Monday, March 9, 2009

Journal of a Prayer

Prayer for a family of three, my brother, nephew, and sister-in-law who has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

In Fervent Prayer Day 1 - January 9, 2009 (Friday) Morning

I wish to request prayer for my second sister in law, Choo.

She has just been admitted to hospital and diagnosed suffering from brain cancer.

Family of three with my brother and their son, all of them are yet to be in the Lord.

Day 1 - January 9, 2009 (Friday) Afternoon

I'll be visiting the family after work today. Latest news from my nephew states the following:

He [his Dad] is kind of breaking down, today slightly better. Now need to know whether benign or malignant, but surgery inevitable.

SMS to my nephew ... Jan 09 13:24:04
My family will continue to pray, along with a few of my online Christian friends. Please take care and stay strong with dad.

Day 1 - January 9, 2009 (Friday) Evening

I've visited the family at the hospital.

Latest update indicates first CT scan result as having metastatic presence which was the reason for assumed cancer.

However, a second scan result is pending release which should be out tomorrow morning to confirm whether the brain tumor is benign or malignant.

My brother and wife have been receptive to receiving prayers from my nephew's Christian friends, and I have promised prayer for them. My brother for the first time welcomed the offer and actually requested prayer for her wife.

Thank God for opening this window to receptivity. May God provide comfort to them and give an indicative answer to the second scan result to be favorable and heal my sis in law completely, leading the family unto Himself.


SMS to my nephew ... Jan 09 18:47:03
We'll continue to pray for your mom. I and my wife will come to visit her tomorrow. You'll need your dad to persuade her. May be time to inform your mom's sister. Take care.

Day 2 - January 10, 2009 (Saturday) Morning

Thanks everyone for the prayers.

Latest update from my nephew ...

Doctors say they are unable to confirm whether the tumor is benign or malignant from the second report. Surgery is being arranged for Monday Jan 12 to remove the tumor. How much to remove will depend on situation and what the surgeons see on that day.

Day 2 - January 10, 2009 (Saturday) Afternoon

My wife and I visited the family at the hospital. I spent some time with my brother and my nephew separately to let them talk it out as I listen.

SMS to nephew after leaving hospital ... Jan 10 15:10:28
Please take care and take one step at a time. Stay strong. When there's nothing else man can do, turn to God. We will continue to pray. Anything, contact me. Regards.

Day 3 - January 11, 2009 (Sunday) Morning

SMS to my nephew ... Jan 11 06:54:35
How was last night? Please take care and find rest for yourself. Your health is just as important and all of us care for you too. Praying for your mom, you and your dad.

Day 3 - January 11, 2009 (Sunday) Afternoon

Thanks to all who are praying for my sis-in-law.

Latest development ...

The surgeon and doctor have analyzed the scans and are 80-90% certain the tumor is malignant, and they have expressed urgency for an operation. According to them, without operation its 3-6 months, and with operation its 1-3 years if malignant. My brother and nephew is devastated.

Sis-in-law is no longer in control of her mind, talking without making sense at times. Last night she attempted escape from hospital and was suicidal, taking 7-8 nurses to catch hold of her and to tie her up. My brother has gone ahead to approve the surgery for Monday and she is unhappy about it, feeling betrayed, and aggressively requesting release.

This morning sees her a little calmer with little memory of what happened, but agitation seems to increase by the hour.

Please pray for them. Ask God for a breakthrough to grant clear indication of His sovereignty in the situation that an opportunity may be made possible to turn them to the Lord. So far, the only thing I can do is to let them know I will be praying, and be there for my brother and nephew.

Dear Lord, be merciful to this family! Help them stay strong in the face of desperate times. Lead them Lord to you and help them recognize the urgent need for salvation. Show me Lord how I can help and what I must do. Lead me by Your Holy Spirit to know the right.

Day 4 - January 12, 2009 (Monday) Morning

SMS to my nephew ... Jan 12 06:10:42
May I know what time is the operation so I can pray? Have your mom's sister visited her? Did she handle it well? Keep me informed of status, ok? Take care and stay strong.

