Reflecting on My Cancer Journey (Part 8: Celebrating 3 Years)
Often times the caregivers have it harder than the patients. Surgery is one of those times.
When Jen watched the nurses roll me into the operating room and the doors close she wondered if it would be the last time she’d see me alive. She wondered what they’d find in there. She wondered if there’d be any complications, any surprises.
And she prayed there wouldn’t be.
For three hours she sat in the waiting room, walked the halls of the hospital, and distracted herself with friends and family that came to wait, pray, and comfort.
But the questions persisted, the fears, the doubts.
A colon resection is no walk in the park. As with any surgery, things can go wrong.
For three hours she waited and prayed and talked and walked . . . and hoped. In the midst of such uncertainties there is always hope.
Finally the time came when she could see me. If she was expecting to find the same husband they wheeled into the operating room she was wrong. What she found was a shivering, emaciated, glassy-eyed, pasty gray man who only resembled her husband. She said I looked like a holocaust survivor, a walking corpse. I think that scared her more than anything.
Jen’s thoughts from April 17, 2008:
I’m Mike’s other half. And I know you are all wondering how things went. I will keep you in suspense no longer. His surgery went well. Praise the Lord! He made it through. He’s recovering, he needs more rest than he’s getting, but by God’s grace, he made it through. The surgeon said that he was “very happy” with the surgery and that it went “as well as it possibly could”. Good words to hear after all this.
I know many of you have been keeping up with Mike’s thoughts and experiences during this time. Here are a few of mine, in case you were wondering. And even if you weren’t.
This is me, Wednesday night after surgery, and up for nineteen hours straight:
I am afraid Michael will not come home.
I am afraid the cancer has spread into his lymph nodes and tissue.
I am afraid the time allotted him on this earth is not long enough.
I am afraid. I am afraid. I am afraid.
“I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
I sought. HE heard. HE delivered. All my FEARS. All MY fears. ALL my fears.
Psalm 34:4 becomes so real when your healthy, God-driven, fully alive husband gets side-swiped by an unseen, unwanted, unwelcome foe whose mindless mission on the earth is to seek and destroy, and whose only earthly foe is a radical elimination by either surgery, radiation, chemo, or a toxic dose of all three. It becomes real even when, after surgery, the next hurdle is there, and the next, each with the potential for a fall . . . or worse. Where does the fear end? Right here, with a healthy dose of God’s Word, and with prayer.
Prayer has been a sustaining source of comfort and power during this time, and especially the last few days. There’s something to be said for exchanging fear for trust and anxiety for peace. There’s something to be said for being completely exhausted and overwhelmed, but having enough strength to hang onto just one verse. It is not only our prayers to the Lord that have brought comfort, but yours. We cannot thank you enough, but thanks anyway. God bless you all. I hope the next words you see will be from the love of my life–MY other half!