Monday, June 25, 2007

One Week From Surgery

Until now, my surgery was comfortably a couple weeks in the future. But, in the immortal words of Mick Jagger, time waits for no one, and this morning the realization is sinking in that one week from today I'll undergo the most extensive and important medical procedure in my life.

I must confess to you that when I first heard the diagnosis - when the neurosurgeon who performed the biopsy came into my hospital room and told me that the tumor was a Grade 2 - not a 0 or 1, as I'd been hoping and praying - I was scared. After he left, I was alone. My legs began to tremble. All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind: Will this thing in my head kill me? How long will it take? Will I be in pain, at the end? Will I lose my ability to speak, to think clearly? What about my wife and kids - what will happen to them?

I prayed aloud: "Lord, you're still in charge. I know that. See me through this."

I then got my cell phone and called Shirley. I got her voicemail (as she'll be the first to tell you, her phone never rings! Imperfect technology!). Then, I called my close friend, Casey Walker from church. He'd been my 'front man' for my church family, as my other close friend and boss, Mark Van Holsbeck, was for my work friends (thanks, guys!). I talked to Casey briefly, telling him the diagnosis. Within 5 minutes of hanging up, my phone rang. I was Pastor Paul. He asked how I was doing with the news, and then we prayed together.

After that, I can honestly say the panic was gone, and has not returned. This morning, with my surgery scheduled for a week from today, I am sober but not somber. On the one hand, I very much want this trial behind me - to hear my surgeon say that she got all of the tumor; that it was a Grade 2; that I can heal up and get on with my life. On the other hand, I've seen in a very tangible way how God is using this trial for my good (deepening my faith; allowing me to share it with others; focusing me on what is really important in this life - family, friends, relationships).

Like many in my situation, I've been reaching out to some people who have been important to me as friends or acquaintances over the years, but with whom I've not been in contact, recently. It's so easy to get caught up in our day-to-day activities and responsibilities, and then you realize 10 years have gone by, and you have lost touch with someone who was significant in your life in some way. I'm glad that I've been given this opportunity to slow down, to focus, and to try to re-establish contact with some of those people.

I'd encourage you to do the same! I don't remember who said, "Hell is other people." I disagree completely. "Heaven is other people." I can't tell you enough how much the thoughts, expressions of love and concern, and prayers mean to me - all of my friends and family mean so very much to me. Thank you for helping me get through this final week of waiting!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


You have are continued prayers. We will be meeting today at noon, a few of us, with the specific goal of praying for you and your family as you walk through this trial.

We "thank God concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus."
1 Corintians 1:4