We got up on Wednesday, July 3rd, to take Judah to his MRI. Our prayer was that the test would be clear and concise with definitive results giving us and the doctors direction to diagnosis and treat Judah. I was tense. Not because I thought they would find something but because anesthesia makes me nervous. So when the doctor came in 30 minutes into Judah’s scan and sat down, I knew we were about to be rocked to our core. He said, “There’s a tumor in his brain and it’s putting pressure on his brain and brain stem. We are going to move him to the PICU.” I fell apart.
In my heart, I screamed, PLEASE DON’T TAKE HIM FROM US! STOP!
Remember: My God is good AND my son has a terrible tumor in his head. These things are NOT mutually exclusive. My God is good and he will supply all my needs according to His great riches.
Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him for he shields them all day long and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders. Deuteronomy 33:12
The following are excerpts of the updates I’ve sent out to our amazing friends, family, and church:
7/4 It’s been a LONG day. We have a ways to go but we finally have some news. The neuro surgeon here at Children’s was just here and went over Judah’s MRI (from this morning) with us. He explained that the tumor is in the lower back of his brain, in a tear drop type shape, going down into the brain stem and possibly the spine. They couldn’t tell how far it went from this MRI they did today and said they will do another of the spine Friday morning to get a better look.He said the part of the tumor that is in the brain is pretty straight forward but the part going down into the brain stem and spine are more complex. He wouldn’t really say more than that. What he did say was that he thought the tumor is causing the apnea, coordination, and eye shakiness…So that’s something.We are in the PICU for the night and will more than likely move to “the floor” tomorrow if all goes well. They have him on iv steroids to reduce the pressure in his brain and that will hopefully reduce the symptoms. They will do the MRI of the spine Friday and said that if he looks good we can go home Saturday. Surgery will more than likely be early next week.Thank you all for your prayers, emails, and texts! We have felt God’s covering and are overwhelmed by the support y`all have shown us. Emotions are still raw and we are obviously nervous but trusting. We KNOW that God has this. That He is bigger than this tumor and that He has plans for Judah. We will trust in the the Lord and not be afraid! Is.12:2
7/5 After another long day of testing and scans we are finally laying down to rest. Judah’s swallow study came back normal so he is finally getting to eat and drink on his own! He ate enough for both of us at lunch and between complaining that his tummy hurt (because he had eaten too much)he begged for gummy bears. He’s been a trooper and we are so proud of him.Now the tougher part:The 2nd MRI showed that the tumor is also present on the C1 and C2 of his spine. This is much more complicated than we initially thought and are struggling with the decision of where/who should be removing this thing from our little boys head. We have had the blessing of my dad (general surgeon), my brother-in-law (OBGYN at Vandy), and my brother (pastor in Memphis) calling in favors with colleagues, friends, and friends of friends to get us second opinions at both Vandy and Le Bonheur. Both doors are open to us. This is where you all come in. PRAY FOR DIRECTION! We don’t want to do anything without God having a say first. We believe that God is living and speaking to his people so we ask that tonight and tomorrow morning you talk to God on Judah’s and our behalf. Where does God want Judah to be? And share it with us. We will be praying and seeking and reading His Word with you.To echo Tae, thank you for being a praying people!
Here is where I want to add in God’s favor for us. The details of the mountain moving that my family has accomplished can only be attributed to God’s amazing hand. My dad and brother-in-law drove the MRIs to Vanderbilt Friday afternoon to meet with a pediatric radiologist friend of Josh’s. He called his best friend, who happens to the head of pediatric neuro surgery at Vanderbilt, who called 2 other pediatric neuro surgeons and they all looked at the scans together. FAVOR. The surgeon said, “My goal is to give his parents back their son the same way he was before surgery. I will not do anything to detrimentally effect who Judah is. We will find another treatment plan if that is necessary.” I do not need to tell you what a relief that was to hear. So Matthew and I spent Friday night and the better part of Saturday praying, talking, reading His Word, praying more, reading your responses and praying into them, talking some more and during this time several things happened. First, Matthew felt an overwhelming peace that when choosing between Vanderbilt and Le Bonheur, there was no WRONG choice. That God’s plan was in motion and that HE would equip the surgeon to fulfill HIS plan. The pressure was off. Second, The events that occurred in the above paragraph. Most doctors don’t put themselves out for anyone, let alone total strangers. This was 4+ drs/surgeons, who were not working, on a Friday night, taking time away from their families, lives, holiday weekend plans, to spend 2 hrs with my Dad and brother-in-law looking over my son’s brain tumor and discussing it with heart. They wanted to give us back our son. This was the among the very few times over the last yr where someone who had the power to help him, made the effort, nay, wanted to help him. As a mom, it was almost enough to make me load Judah in my car and drive him to Nashville myself!
Another email excerpt:
With the news that the tumor is in the brain on the brain stem and in the C1 & C2 we have decided to go to Vanderbilt.
Thank you to all who prayed for direction and then shared it with us!…We feel an amazing peace about our decision to transfer to Vandy.
The transfer will happen sometime tomorrow and the surgery is looking to be Wednesday or Thursday. When things are more certain, I will let you all know.The big prayers right now are:1) That the tumor will NOT grow any (and even shrink) until the surgery so no emergency actions have to be taken.2) That the transfer to Vanderbilt stays on schedule (which we have heard is near impossible), goes smoothly, that the “red tape” is minimal, that insurance pays for the transfer, and we get checked into Vanderbilt PICU before dinner. That Matthew and Judah stay calm on the ride from Children’s to Vandy.
Thank you for covering us in prayer. We feel it.
~The Thacker Family
The Holy Spirit has saturated us with his comfort and peace and though no one would ever want to be where we are, I am so grateful that the God of the universe is ALSO the the God who created my son precisely, gave him his precious voice and imagination, AND loves us so much that He gave up His son for mine. He loves Judah more than we do. He has plans we do not know and cannot understand. I do not know what will happen through all of this. What I do know with all my heart, is that MY GOD IS GOOD! He will empower us to get through this, whatever is to come.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16