Pre-Surgery Jitters (Part 7: Three Years a Cancer Survivor)
From April 14, 2008:
Today is my last day of work for a while. Wednesday is the big day. Surgery day. I’ve been told I’ll have part of my colon removed and will be given an ileostomy.
To be honest, the thought of surgery gets my knees knockin’ a bit. I’ve never had any kind of surgery. I’ve never been under the knife (I don’t know why, but now I cringe at that expression). I have a good surgeon though, and besides that, I have the best Surgeon . . . the Surgeon.
For some reason that song, “It’s the end of the world as we know it” is in my head this morning. Weird. I’m sure life will change following surgery . . . or turned upside down is more like it. But in time I’m confident things will get back to normal. Life goes on, right?
Lamentations is a pretty depressing book in the Bible but there are some nuggets of hope as is God’s way. Even though life is dark and dank and discouraging, with God involved there’s always Light. Here’s a passage I read this morning that poked at my heart:
I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”
Great words, huh? Hope-filled words. Though life is tough and affliction is great we can remember one thing: God loves us and that love never fails.
Preparing for surgery felt like preparing for my own funeral. I made sure all the bills were paid, said my goodbyes at work (I wouldn’t see my co-workers for six weeks at least), made sure all my responsibilities at church were taken care of, emails sent . . . and all my affairs were in order.
The morning of surgery I kissed my girls goodbye and had a hard time pulling away from them. I wasn’t sure if I’d see them again, ever lay eyes on their angelic faces. The surgery was going to be major and things can always go wrong, there are always risks. My parents, who were keeping our girls, prayed with us, kissed us, and waved goodbye as we pulled out of the driveway.
It was a very lonely feeling of finality. I knew I was in God’s hands. I had every confidence that He was in control and that He would guide the surgeon’s hand, but doubts still crept in.
At the hospital, as they wheeled me into the operating room, I got my last look at Jen. I stamped that image in my mind because I wasn’t sure about anything at that point. When the doors closed and she disappeared from my sight I felt empty, scared, and totally alone despite the nurses in the room prepping me.
Going into surgery I knew what to expect. I knew what the surgery was going to involve, how it would be done, how extensive it would be. I knew my surgeon was confident as all surgeons are.
What I didn’t know was how hard things would get once I woke up.
From April 15, 2008:
It’s Tuesday night, the night before the surgery. I have to be at the hospital at 5:45 a.m. so I wanted to take a few minutes to sign off here.
I feel apprehensive, nervous, not knowing what to expect. But one thing I’m sure of, one thing I’m clinging to . . .
. . . God will meet me there in that operating room. No doubt about it.