I apologize for my long absence. Let me just explain – a few hours after I clicked ‘send’ on my bragadocious post on turning ‘49’ (the one that ended with ‘bring it on’), life indeed brought it on!

On that very same birthday evening, my father did an MRI which showed that the condition which had been diagnosed as Parkinson’s Disease was in fact quite a large brain tumor. Not only did life ‘bring it on’, but it brought it with such force that it knocked the wind out of my sails, swept my feet from under me, then whacked me two or three times over the head and left me in a crumpled heap on my bathroom floor. My place of sanctuary where I usually kneeled in prayer or just quietly hid out when my home got a tad hectic, became a place where I could only just curl up and sob.

Dad and I on my wedding day 

Dad and I on my wedding day 

The surgery went well – better than we could ever have imagined. Most of the tumor was removed, and my father sat in ICU just ten hours afterward showing us the nimble movements of limbs previously compromised by the tumor. We celebrated. We praised God. We exclaimed at the great miracle.

Then the next morning, a seizure wrenched all speech and mobility from him. I took to my bathroom floor.

Since then, the road became not just rough, but steep, winding, and very, very dark. We walked in a daze, in and out of ICU during the limited times we were allowed for visiting. We formed bonds with the other families visiting their loved ones, sharing stories of the doctors’ expertise and fetching tea for each other on particularly bad days. Sadly, we even had to share tears when the partitions were suddenly drawn around a bedside, and bad news had to be delivered to relatives. Many times we ourselves thought that it would be our turn to go in to see the partitions – brain swelling, prolonged induced coma, infection, pneumonia, embolism….each week a different challenge.

Today, I am happy to say that my father was allowed to leave the hospital after seven weeks in intensive care - New Year’s Eve …the perfect beginning to 2016. We celebrated. We praised God. We exclaimed at the great miracle.

Forever the teacher and counselor, Dad expounding an important point

Forever the teacher and counselor, Dad expounding an important point

It’s still a long road ahead – therapy is needed to restore the faculties that had been lost from the seizures. But the good thing is, even though the road may be rough and winding, it is not as dark as I thought it was. I look back now and see the light of friendship, faith and fight that took us through, one that is still shining at the end of the tunnel. If you look at me now, there is no doubt you’ll see the battle scars of stress, but if you could look inside, you would see the faith and fight that has grown tenfold.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your calls and prayers. They revealed to us just how loved my father is, and were part of that light that once again picked me up from the bathroom floor.

Melanie Schwapp22 Comments