Due to too many emergency cases at the hospital, the surgery for Choo will be performed at another hospital this evening at around 5pm.

Please pray with me. Thank you.

Day 4 - January 12, 2009 (Monday) Afternoon before 5 pm

Just entered operating theater at other hospital.

Please pray with me.

Day 4 - January 12, 2009 (Monday) Evening

By the time I reached the hospital, the surgery was about over. My nephew told me that the night before, Choo attempted escape again for five times and was eventually tied.

Choo is now resting at ICU after surgery. Tumor has been 'successfully' removed, but to what extent, the surgeon did not elaborate, except to inform us to wait for analysis.

Test analysis to confirm whether tumor is malignant or benign will only be out on Thursday, January 15, 2009, but with metastatic indication, the doctor is saying it is most probably, and that it is just a matter of what grade or degree, primary or secondary, local or dispersed.

To all who have been praying along with me, I wish to say thank you and God bless you.

Once the test result is out, I will update this thread again.

Day 5 - January 13, 2009 (Tuesday) Morning

The surgeon has just informed my brother and nephew that the tumor is almost completely removed, but probably under grade III. This means the tumor is malignant and contains actively reproducing abnormal cells which can invade surrounding normal tissue and frequently recur, often as grade IV tumors (final stage).

I am praying for the analysis report coming out on Wednesday or Thursday to reveal otherwise, but whatever the result, let it be according to God's will and plan.

I agree the family's salvation is of utmost importance, as it will be a key lead to the possibility of other members in the family coming to the Lord and my mom too. For now, I stand alone in the fight.

Day 5 - January 13, 2009 (Tuesday) Afternoon

SMS to nephew ... Jan 13 12:51:38
Hope you were able to catch some sleep last night. Is your mom feeling better? Please do not worry excessively. Wait for the test report and take one step at a time. Take care.

Day 6 - January 14, 2009 (Wednesday) Morning

I am deeply grateful to all at FW who have prayed and are still praying with me. I can more than sense the support I have here.

Over the last few days, I have stood by the family and offered them some words of encouragement amid hinting to my nephew mildly on occasions to consider God for help when man can no longer play their part as physicians.

My brother has left all the decision making to his son, but my nephew is somewhat cynical towards faith in a healing God, having seen too many other religions offering miraculous healings which are pure bluff. For now, I can only pray, hoping that when the time comes, the family will make a decision for God.

Thank you all for the encouragement. I am truly grateful.

Day 6 - January 14, 2009 (Wednesday) Afternoon

SMS to nephew ... Jan 14 12:24:23
Has your mom been discharged? Are all of you on your way home? Once you have news of the test result, let me know. Take care.

Choo is due to be discharged today but as she is still drowsy, she is advised to stay for another day.

SMS to my nephew ... Jan 14 13:04:41
Is your mom now at normal ward? What is the ward and bed number? Which floor is it? Is your mom still feeling pain? How are you and your dad?

Latest update from my nephew ...

Doctor says pathologist will need a week more to determine the tumor as it is slightly unusual, but tentatively shouldn't be the worse type as initially thought, but should be malignant.

Day 6 - January 14, 2009 (Wednesday) Evening

Visited the family at hospital ward. Choo appears to be fine apart from feeling drowsy. My brother informed me that Choo is no longer in full control of certain senses.

Day 7 - January 15, 2009 (Thursday) Afternoon

Choo has been discharged and will be returning to the public hospital where she was first admitted for stitch-take-off on Tuesday, January 20.

SMS to my nephew ... Jan 15 14:33:49
Has your mom been discharged? How is she feeling today? Please take care.

SMS from my nephew ... Jan 15 15:38:44
Doing paperwork now for discharge. Stitches will be removed on Tuesday [January 20, 2009]. My father says thanks to you for all the help and support.

Day 9 - January 17, 2009 (Saturday) Evening

My nephew has decided to delay his graduation by a couple of months in order to alternate with my brother to take care of sis-in-law. Choo is slightly better now and is finally able to walk on her own today.

