12 Witnesses

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

The Overdue Update: Surgery and the Aftermath

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My goal
I had some witty references to explain what was happening and some self deprecating humor to laugh it off. The outline of this email was witty, engaging, and entertaining. At least it was in my mind.

As my recovery stretched into it’s 5th day in the hospital (I’m still here), all of the humor of the situation began to evaporate for me.

The truth is, it has been a very difficult stretch for me and for my family. I’ll tell you about it in a minute, but first I want to use this moment to point out why I’ve been so public and why I’ve been so consistent about putting our private health issues on such a display.

I need your prayers. I believe in prayer and I believe that God heals. I’ve seen Him heal miraculously. I’ve seen Him heal miraculously in and through health care providers. I’ve seen Him answer fervent prayers.

By letting you in on so much, I believe your desire to intercede may be provoked. By doing it so often, I believe your fervor might be increased. I hope you don’t see this as manipulative. If I were trying to manipulate, I certainly wouldn’t announce my intentions.

I see this as mutually helpful, because I remember the time when I first learned to intercede for another person. As a young Seminary student, a family in my church had their home invaded and the father was critically shot. I prayed for days and nights that God might heal him when he was on the edge of life. God did that in his life, and much more in mine.

It’s always been my hope and prayer that this might happen for you as well, as you pray for me. That God might teach you something amazing about prayer. And about yourself. And about His willingness to answer. And your ability to spend time there, asking for great things.

And in the meantime, my needs would be laid before the Father by a growing family of believers.

This was my goal. And then…

I think we are going to have to realize that at some points in our journey together there will be times when I have more than I can handle. There will be times when I can not write.

And because of your love for me, your concern for my well being, knowing that we are in a place where you need to pray, you will want to know just what the heck is going on.

And so, I need to tell you, that when I am silent, when I do not write, when I give no updates and you know important things are happening…

When I am silent…

That is when I need you to pray most of all.

This weekend is certainly, case in point.

The surgery
The surgery was a success by all good standards. The surgeon did as I requested and installed a J-tube instead of a G-tube, which is more finicky, but leaves the stomach unchanged in order to use it later, if we are able to remove the original tumor. This is a “chemo is wildly successful” scenario.

The port, the easiest of the two procedures, was done with expected precision.

The Aftermath
I guess my body didn’t really enjoy the changes. The port was bruised but fine. The J-Tube site was sore, but functional. My body, however, did not like what had happened. My intestines shut down. This happens with general anesthesia. It has never happened to me this badly. It shut down for 4+ days and I could not eat or take tube feedings without it stacking up, distending my belly, and causing me great pain.

I could barely urinate, but did avoid the catheter. I could not defecate. No matter what.

It was here that my self deprecating humor was to call for all those who had said about me that I was “full of crap,” or some version of that, would have the opportunity to take a victory lap.

It’s just not that funny to me anymore. Things have started moving and we are trying a different tube feeding as I write this. I’m praying for things to take this time. The waiting in a hospital bed is excruciating.

Here’s the kicker: All of this has pushed back the chemo. Again.

The good news is that the Surgeon and the Oncologist have talked several times and are in agreement on a plan wherein I am transferred to the oncology floor and receive my chemo there. Once everything else is done, I can be discharged and go home from there.

It’s 9:10 pm on Tuesday night and I’m waiting on the Oncologist to come by and discuss this with us.

How you can pray:

    • Pray that my body heals quickly.
    • Pray that my digestive system accepts the tube feedings and functions as needed.
    • Pray that my cancer will continue to be impeded from crossing any more boundaries in my body.
    • Pray that God will give me strength, rest, and health.
    • Pray that I can go home soon to rest.
    • Pray for miraculous healing.
    • Pray for my family to be strengthened and can help support all the things we need to do together.
    • Pray for God to do what God can do, and to do it in me.

Thank you in advance for your prayers. I am praying for you as I write this.

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