Hi, it’s Dixie Bickel, GLA co-founder, so many things have happened with John and I since April that I wanted to bring you up to date.
We came out to the States on March 14 for Tim Parker’s memorial service in Illinois. We were thankful that we were able to come and spend time with Melissa Parker, her children, GLA friends who came to the service and also John and my family from Illinois.
We left after a week and went to Colorado to have some yearly medical appointments that we had due. John also was supposed to have an abdominal aneurysm repaired that he has had for about 4 or 5 years and it had been growing. It was going to be repaired by going in to the area through a large vein. The surgeon said John would be able to return to Haiti in 6 weeks if all went well. But that surgery never happened after all.
Two days before that surgery, John had trouble with his vision. He went to the emergency room because he could not see peripherally out of his right eye and was running into doorways. After two visits to the ER and seeing an eye doctor, they finally said it was a brain issue and not an eye issue. It turned out he had a small brain tumor and had surgery to remove the tumor on Easter Sunday. The tumor was malignant with the primary tumor later found to be in his left lung. He spent a total of a month in the hospital due to some complications including sepsis. John is not home and doing well.
He has already received radiation to the brain and has had one chemotherapy treatment for the tumor in his lung. He has no other tumors anywhere at this time. He will receive 4 to 6 chemo treatments. The oncologists are optimistic at this time so we are too. We Know that God is in control and we have placed our faith in God giving John as many days as possible to continue to work at GLA. John will probably not be able to return to Haiti until closer to the end of the year when his chemo therapy is finished.
On the last day that John was in the hospital, I (Dixie) woke up with chills and did not feel very well. John got discharged from the hospital and we went home. During the evening, I started feeling worse and having abdominal pain. Thankfully, I was not in Haiti or I would have probably treated myself with antibiotics and I might not have survived since it turned out that my appendix was gangrene! But thankfully because I was in the States, I went to see my primary doctor who sent me to the emergency room where I was diagnosed with appendicitis!
I could not believe at my age, that I had appendicitis but sure enough a CT scan proved it was true! So about 1 AM on May 31, I had my appendix removed along with part of my large bowel. I spent 5 days in the hospital because the doctor couldn’t close the wound due to the infection. I asked the doctor how long it had probably been festering and he said several days at least, but I had felt nothing!
My wound is still open and is healing slowly. I hope it will be healed completely by the middle of July. I plan on returning to Haiti around the 2nd week of August. I would like to be with John on our wedding anniversary which is July 29. We will have been married 47 years this year! We had hoped to do something special this year but that is not happening for now. I would also like to be here for John’s 67th birthday which is August 4. I will return to Haiti after his birthday.
It will be very good to be home in Haiti. I have never been out of Haiti for this long in 28 years!
John and I have medical bills, continuing prescriptions to buy, more doctor visits coming up, and expenses just from living here in the States. I (Dixie) will need to go back and forth to Haiti every couple of months so that I can be with John during chemotherapy treatments. At this moment, we are having trouble paying these bills. If you would like to help John and I pay our medical and travel (which we are praying won’t be more than $10,000), please send funds to God’s Littlest Angels directed to General Funds and in remarks put John and Dixie expenses.
We know God will take care of us and we are eternally grateful to all of our GLA friends and family for their continued prayers and help.
And Life in Haiti Goes On….