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Posted 2019-07-06T16:22:21Z

East Coast Update


Update from our Connecticut and New York trip

Our appointment with the nationally known vascular surgeon was a very informative visit and after a few hours of scans, physical exam, and discussion we all came to the conclusion that I didn’t have the abdominal condition that was suspected.  It’s hard not to receive this diagnosis because the surgery would have provided immediate relief from my abdominal distention and pain. It would have also allowed for the reversal for my gastrostomy tube. So, we are disappointed not to not get this difficult problem diagnosed. The doctor was very thorough and extensive in his evaluation. We are confident in his diagnosis that I didn’t have this disease but he did say my stomach distention was some of the most impressive he has ever seen. He is going to stay on our team of specialists because he also specializes in complex aortic aneurysms like the one I have.

Our appointments in NY were very informative. To make a long story short - it’s possible that I need a complete cervical fusion from skull to C7.  There are several traction tests that I need to do daily and record my vital signs and pain before and after use of the traction device for about 3 weeks. To fuse the entire cervical column is a very extensive option and would leave me with no movement of my neck and head. If the traction device relieves my pain, heart symptoms, blood pressure, and nausea and vomiting, then we will return to NY for a more invasive traction requiring a few days in the ICU. If the data is reproducible then I will have the option to carry on with the fusion. This fusion is a big deal and a big life changer. We will have to think and pray through our final decision. Please join us in prayers for clarity and wisdom.

I didn’t feel very well while we were there but managed to get out over the weekend. The highlight had to be going to see The Jersey Boys on Broadway. We wound up with front row seats! So much fun! We were joined by friends Stephanie and Katie to explore around town and go to the 9/11 Memorial. Breathtaking.

The night before we left in the quietness of the hotel room (Steve was already asleep), the weight of the appointments and lack of a definitive plan, left me with teary eyes and an ache in my heart for physical relief. As I prayed, the following verse brought me such comfort. “Rejoice ALWAYS, give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” I Thessalonians 5:16-19

May I continue to live this mandate well in such a way that it encourages others and roots me in a deep hope for the things to come.

Just a reminder:  New social media news!!! The Brooks are going to give Instagram a trial run. How many ways can this go sideways with the non-technologically inclined Lee trying this? (Thanks for all the help Jena!) We hope to encourage, inspire, and even draw a few laughs with brief posts and pictures in between the more lengthy and medically technical blog here on Post Hope. Our prayer is to encourage others to live life with intention, passion, and satisfaction against the background of suffering and its sobering realities. Praying it spreads love and joy! Follow us @leeandstevebrooks

If you are not on Instagram you can find us at

Thanks for continuing to follow our story and for your notes and prayers. They provide tremendous encouragement and mean more than you know!

Much love,

Lee and Steve

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Comments (5)

  • Tony Grande
    Tony Grande

    We continue to pray for you both daily. Thank you for letting us know how we can pray specifically. Sending love and prayers.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Steve Braden
    Steve Braden

    We are praying for clarity and wisdom in this new diagnosis. Sending our love your way.

    one year ago · Reply
  • Jane Levin
    Jane Levin

    Thanks for this update and we are praying with you over the next steps!

    one year ago · Reply
  • Teresa J Brooks
    Teresa J Brooks

    Thanks for the update and specific prayer request. I'm sorry that some of the information you received was disappointing. I will pray for wisdom and clarity regarding the possibility of cervical fusion surgery. Love, Teresa

    one year ago · Reply
  • Mark Colavecchio
    Mark Colavecchio

    So, if 1 Corinthians 10:13 is correct and God will not give us more than we can handle (and we know that it is), then God is forming something truly beyond this world – within you. I so appreciate the front row seat that you have given us in watching this process take place. While it is difficult even to watch, your courage in writing about it so honestly and authentically inspires us to be more like Jesus. Thank you Lee (and Steve) for such a real-time playing out of 2 Corinthians 4:17. This is most difficult to live out. I pray your strength will not fail. I am convinced it will not because HE will not fail you. Les and I will continue to pray for you both. Thanks for these updates Lee, they do our hearts well.

    one year ago · Reply