It has been a few weeks since we received the good news that the tumors are shrinking and the chemo is having its desired impact. Markus had another round of chemo last week. It was perilously close to being postponed because of low platelet counts it was able to proceed as scheduled.
While at home Markus still has energy to complete the schoolwork required in order to graduate from grade 12. This past week he completed his Capstone project and presented it to a number of faculty members at his high school. It was the first time Markus has been back to Credo Christian since the diagnosis and it went well. He was pretty thankful that a number of his friends were also present for some moral support.
The surgery date is July 14 and today we met with Dr. Clarkson, the orthopedic surgeon who will be rebuilding Markus’ upper right arm. It was an informative meeting but also challenging. Currently Markus’ arm causes him no pain and he has full use of it. Following surgery his range of motion will be seriously restricted and only with intense physiotherapy will he gain approximately half of the range as he has right now. We had been informed that Markus would receive a titanium bone but we learned this week that it will actually be a human bone. They actually have a “bone bank” in Alberta where Dr. Clarkson and his team will search for a humerus bone that is similar to Markus’. Who knew right? Dr. Clarkson said that using a human bone gives them the best success when reattaching all the soft tissues.
After surgery Markus will be in a sling for six weeks and this will be followed by 6-12 months of physiotherapy. The chemo treatments will be on hold and hopefully begin 2-3 weeks after surgery.
We have mixed emotions knowing that this is coming but understand that the primary source of the Ewing Sarcoma needs to be removed to prevent a nearly certain return of the cancer cells. It is pretty awesome that God has gifted people like Dr. Clarkson to be able to perform this surgery and give Markus a chance to continue living, Lord willing for many years. At the same time, Markus will need to learn a new way to do many of the things that healthy, able-bodied people can do without thinking.
As parents it is with many imperfections that we model faith and trust to our children. We are thankful that Markus relies each day on the Lord and is accepting of where his Lord is leading him.
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)