12 Witnesses

Let these stones be a witness to what we have done here this day.

We have a plan and a schedule

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The Plan
It did not work out to do the port on Tuesday so that we could start chemo on Wednesday. For various reasons, we determined that it would be best to do the PET scans as scheduled on Tuesday and have the port surgery and feeding tube surgery on Friday. Chemo is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

The Surgeon
I really like the surgeon. He knows his stuff. He’s the first person to whom I’ve talked that told me what my symptoms were and how things were going just by looking at the CT scans and the biopsy report.

Usually, I explain my symptoms and the doctor or nurse says something like, “Yes, that can happen with this.”

This conversation went more like:

Dr: Does it hurt right here?

Me: Yes…

Dr: Does it radiate to your back?

Me: (surprised) Yes…

Dr: Do you have a sharp pain right here?

Me: (more surprised) Yes, that’s exactly what hurts.

Dr: This is why…

He knows his stuff. The Oncologist had said that this person is the only one that he would let operate on him if he had cancer. I see why.

Nutrition
The nutritionist has been a big help. The encouragement to eat things I like in a form I can swallow has been a godsend. I am juicing to get natural Vitamins (C and D, especially) to go along with the calories. The banana, peanut butter (now almond butter), cocoa, smoothie is delicious, nutritious, and daily. Other things have come in handy as well.

So I gained about a half pound this morning. I didn’t quite lose my mind because I had lost weight the previous day, but it was still a pretty good deal.

Thanks for praying for this. When the feeding tube gets put in, the nutrition gets a lot easier to maintain without worrying if I can get something down my throat.

PET Scan
I haven’t heard back from the doctor about the PET scan results. In reality, the scan they took on Tuesday will be a baseline to measure against after chemo ends in a few months. I already know that it has spread to my liver, but has not spread to my lungs or my pancreas. It’s a middle of the road situation. Could be a lot worse, could be a lot better.

Bottom Line
Truth is the odds are steep according to the statistics. The Scripture teaches us that all of our days are numbered by the Lord. He knows the span of my life and that has not changed, nor will it. My hope is not in doctors or nurses, but in the Lord.

This is not to say I don’t believe in health care. I certainly do, and believe that the providers I have are those to whom the Lord has led me. I hope He has led me to them so that He can use them to guide me through this to a life that is cancer free.

I hope next week to write an update that explains my understanding of my relationship with God and the cancer I have. I know a lot of people struggle with the idea that faithful servants of God suffer. That “bad” things happen to “good” people.

That is a tough nut to crack, but I have some peace with what God is doing. Most days, I have peace. Some days I tell Him He’s got the wrong guy. Just to be honest, I struggle with fear, frustration, and anger. As we all would.

Mostly, in those times, I come back to peace by being reminded that God is good and He does good. That He is the Redeemer of broken things, like this world and my body. That He loves me more than I can comprehend. That He does not ask more of me than He offered of Himself. That He cares about my suffering. That He is trustworthy. That I can trust Him. And, finally, I do.

For a while. And then… we do it all over again.

Things for which you can pray:

    • For nutrition and hydration to be steady before and after surgery.
    • For the surgery to go well and recovery to be quick.
    • For chemo to be effective at destroying the cancer.
    • For my body to handle the chemo without devastating side effects.
    • For wisdom and provision with our finances as we deal with unexpected expenses.

Thank you so much for your prayers! They have been, and we are counting on them to be, powerfully effective.

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