Monday, June 3, 2013

A Boy with a Tumor

Caleb was born with a sort of birthmark called a strawberry hemangioma.  While it was rather small when he was born, as he grew, this small benign tumor grew as well.  At 4 months old it began bleeding and ulcerating.  He had to go in for some injections and steroids to stop it.  Doctors said it would stop growing over time and eventually it would flatten down and be level with his arm, but it never did.  

By the time he was 9 years old, the doctors advised us to get it looked at by a plastic surgeon.  
We went in and Caleb was scheduled to have it removed a few days after Christmas in 2011.

The surgery was supposed to routine and only take a few hours, but many complications arose and it took over 5 1/2 hours before Caleb was in recovery.

Before the surgery we had worried about possible nerve damage that may have come from removing a mass in his arm, but the surgeons and doctors reassured us that everything would be fine.  

When we met with the doctor in recovery he told us that it had been a bit more complicated than he thought. He told us how they had to remove the tumor and a fatty mass inside his arm and that his blood vessels had been intertwined throughout this mass so they a lot more to deal with.  

Then he began to explain how he had tried his best to avoid any nerves but some had been "lit up on the screen"? or hit or bumped?  I believe we were in a daze by then and didn't understand all that he was saying, as the only part I remember distinctly was "He may have nerve damage and it could go all the way into his hand......"  and "but we won't know for sure until he has healed......".  

We were in shock and horrified that little Caleb the pianist might suffer nerve damage from this and immediately began praying for his arm and hand to be OK.  We knew that he had been given a gift from God to play the piano and could not accept that it would be taken away just like that.  

As time went by after the surgery, we waited and had hope that everything would be alright.  When Caleb went back to the doctor for his 1st followup appointment, we were very happy and relieved to find that the nerve damage was only localized to his lower arm mostly where the tumor had been removed.  Caleb had good feeling in his wrist and into his hands and fingers.  We knew he would be able to continue playing the piano.  

Caleb had to wait almost 2 months before he was allowed to play the piano again, but we remember distinctly the morning when he was given the go ahead.  It was early morning and Caleb had printed out a new hymn arrangement of If You Could Hie to Kolob.  It was the first time he was playing it through and he played it beautifully!  

Here is Caleb playing Aaron Waite's If You Could Hie to Kolob;

We knew Caleb's arm was spared so that he could keep his beautiful gift of music.  Caleb knew it too, and he promised from that day onward that he would use his gift for good and to bring other people joy.  

This began the vision of "Sundays @ 6".

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