Holwerda Family Update–Surgery #2

Hello everyone,

It’s time for another Holwerda Family update.

Beginning of summer has felt extra busy! It has been filled with soccer, softball, and doctor appointments.

Brad had a visit to the emergency room end of May due to a really painful and persistent headache. We discovered the tumor was back and slightly larger than it was originally. We were thankful to hear it appears to not have spread throughout his brain (like these tumors like to do) and that it is still considered operable.

Although this is extremely discouraging news, we still feel that Brad is overall doing pretty well for his diagnosis.

The oncologist we saw back in 2019 told us typical life expectancy is 12-18 months. Less if you don’t do the standard chemotherapy and radiation. Of course we say “phooey” to that and know that our God is the only one that knows Brad’s life expectancy. (As well as any of ours!)

Brad is going on 22 months without doing the chemotherapy and radiation. We see victory in this. Besides the tumor, his body is overall staying pretty strong. He has days where he feels really good. Yes, he also has days that are really hard. He feels weaker than “normal Brad” and can get frustrated dealing with chronic pain, and not being able to do what he wants to do. Sleeping has been difficult, and staying on top of everything we do can feel exhausting. There are definitely hardships we deal with on a daily basis, but we still feel we have chosen the best option for Brad’s specific case. We do our best to enjoy the days when he is feeling good!

We are optimistic that having a second surgery to resect the tumor once again will give Brad a lot of relief. One of the hard things with brain cancer is there is not much room for swelling and growth. What is also hard is the neurosurgeon cannot ever get the entire tumor. Since you can’t cut out a margin around the tumor like you can in other parts of the body, there will always be microscopic cells left behind. This is why it is common for them to return.

This time around, Brad’s neurosurgeon feels he can safely remove about 70% of the tumor. He told Brad it won’t do him any good if he’s too aggressive, which could cause serious damage. We agree.

There is also concern once again about Brad’s vision. Brad’s tumor is located in the ocular area that controls the right side of his vision. There is a higher chance of Brad losing vision on his right side this time around. There was concern for this last time, and God restored his vision 100%. We will pray again for this miracle!

There is also a small chance that Brad will need a shunt put in after surgery. We ask for prayers that this isn’t necessary, and his body functions as it should.

Brad’s surgery is scheduled for Friday, June 25 at 7:30 in the morning. I’ve already told Brad’s neurosurgeon that he will have an army of people praying over him during surgery. So we invite YOU to join us in prayer all morning and the days following. We thank you for remembering us, and praying over us throughout this entire journey.

Specific prayer requests:

–Successful resection and surgery (even better than we are expecting!)
–Dr. Reynolds and his team who will be taking care of Brad
–Brad’s vision to stay intact
–Pain management leading up to and after surgery
–Protection over the girls, and for peace and joy in their hearts as they will be separated from us for a few days
–Stress management, endurance, and peace for me
–Sleep for both of us as this has been difficult lately (and we aren’t expecting great sleep in the hospital…)
–And of course, a miracle!

Thankful prayers:

–For a neurosurgeon and nurse practitioner who care deeply for us
–That all our needs continue to be met
–For such a loving community holding us up
–Wonderful family and friends who are there to help, whenever we need it

We are thankful that Brad felt good this past Saturday and on Father’s Day. We were able to enjoy some quality time with our families. However, overall the last few weeks have been harder. We both feel like we are running on empty gas tanks. We definitely aren’t walking into this surgery with as much vigor as last time.
We’re tired and weary, and at times frustrated. Sometimes we feel disappointed that our attitudes and minds aren’t as strong as they once where. We have been slowly getting worn down…

But God keeps reminding us. He has reminded me in my quiet moments crying it out in my {prayer} closet. He’s reminded Brad through impactful conversations and scripture. He’s reminded us today when I walked to our mailbox and it was filled with cards and encouraging notes. It was exactly what we needed…another reminder that God’s got this. Thank you for the continued support. Thank you for reminding us that God sees us in this valley, in fact He’s sitting right beside us. One thing we’ve come to learn is when you’re in a trial, you need to be reminded constantly that God is in control. Thank you for reminding us.

Please pray fervently for us over the next few days. I will do my best to update when I can!

Be Strong and Courageous,
Lindsey

22 thoughts on “Holwerda Family Update–Surgery #2

  1. Praying for God to guide the surgeon’s hands, for rest and peace for both of you in the days ahead, and of course a mighty miracle of complete healing for Brad.Love you! Aunt Cath

    Like

  2. We continue to pray that our Heavenly Father will meet all of your needs as only he can do! Thank you for this beautiful update, Lindsey, Thank you for sharing so beautifully just exactly what you are going through, physically, mentally and spiritually. Much love to all of you. Always in our hearts and prayers.

    Like

  3. Hey Lindsey… We noticed you guys at your parents place last night..Brad fishing, kiddos playing.. a “normal” family event. Praying hard that this kind of family fun continues after surgery.. that God gives Brad many more years of watching the girls grow!!
    God DOES MIRACLES!!! 🤗❤️

    Like

  4. Brad, Lindsey, and girls, you are so very much on my mind and in my prayers. Thank you for your updates to help your many prayer Warriors pray specifically for you. I continue to be amazed at your strong testimony of your trust in our powerful, gracious God!! May He be praised!! May He answer our cries and show us again that He is always better than we can imagine!
    “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

    Like

  5. Brad, Lindsey, girls and the entire Holwerda family. I am a friend of your moms, Deb. She has been sharing your journey with me and I am saddened for all that you have gone through and continue to go through. So many questions in life that we don’t have answers to, yet we are told to remember that God is with us through it all. Hard thing to do sometimes. I will continue to keep you in my prayers, and especially on the 25th. “When my heart is overwhelmed, Lead me to the ROCK that is higher than I.” Palm 61:2

    Like

    1. Wally and I will be praying earnestly for you this week and the coming weeks. We consider it a privilege to know and witness your testimony of faith and courage. You have for sure been an amazing example to us of grace and trust in the Lord’s care in time of trouble. Praying with others for a miracle.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Praying that the Lord will send His angels of protection and go before Brad into the operating room. Also that Gods hand will guide the surgeons hand and that every move that us made will be a move straight from the Lord!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.