Archive for December, 2010


December 28, 2010

Our last post announced the birth of Liam Andreas to Ahna and Oren Bersagel-Briese and indicated there were some challenges ahead.  After the cooling cap was removed 0n Wednesday,  Liam had an MRI and also an EEG.  We were very saddened to learn that the results showed  severe damage throughout the brain deep into the gray matter, though it appears the brain stem wasn’t affected.  The thinking now is that in the labor process, the umbilical cord was compressed and the amount of oxygen he needed wasn’t able to get to the brain.

Today they took the Ventilator off, and Liam is holding his own with his breathing.  He does continue to have seizures, however, and is on some strong anti-seizure medicine.  He also has some blood pressure problems, though his heart seems to be fine.  They also removed the electrodes off his head.  This has given them a more peaceful feeling.

We”re very proud of  Ahna and Oren as they spend their time with Liam and make decisions on his behalf.  We’re glad God is giving them  strength and courage as they face this tragic situation.   It’s a day to day process and they are taking each decision as it comes.  They also are making sure that they get to spend some time with Liam’s brother Ezra.  Oren’s parents live here in Castle Rock.  We are grateful for the time they are giving to take care of Ezra and be there for Ahna and Oren.   It’s also  a real privilege for us to be here to spend some time with Ezra and to be of whatever support we can be in this situation.

We thank our daughter Kjerstin for taking the days immediately after Liam’s birth to spend time with Ahna and Oren.  She and her family then came to West Salem for Christmas.  We were thankful to celebrate with them and with Kari and her family on Thursday night.  Mary Jo came to Castle Rock on Christmas Eve and Dave came on Christmas Day.  Kjerstin, Kari and their families spent the rest of the weekend together celebrating Christmas and Kari’s birthday.

Dave was blessed to be able to baptize Liam on Christmas Day night.  All of the grandparents and Ezra witnessed the baptism.   Ahna’s Aunt Ruth met Dave near Rochester on Christmas Day with the baptismal gown that Liam’s great-grandmother,Ellen Bersagel was baptized in 98 years ago, and Dave brought it with him to Colorado.  All of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been baptized in that gown.  We were able to ichat the baptism so that Ahna’s sisters and their families could see and hear the ceremony too.  The evening was a wonderful blessing for us all.

We continue to covet your prayers for God’s presence with all of us in the days ahead.

Liam Andreas Bersagel-Briese

December 21, 2010

We’re proud to announce the birth of Liam Andreas.  He was born on December 19 in Parker, Colorado.  Parents:  Ahna and Oren Bersagel-Briese.  He was 8 lbs. 10 oz. and 21 and 1/4 inches.

Unfortunately, the placenta separated from the uterus before birth, so an emergency C-section was required.  They were fortunate to find that the baby’s heart rate had dropped very low, so that they knew to do the C-section.  Liam was quickly transferred to Children’s Hospital in Denver where he’s wearing a “cooling cap” in hopes of slowing any brain damage that might have occurred.  Our thoughts and prayers are with him and Ahna and Oren tonight.  We covet yours as well.


December 21, 2010

I haven’t done an update on my cancer journey for awhile because things have been going well.  As you know I have been back to work at school and directing a couple of choirs at church. My strength and stamina have improved.  I have been taking the cancer fighting drug Tamoxifen daily plus receiving another cancer fighting drug Herceptin intravenously every 3 weeks.  Heart scans are done every 3 months because the  Herceptin can be very hard on the pumping action of my heart.  Those scans have come back normal until the scan that was done last week.  I found out from my oncologist that there has been damage to my heart since the last scan.  As a result they wouldn’t give me the Herceptin treatment last Friday.  It was such a surprise and made me sad and scared.  The oncologists collaborated and the recommendation was to wait 4 weeks and do a heart scan on January 5th.  Sometimes the heart will rebuild itself and their can be some improvement(probably not full recovery though).  If that happens, I will receive my next Herceptin treatment on January 7th.  If there is no improvement in my heart function, they will discontinue the Herceptin which was to continue until May.  That would be unsettling too because I wouldn’t have 2 cancer fighting drugs just the Tamoxifen.  But I have a strong will to beat the cancer plus much support and prayers from you and many others.  I really appreciate it.

We are enjoying little Matea Elizabeth and Nora!  They are doing well and so are Kari and Matthew.  We are thankful.
We excitedly wait for the birth of Ahna and Oren’s baby any day(her due date is the 17th).  Our Ezra will be a big brother!  We will keep you posted!