcís parents and I were in pre-op with him, along with our pastor. His wife was home watching Andrew so we could all be at the hospital.

Pastorís words, in conversation and prayer, were encouraging and comforting, and his presence helped me keep my thoughts away from the "what ifs," and focus on Godís promises: to always be with me, to uphold me, to work everything out for His good. While I was certainly nervous, concerned and, at times, frustrated, panic did not take me over.

I kissed my husband goodbye, squeezed his hand, and went to sit in the waiting room with my in-laws. Jen had said she would give us updates as the surgery progressed. I sat, read, ate, watched TV, chatted, and prayed. I rarely left the room.

The one time I did go out for some air, I returned to find out I had just missed Jen. She had told Marcís parents that the tumor was deeper in Marcís brain than originally thought, and the surgery would likely take longer than expected.

Dr. Stern finally came in to talk to us about the surgery - an operation that had ended up taking eleven hours. The tumor was neither of the types he had originally thought, and was actually part and parcel of Marcís optic nerve.

The doctor, therefore, was unable to remove it completely, as cutting through the optic nerve would have left Marc blind. Instead, he took out only as much tumor as he thought he could remove safely, then closed Marc back up again.

It had been a very long day, but I wasnít quite ready for it to be over.

"Can I see him?"

"Heís in deep sedation, but yes, you can if you want to."

My in-laws tried to convince me to just go home, but my mind was made up.

"I need to see him."

Marcís parents headed for their car, and I headed for Marcís hospital room, where I found him hooked up to more wires and machines than Iíd ever seen. But he was breathing, and appeared to be resting fairly comfortably.

I felt the need to touch him. I caressed his cheek, then put his hand in mine.

"I love you, Marc, and we will get through this together," I whispered, tears streaming down my face. I kissed his hand, lingered a bit, then walked out.

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This article has been read 2201 times
Member Comments
Member Date
julie wood11/09/06
Beautiful, moving account of a couple's ordeal. It reminded me of a good friend of mine whose husband is actually going through something like this now. Great description and dialog!

The title delighted me, but led me to anticipate a humor piece. The story attached to it caught me by surprise!
Pat Guy 11/12/06
Whoa! What a piece of reality that includes God being right there for the strength we need.

Good stuff here!

