I personally thought the chemo was going to be the scariest part. They told us that Tommy would be facing six grueling treatments of the most obnoxious concoction of poisons they could possibly come up with to beat back that tumor growing inside his 30-year old body.
As a nurse, I understand what havoc this can wreak on a body. Young body or old — this stuff is no joke. As his favorite mother-in-law, I sure didn’t want to see Tommy having to face all that. I just didn’t.
And, as both a Mama AND a Mimi, I wanted so badly to protect both of my sweet girls from ever having to deal with such a frightening reality.
I’m sorry, but this is the type of scenario that nurses help PATIENTS’ families through at the hospital. Not our own families. That’s just not allowed. And, believe me … the rude blurring of that professional line has been quite the bizarre pill for old Nurse Debi to learn to swallow these last few months.
As I’ve told you before when I initially shared Tommy’s cancer story, there are definitely times When God just sees things different than Mama. (If you’re new to “Growing Nurse Debi”, reading that post would be a good place to catch up.) He doesn’t allow us to be comfortable in what WE think is best. He challenges us by teaching who REALLY knows best.
Anyways, Tommy has spent these very difficult months fighting his way back from all the uglies of chemo like the champ we all know him to be. It hasn’t been anything even close to easy for him, but he made it through.
And the news from the doctors since then has been very encouraging, as well – all thanks be to God. His latest scans have shown that the tumor has shrunk enough that surgery can finally be scheduled.
Take THAT, you stupid, despicable cancer.
The doctors told Tommy that he needed a month or so to regain his strength in order to face the surgery ahead, so take a break. Rest. Relax. Eat. Enjoy. Heal. Then that bad boy tumor gets yanked out and life returns to normal.
Well, there hasn’t really been much of a break in this period for Tommy.
Who knew that a SHRUNKEN tumor could cause problems almost as scary as a GROWING tumor?
He has actually spent much of the last month in the hospital fighting a resistant blood infection that they finally found to be caused by a tumor-related cavity formed in his spleen during the initial cancer invasion.Ironically, as the tumor has shrunk through the chemo (yay!), this cavity did not just fade off into the sunset like I personally thought would’ve been the nice thing for it to do.
No, instead it just hid in there and filled with infection.
Since then, every drop of his blood has been filtered through this tainted area as it circulates his entire bloodstream. I’m sure you can imagine how this has affected Tommy. And all who love him, for that matter.
So this infection has obviously complicated the surgery plan, as well as led to some pretty scary times as he’s experienced difficulty breathing, increased pain, and some persistent, ridiculously high fevers. And I mean ridiculously high.
One would think that they wouldn’t want to do surgery while he’s this sick. But in reality, he’s not going to improve UNTIL they do surgery.
So this is why I sit here today and write.
The surgeons have decided that tomorrow (Monday) is Tommy’s big day. Surgery to remove the tumor, his infected spleen, and a portion of his colon is scheduled to begin at 4PM.
Would you mind joining hands and hearts with us tonight, as well as in the days ahead?
Would you mind lifting high our Tommy as he waits for surgery?
Would you pray for his healing?
Would you ask for strength for our sweet Hannah?
Would you wrap all of us who love him in a blanket of your precious prayers?
Prayers that we would trust?
Prayers for patience?
Would you also pray for wisdom for the doctors and nursing staff?
And that hearts would be changed through Tommy’s story?
That OUR hearts would be changed by this?
That the lessons we’ve learned would not leave us as Tommy recovers and life moves forward?
That we would all continue to view life with renewed purpose?
That we would walk with an unshakeable, fire-proven faith?
That we would know better our God?
The One who allows these tough moments, yet holds us all the way through them?
The One who is there in these scariest of times and simply whispers in the dark,
“I am HE.”
The One whose words can permeate through our times of greatest worries with a certainty that He’s in control? Of Everything? Even this? Especially this.
Thanks so much for praying with me. I hope you know what a beautiful, comforting blessing you are. ❤
“I am HE, I am HE who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you … (Isaiah 46:4)