Wednesday, April 25, 2007

2007 April 24 Update

April 24 Update

Okay, so this is Angie today again. Thank you again to Mindi who is finding the time and words to write when I am in too much pain to find the correct words. Last night can be described as nothing short of pure anguish, heartbreak and despair. I have never felt such amazing sorrow and agony in my life and I pray I never experience such emotions again. And the pain I feel/felt are a fraction of the emotions Brian feels/felt. Brian and I know the challenging road that lies ahead. We lost several acquaintances along the way to this same pathology. There, that is said, and now we are done with it.

I told Brian last night that I didn’t know it possible for a person to help another experience the happiness and joy he brings to my life. I told him life with him, sick or well, talking or not, walking or not, is so much more full, complete and beautiful. I can’t comprehend life without him and I refuse to do so. I am not giving up on him and I WILL NOT let him give up on himself, but that didn’t need to be said. Brian needed to grieve last night (don’t get me wrong, we are still grieving) but Brian never gives up. I told Brian I don’t know why this is our cross to bear, but the fact is, it is. I choose to lay it down and not carry a heavy load every day. Christ can carry that for me. He offers to do it for me and he did it for me on Calvary. Every new day we have together and as a family is going to be spectacular. I pray for 60 more years of spectacular, but no matter the time, it is going to be nothing short of spectacular. We will not give up hope and we ask that everyone else please continue to maintain your faith, hope and your positive attitude. Brian needs no tears, no sorrow, and no pity right now. He needs strength, prayers, support and love. For some reason Brian has been chosen to have to fight for everything all the time – to speak, to heal, to walk, to live. We need fighters surrounding us.

So, here is where we are today. Brian and I woke up very sad and tired. Brian had a private room and I finally got to stay the night, though I spent most of the night crying and feeling very alone. Then, PT came and he was able to do some lifting of himself off and on the bed to a standing position and a couple of shuffled steps. He has to learn to trust his right leg. His quad and hamstring are good, but the foot is not great. It is coming along, though. Today he was able to point his foot pretty well; flexing it is getting stronger every day. His right arm and had still just lied limp at his side making balance difficult, too. His speech is coming along so very well that the speech therapist put away her sheets and just carried a conversation with him. Brian can totally understand everything said, and knows exactly what he wants to say, but the words don’t come out fluently. But the fact is, two days after all he could say was “well” or “yeah”; he is carrying conversations- albeit sometimes jumbled and difficult to understand. Then something else happened.

The nurse came in around lunch and just checked his functions again. She commented on how much stronger his foot was getting. Then, she tried the “squeeze my fingers” test with his right hand. He said, “I can’t”, She said, “just think really hard and try” He took a deep breath, grimaced and his fingers started to curl!!!! I said, “Baby, look at your fingers!!!!” Then, she said, try to lift your arm. “Nothing” he said. She said, "just try really hard." He grimaced again, took a deep breath and lifted his arm about two then three inches off the bed. I said “LOOK AT THAT! LOOK AT THAT!” I started to tear up, Brian started to tear up, and the nurse got teary eyed and said “you got me, too.” It was so awesome. By the end of the day, he was able to get his arm up to about chest level and move his wrist, too. His fingers are still barely moving, but it is amazing!!! Praise God. It was so motivating for Brian.

He got moved to the rehab floor today. He will get an hour a day of each rehabilitation: Physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. His full time job is now to work out and get strong. He keeps telling me in his best Arnold voice “BUFF.”

We are STILL working to get the radiation oncology records to Edwards from Colorado. Please pray for that situation. If my God can create the heavens and the earth and raise from the dead, then I KNOW he can help facilitate the transfer of the appropriate records between two medical facilities! There was a suspicious area of enhancement left behind unable to get to during surgery (they are assuming it is tumor) that they want to treat with Cyber knife. Here is a link to cyber knife technology if you want to check it out. The area is small, but given the pathology, we want to be SUPER aggressive in treatment. They amount of radiation Brian can receive with Cyber knife is totally dependant on how much radiation he had in Denver. So, WE NEED THAT information! If Brian has Cyber knife (which they know he can, but they can’t develop a plan without knowing that history), he will stay in Rehab here during that. Cyber knife is outpatient linear accelerated radiation. So, he would go for treatments and come back for rehab. We would be here through next week. If he does not have cyber knife, we will probably arrange for Brian to go to inpatient rehab in Peoria and head home. They don’t know how long he will be in rehab and I worry about how long it will drag out and how long we would stay here. We have to go home at some point in time.

