The Diagnosis-The Day Life Changed

by Jeff Osborne

It was Tuesday, the day after Labor Day, and it looked like it would be a typical good day. I was refreshed from the three-day weekend and ready to take on the day. I was in an all-day strategy session when I looked down at my cell phone vibrating on my hip. I saw it was Pam but planned to call her back at the next break. Suddenly, Joe stuck his head in the conference door and told me I needed to call Pam right away, sounded urgent. My heart rate grew as I dialed her number. She had taken Hailey to the pediatrician to find out what might be the source of her early morning vomiting she had been experiencing lately. Pam and I were not overly concerned, just more agitated by not being able to find the cause of the vomiting. For the past several weeks we had tested for allergies, sinus infection and now the doctor was exploring acid reflux. As Pam answered the phone she told me the pediatrician wanted her to take Hailey over to get an MRI of her brain. "An MRI!, how did we go from acid reflux to a possible brain tumor?" I said. Pam was not terribly upset on the phone as she noted that Dr. Kaus needed to have the MRI done so we could eliminate the potential of a brain tumor. She had seen three brain tumors in the past several months. Pam explained that during the doctor visit Dr. Kaus had given her a few packets of Zantac to try in the event Hailey did have excess stomach acid. Then just as they we getting ready to end the visit, Dr. Kaus began processing her thoughts. "You say the vomiting is every morning at the same time?" Pam replied, "Yes, like clockwork for the past two weeks." Dr. Kaus then asked Hailey to stand on one leg so she could she her ability to balance. Hailey was extremely wobbly and unable to hold her stance. It was so bad Pam thought Hailey was messing around. She wasn't.

I met Pam and Hailey at the Radiology lab for the MRI. I sat next to Hailey and rubbed her leg while the MRI was taking place. I stared at her with intensity as she was lying inside the large chamber. Praying God would not allow there to be anything show up on the scan, I grew anxious. I considered looking the MRI technician in the eye and seeing if I could sense the outcome through his expression. I chose not to for fear of the answer. We drove home and waited for the phone to ring. I decided to drive to the voting site to drop off our primary ballots. The phone rang, I saw it was Pam. She was crying, "It's not good news, it's not good news. She has a large mass on her brain." I shouted, "No, no, not my baby. This can't be happening." I trembled with unbelievable fear. Horror had struck, tragedy was at my doorstep. I immediately called Mom and Dad. Mom screamed and cried, Dad then got on the phone. He told me it would be okay, he told me he would walk with me through this valley. I drove for the next few miles until I reached my driveway. I walk in the door and saw Hailey sitting on the couch watching TV as if nothing was wrong. I dashed up the stairs and closed the bedroom door. I grabbed Pam and we hugged like never before. For the first time in our 11 years of marriage one was unable to comfort the other. We were helpless in the moment. Life stood still in an instant. I remember feeling separated from everything...Pam, Hailey, God, myself. I wonder if this feeling of momentary separation and loneliness is a slight resemblance of what our Lord may have felt when He hung his head on the cross and for an instant, when He took on the sin of the world, and was separated from His heavenly Father. I am so thankful that even when we feel complete loneliness and despair He is still there, close as ever, regardless of what we feel in the moment.

Even the moment our lives changed forever.

God is near.

The Treatment Plan


We immediately began treatment with 6 weeks of radiation combined with chemotherapy. Following the Radiation, Hailey successfully finished a 6 month chemotherapy cycle. This phase was long and difficult but God was amazingly faithful during this process. The greatest treatment plan we implemented was prayer. The Great Physician has prescribed prayer and we followed this with great rigor.

Hailey finished her treatment plan in June 2005. We are in remission and are currently undergoing MRIs once a quarter to ensure the cancer stays gone. All Rights Reserved. 2009