Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Growth of a Hemangioma and the Things I Have Learned

[This is reprinted from my old website. Enjoy the lessons I have learned!]


I often write about my Sweet Little Mercy... let me fill you in if you are a newer reader. She was a beautiful Christmas Gift... arriving just after midnight on Christmas morning. When she was born she had what looked to us like a bruise along her left temple. The pediatrician told us it was a port wine stain. Here is a photo of when we brought her home from the hospital...

Following medical advice (thinking it was a port wine stain, and there was nothing we could do about it), we watched it grow (Jan. 3),

and grow (Jan 22),

and grow (March 5).

In March, we got an appointment with a dermatologist, who recommended laser surgery. They told us she would not be at all uncomfortable, which was a bold faced lie. Four people held her down for the laser, while she was screaming bloody murder. It obviously hurt her, and after this I refused to return to that doctor. We went to a pediatric dermatologist in Louisville until she was a year old.

(April 15 - on a high dose of prednisone, resulting in the bloated cheeks. You can see the burns from the laser. These later ulcerated, got infected, and resulted in some terrible scarring.)

(June 2)

When she turned a year, and the hemangioma was still growing, we moved from having her care in Louisville, to getting her seen monthly by a specialist in Cincinnati. We are so thrilled by Doctor Adams and her staff.

(Jan. 2008)

I tell you all that to tell you what I have learned. Mercy is a beautiful child. Everyone who sees her agrees about this. This week I realized that when I look at Mercy, I don't see the hemangioma... I see MERCY! I see her sweetness, and her smile. I see how adorable she is, and see the potential for a wonderfully full life.

And I realized that is how God sees us. When he looks at us he looks past the awful things we do - past the growths which deform us, and make us less than perfect, and HE LOVES US! He sees us as we are meant to be. As He designed us. He doesn't look at our horrible parts... He sees the sweetness He put in us!

If you are like me, you wonder sometimes how in the world the God who created the universe could even care about you. When there are so many people out there who are so much better and more beautiful then I am, why does he bother about me? But He sees the me He knows I can be. The one I was designed to be if I could just get past my own selfishness and greed. He takes my sins, forgives them, and seperates us as far as the east is from the west! He can't see them anymore.

Mercy's Hemangioma is still growing. If we were to just look at the hemangioma, it would seem that she is just getting uglier. Her face is not "normal". People stare when we go places. But we see past that, to the beauty we know is there. So does God. Be encouraged, my friends, He loves you more than we love Mercy. And while we hope the doctors accomplish what they claim they can do - make Mercy's face look normal someday - we would still love her even if they couldn't. She would still be beautiful to us because she is OURS.

You are the same. God loves you because YOU ARE HIS. He created you! Let Him love you. Let Him forgive you. Forgive yourself. Forgive the others who only look at your "ugliness" and know that God sees you how you can someday be.


  1. I have been following your blog(originally at homeschoolblogger) for awhile. I think I originally found the link via Amy's blog. Are there different types of hemangiomas? I had a hemangioma on the right side of my face as an infant. It continued to grow also. When I was 10 months old the doctors removed it. Looking at pictures it doesn't seem to be dark colored. I am almost 40 now so that has been a long time ago. At the time my parents took me to Indianapolis (which was a distance) to a plastic surgeon. I remember having to go and see him every year as I got older.

    Anyway, I pray for Mercy and think of her often. She has struck a special chord with me since I had a hemangioma too and I never meet anyone who has had it.


  2. Your best post ever! Mercy is beautiful too!

  3. This hits me right where I am today. Thank you for the sweet reminder that He doesn't see the ugly in us. Of course I can see it in Mercy...her beauty, the blessing she is, how it doesn't matter. But then why don't I see it in myself? The enemy keeps us there....defeated. I so appreciate this post. It is so uplifting and Mercy is so lovely. Lisa~

  4. And you named her Mercy, not knowing.
    But God is not bound by time, OR our understanding.
    And He is good. So faithful, and gentle, and knowing how your life and Mercy's will glorify HIM!
    Thank you dear friend, for letting the Lord be glorified in your life!


  5. What a beautiful little girl! I'm a regular at Amy's blog (humble musings). Mercy has the most beautiful eyes and the cutest nose.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Prayerfully, Jenn

  6. Thank you for this post. I am new to your blog, but really appreciate reading your thoughts.

  7. Was directed to your sight by a woman on BabyCenter, as my daughter Brynn started Propranolol this past week for her parotid hemangioma. I too only see the beauty of my little girl, not her tumor ( which is about the size of a racquetball on the left side of her face). We too fought with insurance, and today they still deny her claim, but we are doing the treatment outpatient thru Johns Hopkins, so we only paid $5 for the medicine and JHU doesn't bill us for the blood pressure checks once a week. In 3 days we have seen a change in texture and color. My heart is rejoicing and thanking God for all that he does. I so enjoy reading about your journey as it is similar to ours. Mercy is beautiful and is blessed to have such a wonderful family :)I look forward to reading more about her progress!