A Christmas Miracle
I call my nephew, Brennan, a child, but at sixteen he is caught between being a child and being a man. He still has the innocence and nonchalance of youth, but the wisdom that age brings for understanding medical terms and diagnoses. These combined characteristics have made him a dream patient for his team of doctors and nurses, but what a nightmare these past seven months have been for Brennan and his family.
Under normal circumstances, he has been a picture of health. A terrific athlete at anything but especially baseball and basketball, he was hoping to add football to his list by trying out for his high school football team this year. But last May he became ill with what seemed a lethal stomach virus, and dropped 25 pounds off of his already thin frame.
Since then he has bounced around from emergency rooms to x-ray rooms and has seen the inside of every imaginable department in the Isaac Walton Killam Hospital in Halifax. What ailed him seemed like a guessing game to the medical community; diagnosis ricocheted from a bad virus, to celiac disease, to Crohn’s disease. Finally, they settled on lymphoma. The game ascended from bad to worse.
Brennan has endured being a human pin cushion with heartbreaking stoicism and a shrug of the shoulders. He learned the hard way that you never know what a day might bring. He was deprived of food for what seemed an eternity under the Crohn’s blanket. The new, updated lymphoma diagnosis meant he could eat, but the lethal chemotherapy drugs took the pleasure out of food altogether.
Brennan finished his last round of chemotherapy last week, and the prognosis is finally looking positive, this nightmarish chapter of his life hopefully closing. He came home for Christmas and, fingers crossed, forever yesterday.
Santa came early, anything else that happens this Christmas is extraneous. Merry Christmas Brennan, and to all a good night.