I was afraid for a moment yesterday.
I was with Karyn at the eye doctor and haphazardly picked up a magazine while I waited for her . A well-read edition of Newsweek sat on the table, so I absentmindedly picked it up and began carelessly flipping through it. I paid little attention –until I turned to an article on the fight for the funding of cancer research.
Three months ago, I never would have paid much attention to that article, but a little graphic caught my eye–a colorful graph showing the ten-year survival rate of patients with different kinds of cancer. The stats on brain cancer? 31%.
Ouch…what was that chattering sound?
That would be my knees suddenly knocking from the icy breeze blowing through that warm, non-descript waiting room.
So the rest of my day wasn’t very happy yesterday– a little “pouty” and depressed, to be honest. My mind immediately wanders to my desire as a Dad to watch my sweet girls grow up, graduate, maybe get married and have grand kids… All these hopes and dreams with new question marks. But was there ever any guarantee I could have all these things pre-brain tumor diagnosis anyway?
Then, slowly…in bits and pieces through the rest of the day…I reminded myself that I have no idea how many kinds of patients were lumped into those Newsweek stats. Did they all have Grade 2 cancer like me, with no evidence of cell multiplication? Probably not. All my docs have affirmed is that:
1) Neurologist Quote #1: “If anyone could pick a spot for a brain tumor, you’ve got it. And, as best as we can tell, they got the whole tumor.”
2)Neurologist Quote #2: “Wow. Your surgeon took quite an aggressive re-section of your right frontal lobe. I was looking for someone in a wheel chair before I met you and you just walked right in here. And now that you’ve been diagnosed with a malignant tumor, it’s good that the surgeon took out as wide of a margin as he did.”
Yet, I can still feel my anxiety growing as I approach my first- follow-up MRI on the 29th (on this, my 83rd day since brain surgery).
Then, with gratefulness, I remind myself that I sang on the worship team last Sunday at church and led Communion;even better, I’ve been back at work (in the mornings) for two weeks now.
I’m also typing comfortably again and I can even pick up my guitar and play like I did pre-surgery.
God has done a tremendous amount of healing in my life over the last 83 days. Here are just a few examples…
Date of my brain surgery? June 24
Number of headaches since surgery? 1
Number of seizures since surgery? 0
Complications since surgery? 0 (Other than missing a lot of work…)
First day back at work at Blanchard? Monday, August 30
Celebrating my 13th anniversary of marriage? Done. (and definitely priceless…) On Sept. 6.
Number of chauffeurs?
4: Karyn, my Dad, Ryan Saul and Jay Patel [thanks, everyone!].
Permission to resume driving? Granted by my docs two weeks ago– but waiting for 90 days post-surgery (one week to go…)
Number of days left on this good earth? Who knows?
But does it really matter?
It’s amazing,when I honestly reflect on all that’s happened to me in the last 83 days, how my iciest fears thaw and fade. I remember Psalm 63: 1,3.
My Ellie loves singing the Rich Mullins version of this one with me at bedtime.
“O God, you are my God.
Earnestly I seek you…
Because your love is better than life
My lips will glorify you I will praise you as long as I live,
And in your name I will lift up my hands.”