Friday, October 17, 2008

Approaching surgery #3

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD,
the praises of the LORD,
according to all that the LORD has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel
that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
For he said, “Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely.”
And he became their Savior.
In all their affliction he was afflicted,
and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
~Isaiah 63:7-9

Today I am fighting the fight of faith, the place where the proverbial rubber meets the road: telling myself the truth instead of listening to myself. This passage from Isaiah is one of my favorites for telling myself what is true. It's just that some days it's harder to hold on to it than other days. Some days the conflicting voice in my heart would shout out the truth, and it's hard work to quell it.

I met with the cardio-vascular/thoracic surgeon today, and he convinced us that we need to proceed with surgery. The lymph nodes in my chest and abdomen have grown and become more "active" on the PET-scan, and he felt we needed to make sure there is nothing dangerous there. He basically agrees with my oncologist, my primary care doc, and my radiologist friend. So everyone is pretty agreed, including Dave and me, though we are wanting to kick and scream a little along the way.

The surgery will be a mediastinoscopy, and the surgeon is very confident after seeing my scans that one of the problem nodes will be easily accessible and identifiable. He also feels confident that we will get some kind of positive results that will help us determine what is going on, since, in his experience, a node in this part of the body (where my trachea branches into my bronchial passages, near my aorta) always yields a result and tells him what is going on. We didn't tell him that we are the type of family that specializes in breaking these kinds of rules, and defying the odds...

So, on Tuesday, I have my third surgery related to this cancer go-round. To be honest, I hate surgery. I know no one likes surgery (or at least no healthy, normal person!) I really hate surgery. I really didn't want another surgery. I wanted this all to be done and to be able to move on. But I am not getting what I want. And as I am tempted like a spoiled child to stomp my foot and demand my way, I keep hearing the voice of my friend Terry, who, on the day his daughter was murdered, said, "If this gospel isn't true today, it is never true." And even though things are not going how I would like them to go, the Gospel *is* true. And that truth really does change everything. Christ died for me. He rose from the dead, and reigns in heaven, and He has a plan that is bigger than this cancer stuff, that stretches into eternity.

So when the fear of the unknown and pain approaches, and panic starts climbing up around the edges of my heart, I talk to myself, and tell myself the truth. Sometimes I am weary or not watchful, and I find I have been listening to myself instead of speaking to myself. That's when panic or pity can take root without any effort. And dislodging those weeds is much tougher after you let them grow for a while! It's just that this kind of gardening is so tiring some times. May God's strength be shown in my weakness, and may His glory be manifested in this frailty.


Jenny said...

Dear Chris, We too are one of those families who for whatever reason "break the rules" whenever it comes to things medical. But our's break both ways. What does not change is the fact that in each event, God in his gentleness/kindness/mercy has new things to teach me about Himself and about myself, and it is usually done as I pout and drag my feet. Still he is patient and doesn't let me forget who He is and that He knows who I am and that still takes my breath away. We will continue to pray for you all.

Mrs. Edwards said...

Praise be to God: the Gospel is True!
Why is it so hard to get our feelings in line with what we know? Sometimes it is oh, so hard. Your determination to not allow your feelings to be your rudder inspire me greatly. Thanks for your honest example.

Praying for you~

desert mom said...

Dear Chris,
You are ever in my prayers, and especially this week. May you enjoy the presence and the glory of our Lord as you patiently persevere through more medical procedures and waiting.

With love and prayers,