Another next step: The neuro-oncologist is coming by tomorrow to talk about a chemotherapy plan for Brian. Based on his chemo history, the options are getting limited, but we will see what he has to say. We, once again, want to be as aggressive as possible.

Jan had an interesting day. She is still admitted and was being monitored for her A-fib heart rhythm. They were giving her medication to try to control her pulse and to get her to come out of A-fib. She got VIOLENTALLY ill and started to have her lung fill up with fluid. The echo revealed that she has a condition called mitral regurgitation (probably caused by her rheumatic fever as a child) and the a-fib aggravates the problem. This is a leakage of blood from the left ventricle into the atrium of the heart. Anyway, after some medication and close monitoring and some panic, her heart went back into sinus rhythm (normal) and her heart rate is back down to around 60-70. It was around 120-140 when she was admitted. That is great, but they are still going to do a stress test on her to test her heart and watch her for another day or two.

Anyway, just another day in the lives of the O’Neill’s.

Please keep praying for us and for getting those records and for Jan and for anything else you can think of.

Brian, Angie, Gavin and Grant O’Neill


  1. Angie, thank you for the update, we praise God for the remarkable things that took place today.

    I was already in bed this early hour of the night,couldn't get to sleep, because the Holy Spirit kept nudging me with words.
    So I finally decided I might as well get out of bed. Then I received your latest message. Incredibale how God puts it all together. Why incredibale, as I was listening to the Holy Spirit, I kept hearing the words, from the apostles who had prayed for the sick and they weren't getting well. They asked Jesus, why not. He answered them, this one can only be done by fasting and praying.
    Interesting to me, that that came, because then in your report you stated the following:
    " There was a suspicious area of enhancement left behind unable to get to during surgery ".

    Here is where the prayers and fasting comes into place.
    I know that many have been praying, now God calls us to fast also. I am calling everybody to a three day fast, ask God what to fast from. During the prayers and fasting time, be focused on this enchancemant left behind, and see your prayers and sacrifices of the fast, make a spiritual deposit of love, healing into that area of Brian's brain. Like Jesus he cursed the sycamore tree by the spirit of the root, for it was not producing,and it dried up. It had to respond according to what Jesus spoke. Here we curse the root of the spirit of this glioblastomo grade IV tumor, in the name of Jesus. It has no business lingering on, enough is enough, out you go tumor. And we see that place immediately filled with brand new healthy tissue, a restored brain, capable of all that God created it for.
    Everybody lets in agreement together do this for our dear friend Brian. God tells us where three or more are gathered in His name and ask Him anything it will be granted.
    I believe with as many as we are, we can go to that Throne and ask a big favor for Brian, and God will honor and answer that.
    We have the authority from God, the anointing to go boldy to Him, and ask, and then see the promised results. By the stripes that Jesus bore, Brian has been healed.
    Just see it in front of you, we are all in different places in the world, yet we are together,one in spirit, so being one, lets pray, fast and Praise God.
    Paul and Silas were in prison at their darkest hour, they started singing and praising the Lord,not being disturbed by what was going on around them. Then all of a sudden the gates opened up.
    Lets do the same for Brian and Angie, singing the Praises, in harmony with the mighty angels, and believing for even greater miracles. For with God all things are possible, when we reach out to Him, He looses what we have loosed on earth.
    So we keep believing. Jesus came so we can have life and have it more abundantly. We are not the defeated ones, the thief can't come in to steal, kill or destroy.
    For we belong to God's family.

    So keep the motto;
    Love you Marjo

  2. Angie,

    I know I talk to you everyday, but there is something about reading your "blogs" too that makes me realize how wonderful you and Brian are and what amazing human beings you are. You both continue to amaze me in your ability to trust God and your strength in Him as well as one another. God made you two meet for a reason and I truely believe because you both are great for each other and know how to keep each other strong not matter what circumstances come at you. Just continue to stay strong and work hard together. We love you both.

    Mindi, Matt and Logan

  3. Angie,

    Before you read this remember I am a HORRIBLE speller and I have very poor grammer skill. Your sister (Mindi) has to proof read everything I do at work.

    I was thinking of you and your family this morning on my way to work and listening to the radio and found a song on the radio that was about you. I know GOD sent this song to me to give to you and after reading your e-mail today I knew it for sure. It was called Praise Him In The Storm by Cast and Crown.

