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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.