SMS to my nephew ... Jan 17 22:37:05
Heard from my mom today that your mom fell down while at Raffles [hospital of surgery]? Is everything ok? It is thoughtful of you to delay your graduation. You have done the right thing. Take care.

SMS from my nephew ... Jan 18 01:02:39
Ya, but she finally can walk on her own today. Thanks for being there for my dad and me.

Day 12 - January 20, 2009 (Tuesday) Morning

SMS from my nephew ... Jan 20 06:45:30
How is your mom? Has she fully recovered or are there still some things she is unable to do? Even till now my online friends and I are still praying for her. I am also praying she will be calm when at the hospital later. Let me know the lab result once the report is out. Take care and stay strong.

Day 12 - January 20, 2009 (Tuesday) Afternoon

SMS from my nephew ... January 20 14:54:03
It is maglinant, but low grade glioma ... now we are asked to choose between chemo or radiotheraphy, and to give alternative treatment consent for new type of chemo.

SMS to my nephew ... January 20 15:14:51
Please take care and explore the options carefully. How is your mom taking the news? How about you and your dad? Stay strong and take a step at a time. We'll continue to pray.

Day 15 - January 23, 2009 (Friday) Morning

SMS to my nephew ... January 23 08:51:45
How are your mom and dad? How are you? Have your family come to a decision on treatment? Please take care. I'll be overseas from tomorrow evening. You can continue to update me via SMS.

Day 15 - January 23, 2009 (Friday) Afternoon

My brother's family is consulting another pathologist to find out the best course of treatment. Emotionally, they are better.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have been praying alongside with me for this family. May God bless each and everyone of you exceeding abundantly beyond what you ask or think as you continue to serve Him in this crucial ministry.

SMS from my nephew ... January 23 12:19:14
Emotionally better, soon. Consulting other pathologist. Enjoy your trip.

SMS to my nephew ... January 23 13:14:22
Thanks. Please take care.

Day 28 - February 05, 2009 (Thursday) Evening

I'm just back from overseas. Understand from my mom the following:

The family has been advised by a brain specialist who is a friend of my nephew to consider chemotherapy for my sis-in-law instead of medication due to possible side effect. Decision will have to be confirmed on February 17 during next appointment.

SMS to my nephew ... February 05 22:16:11
I'm back [from overseas]. Understand [from my mom] you have been advised to take up therapy for your mom instead of medication due to possible side effect. Also understand you need to decide by February 17 during next appointment. Please take care and keep me posted. Whatever the decision, please take it in stride and leave the rest to God.

Day 40 - February 17, 2009 (Tuesday) Afternoon

Decision has been made today for Choo to go with radiotherapy of 30 sessions starting Feb 25.

SMS to my nephew ... February 17 13:32:44
How is the medical review today? How is your mom taking the decision? Is she going ahead with chemo? Please take care. Any help needed, let me know. Keep me informed.

SMS from my nephew ... February 17 14:09:44
Will be doing radiotherapy of 30 sessions from Feb 25. She cries often ... quite upsetting.

Day 45 - February 22, 2009 (Sunday) Evening

Latest update from my nephew says Choo will be having radiotherapy daily for six weeks beginning Feb 25.

SMS from my nephew ... February 22 16:36:53
Hi uncles, just an update, my mom will be starting radiotherapy on 25th Feb for 6 weeks, daily.

SMS to my nephew ... February 22 18:44:44
Ok, please take good care of your mom during this period. Need any help, let us know. We can understand it will be difficult for all of you. Will continue to pray for you and your family. Take care and stay strong. Don't neglect your own health as well. Find rest. May God grant you His peace.

SMS reply from my nephew ... February 22 19:37:22
Thanks uncle. Yep, lets pray.

Day 48 - February 25, 2009 (Wednesday) Morning / Afternoon

Negative news and I am somewhat upset. Maybe laying of hands is needed or maybe I am not doing enough. Please pray with me for them.

SMS from my nephew ... February 25 10:07:07
Hi uncles, my mom was warded yesterday. It now appears that she need another op on Friday. The tumor came back aggressively and even bigger, unlikely to be low grade. My dad is very down now ...