Jan Ackerson 11/12/06
I love the fact that such a serious piece has touches of humor--makes your narrator's voice very real and relate-able. Superb.
Sandra Petersen 11/12/06
Very good retelling of an ordeal none of us would want to go through. Who can't relate to the emergency room visit on a Friday afternoon or the wait for information? Loved the title, by the way. Thanks for sharing.
Betty Castleberry11/12/06
The first sentence reeled me in. This is a touching story. I especially like the last paragraph. I think it shows a lot of faith. Nicely done.
william price11/12/06
Excellent job Joanne. Thank God for Hope and Faith. I could really identify with the slimmers, a sliver of a glimmer, of humor that help deal with situations that are out of our human control, other than to expressing hope and faith. God bless.
Linda Watson Owen11/13/06
You wove this heart wrenching story so well that I sailed right through it and came to the end before I realized it. I'm hoping there's a part two to tell more of this experience. So well crafted.
Marilyn Schnepp 11/14/06
The humorous Title reeled me in, but the touching story held me. Riveting story, excellent writing, and Kudos!
Helen Paynter11/14/06
I like this very much. It was very moving, and I agree with previous comments that the 'slimmers' of humour very much added to it. If I were to be super-critical, I'd say that I thought the last third (except the final paragraph) weakened a little - the rest of the piece was quite intense, and it lost a little bit of that intensity towards the end. But I really did like it, and I assume it is true?
Valora Otis11/14/06
I'm dubbing this week,The Week of Truth! Thank you for sharing something so personal and gripping. The touch of humor was perfect. I pray that all is well with your dear husband.
Sue Dent11/15/06
And I like the fact that you too shared a true account this week!! What would we do without His strength? I couldn't stop reading this. Very well written!
Dennis Fletcher11/15/06
Great story, well written. I only wish to have seen the ending, you know, the one that says, after surgery he came home and healed and we are alright.
Donna Powers 11/15/06
Very touching and beautifully written. This must have been so difficult but you brought this couple's struggle to life. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story...love the title!
Lynda Lee Schab 11/15/06
Joanne, Thanks for sharing this true account. It brings back memories of my husband's nephew's brain surgery earlier this year, resulting in nothing less than a HUGE miracle. You recounted those moments vividly and I felt your emotion as well as your struggle. Wonderful writing, as always. (P.S. - love the title :-))
Suzanne R11/16/06
You had me, a relatively inexperienced reader, right there with you. Ditto re the slivers of humour throughout ... guess you need humour to keep going at times, eh? I'm sure there is lots more to be written yet - hope you do.
Venice Kichura11/18/06
WOW! This was masterfully written...touched my heart!
Edy T Johnson 11/18/06
Dear Joanne - you've been through something, as one comment mentioned, none of us would chose to experience. But, by writing it down you give us opportunity to sit by your side and live it through you. Thank you for telling your story just the way you did. It is very well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/27/07
Wow! What God has brought you and your family through! This is such a well written testimony of God's help in your darkest hours. I've seen God's mercy in my own family.
Thank you for your kind words of welcome to the boards. Verna
Dee Yoder 07/05/07
Joanne, this is wonderful. Your story touched my heart deeply and brought tears because I identify completely with the feelings you express through your writing here. Thank you for sharing this private moment and giving words to the pain people everywhere feel when they hear news like this. God is using your talent to bless me today!
Elizabeth Bussey07/10/07
Thanks for sharing. I think I'm numb and speechless right now. It's good to know we are never alone.
Rita Garcia09/07/07
Joanne, your story, beautifully told, encourages others to hang on and have faith. He is always with us!
Sara Harricharan 01/14/08
I was browsing at random and came across this piece. Very beautiful and heartfelt. I like how as the reader, I feel as if I am watching from a tiny window and wishing I could send a hug down to show my support. Great writing! ^_^
Helen Dowd03/09/08
Wow! What an experience! My husband having MRSA, ultimately resulting in his having to have his right leg amputated six inches above his knee, last April, doesn't compare with what you and your husband have gone through. How brave you both have been. I know how God has been with you through this, as He has been with us through our experience. Hart is blessed to be able now, to sit for hours at his computer, sending out encouragement to the many people we have met through the internet, who are hurting....I am sending a prayer to God for you both. I am so glad to have met you through FW. God bless you....Helen
Richard L. Provencher 03/19/08
What a beautiful story of love and perseverance, all profiled by God's watchful eye. May your family have much peace and your husband continued recovery. RLP
Connie Allen07/05/08
After reading your comment on my article, I went back and read your story "Proof My Husband Has
A Brain"....Thank you so much for sharing this with others. Most of the time people think they are the only ones who go through this agonizing type of situation. Sharing these experiences does truly help others so they do not feel so alone. I did not start on FW until Feb 2008, so I have a lot of reading to do of previous submissions. Thanks for taking the time to comment on my submission recently. How is your husband doing today 7/5/08.
Helen Dowd07/30/08
I was led to this piece from your bio. I read it with tears in my eyes, as it is so reminiscent of a similar trauma my sister went through about the same time as yours. Also, because my husband had gone through a series of medical problems since 2004, (his right leg was amputated a year ago, due to MRSA) I can SO relate. How great, though, it is to have a God to rely on? May God bless you as you live daily, relying on Him to give you strength, and to give your husband comfort....Helen
mark walters08/02/09
That's a wonderful article, Joanne. My mother died as a result of a brain tumor. God entered her life because of it so quite a bit of good came. I will pray for your husband, Marc. God Bless You.

Jasti Victor01/23/10
Thank you very much for your comments on my article. Yours was the first in that series. Your story was touching.The title was what attracted me. It was somewhere in 2006. Could you please let us know, if i am not intruding into your personal matter, of the status as of now. Keep in touch.
Debra Hindman04/22/11
Couldn't take my eyes from your story, once I began, Joanne. Tears at the end.
Lois Lewis 02/09/15
It's been over 8 yrs since you submitted this article to the challenge. I am sitting here as I type this with tears streaming down my face. I am an only child, caretaking my mother, who is very ill. I took care of my dad until he died 3 yrs ago. Thank you for your comment on my article, Busy NOT. I read your profile, which led me to this article. Thank you for sharing it. Great job!