19 March 1999

"Is everything OK with Jeanie? I'm just calling because I began to feel troubled a couple hours ago that she wasn't all right." -- a friend in the woods of Michigan's Thumb

Dear Everyone,

Several of you have written or called, even presciently, for another round of news. Herewith. It's hard to know exactly what to make of recent events.

Two evenings ago Jeanie began to have seizures in her left arm. Though her own willful inclination was simply to lie down and take additional medication, they came more fast and furious and began to involve her legs. By the time we got a wheel chair and help organized to get her to an emergency room, she had a major seizure which left her unconscious and the rest of us in a panic. I, to be honest, nearly lost it imagining I might be losing her right there in my arms. The girls first fled the chaos then held one another in tears nearby on the couch. Friends on the block tended to them promptly with care and prayer as we finally went off with EMS lights flashing.

A CAT scan showed clear (no new or acute tumor activity and no bleeding), but her dilantin levels were unaccountably low. They leveled her off with a drip and sent her home at 2 a.m. Things began to repeat, however, the next morning. So another ER run. This time unaccountably normal levels. They admitted her. An EEG proved pretty normal and reassuring, leaving mysteries unresolved. Today they sent her home, but now with Phenobarbital added to her med regimen. As she says, "It hardly seems fair to be made to edit an issue under the weight of three sedatives."

Actually, this latter may indeed bear on matters. March for our family has been unduly overscheduled. Stress can figure in the seizure formula. In the midst of such a month she is back in the editorial chair putting together a Witness on eldering and mentoring. This, of course, is to reference the flip side of things: she has been doing incredibly well and our sense of her healing progress may have been arrogantly complacent. Her last treatment was very difficult (it had included chemo which left her wracked with diarrhea and vomiting for weeks-- a couple trips to the ER back then just to get her fluids up and electrolytes balanced), but the last MRI pictures were miraculously good. No new growth. In fact, no visible tumor remaining. She's been looking like the poster child for this kind of treatment. Our proof in the pudding (and the prayer and the providence).

So ... we are nonplused by the recent humbling and reluctant to say too much definitive. We are trying to seize the miracle and notice the fragileness of things precious. Meanwhile we have an appointment with the local neurologist next week. End of the month we go back to Nashville for a high-powered MRI: checking with a fine toothed comb. I guess this ends up being another call for prayer. Please post silence and intercession. And thanks for the inquiries and intuitions, the light summoned, the plenteous support (both material and spiritual), for coming alongside in these ways and more.

We can only confess our love,

Bill, for all the Wylie-Kellermanns