Denver Shunt

Yesterday Chris had a Denver shunt surgically placed in his chest. The purpose of the shunt is to take the fluid that collects in his abdomen and put it back into his bloodstream above his heart. The heart can then pump it through his body, and, if enough of the fluid can stay in his vascular system, it will make its way through his kidneys and out through urination. It shunts fluid up to his heart only when he is supine. He can also manually operate the shunt with a little pump that is under his skin against his rib cage. When the surgical resident was first describing this pump to us, I said, “Does it have a big orange basketball on it?” Chris thought it was a good one, but the resident literally had no idea what I was talking about, because he doesn’t know what Reebok Pumps are. This is the world we live in. The residents aren’t even 30, and I look down on them for their youth.

Ideally, the shunt will serve to kick Chris’s kidneys back into action. Please pray it does. Getting his kidneys to function is the biggest piece of treatment preparation right now. Oh, and getting a diagnosis, which is still pending. Dr. Windsor and Dr. Rector (the chief pathologist here) are in direct and regular contact with Dr. Tan at MD Anderson who is working on Chris’s tissue there. Cell phone numbers have been exchanged, so when and if there’s any word, Dr. Windsor will know immediately. (Cell phone numbers have not, however, been exchanged between me and Dr. Windsor; nevertheless, she persisted.)

I’m tired this morning. Nights at the hospital provide no rest for the weary, as everyone knows. But we continue to be so thankful for our care here. I grabbed a handful of DAISY award nomination forms on my way up from the cafeteria this morning, because I want each of our nurses to be recognized for their wonderfulness. Most each of them. Many of them. Well, Gina.

But Erin and Quintar and Ingrid and Mary, too. All so wonderful.

I’m not in the mood for a deep and ponderous post. But I will say that, for me, and for many around Chris, these last few days have been heavy and raw with emotion. Just a lot of crying and praying and imagining and crying. Today, Chris is in very much pain and feels very terrible because of the procedure–please pray for relief and rest for him now–but while the rest of us are heavy, Chris’s spirits have been light. He feels peace and hope. Thanks be to God.

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  24. Ruth

    Dear sweet family ~ your words and pictures are at once so beautifully vulnerable, strong and encompassing. I feel like I’m there at your bedside, and I want to remonstrate the nurses for not offering you herb tea to calm Chris’ nausea, demonstrate reflexology hand/feet points that also would help, hold your hands, pray with you, play games and share stories to get your minds off all the heaviness. There is such a burden to your serious struggles, and yet there is lightness and beauty in all the love and strength pouring in from all corners. You are divinely loved, inspired and a blessing to us all. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey of love and faith. You are so deeply loved and guided! Keep listening to that guiding spirit ~ God will show you the path through. * ~ o ~ * Big hugs & love, Ruth **o**

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  25. Jeanette Prisk

    Sara & Chris,
    My heart is so heavy for you both. Know that you are loved & that we are praying for healing. I am reminded of a quote I read recently that God DOES give us more than we can handle but not more than we can handle with Him & in His strength. Holy Spirit rain down peace & strength & healing🙏🙏🙏. Jeanette Prisk

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  26. Judy Bonish

    To all the Scherf family you are in my prayers. This trial is a true test of faith. Please know you are loved & we surely feel your pain. Jesus have mercy on Chris.

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  27. Anonymous

    Sarah, we are praying for Chris’s kidney function to be restored and for relief of pain and rest for both of you. You are such beautiful example of.faithfulness to God and Chris. May God continue to carry you through this valley in his loving arms.
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  28. Patricia Gehringer

    Sarah, we are praying for Chris’s kidney function to be restored and for relief of pain and rest for both of you. You are such beautiful example of.faithfulness to God and Chris. May God continue to carry you through this valley in his loving arms.
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  29. Nikki

    Let’s get that kid some Pumps. I’m jealous of Gina, Erin, Quintar, Ingrid & Mary because I so desperately wish I could be there with you. Give Chris a high-five for me.

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  30. Sara Baugh

    Thanks for your post with specific prayer requests. I am praying for relief and rest for Chris, and also praying that the shunt will kick
    Chris’ kidneys back into action. Take care, Sarah.
    I am praying for you as well. ❤️

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  31. Betsy Rogers

    I continue to pray throughout each day for Chris’ healing and strength for you. It is hard to imagine all you are going through. I do know God never leaves us and He is with you.
    Praying continually for your sweet children.

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  32. Powers Laurie Rogers

    Sarah, you continue to be brought before our God and Maker, who knows every single cell in Chris’ body.
    Strength for you dear sister. I am praying and asking for every single need to met.

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  34. Linda Dewberry

    We are praying for you every day. Praying for strength and encouragement. Praying for healing and peace. Praying for many good days ahead. You are a beautiful writer and are so very faithful to your husband, children, and our Lord.

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  35. Jen Gamble

    Sarah, It’s good to “hear” a little humor from you, even in your weariness. You guys are on my mind and in my prayers daily.
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