READ THE BEGINNING OF OUR STORY HERE:
From a parent’s perspective (by Robyn & Perry Granberry):
It was Tuesday afternoon, December 22nd, and I was working in the kitchen preparing brunch for our celebration with the “Little” Berrys as we call our son Jonathan’s family. They were coming the next morning for our annual get-together. We felt a sense of pressure but also excitement as we were trying to finish gift wrapping, table setting, and food prep. The phone rang, and it was Jonathan calling to tell us that they had avoided the complete truth about a trip to St. Vincent’s emergency room the Saturday before to find an answer for recurring pain in his abdominal area. We had been suspicious since Jen, Jonathan’s wife, called telling us he had been experiencing pain for several weeks. Jonathan had been diagnosed with colon cancer a little over a year ago and had undergone surgery for it. His call was to tell us that it had spread to his lymphatic system and that lesions were found on his liver.
We gulped, prayed, took a very deep breath and tried to be as encouraging as we could. They assured us they wanted to go ahead as planned and be together the following morning. Somehow, we would enjoy them and their four precious boys the next day. Jonathan told us they were still going to do their oldest son Riley’s MRI at 7 p.m. that same evening to get to the bottom of headaches he had been having for several weeks. The headaches had caused him to miss numerous school days because of nausea, vomiting, and severe pain.
Around 9 o’clock, Jonathan called back and with a thin, strained voice and told us he was sorry but they would have to cancel the brunch. His voice, however, told us so much more. A tumor about the size of a tangerine had been found in Riley’s brain. They would be doing surgery the following morning to remove it.
Life seemed to come to a screeching halt…Thus begins the story of the Jonathan Granberrys…
At Children’s hospital the following morning, we gathered for the long day of prep, surgery, recovery and reports. Many friends, pastors, and family gathered to pray and offer support that only the community of Christ can give. Jonathan was in great pain that day, but we were not focused on him at the time… only on getting Riley through the crisis. When he was told that they were going to do surgery on his head to get rid of his headaches, he said, “Cool!” He went through the surgery like a champ.
After six and a half hours, the report came back that they had gotten all of the tumor, which involved separating the lobes of his brain because the tumor wrapped underneath. We were elated. The MRI the following morning showed again that they had gotten it all. His recovery in the hospital was remarkable. They had said 2 to 5 days in the hospital. The surgery was completed the afternoon of December 23rd, and he was released from the hospital on December 25th. He is a positive, gentle “old” soul in a twelve year-old body. His faith is like a rock, and he has taken all this calmly.
Our precious “Little” Berrys came for the Christmas brunch the Monday after Christmas, and we had a sweet time together. (The reason we call them the Little Berrys is because we refer to ourselves as the Elder Berrys.) Jen, Jonathan’s wife and mom to these 4 boys, moved among us calmly. She is amazing. She timed Jonathan’s and Riley’s meds and loved on all her family. Her demeanor is quiet and thoughtful. It was she who fought for this time together to keep a sense of normalcy and tradition for her family. There was more to come. When they returned home that evening, they learned that Riley would not only require chemo but radiation as well.
All the while another cloud was looming. Jonathan was in much pain and due to several reasons, he was uninsured. He had been approved but would not be covered until January 1, 2016. He could not be seen until then. The term “Perfect Storm” kept running through my mind… if it weren’t the end of the year, so that the money hospitals have for needy cases was in place… if it weren’t the holidays so that medical personnel was on call… if… if…
On the afternoon of January 8, 2016, the phone rang. It was Jonathan. He had called to give us the results of the long awaited appointment with the oncologist. Through tears, he told us that he was facing Stage 4 Liver Cancer. We are in tears; we are numb; but we are not without hope. We are aware that we need a miracle. They will insert a port and begin chemo for Jonathan and for Riley. At this time we don’t have a date set for the beginning of chemo.
Our thoughts are filled with a future of chemo, illness, and recovery. The Granberry family has many needs. Jonathan’s ability to work in the coming days is questionable. In addition to the medical needs, their home is in need of some serious repairs. so preparations are in the works to make it a place for recovery and peace. If you are interested in helping with please CLICK HERE to find out how.
Dear friends, we are boldly asking all who will pray with us in BOLD prayer before the throne of GRACE for a miracle. We are also boldly asking for your help for the many needs for the Jonathan Granberry family.
Jonathan and Jennifer are a beloved family with great faith. They and we are asking our great God for a miracle. We invite you to join us on this journey. We will let you know needs and ways you can plug in. The needs are immense, but our God is Great!