Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Healer ....

I am in SNOWY Atlanta, Georgia --- yes, you heard RIGHT ... it FREAKING snowed here today. UGH!!

Anyway, I am here because my Dad had ANOTHER surgery to remove a mass from his colon. Six yrs ago, my Dad was rushed to the hospital with what he thought was a flare up of an ulcer. It turned out to be a ruptured appendix that had been ruptured for 12 days!! That itself is a miracle. While the doctors were removing the appendix and spleen and whatever else was messed up, they found the reason his appendix ruptured. My Dad had a tumor growing all in his lower abdomen and it was now in his liver. He was not expected to live.

Dad went through intensive rounds of chemo, all the while never losing his hair. He had 60% of his liver removed. He was declared 'cancer free' shortly after that and went about living his life. In 2004, after a routine colonoscopy, the doctors found a 'suspicious' spot on his colon. The 'plan' was to go in and remove the spot as they were SURE it was just 'leftover' cells from the surgery in 2003. I'll never forget calling my Mom after my final doctor's appointment before Wild Child was born. I asked her how Dad's surgery went and she said "Well, tell me how your appointment went" -- I knew this could not be good. When the doctors opened him up to operate, the 'spot' was a tangerine size tumor that was growing from the outside in, and was unable to be operated on b/c it was encapsulated in blood vessels. He would bleed to death if they tried to take it out. I have never been so devastated in my life -- but I will tell you, this was the beginning of several trials in my life, that I believe the Lord was running after me, trying to get my attention. It worked.

Dad proceeded with more chemo and after a while, the doctors decided they couldn't do anymore. However, miraculously, the tumor had shrunk to manageable levels and sometimes wouldn't even show up on scans. We deemed Dad a 'miracle' and again, went on with our lives, praising our God for giving us our Dad a little while longer!!

Last April 2008, Dad was experiencing some pain and I'm not really sure why, but had his kidney checked. 90% kidney failure and never even knew it. What was causing the kidney failure? Another freaking tumor -- BUT the doctors said it wasn't 'new' cancer, but the same stuff that had been in his colon. He had to have a stint put in, oral chemo and the doctors wanted to try a new experimental treatment called the CyberKnife to remove the tumor. They warned my parents it probably would be declined under insurance and so on and so forth. Dad was approved quickly -- was this too good to be true? Dad underwent the CyberKnife procedure in October (I think) and we didn't know until recently if it worked or not. I remember my Mom telling me that the doctors were so vague. No one would tell them if it worked.

It DID work -- it was all removed.

But there was another tumor - in his colon and it appears to be malignant.

So here we are today. Dad had surgery this morning and we all went with the mindset that God brought us here and would bring us through WHATEVER the prognosis was. Remember, the last time he went through surgery, the outcome was absolutely NOT what we were expecting. My sister and I walked in and met our 'little' brother -- I say 'little' loosely b/c he is way taller than me and is a karate instructor so he kept inviting me to 'the gun show' -- so dumb, but anyway, we sat and sat and talked and laughed and I thought to myself, Lord, if this is why my Dad is going through what he's going through, if this is why WE are here, I'm ok. I'm ok with whatever happens. Then as we continued to wait, I started singing ... "Healer" ... and at that moment, a close friend texted me the words to the chorus of that song. Ironic? No, I don't think so ... I felt like it was a reassuring hug from the Lord that everything was going to be ok.

My Dad's surgery??? Went perfect .... the doctor said "I did what I wanted to do 5 yrs ago - it was text book" ..... we were laughing, hugging, crying, sighs of relief ... and then I said "Wow, I bet there are people in here who AREN'T getting the good reports (that was us 5 yrs ago and it SUCKED). This surgery could have gone in so many different directions, and the fact that it went exactly as the doctors planned it - well, I truly believe it went exactly as God planned it.
My sister and I went and enjoyed a wonderful lunch with our little brother ~ something I am sure wouldn't have happened had I not been here for my Dad's surgery. We all have lives - I live 500 miles away. It was just the 3 of us and I had such a wonderful time.

So I am here until Friday ~ Dad is in the hospital until Friday at the earliest, but is expected to make a full recovery. He was so funny - I love talking to him when he's all loopy. He kept asking where the kids were .. so we are going to take them all up there on Thursday.
Do I think my Dad is healed? I sure do. I believe God can do ANYTHING he wants to do. But if something happened and the cancer came back tomorrow ~ we would still praise our God because he is the same God, yesterday, today and tomorrow. The 'cancer' has come back more times than I care to think about, but we have made it through each and every time simply by the grace of God. Period. I praise Him for the 6 yrs we most certainly didn't deserve with my Dad but I'm so grateful for the memories we've created in those 6 yrs. I'm grateful for my 'wakeup' call and maybe, just one person reading this blog will get their wakeup call too.

I would love to post a picture, but I forgot my cord to my camera!! I've got some great ones.
You hold my every moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You
I trust in You
I believe You're my Healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe You're my Portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus You're all I need

Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands


Shawn said...

Girl, I'm all teary now!

I was praying for you this morning as I woke up, literally I woke to words in my head, I fell back asleep doing the same thing. I was praying for you, Jen, your brother, your Mom, your Dad and the doctors again and was I was through I picked up the phone to text you as your text came through saying all was good. Coincidence...we so know better.

Have a great visit, kiss my girl for me and drive home safe!


My Beautiful Mess! said...

God Bless your Dad! Our God is good.

Vivienne said...

I've never been here before, but found you through SERIOUSLY. We have someone awaiting surgery to remove a tumor from his colon. Your post was encouraging and helped to bolster my faith this morning. Thank you. God bless your dad, your families and the doctors treating him.

Lauren said...

I'm so glad he is ok!!

I'll be praying for him and your mom, too.

Sheila said...

Finally had a minute to catch up on my 2 favorite blogs looking forward to the laughs you & my sister always provide & I read this. No laughs tonight only tears and a thank you God. What an awesome God we serve. Enjoy the rest of your visit. Drive safely with my dear niece.

Ber said...

I am sitting here reading and crying and can only think of all the things we have been through together. I think and love your parents as my own and am so thankful for all of the wonderful moments God has given you with your family. Your dad is a such a strong man and an inspiration to all us! Please give mom and dad a big kiss from me!

Love you!