Saturday, September 22, 2007

Some of our History

It has been almost exactly 6 months since our beautiful son Karl died. He travels with us daily and we feel honored to have had him physically here with us, even if for such a short time.

My husband, Chink, and I heard about Karl's brain tumor on a Tuesday afternoon in March 2004 after Karl's first of many MRIs. That news changed our lives forever. The next morning we told our then 10 year old son that he would not be going to his 4th grade class at Ephesus Rd Elementary School, but would be going to UNC Hospitals again to hear the results of his MRI. We were more than willing to have his new doctor explain the facts to him.

That was the morning we all met Dr. Stuart Gold for the first time and I remember he was wearing pants about the same color burnt orange as this page heading. He has since become a very good friend and I know from experience that he has a heart of gold, a calming and hopeful spirit and he relates wonderfully with his young patients.

As we walked into the oncology building for the first of many times, I can remember thinking, "Does Karl know what oncology means?". In the 3 years we were dealing with his brain tumor, I never once thought of it as CANCER. We always treated him as a normal kid with a health problem and we just tried to get on with life as normally as we could. He was never a complainer. He just seemed to know this was what he had to do.

Each visit we made to the hospital--usually every two weeks, included a bag of books and his Gameboy.He didn't like to waste time and he hated being bored. He had a wonderful ability to concentrate and this allowed him to escape into a terrific world of fantasy.

With the help of drugs, radiation, acupuncture, supplements and good food, prayers and lots of love from family and friends, Karl lived a much longer life than anyone in the medical field expected. Up until the last 6 weeks, he was able to stay active and in school and he continues to be an inspiration to everyone his life touched. With the help of UNC Hospice, we were able to care for him at home--he never spent a night in the hospital. My husband, my mom, Josie, and I were all with him here at home in his comfortable room when he died. He hung on as long as he could and we told him it was time to go.

We thank you for your continued support. I plan to use this site to relate my stories about my clinic kids I've gotten to know through this very worth while book drive. I want to share what a wonderful impact these books are having on the kids who unfortunately find themselves fighting very early for their lives. A child's world should be filled with make believe and fantasy and that is what I hope to help them with.

My love,
Kathy Humphries


Martha O'Hara Conway said...

Kathy --

How wonderful -- a blog to go with your book drive! Thank you for making it easy for us to keep up with you and your good ideas and yoour good deeds.

Welcome to the blogosphere! (Yes, that's a technical term, you can verify it with The Top Dog).

Love -- Martha

UNC Hospitals at Chapel Hill Pediatric Oncology Bookdrive said...

Top Dog is having enough trouble trying to get HTML working, Martha, let alone lexicographical concerns. Hats off to Google for making this relatively easy.

UNC Hospitals at Chapel Hill Pediatric Oncology Bookdrive said...

Hey Martha, Isn't it funny that he knew you were talking about him?