Saturday, May 9, 2009

Update 1 - The path to a diagnosis

It all began somewhat innocently; during the Sutton family spring break trip to the beach, my wife Beckie began experiencing double vision. When it didn't go away after a few days, we decided to seek medical treatment when we returned home. At that time, she was admitted to Gwinnett Medical Center where they performed an MRI and found a leison on her brainstem. The neurosurgeon at Gwinnett felt that the next diagnostic step should be a biopsy. Considering the serious nature of this procedure, we sought a second opinion at Emory University. Our first meeting was with a brain surgeon who strongly recommended against performing a biopsy in the area, he felt we could get a diagnosis through other means, imaging in particular.

Emory has some sophisticated machines, and through the use of them, the doctors were able to determine that Beckie has a high grade brainstem glioma (tumor). They enacted a treatment plan immediately which has Beckie starting radiation therapy next Tuesday (5/12/09), which will last for six weeks. We also have an appointment with a Medical Oncologist the day before to discuss the possibility of running chemotherapy at the same time. We are thankful for their quick diagnosis and aggressive treatment plan.

Beckie and I appreciate all of the prayer and support that we have received from friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and our new Church home (Graystone Church). We know we have a challenging road ahead, and are comforted that we are not facing it alone. In addition to everyone that has touched our lives, we know that we have a Heavenly Father who will be with us every step of the way. Psalm 118:6-7 says "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid... The Lord is with me; He is my helper".

During the past month we have tried to keep everyone updated to the best of our ability. Sometimes the conversations were not easy, particularly for me. However, we recognize that their are many people that care about Beckie, and care about our family, and they deserved to know what was going on. Many people suggested setting up a blog to help keep everyone updated. Now that we have a diagnosis and a treatment plan, the timing seems right to start doing this. My hope is that this blog will provide a running commentary of Beckie's road to recovery, and a little corner of cyberspace for all of us to celebrate one of God's many miracles.



  1. Just wanted to reiterate that you all are in our thoughts and prayers. We will add her to our prayer list at church and she will remain there until God provides her miracle. God is faithful and He will provide grace and strength for the days ahead. We love you.

    Don and Janice Garner

  2. Thanks Don and Janice. Beckie appreciates knowing that your church is praying for her.