March 2, 2012
I suppose like anyone I like surprises, but not shocks; not unexpected waves appearing out of a sea of calm. I like it when the boat is on course, the sun is shining and it looks as if we’ll be coming into dock as planned. Yesterday, my boat got blown off course, clouds covered the sun and we will not be docking in the manner previously decided.
The hospital phoned to say my “new” surgeon would like to speak with me before the operation next week. I was surprised by the phrase, “new” surgeon. What happened to the original one whom I had already seen and agreed to the recommended surgery? I still don’t know the answer to that question. I only know I’ve been assigned to a new surgeon and a new hospital and to top it all off this new surgeon has a new plan. She said she had to meet me as she had only received my medical notes from the original surgeon the previous day and put simply and in her words she was “aghast” at why and what was proposed, a double mastectomy. She said she felt the cancer was small enough to completely remove with a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy to kill off any cancer cells that may be lurking in the area unawares. She said an actual BRCA, genetics testing, hadn’t even been done yet, so it was premature to assume I was at a more genetic risk than anyone else. She said we would talk chemotherapy treatment after the operation when the tumor and surrounding area had been more fully looked at in the pathology lab.
I’m being very honest with all of you when I say….it’s things like this that bring upon me feelings of bewilderment. When the doctor finished explaining her opinion she asked, “How do you feel about this?” I opened my mouth to speak when my words were softly choked back by tears for the first time. The doctor was extremely kind, took my hand, squeezed it between both her hands and in lovely British fashion, whenever there is a crises, asked me kindly, “Would you like a cup of tea?” This actually made me smile and the tears faded away. I told her how confused I now felt. I explained how I’ve felt complete peace from the moment of diagnosis, had immediately come to terms with the thought of a double mastectomy and now, another completely different proposal had just then, in a matter of several minutes, sent my boat swirling and twirling in the storm.
Over the years I’ve been through many crises times in my life and in the lives of those I work with in Central Asia. In each instance I have been steadfast that I absolutely, positively, no doubt about it, will not make any decision whatsoever without that “peace that passes understanding” that can only come from Father God Himself. I must make a decision by Tuesday as to what course of surgical action I will submit myself. I am confident that by Tuesday Father will have placed His own peace in my heart, that peace that does pass all human understanding, as He has done so many times before. At this moment, I have made no decision. The peace I am waiting for isn’t there. Between now and Tuesday I am concentrating on the loveliness with Father that comes when we choose to “Be still and know…” I have chosen many times in life to wait, be still, know. God’s formula has never failed before; I don’t expect it to now.
I have gone away for the week-end to stay with some wonderful friends (who also have two wonderful dogs – that always helps) so that I may spend time alone with Father, away from the normal hustle and bustle.
Stay tuned everyone. I’ll let you know on Tuesday what type of surgery I’ll be having on Thursday. As always, thank you for your prayers on my behalf.