Monday, May 18, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 34

Monday morning found me at my local hospital, awaiting the tightest little MRI machine, wondering how someone even 50 pounds heavier than me would manage in there. When the tech came out to the waiting room she saw me and said, Oh! Its you again! I tried to be flattered that she remembered me (and our very pleasant conversation) instead of being mortified that I'm a familiar face at the hospital.

There was so much riding on the findings of that post-treatment MRI, I laid there desperately wanting to will the tumor away. Instead I just kept singing this song that came to me:

When confusion's my companion
And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear
I know that You are near

When I'm caught deep in the valley
With chaos for my company
I'll find my comfort here
‘Cause I know that You are near

My help comes from You
You're right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders
Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don't have to see to believe that You're lifting me up on Your shoulders
Your shoulders

When you look at the pre-MRI paperwork, you realize there is MUCH to be thankful for. Eyelid spring or wire??

Monday was a double session out on the porch with my Bible and my God. Shaun took all the kids to softball practice and I had a beautifully quiet and holy evening. When I went to bed that night I had peace about our upcoming appointment.
 Support poured in and I was reminded that I am not alone....this is a team effort.

Wednesday morning we headed into the city. Traffic is always unpredictable but despite much bumper to bumper time, we arrived early. We checked in and had just barely gotten settled in the waiting room when my name was called. She said, "I know its an hour early, but do you mind coming back?" We didn't mind at all.

Dr. T is wonderful....she has this perfect balance of compassionate bedside manner, matched with straight talk. And she always asks about the kids, ever-mindful that I have young ones at home.

On a scale of 1-10 her report was about a 4.  She said the tumor has shrunk significantly,  though it is still there. There is a chance it could continue to shrink from the radiation I completed a month ago, so she is willing to wait another month. Mostly what we talked about was surgery, which barring significant improvement will be scheduled for early July. 

Its not the news we were hoping to hear, though to Dr. T’s credit, she prepared us well back in October when we first met with her that this would be the likely end-game. She did emphasize that we are 3/4 of the way done and that the post-surgery prognosis is very good.

However, the surgery news was a blow. Shaun and I spent the car ride home talking things through and making plans...our whole summer had been hinging on the news from this day. 

We got home and got settled, only to get the news that the garage at one of our buildings had burned to the ground, along with thousands of dollars worth of equipment and tools. Shaun got home after 10 that night and as we sat in bed together, our emotions were strong and mixed...we laughed more than was sane (to save our sanity) about the fire and I cried about the news while Shaun held me. It was beautiful and brutal, as my cousin likes to say.

The next morning I awoke feeling like I had what a hangover must feel like. I briefly contemplated staying in bed and pulling the covers over my head but quickly dismissed that option wondering what, exactly, it would accomplish. I stumbled out of bed and in my stupor, these words came to mind Father, let this cup of suffering pass from me...

YET. Not my will, but yours be done.

Here's the thing. I don't understand this. God is putting a million-piece puzzle together and I have just a tiny little corner I'm working on and I haven't seen the front of the box. Its confusing and doesn't make sense. BUT, I get to trust in God's sovereignty. From life I've learned that the VERY best place to be is in His will. God is good. God is good to me. And God is good at being God.

I had a couple of rocky emotional days, emotions that spanned a wide spectrum. For the most part, I'm a fairly even-keeled person and it makes me feel weak to be teetering on tears. I don't think emotional people are weak, its just not who I am. I was hoping to get to this point and be DONE. I have fought so hard and this news took a lot of the fight out of me...illogically, it felt all for naught. My sister told me I was brave and beautiful and I told her I didn't want to be brave anymore. Get me off this ride!!

But on Saturday I started to turn the corner. A fresh perspective started to wash over me and I slowly started to fill back up with peace and gratefulness. That's not to say I've "arrived"...I know there will be a choice to be made each day to abide and to fix my eyes on Jesus.

We are believing for a miracle...that the tumor would continue to shrink and there is a marked improvement when we go back in a few weeks. I think of the story of Lazarus, Mary and Martha...Jesus knew something they didn't know. They were living in the obvious present reality, but Jesus had another plan and changed their reality. ~ Brent Grosvenor 

At the same time, I need to begin preparing for what may lay ahead because there will be some decisions to make. And no matter what happens, I want God's will, not my own. Because...He is good at being God. And I, am NOT.

Thank you, beautiful community for doing this hard season with us. For praying so faithfully, for loving us so selflessly, for doing what you are doing. I am very aware each day that I am not in this alone.

All of my life, in every season, You are still God. I have a reason to praise, I have a reason to worship.

 The follow-up with my radiologist went well. Just as I was arriving, the staff was getting out of a meeting, so I got to go around and hug everyone and was greeted with so much happiness and support (the happiness probably had something to do with the fact that I brought a cookie platter for them. :). Dr. H said everything sounds like its on track and he doesn't need to see me for 9 months.

Love, love, love this.


Amy said...

What a powerful post, Lisa! I love the K & C song and I'm so glad that these things seem to find you at just the right moment. God's so good like that! And you're so good at abiding and submitting. I also LOVE your puzzle analogy. That helped me. I love, love, love you!!!

Amy Joy said...

Standing with you in prayer. You're ability to face the tough stuff is such an inspiration. I love that Christine Caine quotation too - SO good. You've come a long long way and are closer to the finish line than it probably seems! XOXO

The Bug said...

Love you - still praying!

Melody said...

brutiful. love you so much.

Meg A. said...

I heard that K&C song today and my mind immediately went to you. I'm so thankful you desire His will and His perspective. It may not have felt like it last week but this road you have been walking is such an amazing testimony of faithfulness. I'm grateful we serve the One who holds our lives and our futures in His loving and able hands! Regardless of the news next month, you are closer than ever before!

Darla said...

Healing prayers sent! Miracles and good news on its way! I'm believing that.

sara said...

I agree with Melody....brutiful.

Lisa, praying for God to fill your mind with His Word each and every time the enemy trys to whisper is way in to your thoughts this month. Love you!!

Ashley Beth said...

You truly amaze me and your strength far outweighs that of most people. You are so correct about God's will being accomplished and there's so much to witness in that regard from the outside looking in. Praying for you, friend.