(Warning: I'm writing this through tear-stained contact-filled eyes, so I'm hoping this update makes some sense. Forgive me if it doesn't. I think you'll get the gist of what I'm trying to say either way.)
So, Patrick had his MRI this morning, followed by a spinal tap. (Thankfully, the boy was given strong sleeping drugs, so he was out of it for both of the procedures.) The MRI results have come back and show "new lesions" throughout Patrick's brain. These lesions are most likely the potential return of his lymphoma. We would only know for sure if neurosurgeons were to do yet another brain biopsy, but with that comes all sorts of potential complications. There is white matter now showing up all over his brain (and not just confined to his corpus collusum, as it has been before/up until now.) Radiation would be the only available cure for the cancer, but given the weakened status of his brain, it might not be a viable or kind option to him. His brain is breaking down, bit by bit.
The doctors have also articulated that there are two processes at work here: 1) the lymphoma and 2) something else. The "something else" is what is likely causing his rapid neurological decline. They are still waiting for the results to return from his spinal tap (and some of them have been sent to other various top-notch research hospitals for specific testing), but his oncologist mentioned to me today that his decline is most likely not reversible. He is even wondering if Patrick could actually have Mad Cow Disease. (Of all things. Seriously??!!?) The spinal tap results should reveal whether it is MCD, or something similar (or something totally different altogether). Either way, it is most likely terminal.
So, if you're close to Patrick, and want to see him in person while he is still with us (and cognizant to see you and respond to your visit), come! I know the timing is awful. (What better way to celebrate Christ's birth into this broken world but by remembering that we are indeed so very broken, as evidenced in Patrick's now-broken body, eh?) We're going to meet with his entire medical team later this week to discuss their findings, and our options for where we go from here. I have NO idea what the time-line will be, so bear with me as I slog through the next few days (while also trying to muster a bit of Christmas cheer for my budding 2 1/2 year old who might need to say goodbye to her sweet daddy.)
The outlook is dismal, friends. I have wept more in the past few days than I have cried in my lifetime. And I know there are many more tears to come...(let's just say waterproof mascara is my new best friend.)
I will try my best to keep you updated as much as I can. Forgive me if I don't return your calls, facebook messages, texts or emails. It's hard to emotionally regurgitate sorrowful news over and over. Know that I love you, appreciate you, and covet all of your prayers, love, gifts, visits, messages, etc.
For those of you who pray, we are hoping to orchestrate a massive day of prayer for Patrick. I'm at a loss for how to do this right now, and wonder if waiting until Christmas Eve will be too late for such a thing. So, for now, please fervently pray for healing! Barring a miracle, I don't think Patrick will be with us much longer...which is just about the most devastating Christmas news I would want to share. But I worship a God who loves us, who is merciful, and who can heal our bodies. Please pray that he does heal Patrick. And if it's not in his plan to heal one fantastic Patrick Alexander Kelly, please pray that he takes him gently into his arms, healing his broken body, while giving all of us who love him so deeply the strength to go on without him.