Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Prayers Answered: Surgery Scheduled

My MRI and neurosurgery appointment went well on Friday. Thank you for your prayers.

Basically the tumor is still there, growing, and needs to come out.  I don't think our direction could have been any more clear.

There are lots of other things to be thankful for, too:
  • The acoustic neuroma that was removed in February doesn't appear to be regrowing.
  • No other tumors were found!
  • This coming surgery, scheduled for Monday, 12/16, seems to be more common and straightforward than what I faced previously.
  • A craniotomy is still needed, but no fat graft will be required.  (That was painful last time.)
  • No risks of spinal fluid leak with an operation in this part of the brain (parietal lobe).
  • A shorter surgery...anticipated to be 3-4 hours. (1/2 the length of previous one)
  • Shorter recovery time and ability to drive sooner. (3-4 weeks)
  • My blood disorder (Factor IV) didn't play a role last time, so we can assume it won't this time either.
  • Even the news that it will require a "minimal" haircut makes me happy!

There are of course some risks.  Dr. Mickey pointed out that since I am young, (he can tell me that ALL DAY LONG ;) ) the risks do go down, but they are not ZERO. I will definitely send out specific prayer requests regarding those risks (seizures, swelling, bleeding, regrowth, etc.) as we get closer to the surgery date.

For now I just ask that the overwhelming peace that has come over me will remain! I am sleeping well and at this point just feeling ready to get this thing out and hopefully close this chapter.  When I think back to what a mess I was last year at this time...on steroids, not sleeping, going through the ringer with doctor appointments and decisions abounding, I am so thankful for the seemingly simple sleep and a clear path to follow. As far as other prayers, I also may need some supernatural strength to get Christmas completely done in the next 3 weeks. And I do pray that we will all stay healthy between now and then, as well.

Lily is memorizing a portion of Psalm 139 for chapel and as she was practicing it this morning on the way to school, the Lord ministered to me through it.

Psalm 139 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
    you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
    and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
    behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
    and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
    it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
    Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
    and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
    intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
    the days that were formed for me,
    when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
    I awake, and I am still with you...

He knows me, my thoughts, my ways, my path...and my body...even down to every cell of this tumor...he knows its precise location, how vascular it is, and exactly how easy or difficult it will be to remove. While I take comfort in being in the hands of a renown surgeon operating in a state of the art hospital, I know I am really resting in the hands of my the presence of an Almighty God.

More to come...
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