SMS from my nephew ... February 25 Feb 10:09:31
... but try not to call him now, as he is driving alone. Scared he breaks down again.

SMS to my nephew ... February 25 12:54:39
That's not good and I am deeply sadden too. I'll be updating my online group of friends to pray. Please let me know the hospital ward and bed number. Please take care as well.

SMS to my wife ... February 25 12:49:26
To be honest, I can't help feeling a little upset and disappointed. Maybe laying of hands is needed, but it won't be proper for me to do so or to ask her belief and faith to receive, and then lay hands. I will have to find out more details and decide whether to visit this evening. Please pray with me for them. Maybe I'm not doing enough.

Day 49 - February 26, 2009 (Thursday) Morning

I am in a dilemma as to how I should reach out to my brother's family because of two main barriers. First, it is uncommon in our culture for a man to speak to the wife of a sibling. Second, my brother and sis-in-law only understand native language and ethnic dialect which I am not conversant in. My brother is in a refusal state at this point, not wanting help nor to trouble anyone.

SMS from my nephew ... February 26 01:31:45
I am not sure if it is a good idea, but I think neither my dad nor I would want to trouble you guys. Maybe when free, could give him a ring or something.

SMS to my nephew ... February 26 08:11:46
No trouble. Just let me know the ward and bed number. I hope to visit all of you and if possible to pray for your mom in person, that is, if she agrees. I and my friends will be praying. Please stay strong and take one step at a time, standing united in love and care as a family.

SMS from my nephew ... February 26 09:57:28
The doctor told my dad if malignant, probably a year only. He is very upset now, but I told him nothing is confirmed, but doesn't seem to help. Tomorrow's operation should be about 0830.

SMS to my nephew ... February 26 10:18:55
Please continue to keep me informed regularly and feel free to contact me if you need help. I'll be praying. Take care and stay strong.

Day 49 - February 26, 2009 (Thursday) Evening

Visited the family at the hospital after finding out from them the ward and bed number via phone call upon arrival. Managed to convince my brother to let me pray for sis-in-law despite their turning away to seek other faith and to perform rites as suggested by friends of my nephew. My brother and nephew have apparently chosen not to tell my sis-in-law of her condition. Sis-in-law seem to be in a frail state with mind beyond her control especially at night. Timing for surgery tomorrow has been rescheduled to around 10-11am.

I've prayed for peace to prevail and for healing. May God grant her a good night sleep, and may my brother and nephew see the touch of the Lord.

Day 50 - February 27, 2009 (Friday) Morning

SMS to my nephew ... February 27 11:08:25
Is she already in OT? Keep me informed, ok? Thanks. Take care and pray.

SMS from my nephew ... February 27 11:09:47
Ya ... I guess an hour more

SMS to my nephew ... February 27 11:18:32
Any issues last night? Did she get proper sleep? How did you get her to accept the op? Stay calm and do not be troubled excessively. God grant you comfort and peace.

SMS from my nephew ... February 27 11:20:28
I think she was calm. Somehow. Thanks for the healing prayer yesterday.

Day 50 - February 27, 2009 (Friday) Afternoon

She is now out of OT and in ICU. No update from the surgeon yet.

SMS to my nephew ... February 27 14:46:24
How is your mom?

SMS from my nephew ... February 27 15:26:11
Should be out very soon.

SMS from my nephew ... February 27 17:10:11
Now she is in ICU, but can't get to talk to doc yet.

SMS to my nephew ... February 27 17:18:19
Thanks for the update. Let me know once the doc visits and gives an update. I'll drop by this evening to catch up with all of you. Take care.

Day 50 - February 27, 2009 (Friday) Evening

Visited the family at the ICU. My sis-in-law is awake and looking ok, able to talk. Managed to spend a little time with my brother and nephew to check out how they are doing.

They told me that late last night in their absence, the doctor came to see my sis-in-law and spoke to her about her condition, and sought her signed consent. She was described to be calm and in the right state of mind. This morning, when my nephew and brother saw her to the operating theater, she remained calm and did not pick up an issue with them for agreeing without her consent, which she did during the previous surgery.

