Just two short years ago Brad and Jennifer became a couple. I still remember the night of their first date when Brad called from the movies to ask us some trivial question about something the two of them had been discussing on their date…Brad’s funny that way. It was mid-October of 2009.
Our family met Jennifer for the first time on the night of our Halloween party. Yes, Jennifer met her future in-laws while we were dressed as bottles of ketchup and mustard–and yet she married Brad anyway! Go figure…
Jennifer was finishing up her training to become a registered nurse back then, and I recall there was some controversy about an exit exam or something like that. I don’t recall all of the details, but I do recall that Jennifer’s mama went to the university and butted heads with the officials there! Whatever she said worked, and the problem got solved. Hell hath no fury like a mom whose child has been wronged!
Brad and Jennifer spent their first Christmas as a couple, enjoying the holidays with both sets of parents. Nobody knew then that it would be the last Christmas for Jennifer’s mom.
Early in the following year, Jennifer’s mom suffered some kind of “spell” and ended up in the hospital. In retrospect, her family now believes her heart had stopped beating while she slept, but somehow the heart managed to jump start itself again. Denise spent several days in the hospital, having tests run, but was later discharged without any clear answers as to what happened or why.
In the meantime, Jennifer had her yearly pap smear done, only to discover that she had suspicious cells present. She underwent a procedure, in hopes that it would remove all of cancerous cells, but the cells were too extensive, and surgery would need to be performed. Jennifer’s doctor referred her to an oncologist who referred her to another doctor who specializes in a new type of cervical cancer surgery. Jennifer was only 23 at this time.
While Jennifer was waiting for her new, experimental cervical surgery to be scheduled and performed, her mother unexpectedly passed away in July of 2010. Sometime during the wee hours of the morning, while she slept, Denise’s heart stopped beating again, refusing to restart this time. She passed away on the day our entire family, including Brad and Jennifer, was planning to leave on vacation.
In September of 2010, Jennifer traveled seven hours to North Carolina to have her special cervical cancer surgery. The surgery was successful. All cancer was removed. Although, Jennifer lost her cervix, she was able to retain her ovaries and uterus due to this new procedure. She had hopes of one day conceiving a child, although a pregnancy would be high risk due to her cervical surgery.
A couple of months after the surgery, Jennifer was rushed to the hospital with high fever and pain in her side. She was admitted to the hospital and further tests showed an inflamed appendix plus a large abscess in her abdomen. Abdominal surgery didn’t appear to be a viable option due to so much infection in the abdominal cavity(risk of spreading), so a drain was surgically inserted from Jennifer’s backside. However, the drain was only left in place a day or so, then removed. A tragic mistake that would come back to haunt Jennifer.
Jennifer was treated with mega doses of antibiotics and scheduled to see a surgeon at a later date about removal of her appendix. A few weeks later, Jennifer spoke with a surgeon, who decided to leave her appendix alone. Another decision that probably played a part in Jennifer’s future outcome.
Brad and Jennifer got married at the end of June, but several other things have happened along the way. Over the past few months, since the initial flare up of her appendix, Jennifer has made several doctor visits–including two more trips to the emergency room. All of these events have culminated in some distressing news for Jennifer. On Tuesday of next week, Jennifer is scheduled to have more surgery to eliminate her problems.
Apparently, the infection from Jennifer’s appendix formed an abscess, that has remained inside of her abdominal cavity, and destroyed her right ovary, as well as both of her Fallopian tubes. All of this damage will have to be surgically removed, along with the appendix–and anything else that the surgeon deems necessary once he gets a look inside. This was not the outcome we were all hoping for two short years ago.
Life is funny. We don’t always get what we want. I try not to question God because I know that all things work together for good, but it doesn’t make some days any easier. Sometimes life just plain sucks, and there have been plenty of those times for Jennifer during the past two years.
I admire Jennifer for her tenacity and ability to carry on. Despite all of the things she’s endured during the past two years, she’s managed to plan a wedding, and hold down a nursing job with a grueling schedule. It’s not unusual for her to pull 13 hour shifts, then make the drive home, which takes nearly 90 minutes. She spends long days taking care of others, sometimes when she needs taking care of, as well.
I’m seeking your prayers on behalf of Jennifer, as she prepares to undergo yet another surgery. Life just seems so unfair sometimes, but we do what we must.
In addition to her surgery next week, Jennifer is dealing with another life-changing situation, as well. Next month her daddy will be getting re-married. This will be an adjustment for Jennifer’s entire family, but especially for Jennifer. Life goes on, but sometimes it’s just difficult. Jennifer had to pack up her mom’s things last week. Not an easy thing for her to do, I am sure.
If you send up prayers for Jennifer, please don’t forget about our son, Brad, too. Sometimes it’s equally as tough on the spouse of the one who’s going through the trials of life…especially when there are so many.