Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Life at Mayo...

This is a message to let you know where I am at the present time. My brother, John, was diagnosed with Stage Four Esophageal Cancer about two years ago. It was very serious and he prepared for a rarely-done surgery in which the team at Mayo would reconstruct a new esophagus for him from the skin of his intestine.

Before he had this surgery, John was required to go through several of months of intense chemo and radiation to shrink the tumor. As he is single, John chose to do this is Kansas City, where two of my other brothers live with their families. Typical of John (a runner in his fifties), he chose to continue running during his chemotherapy. He also continued his job from my brother's home in Kansas City, as he was able.

When John returned to Mayo after chemo and and radiation, we all had an amazing surprise. The tumor was gone.There was no reason to do the reconstructive surgery. Even his doctors were astounded. 

John has been back for regular check-ups at Mayo ten times. I have four brothers and one or more of us usually go with him. It has been deeply touching to see how well we could all pull together to do our part to help him. I think this is my sixth visit here with John in the last several years.

John has continued to work during the majority of this time in his job as Assistant Director and editor of several publications for the National Federation for High School Activities in Indianapolis, Indiana. While he isn't able to run anymore (that knee thing!), he exercises six times a week, eats well and does everything he can to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Yesterday we got good news. John is again in remission. I am exhausted but thrilled and relieved. He has done his part toward getting well and his doctors at Mayo have been incredible. My other brothers and I also know each other again as adults, and that is a true gift of John's illness.  But, mainly, I thank God for his recovery. There are some things that cannot be explained.



  1. What a beautiful post of hope for so many. Bless your brother and your whole family for being with him, beside him, praying for him. Blessings to him for taking great care of himself!

  2. Oh What a wonderful post, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so happy for everyone. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Fabulous news! Miracles do happen. ~ Angela

  4. Again and again, many hugs to you, my friend. So much hope to hear. Recovery, family, life. Thank you for sharing.
    much love!

  5. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story of hope, faith and family. It is uplifting and encouraging at a time when we are facing the unexpected serious illness of my Mom.
    I hope you have a wonderful afternoon!
    Take care, Laura

  6. It is always wonderful to hear news like this! I am so happy for your brother and your entire family! May God continue to bless your family with miracles!

  7. wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!!

  8. We must enjoy each day...and be thankful. Lovely post. Hugs to you.

  9. This is beautiful news!! Having worked at Mayo (AZ) for a few years I can say I was always so proud of the work there. You have much to celebrate!!

    xox Rella
    p.s. and my word verification is 'sings'...
    not a coincidence.

  10. that is the most wonderful news:) how happy you all must be...thank you for sharing your wonderful story of hope!!! and miracles!!!

  11. Such wonderful news, Suz!!! Everytime you go it must be nerve wracking, but what a relief to find him in remmission!

  12. How wonderful to have such good news!! Thank you for sharing. Best wishes to John.

  13. That's wonderful news! And are you saying you are presently in KC?!? If so let's meet up for coffee!

  14. That really is some wnderful news! Love to hear news like this!!!

  15. Wow- what wonderful news for your family. I love stories with a happy ending.

  16. How wonderful about your brother. God is so amazing!

  17. Wow, that's great news about your brother! It really sounds like he's been through a lot.

    Thank you so much for the visit, so nice to discover you and your beautiful blog!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  18. Suz,

    So wonderful to hear that your brother is doing well. I'm sending you and yours lots of hugs and prayers for continued recovery.



  19. What a happy and incredible story. As believers we know that this is a true MIRACLE. Thanks so much for sharing! You are a sweet sister to hang in there when he needed all of you.

  20. Hooray!!!
    Prayers and hugs to you, sweet Suz

  21. Hello, Suz,
    I am so glad your brother is doing well. I know Mayo Clinic is an awesome hospital, and he is in good hands. Thank you for stopping by Bunny Cottage and giving me the opportunity to meet you!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. Love and blessings~ Vicki

  22. This is such wonderful news! I love to read stories like yours ~ it is so faith building!
    I hope you get to enjoy all of your family for many many years! Blessings to you dears! katie

  23. Thank you for sharing this wonderfully inspiring and uplifting post!
    Continued Blessings to you and all your family!

  24. I'm so thrilled to hear this Suz. Congrats on his recovery, what a relief. My best to you and your family. Riki

  25. Hi Suz -

    I came to look at your blog and lovely artwork and jewelry and then was stopped in my tracks by your brother's story. I too have a brother in remission for throat cancer (salivery glands actually) After all that he's been through, we are all jubilant that he gets to keep his very own voice box! Ah, those little joys in life take on such a new meaning when -ugh - cancer has run through your life. What a great sis you are, sticking in their with your brother. :-)

    To answer your Q. I have only one studio. The pics were taken and posted on different days - different light etc.

    I would have written in Spanish for your amusement, but my high school Espanol es MUY MAL.

    Hasta Luego - Genevieve

    Love the Van Gogh background on your blog!

  26. wonderful news about your brother. It thrills me to hear the good news about someone beating cancer (with God's Help).

    Janice In Missouri