Hello from Memorial Sloan Ketterting, my home for the last five days and the next one or two.
I had most of a post written, painstakingly because I'm on a device I'm not used to blogging on, and I lost it. I don't have energy to re-do it tonight,so I leave you with Shaun's words from Thursday. Shaun, my knight.
God willing, today's surgery marked the last day of cancer treatment for Lisa. This has been a long, hard road and we still have much healing to do. Last night my wife and I discussed the possibility of her not surviving today's surgery. I cried more today than I have in my whole life (and cancer has made me cry alot).
By all measures Dr. Temple is one of the best if not the best surgeon for patient Lisa Cour. She is the right amount of compassion tempered with sound judgment and willingness to make the tough decision. Cancer doctors who take it easy on patients aren't good doctors, because they lose too many patients. She has not taken the easy road for us at any juncture and today's surgery was no different. Last year during our initial consultation with her she stated that her goal was to get Lisa to her kids graduations. The last words she heard before entering the Operating Room today were me reminding her of that. The surgery went very well. With the exception of the whole "colorectal cancer" thing, Lisa is in exceptional health and sound of body and she tolerated surgery beautifully. There were no complications or surprises and the tumor and surrounding tissue removal went very smoothly. Next week they will do pathology, and again God willing that comes back clean and she will be done with cancer treatments. Her new normal will be to be closely monitored for the rest of her life, but we can work tests around children's graduation ceremonies.
So today is the first day in a very long time that Lisa's body is cancer free. Tonight, I'll remind her that this is the first day of marathon training for 2016. Through her anesthesia fog, that will make her smile and raise her spirit. We'll start training tomorrow by simply trying to sit up in a hospital bed.
"All things work together for good to them who love Him and are called according to His purpose." How can God possibly use this cancer for good? This cancer is not Lisa's fault, she has no cancer behaviors. She never smoked, eats ridiculously good and runs marathons. Why then? Cancer is a result of the fall in the Garden. All suffering comes from that one sin. Whenever I bemoan our current suffering, I cross reference Job, the apostles, or Christ himself. In the light of their suffering, the yoke we carry is easy and our burden light. Our prayer all along this journey has been "Lord, take this cup from us, nonetheless, not our will but yours be done". That's a hard prayer unless you really mean it.
There are circumstances when we try to minister to someone in pain that we lack credibility to reach them in the place that they are in. There is not a patient in a chemotherapy infusion room, or a radiation center or laying in a hospital room recovering from major surgery that can reject Lisa for not understanding their pain. As Lisa recently told me, "Everyone else with more cancer credibility than me is already gone." God has not guaranteed any of us 80 years of blissful existence. However, He has promised to never forsake us, and He has kept that promise. Today, he did not call my wife home, selfishly, I am grateful and thankful that her work here on earth is not done. We must use whatever time he does give us to be about His business. Help us to not waste Lisa's cancer. Use our pain to strengthen your efforts to win souls. Always view life's decisions in the light of eternity. One soul saved as a result of this cancer makes it all worthwhile.