Pain, Op & Post-Op
This was a big week for me. A big week for me to give thanks.
Because my pain got bad in July. Then an ultrasound found a huge mass. Surgery was scheduled for August 16th.
I had a month to wait. A month to talk back to the little aches under my arms and to wonder if the mass was cancerous. Yes, a month to learn to speak peace.
But Tuesday was surgery at St. Luke’s. My only other operation was the prodding that named the pelvic pain behind my more painful infertility: endometriosis.
That was twenty years ago. This time we knew I had a problem. By noon the surgeon had removed a 12- cm ovarian mass and a second surgeon was called in to help remove the adhesions gluing organs together that don’t belong together.
The first three things I remember upon waking were 1) the painful eye, 2) reaching my dream room on the 12th floor, where lymphoma patients come, and 3) I remember a big smile on Jim as he said,
“Dr. Kamelle removed it all and would be shocked if it was cancer, but the lab will need to confirm.”
Not Everyone Is Healed
Even as I sat in those glorious leg massagers, I thought of my friend’s friend whose bones are literally breaking with cancer. I prayed for another church friend who probably won’t live to see her long awaited first grandbaby’s birthday. Then came a text from a dear friend whose husband has fought cancer for ten years. He was just admitted due to a serious infection, and is still there as I write.
I think of these God-fearing, Christ-loving, praying people. God doesn’t always heal, on this side anyway. He leaves some mountains unmoved.
The song says,
I know the sorrow, I know the hurt would all go away if you’d just say the word.
But even if you don’t, my hope is you alone.
I want to believe I’d still sing that, and his faithful follower I would be, for by his hand He leadeth me.
But would I? Would I still have enjoyed the room with the view if the surgeon pronounced the mass cancerous? Would I still be telling you how sweet is this place?
I don’t know.
My Shout from the Housetop
But Andrée Seu wrote—and I am 💯 with her—that since she and her prayer warrior had prayed watchfully and since their request for her healing was granted:
It’s a no-brainer that I need to give public glory to God. Still I protest: Many godly, praying people are not healed. [Her prayer warrior] replies, “You were. Shout it from the housetops!”— Plus words to the effect that it’s a dangerous thing to ask the Almighty for something, and then, having received it, to flirt with unbelief.
There was no gainsaying that, and in the end I saw the truth of it, and yield the doubt to faith and that is why I tell you this.
So here receive my public thanks to God. To Him alone be praise.
Do I know I would praise God even if? No, I do not.
But I will thank Him now. To Him alone be praise.
What Makes Me Cry
What makes me cry these days? I’ve been weepy for the 48 hours I’ve been home, and it’s not because of the incisions and I don’t think it’s because I’m down an ovary.
It’s because of kindness.
God’s first, and y’all’s next. I mean it. I can’t list all the names now, because I’d forget someone. But you know who you are—you texted and prayed. You made a meal or sent a card, you drove me, or the son, home. A couple of you took a son to lunch and met a son in court. You dropped off flowers. I give thanks to God for you. You were gentle and kind.
For you all, and for strong Tylenol, a funny husband, inflatable leg massagers and a friend named Gwen; for sunshine, omelettes, and my slowest walks, I give public thanks to God.
I also give Him thanks for the call in the elevator on the way down from the 12th-floor room.
“Is this Abigail? It’s pathology. We wanted to let you know: no cancer was found.“
Public thanks goes to God for that too. From the housetop.
And the roadside, in my slowest walking shoes.
And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.
Psalm 39:7 (ESV)