Thursday, September 25

Tripping over the Phone [4/5]

My testimony continues today. You can read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 if you missed them.
Some other news before we get started: I have a formal interview with OC on Monday at noon. (And I am having my wisdom teeth taken out Thursday next week... (I am looking forward to that actually.)) Lisa and I would appreciate your prayers.


In the Spring of 2007 God really took my world and shook it up. In April I had some back pains and went to the doctor to see what was wrong. After some testing and poking around the doctor suggested we do an abdominal ultrasound. The ultrasound turned up some strange masses in my abdomen, so a few hours later a CT scan was done, and a day later I was scheduled for a biopsy. After the biopsy I was referred to an oncologist. I was told I had cancer but they didn’t know what type yet. It was an agonizing week as we waited to hear back from the tests that they were running on the sample.

It was a horrible week of waiting and asking God for peace and crying out to Him to know what it is He wanted from me. A week after the biopsy we were sitting in the oncologist’s office when he told me I had desmoplastic small round cell tumors in my abdomen. It is a rare aggressive cancer that is typically caught when it is too late to do anything. The fact that they had found it at all was practically a miracle. I was told I had a 17% chance of living. I had the weekend to get things together and I started chemo the next Tuesday.

I went through 7 rounds of “continual infusion” chemo. I spent four to six days in the hospital as they pumped poison into my body attempting to kill the cancer. I would start the round with a week of infusions and then go home for a week, then my immune system would crash and I would go back to the hospital and after about a week in the hospital I would go home for a week, and then go through the whole process again. I whiled away the summer of 2007 this way and finally wrapped up the last round of chemo in October. At that point I met with a surgeon at the University of Washington who was going to operate on me. He again reiterated my odds of survival and told me everything that could, and probably would, go wrong.

During this time in the hospital and home I didn’t work at all and was greatly touched by the support of family and friends. I was getting shots twice a day to boost my white-blood cell count and my mother-in-law as well as some other people stepped in to help with those. People also stepped in to help provide meals for Lisa and I as she was trying to continue working full time and take care of me as well.

At the end of November I went into the UW Medical center for surgery. Six and a half hours of surgery guided by the hand of God. The surgeon took out a big tumor the size of a baseball, and lots of little tumors. The surgeon was thinking he was going to have to take parts of my liver out and possible some of my bladder as well. He was talking about having to shorten my intestines too. When I woke up I asked what the damage was. Turns out the only organ he removed was my appendix, which was a much, much better than he expected. Now the “only” thing I have to show from the event is a nine-inch scar that runs down the front of my abdomen.

I don’t know that I will ever really know how much God was in everything that happened to me during the first two steps of cancer, but some of the things I learned was about the peace of God. Even when my life is completely falling apart around me God was (and is) my rock in the storm. I also learned what it was like to be on the receiving end of people’s love and support when we needed it. Through meals, notes and people coming by to stay with me I learned about how God can take care of His people through His people. I know have a better idea of how to help people that have medical issues like I did. One of the many reasons why God gave me this issue was to experience what it was like to need other people more. I have a tendency towards doing things by myself and not looking to others for help. In this case Lisa and I eagerly sought others help and we learned to see God in almost every situation where people brought food or came by for a visit.

To be continued...


1 comment:

  1. I am so grateful that you are posting these. This one was a really hard one to read. It is amazing how quickly the trauma of that time returns. But God is faithful. Over and over He takes me back to the verse He gave me for you:

    "I will not die, but live and tell the works of the Lord;
    The Lord has disciplined me severely, but He has not given me over to death."

    That verse is where I have to live concerning you and your ministry.



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