    The verses that stood out to me were "He holds every tear you cry in his hands" and "Even though your heart is torn he will never leave your side", "Praise him in the storm".

    You are a true inspriation with your courage, dedication, and undying love you have for your husband and most of all GOD. You and Brian are a real picture of what marriage is all about. So many of us fall into the trap of the day to day grind thinking our lives could be so much more. Instead of stopping and saying THANK YOU GOD FOR THIS DAY WITH THE ONES I LOVE. Love, Honor and Cherish. You guys have more love than any two individuals I have ever seen.

    I just wanted to let you know that there are people all over praying for Brian and your family and putting you guys on prayer lists. GOD can do anything.

    GOD BLESS YOU and Thank you for your wonderfull witness you give each and every day.

    Angie Rhodes

  4. Angie-
    You don't know me, but I hope you don't mind that your cousin Trisha Hirtz is keeping me updated on your family situation. She is a good friend of mine and thought you might be able to use any extra prayers. Believe me, I am sending them your way. I just wanted to tell you that you and your family inspire me. Your strong faith in God helps me to feel closer to Him, if that makes any sense. If anything good can come out of this situation, then maybe that's one thing.
    I'm sending a wish of peace in your heart today.
    Sincerely, Krista

  5. Angie & Brian,

    I'm so grateful for your blog and so grateful for your strength and courage Angie to keep us aware of what is occuring and how to effectively pray.

    You are so right....the battle belongs to God....lay it down and stay in that place of peace. He is Faithful and True....the Calm in the storm. He PROMISES to never leave us or forsake us. He is our Fortress and our fortitude....He is Sovereign and always searching for His faithful ones. If He is for us who (or what) can be against us....there is Victory for those who believe... in every situation....(we are NEVER defeated!) May His peace and love keep you rested and always living in that strong place of hope!
    Debra Winter

  6. Angie, thank you for updating us so often. I admire you and Brian both for your strength. You are both amazing. I am doing a bible study on prayer and we just studied many of the names of God. The one that I will mention is Jehovah-Rophe from Exodus 15:26 which means The Lord who heals. I believe this and I will continue to pray that Jehovah-Rophe will bring healing on the O'Neill family. I will also join in a fast. Here is a huge ((((hug)))) for you, Brian and Jan.

    Love, Noelle

  7. Good morning O'Neills!
    Just letting you know that you are in our thoughts and prayers again as always. Keep working Brian. I look forward to seeing you soon.

    Your friend,

  8. Dear Angie and Brian,

    Seeing that inspirational love and peace flowing from within your Holy tabernacles. As a couple being One in the flesh and spirit,The loving and kind words and actions become very powerful.
    right now doing great and wonderful things within bringing healing and restoration.
    The river of love and life giving water is flowing out of your bellies, blessed with the anointing and spirit of the Holy Spirit, bringing to life the words,
    like God spoke"Let there be light" and there was.
    As you have been speaking words of encouragement and healing,"Let there be completeness in restoration of health", we Keep Believing that there is.

    For Jan, we pray. Jan. let not your heart be troubled, give the worries and anxieties about all that is going on to God.
    God" let there be light and restoration in her physical heart".
    we believe there will be.

    As God has put a beautiful sun in the sky over California this morning, we believe that the hearts and minds in the hospital are shining just as bright with the Sunshine bringing radiant light
    within the mind, body and soul. Letting the sunshine soak in.

    Keep praying and fasting, for all the promises of God to come to pass.
    He promised us long life,we keep believing for that.

    Rejoice, Rejoice, Glory to God in the Highest.
    Love you Marjo

  9. Brian & Angie

    Its been a while since we last spoke but wanted to send a quick note to thank Angie & Mindi for Brian's progress reports !! Good job Brian I think you get an "A"!!We think, talk & pray for you daily and can't wait to get together in Dunlap soon.

    Note: To Angie
    Jessica has her pen and calendar out waiting to write down her 1st babysitting assignment!!

    Love & Prayers

    Mike, Kathy, Jessica & Nicole

  10. Hey there... Its HUD.

    I am sitting in Dallas this week and each evening is wrapped up with these wonderful updates. I think of you guys during the day and enjoy thinking of the progress you are making. You both are so great together. I do look forward to seeing you guys in the near future. Keep fighting, believing, and stay strong!!!