My sis-in-law is expected to be moved to the wards tomorrow afternoon.

Day 52 - March 2, 2009 (Monday) Evening

SMS to my nephew ... March 2 19:01:40
How is your mom? Is she still on drip? I will not be able to visit the next few days, so please take care and keep me informed.

Day 53 - March 3, 2009 (Tuesday) Morning

SMS from my nephew ... March 3 09:42:18
Doing ok. No more on drip, but got to stay till Sunday.

Day 54 - March 4, 2009 (Wednesday) Morning / Afternoon

The medical report is out with some positive news. The diagnosis indicates it is lymphoma cancer, not GBM (glioblastoma multiforme cancer) which the doctors earlier suspect to be. Lymphoma is one of the most curable form of cancer, while GBM is the deadliest.

Thank God for this news. May God continue to work in this family in growing their faith to turn to God and receive His salvation.

SMS from my nephew ... March 4 09:27:55
The diagnosis is out. It is lymphoma cancer, one of the most curable form of cancer, and not what was initially thought to be GBM [Glioblastoma Multiforme], the deadliest form. This is nothing short of a miracle as its occurrences are much lower. There is so much hope now!

SMS to my nephew ... March 4 12:53:49
Thank God! I am happy for your family. Thank you for sharing with me this piece of good news. Will inform my praying team too. Will still keep all of you in prayer.

SMS from my nephew ... March 4 13:41:15
Yes, let's continue to pray.

Day 55 - March 5, 2009 (Thursday) Evening

SMS from my nephew ... March 5 17:21:48
The exact diagnosis is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Chemo of 20 cycles needed and each cycle have to stay 4-5 days. Both [dad and mom] cried when they heard. But now slightly better. I told them things could have been much worse. At least now still got treatment with the potential of being cured.

SMS to my nephew ... March 5 18:57:49
We will continue to pray for your family. Take care.

SMS from my nephew ... March 5 20:44:43
Yes ... Miracles will happen again.

Day 57 - March 7, 2009 (Saturday)

My sis-in-law was granted home leave last night and will be returning to the hospital tomorrow (Sunday) morning for first session of chemotherapy. My brother and nephew will be seeing another specialist at another hospital with the report on March 9 (Monday) for a second opinion.

My mom is not taking all this very well. She herself is suffering from acute arthritis for many years and both her legs are constantly in pain with knee caps both changed in the past. When I offered to pray for her, she turned a little hostile, being an anti-Christian who have persecuted me for years as a teenager when I was first converted. Now, although she accepts me for what I believe, she still shows great displeasure every time I talk to her about the Christian faith. To add to the pain, she reminded me that it is probably the chanting prayers of the Japanese religion (probably Sôka Gakkai) which my brother and nephew turned to the other day that probably helped my sis-in-law get the diagnosis of a lesser cancer - lymphoma.

Despite my mom's unwillingness, however, I chose to lay my hands at her feet and prayed for her silently, with her knowing what I am doing. She did not resist much, and I hope God will do something here so that she may recognize the power of God and turn to Him.

Through all these happenings, I feel in my spirit there are some forces at work in the spiritual realm and I am praying against these interferences, and for God to provide a breakthrough so that all of them, my mom, my brothers and their families can turn to Christ.

Day 59 - March 9, 2009 (Monday) Afternoon / Evening

SMS to my nephew ... March 9 16:43:49
How is your mom doing? How are you and your dad? Please take care ok? Keep me informed whenever there is an update from the doctors. Feel free to contact me for anything.

SMS from my nephew ... March 9 18:32:52
Sure. Thanks so much.

Dear Lord, please keep watch over this family. Help them look towards You in time of desperation and in time wanting. Cover them Lord and keep them safe from desperate alternatives, for Lord we know only through You is salvation. Lead them to make the right decision in the course of treatment, Lord, and lead them to turn to You to find true comfort and have a personal relationship with You. Protect them Lord from the attacks of the devil and his forces. All these, I ask in Your most precious and holy name. Amen.

NOTE: This article is an actual prayer request made to the prayer warriors of FaithWriters.

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