Update from Emily Kinnaman, age 18

Yesterday I took my second trip to Keck Medical Center to visit my mom, along with my dad, grandma and siblings. After quitting my volunteer job in the ICU at the local hospital in Ventura last year, I had hoped I wouldn’t have to go back to an ICU anytime soon. If there is a section of the hospital that could be called comfortable or pleasant, the ICU is not it. But that’s where we went yesterday afternoon.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, as far as my mom. I knew she had looked surprisingly good and acted almost fully herself following the surgery. But clearly she wouldn’t look normal.

Dad and I went in first. We were greeted by my mom, who was completely awake and alert. She had some bed head and the right side of her face was somewhat swollen. But still she looked good—surprisingly good, considering the enormous surgery she’d undergone just the day before.

At one point Dr. Zada came to look over the MRI results from after the surgery, which the radiologists had reviewed beforehand. It looked like about 98% of the tumor, maybe more, was removed, and Dr. Zada seemed really pleased with the surgery overall.

All of us spent the rest of the afternoon with her. We chatted, flipped through my yearbook and watched The BFG (or, at least, my brother, Zack, was interested in it). Later Mom was moved to a room out of the ICU, which hopefully meant a night of more restful sleep where she wouldn’t be woken up every hour to take vitals.

Today she again seems to be feeling well, and there’s a possibility of her being able to come home tonight once all her tests are complete. We’re anticipating and hoping for that.

The hardest part for all of us is the lack of control. We are doing as much as we can: piecing our home-remodel disaster of a house back together, visiting my mom, loving her. But we are powerless to truly fix anything, and that’s terrifying.

But it’s in that weakness that God can work. Please continue to pray for all of us. For healing for my mom. For peace and strength for the rest of us. And especially for my dad as he heads up our family.

Thank you for all of the messages and love we’ve received, we feel it.