From the monthly archives:

October 2005

Update for Gus Biopsy Result

by Original Author on October 27, 2005

Originally posted by Betty Jo Harter

Last night around 7:00 P.M., I turned to Beatriz and Hope and told them I thought I would send text message to our Doctor in Manila and ask if he had the biopsy report back from the United States. The morning and afternoon had been one of the most trying days of our time here in the Philippines.

Our original date for St. Luke’s Hospital in Manila had been postponed because of All Saint’s Day here and reset for November 2. So we thought this will be a wonderful time while Bea and Hope are on College break to take the “original Harter’s” to a little family beach across the way and “play with them” for three days before we journey to Manila.

The morning we were to leave and everyone excited and packed, I found that our helpers who have helped us for so long were also packed. I thought it strange because they were supposed to stay here with the twelve babies below four years of age. There would be no way I could take the little ones. To make the long story short, they had decided the day before without any notice to us to quit and all go home. And they all packed to leave. Oh, there are lots of reasons why, none which make any sense or could justify their not treating us with the same kindness we have always shown them. The bottom line they were being jealous over what each other was being paid.

There is no way to describe the ominous feeling I had and the sadness of heart and the disappointment in them. However, all I could think was it is 11:00 o’clock. The babies have to eat lunch. “Get the frying pan let cook”. The children got busy we set up the little chairs got the bibs, and fed them. Then I realized the trip! These older kids are so excited, “Gus you take the older ones (11 of them) to the beach, I’ll take care of the babies”. And so that’s what happened. Gus took the ferry, the older kids and I prayed, “Dear God help me to do it all”. And to my aching back I said “you have got to hold together”. I have got to pick up children who can’t walk, cook, clean, bathe, launder and not feel sorry for myself. Not feeling sorry for myself was the hard part!

And so, Bea and Hope came from registering at school and we sat down “no fell down” in the den after all the babies were bathed, diapered, devotions and put to bed. And I said “Girls I think will send text message to the Doc. I just think I should”. The doctor called me back instead of replying to me thru text messaging and said, “Mom Betty, the results are in and are positive. Gus has non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We do not know the degree of the disease or the treatment necessary until you come to Manila”

“Oh, it can’t be” I said. There is a mistake, isn’t there Doc?” “No” he said. “No mistake”. We had dismissed in our mind the possibility. The diagnosis took so long. Surely it could not be. And for one who is supposed to be full of faith. I broke. I failed. I sobbed and sobbed. The girls and I would cry awhile and pray and cry. “I cannot tell Gus until he gets home”, I said. Gus calls and says, “What is the matter have you a cold?” “No”, I said “You know how my allergies are. “When will you be home?” “Oh, I think I’ll take the kids swimming in the morning and be home before lunch”. “You do that”, I said, “Have a great time”.

I did not sleep all night. I must tell him when he arrives. Who is going to stay here with the children when we go to Manila? The girls will be in school. Who will wash? Who will lift babies, etc. etc? And then I came back to my senses to realize the Great God we proclaim knows all we need right now. He is not out of control. I am. It will be alright just getting through this moment, this day.

And so dear friends the day is not over but Gus is home now. The older children are home and we all know what we are facing and we’re making new chore lists and pulling together to face the rest of this day and if the Lord gives us another day, he will give us strength. Actually the children need the time to pull together and be very busy. It is truly a blessing that our days will be full. There are others that could help. But we want to keep things as they are!!!

I do not know how long we will be in Manila nor the test, or treatment we will need before they send us back to Davao City. Once again we covet your prayers.

Mom Betty