I am scared. And weepy. And my emotions are slightly yo-yo-ey these days (I realize yo-yo-ey isn’t a word…but I’m giving myself grace due to my minimal thought-aligning abilities lately. My thinker is no Bueno). I almost didn’t post an update because really, who wants to admit they’re frail. And sniveling. And well…pretty much praying–All. The. Time.
I guess that last confession is the best one.
Because it’s true.
It’s amazing how life’s hurdles bring us to our knees, and render us humbly before God. I’ve always been a Bible-studying girl, but when sickness hits, I kick my studies into research mode. Because that’s what planners do. They try to find the perfect verse to numb the pain, we try to finagle a way to understand the why and how behind their circumstances, but ultimately, we just want the hope of knowing that everything is going to turn out beautifully.
And it will. God causes all things to work together for good (Romans 8:28). I know this to be true. I’ve lived a lifetime of it.
So here is my recent news. Both my CT and MRI scans came back clear of cancer (woohoo!).
Yesterday, I contacted my potential heart surgeon in New York from NYU Cardiothoracic Surgery Associates (he graduated from Harvard and worked in pediatric cardiology for a while, which is a plus considering everything on me tends to be kid-sized). And the less invasive procedure originally recommened for me, the one they do robotically these days with 5 teeny-tiny incisions along your ribcage, with the surgery requiring only a 2 to 4 week down time—yeah, I’m not a candidate. :*(
Turns out I have too much damaged tissue surrounding my lungs and heart from my tumor and radiation scars, and since they have to repair my moderately leaking mitral valve and replace my severely leaking aortic valve, open heart surgery is the only option.
And this is when the tears surface. Because this was not my plan. My plan was the short in-and-out procedure, not the one where they temporarily stop your heart, not the one with the week-long hospital stay followed by a 2-3 week recoup in a nearby hotel, and roughly 2 to 4 months before you feel fully mended.
I wanted to jog–now.
Have the super duper deluxe state-of-the-art procedure–now.
I realize I sound like that snooty little girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. So I’ll take the deepest breath possible and know that God’s plan, this one that’s happening now, is the best path mapped out for me. He’s going to use it. He’s going to provide all the finances for it. He’s going to watch over this renowned surgeon’s hands and the best part? I’ll have a fully repaired heart and oodles of energy to chase my kiddos around, without all the windedness.
So if I see you and instantly my eyes get all teary, please know that I’m in the processing stage. I know, that I know, that I KNOW I’m in God’s hands. I know my days are numbered and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change that. I know that God will supply all of my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. My Father “owns the cattle on the hills and He owns the hills too”*, so the physical and financial part are in His hands. He can do anything. And, hey, I’ll get another front row seat to see just how amazing my God is. He typically doesn’t answer my prayers exactly how I pray them, but His outcome always exceeds my expectations, because when I look back I see how beautifully He orchestrated everything.
I’m not a fan of pain. But neither was Paul, Job, or Jesus. Christ, in His very human state, even begged God to spare Him from His impending crucifixion. So the fear part is normal.
I’m very human. Very humbled. But honestly, and I mean this with my WHOLE heart, I’m over-the-top excited for this new phase of my life to begin. Praise God for surgeons and technology and for (dare I say) medicinal relief from physical discomfort.
PS This is where I’d like your help. If you’ve had open-heart surgery, it would mean the world to me if you could share your (or your loved one’s) experience with me. Or if you know of a top-notch open-heart surgeon who is known for working with medically complicated cases, please share their name. Even though I’m strongly leaning towards my recommended surgeon, seeking wise counsel is, well, wise. So suggest away!
1 Peter 5:8-11 (MSG)
“Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.”
Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
A few people have asked, so my big sis set this up for me if you have any interest in helping. Please do not feel any pressure at all: http://www.gofundme.com/v4vqr34