Sharon Matson, achieving the "new normal"
The past five months have been a trying time for the Matson's as they've worked to overcome Sharon's medical concerns. However, as she visited campus last week, she brightened our day and looked fantastic while spending some time to catch up with friends. Sharon Matson is Nazarene Bible College's Secretary to faculty in the Powers Building and as a staff member recently told me, "She's a great lady, the grandmother you always wish you had." Dr. Laurel Matson who is our Vice President of Student Development and Registrar and Sharon arrived on campus in 2001 eager to join the NBC family.
The concerns began earlier this year with an unexpected diagnosis from their doctor of a tumor on Sharon's spine. It led down a path of appointments and meetings with neurosurgeons, tumor specialists, etc. One neurosurgeon stated that he had only seen it twice before in his practice. Another neurosurgeon believed it was an arterial vascular problem, which would be "fairly easy to treat" but nearly impossible to pronounce. However, after a spinal angiogram his diagnosis was that it was not an arterial/vascular problem and testing continued. After 3 1/2 months of testing, a neurosurgeon at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver said, "I don't know what it is and I don't know how to treat it." Meanwhile, the Matson's never lost faith in God and stood strong while the case continued to unfold.
The next step was a referral to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The case was described as "interesting" by a tumor specialist before it was determined to be an AV Fistula, meaning an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein on her spine. This was indeed a rare condition that required surgery.
With God's unfailing grace, the spinal surgery on an Arterioveinous Fistula was a success and she is walking better each and every day. Therapy and rehabilitation is important in this stage of recovery to regain what is being prayed for . . . full mobility. Dr. Matson says, "She is now using one of Dr. Graves' terms when she talks about her recovery. She says that she will continue to work to achieve the "new normal" for herself."
Since Sharon's surgery, a biopsy was done on a mass in her upper left abdomen. The mass has been diagnosed as a Perigastric Duplication Cyst, another very rare condition in an adult. The biopsy revealed no cancer. After Sharon has completely healed from the spinal surgery, the Matson's plan to return to the Mayo Clinic where the cyst will be removed. God sure is good!
Although time will tell, Dr. Matson references this passage in Song of Solomon 2:11-12, "For the winter is past, and the rain is over and gone. The flowers are springing up, and the time of singing birds has come, even the cooing of turtledoves." (NLT) The hope and prayer that her time of singing birds would come has finally arrived. Praise God!
Please remember to keep Sharon in your thoughts and prayers as she continues to recover and feel free to share any prayer requests you may have this week by commenting on our NBC Facebook Blog.
Filed Under: Blog Published: 08/20/2010