Facing the unthinkable – Sage advice

I was rafting down a river in the Canadian Rockies when I first heard that my granddaughter, Mikyla, had a brain tumor.  It was like getting struck by lightning, how a vibrant energetic seven year old could get struck down with such a serious disease.  I stumbled home as quickly as I could to see a semi-conscious post-operative Mikyla surrounded by balloons, stuffed animals and many relatives.  (Her Dad comes from a big family.)  She had just endured a 15-hour surgery to remove the tumor and had five or six supplemental brain surgeries in the following week.

It has now been six months and Mikyla is in her fourth round of chemotherapy.  The side effects are monstrous.  She has sores in her mouth, throat and all the way down to her stomach and beyond.  She can’t swallow, spit, eat or even talk without a lot of pain.  She is looped on pain meds which don’t seem to help that much.  She has hearing loss, double vision, nausea, etc. etc.  My daughter spends 21 hours a day at her bedside, helping her fight this very personal war.  The outcome of the war is still in doubt, but there have been encouraging signs.  All of the loose cancer cells in her brain and spinal cord have disappeared and the remaining tumor has shrunk. 

I am known around here as the “The Sage” but it confounds me to no end how such evil things can happen to innocent people.  The universe is random and chaotic and sometimes very destructive.  Life is short and not all that sweet. 

All we can do is enjoy the good things, fight through the bad things and hang on as long as we can.

Comments (6)

6 Responses to “Facing the unthinkable – Sage advice”

  1. Bob Beckstrom says:

    I appreciate your touching story about Mikyla and can’t even imagine the horror of this ordeal. My heart goes out to you and I’ll keep Mikyla in my thoughts. Bob

  2. Paul Hicks says:


    Very sorry to hear. Best of luck to you and your family.


  3. Lowell Smith says:

    Tom-I am a strong believer of the power in prayer, and as I have told you I pray for your granddaughter each night. Lowell

  4. Paul Krsek says:

    Tom, so sorry to readt this. I totally agree that the universe is random and destructive, seemingly sensless things happen all the time. There is no real explanation. That doesn’t make events like this any less painful. This is horrible for everyone involved. Especially Miklya. Love her while you have her and make sure she knows it. Do the same for her parents. I am sure you will. Thanks for letting us know. Paul

  5. Lori Cantafio says:

    my heart goes out to you. I am glad you wrote.

  6. Doug Calkin says:

    She is lucky to have you and Ginny.
    Summer is a really strong person and she learned it from you guys.

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