Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Medical Update

I am very thankful to be done with my cancer treatments, but in terms of my overall health things have not been going too smoothly since I finished radiation last month. In some ways, I have had to resign myself to the fact that my burden in life, at least for now, is my physical body and its sickness. This is the second time that the “end” of my health problems seemed to be in sight, but in the blink of an eye the road continued. The first time was my surgery in February. When I went in for surgery I was supposed to wake up and be done with everything, but when I woke up I found out they found more cancer and I would need to have more treatments and surgery. Now, within a few weeks of finishing my treatments, I have developed a very large cyst, a tear in my hip, and some other health problems that are causing me to be very weak and fatigued.

While my burden right now is with my body, some people are dealing with just as much if not more in other areas: emotions, finances, relationships, or spiritual life. So I have been thinking a lot about the comfort and hope that God gives us when our road seems lonely and never ending. At our wedding, Matt and I recited the first question and answer from the Heidelberg Catechism as a reminder that our ultimate comfort is not in each other, but in Jesus Christ. The catechism question asks, “What is your only comfort in life and in death?” And the answer says, 

That I am not my own, but belong—body and soul, in life and in death—to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil. He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation. Because I belong to him, Christ, by His Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.
What an incredible reminder this is for me! These words help to bring me back to the simple truth that Christ is my faithful Savior and that I can live for him wholeheartedly. If God watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without it being a part of his will, then he definitely is also watching over every pain and weakness in my body. And somehow, though it is hard for me to endure right now, he is using it all for HIS good and HIS glory. Not only is God in control of all things, but he is faithful – he is, “my faithful savior Jesus Christ.” He does not need to prove his faithfulness over and over again (though he does) because he gave us the ultimate proof of his faithfulness in fulfilling his promise to save us even when we did not deserve it, and even when it meant the death of his own son. I pray that God will continually use those truths to make me wholeheartedly willing and ready to live for him!

I met with my surgeon today to plan for the reconstructive surgery that I will have in October. Since I have healed well from radiation (that’s at least one health issue to be thankful for), he gave me the “go ahead” to schedule the surgery for early October (provided my other health issues do not interfere between now and then). Since my surgeon is in Charleston, South Carolina (a two-hour drive from Pooler) we decided to spend the day there as a family. We spent the morning at the children’s museum and the afternoon in the doctor’s office. The kids had just about as much fun at both places! They enjoyed looking out over the city from the doctor’s seventh-floor office. Apparently there was an earthquake while we were up there too. We did not notice it, but the doctor and several other people said they noticed the building moving a bit.

I would greatly appreciate continued prayers for my health as I battle these remaining health issues. Please pray that the doctors would have wisdom in treating me and that I would patiently wait for God to heal me in his perfect timing.