Previous cancer post – Theme of 2014: Work and Pray
Friday, January 24, 2014, 12:15 PM (Brian has surgery to remove cancer from his colon.)
Learning to Surrender – I am sitting here in the waiting room while Brian is having his surgery. I brought my laptop to the hospital because I knew that writing would keep me busy and help me to sort through the various emotions rushing around inside of me.
This morning after dropping off Bella and Andrew at school I went to the chapel to say a prayer. I quietly went in and slipped into the back pew. When I looked up I saw that Jesus was exposed in the Blessed Sacrament. It took me by surprise and gratitude filled my heart. It felt like a gentle reminder that Our Lord is there present and I need not worry. I poured my heart out to Him and just let the tears flow. As I sat there one question kept coming to mind – “What is the worse thing that you can imagine happening? My answer – Brian does not survive the surgery and I lose him. Then a voice within my heart said, “Even if the worse were to happen, I would give you the strength to endure.” Something in me clicked. No matter what happened, I must love and trust God above all else.
It reminded me of when I was first dating Brian. There was a point where I was convinced that he was the man I was going to marry but he was still not sure if he was cut out to be a husband and father. I remember on one of my lunch breaks from work, I went to the local church and slipped in while it was empty. I poured my heart out to God. I told him that although I felt strongly that Brian was meant to be my husband, I had to accept that God may be calling him to Himself as a monk or religious. (He had already left the seminary before I met him but he was still debating about monastic life.) I placed Brian in the hands of Jesus and Mary and asked God for the grace and strength to accept His will, whatever it may be.
I had that same feeling in my present situation with Brian. I know God is completely capable of giving us a miracle, and we are praying for one, but I also know that sometimes God has other plans. Whatever the case, I had to reach the point of just letting go completely and know deep in my heart that no matter what, God will give me the grace and strength to get through it. Either way… however it ends up… my trust and faith has to be in God. That is not the easiest thing to accept, let alone live, but I pray that God gives me the grace to do so.
Well, Brian has been in surgery for two hours now and they are about half way through. Time to close the computer and say another rosary.
Fri – 2:30 PM
The First Hurdle: The Surgery – The doctor finally came out around after 3 1/2 hours. He is very nice and very good at what he does but he is also a stoic man so when he walked towards me and my father-in-law with a severe look on his face I thought, “Ohmygosh, Brian died on the operating table.” Without change of expression he said, “It all went well.” It took a minute for the words to register but once they did, what a relief. The surgery was more difficult this time around since the cancer was embedded deep into his colon. Thank God that with the use of modern technology and cutting edge tools, they were able to get in there and remove it. While Brian was cut open he also inspected his other organs and saw that they were clean. He was pleased with the operation and said Brian looked clean but on the other hand, he looked clean after the first operation but the cancer still came back. He said it is rare for that to happen since most of the patients in Brian’s situation remain cancer free.
Next they will do a biopsy and we’ll meet with Brian’s cancer doctor to find out what stage the cancer is and whether or not he will need to to have chemo. We are hoping we can avoid it although they are worried that in Brian’s case he may need it anyway. But I can’t think about that right now. I am just happy that my sweetheart is alive and recuperating. So, so happy!! We jumped over the first major hurdle and we’ll handle the next hurdle when it comes.
I am also incredibly grateful to everyone that has lifted us in prayer. I cannot express how much it means to us to have so many people praying for us and caring for us. It is a true example of how we are all one family united in Christ – brothers and sisters looking out for one another. It brings tears to my eyes. 🙂
Thank you, God, for showing mercy on your son Brian and on our family. Please continue to heal him and make him strong once again.
* * *
Sunday, January 26, 2014 – 11:30 AM
It’s Sunday morning and I am in the hospital room with Brian. He is really tired so I told him to close his eyes and get some rest and I’ll stay with him and do a little writing. He smiled and closed his eyes.
Yesterday was a difficult day. Brian was having a hard time with the pain and the stress of the operation was taking a toll on his body. He had gotten a fever and his heart rate was up and his oxygen down. At one point when they tried to sit him up he got the shakes and became ill. They said it is not uncommon considering what Brian has been through, but I felt so bad for him. I could see that it troubled him. I told him not to worry and that he just needs to give his body time to heal and get better. It was only the first day after the surgery!
The next morning (today) he seems in better spirits and in less pain, although he is still very tired. He will have his physical therapy later today and hopefully he does better this time.
Star Wars/Superheroes vs The Aunts (Photo by Bridgette)
Sisters, Sisters… – My sisters have been doing an awesome job at keeping the kids occupied, not to mention making my house sparkle! Bella and the boys were eager to finally go see Brian. He loved seeing them as much as they loved seeing him, although I could tell it troubled Bella to see her big, strong daddy sick in bed. John-Paul was a chatterbox and kept saying, “What the heck?! Daddy, why are you in that bed?” Andrew was quiet with wide eyes and Matthew wanted to know when Doc McStuffins was arriving. 🙂 It was nice that Brian could have a little taste of home in the hospital. 🙂
Sunday – 10:30 PM
I just got home from visiting Brian. We watched Downton Abbey together and by the end of it we were both tired so I kissed him good night and drive home. I hated saying goodbye and this bed feels awfully empty without him in it. I am praying for the day we can bring him home again.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and words of support!!! I’m not sure how long Brian will have to stay int he hospital but he won’t be able to eat for 5-7 days until everything heals up. In the meantime, please continue to pray for Brian as he heals – both for his body and his soul, that his spirits stay high and that he realizes how much inner strength he possesses. Have a good night. Love you guys. 😉
UPDATE: Dear Diary: Brian’s Recovery & Dealing with Cancer (1/29/14)