Feb 22 2008
Dear family, friends and wonderful intercessory prayers,
This is just a note to let you all know that everything went well on
Friday with the surgical removal of the bladder tumor that was only just found last Monday.
I am feeling pretty good, and only have some pain (which is relieved
with extra strength Tylenol) upon urination. I am keeping well hydrated, which will help the healing process. The tumor will be biopsied and results should be available in 5 working days. I will let you know what happens when I know. For right now, I am at peace, because God has me in His hands and I am ever so aware of His presence.
Throughout this whirlwind week, things have happened that I know to be
Providential. The discovery of the bladder tumor during the course of
an examination for something completely unrelated...the availability of
both the appointment with the urologist AND the surgical time, due to
cancellations by other patients...especially considering that the urologist was well booked through mid-March...the presence of people in my path to testify personally about the nature of this type of cancer (if it turns out to be cancer). There are no coincidences, only God incidences.
The doctor said candidly that this type of tumor is cancerous in 80% of
cases. Well, that means it's NOT cancer in 20%, right? I'm hanging onto that! But, the Doctor and some of those 'others' who passed through my life this week, also said in not so many words, that if you have to get cancer, this is the one to have, because it is generally a contained type which does not spread. So, either way you look at it, it's good news.
There are so many things for which I am grateful. The love and kindness
shown to me has been a wonder. I am blessed to have such support. From my dear brother who was the first to see me immediately after the urology appointment when I was scared and approaching a meltdown, to Raymond who has been my rock, to my wonderful friend and SIL, Barb, who took the day off work, took me to the hospital and then kept Raymond company during the procedure, to all my praying friends and cyber pals. God has blessed me with an incredible support system!
As a good friend said just the other day, "If God brings you to it,
He'll bring you through it". To that I say, "Amen!"
The graciousness of my employer in the midst of this situation is also a blessing. This has created havoc in her life, yet she made phone calls on my behalf to ask for prayers for me.
The week before all this began, we had one of the most relaxing, wonderful and enjoyable vacations EVER, in the 4WD area of Currituck County, North Carolina. That was definitely a gift from God. He was lying the ground work of peace and comfort, of learning to rest in Him that I would need so desperately during this week just past.
Praise God with me! He is good all the time. He is in control all the time. We have His promise that He is with us always (Matt 28:20). Never have I been more sure of that promise than during these last two weeks.
In Gratitude for His Peace,
[Followed by this email one week later]
2008 Feb 29 More on Bladder Cancer
The biopsy report came back positive for cancer. However, it was low stage, low grade and contained: all excellent news! In addition, the tumor was growing out & up, which means it didn't infiltrate surrounding tissue. I have a CT scan scheduled for 3/7, a post op Dr's visit ion 3/18, and barring anything as yet undiscovered, I will see the urologist every three months for the next two years. It's all good!
On 3/5 I have a gynecologic appointment to address issues that lead me to have the original ultrasound that found the bladder tumor. Hopefully all will go well with that appointment, as well. After talking to both my PCP & Urologist and asking the questions that I awoke in the middle of the night mulling over, I fell very sure that the two problems are completely unrelated. Since they both revolved around abnormal cell growth, I had many questions. I thank God that I have a long-term relationship with my PCP and feel comfortable asking her anything, even those questions which may seem insipid, or unnecessary. Plus, there is a comfort in the fact that she knows me & my husband and sees us a whole, complete, entities, not just the sum of our "parts".
Thank you, all of you. It has been a great comfort to know that you have been praying me through this process. I am blessed to have so many good friends and prayer partners. I thank God for each and every one of you.
Apparently, if you must have cancer, this is the one to have. Seriously, because it was low grade, low stage, and contained, it is extremely unlikely that I will need any further treatment. The need to be followed closely is due to the good possibility that this type of tumor may re-grow. However, by frequent visits to the urologist, any new growth can be spotted early and removed in his office, without further surgeries and anesthesia.
Cancer has long been a dreaded fear of mine. My Mother died at age 49 from lung cancer. I often thought that cancer would take me at a young age and spent a good portion of my 49th year living in dread. I have lost friends to the disease and have seen other friends and family plod through the diagnosis of "cancer" to come out the other side, scathed but alive. I am no longer afraid of cancer. This experience opened my eyes to what possibilities there are in living without fear, knowing that God is in control.
Again, thanks to all of you and may God bless you.