April 20, 2006

Miracles Happen

Editor’s Note: In September 2005 Gielle Kuhn, 10, was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, an aggressive B-cell lymphoma. Last month in Our Daily Blog, we shared excerpts from Gielle’s online diary that chronicled her four-month treatment and hospital stays. Below are excerpts from her mother’s online diary.

June 17, 2005, 12:42 a.m.

Last night Gielle was very sick. She has nausea, vomiting, and a lot of abdominal pain. We went to the emergency room for the third time, and finally a CT scan was done. They thought I was crazy and wanted to find a disease, and told us to go home.

I thank God for giving me the ability to ask for more tests, and not to settle for less. After the exam was done we were treated properly, pain medicine was finally given, and they believed in Gielle’s symptoms. She has been referred to another hospital for more tests tomorrow. She may have an inflammatory bowel syndrome, or it may be neoplastic, which could mean cancer. Please, pray for Gielle.
Gielle was taking a bath tonight and wrote with foam letters “MIRACLES HAPPEN.” . . . Last night, in the middle of so much pain, she began singing “My God walks with me, I should not be afraid.” She is so precious to us. We know God has a plan for her life.
September 6, 2005, 3:40 a.m.
Gielle has been having abdominal pain for three months. The doctors did not seem to know what she had, and most of them did not believe in her pain. But after three months of suffering, her hemoglobin dropped, her LDH increased, and her platelets increased, so we decided to take her to the best hospital in Michigan.
The last days were not easy for us. We came to Ann Arbor, to the University of Michigan Hospital, and through miracles the doctors finally could offer a diagnosis: Burkitt’s lymphoma, a cancer that is very treatable. She had a biopsy and a catheter inserted to receive chemo. She began having chemotherapy yesterday.
1511 page28At the moment, as I sit here in her room, watching her sleep and wondering how the future will be, I rely on God’s promises to be our strength in time of trouble.
She has a lot of pain, and the chemo is giving her strange reactions--high blood pressure and weakness--so we ask for your constant prayers.
She is a sweetheart, and is handling pain so bravely. We are happy that the tumor was only 5 centimeters to 7 centimeters wide. It is a fast-growing tumor, so we know God already made a miracle, because it has been three months since her symptoms first began to appear, yet the tumor is only the size of a two-week-old tumor. God is good!
It is not easy to be a mom and see your daughter suffering like this . . . may God grant me hope and strength.

September 9, 2005, 12:41 a.m.

Thank you for your constant prayers and support . . . Today was a very hard day. Gielle had a lot of pain, and to add to all of that, the hairdresser came to do a haircut. She was quiet for the whole time, and after the lady left she cried.
I hugged her and cried too . . . my mom also cried . . . it was just too much loss for us and a moment of realizing that this disease is real . . . I believe Jesus cried with us too.
Now she is sleeping, so peaceful, so sweet. My baby, my firstborn, my gift from heaven . . . She is alive, even though she already carries the pain in her facial expressions. But she is fighting, and Jesus is with her. May the Lord grant us His love . . . May He touch her and heal her . . . May He give us strength and faith.
September 14, 2005, 10:34 a.m.
Many people are getting closer to God because of Gielle. She said that if her problem is bringing someone closer to Jesus that it is worth it. Blessed child! God has a special plan for her life . . . She woke up smiling! What a precious gift . . . she is alive and in God’s hands.
October 22, 2005, 7:08 p.m.
The last weeks have been quite hard, but I have never felt as physically and emotionally exhausted as I do now . . . Sometimes I don’t know if I am performing my job properly as a nurse, advocate, mother, best friend, companion, prayer warrior, and someone who really loves her . . . I really feel as if I don’t have the energy or the wisdom.
I opened my Bible and read the story of Jesus when He asks the Lord to do His will (Mark 14:36, last part). Jesus felt alone. However, He knew that He could receive strength from God. I have felt alone. How can anyone live a normal life knowing that their daughter is hurting . . . So many other children on this floor are hurting too! But my strength comes from the Lord . . . He heard my cry . . . He was crying with me. May God’s will be done in her life.
December 23, 2005, 9:37 a.m.
Gielle is home now, and we are so happy that she is recuperating well. Her counts are still down, but so far no fever or mucositis. We praise God for that!
I read in a booklet for cancer patients that now we are entering a new phase--the end of treatment--and the fear that it brings. It feels so secure to have treatment and be in the hospital, . . . so now it is a challenge to go on with a normal life . . . Please continue to pray for us.
Even when trials and tribulations come, Jesus is there, and He is crying WITH us, comforting us, and reminding us that this is not our home . . .
December 31, 2005, at 3:33 p.m.
Last Thursday Gielle had more scans in the hospital. Gielle was afraid because we were going back to the hospital for more tests . . .
It was time for the scan, so we went downstairs to the third floor. The nurse put a peripheral line in her arm, which was OK because he got it on the first try, and it didn’t hurt much . . . She was lying there still when I left with a prayer: “Dear Lord, if there is still anything there--any cancer cells--please, show it to the doctors.”
As I sat in the waiting room, I recalled our journey through that hospital, the many nights without sleeping, the many fears and prayers, the many times I sensed God so close to us, the many miracles He had already performed. How could God love us so much?
I have to admit that I didn’t sleep well that night. My stomach hurt; my mind was racing with many thoughts, and I asked God to give me peace. Gielle woke up with a big smile, and that was a sign from the Lord to me that everything would be fine. . . .
I called the doctor. She read all the results to me . . . Everything was NORMAL!!!
God has healed her. God has kept her alive, though there were many days when she could have easily died. God sustained her faith and strength when the pain was unbearable. God showed us how many people love and care for us . . .
So today, December 31, I want to say to the Lord THANK YOU!
I have become a better person.
I have learned to be thankful for every situation. I have learned to trust in God every minute of my life. I have learned to be sensitive to the needs of others . . .
I thank God for my precious Gielle . . . She is not the same Gielle. She lost her energy, her beautiful hair, and who knows what damage the chemotherapy did to her good cells. But she has become stronger in her faith in God. She has decided to become a doctor to help kids be strong when they have cancer. And she has learned to trust in God even in the midst of pain and fear. Gielle has felt the presence of Jesus in her life. What a privilege! 
She wants to be baptized on her birthday, August 26, 2006, and give her life to Jesus. PRAISE BE TO GOD! That is what love is all about!
Gisele D. C. Kuhn, R.N., homemaker, mother of two daughters, Gielle (10) and Gillian (6), was a missionary for many years. She enjoys cooking, reading, photography, playing the piano, and helping others.