We went to the vascular surgeon today,Β a great guy, and top-notch surgeon (he is the head of vascular surgery at OHSU and Harvard trained). He will take part in my surgery; my tumor is pushed up against my inferior vena cava (it is the vein where all the blood is fed back from the lower extremities, about the size of a water hose), which means during the surgery they are going to have to do one of two things, either:

a) Reconstruct my vena cava, which involves placing some gortex where they cut into the vena cava (to have the space to get my tumor out). The side-effect would be that I would have to be on blood thinners for 6mos to a year.

or

b) They would have to “tie off” my vena cava (make it dysfunctional). The side effect would be leg swelling for a week or two, and also that I would have to wear compression stockings for the rest of my life (the outcome actually varies).

Of course we want option “A”!!! Would you please pray for option “A” as well? The doctor said that looking at where my tumor is positioned it is actually in a prime location to do the reconstruction; and that reconstruction for a younger guy, like me, is always the route he wants to take in these situations (option “B” could result in some lack of mobility, or at least slower than I normally might be, as far as physical activity — like sports). He said that he won’t know for sure though until they’re actually “in.” Again, please pray for option “A,” I’m trying not to worry about this (I really don’t want “B”); but it is hard not to, so also please pray that I would continue to just trust and rest in the LORD (pray for my wife too) experiencing His peace in this regard.

Also please pray that instead of fear, as we get closer to the surgery date (which I’ve been struggling with a bit), that instead the peace of Christ might intensify for me and my whole family. While I’m excited about the surgery, it is nerve racking, in the sense that this is a decisive thing. Even though I’ve been reassured by the LORD, over and over and over and over again; and even though close family members, who have a close walk with the Lord, have been reassured the same way, the “enemy” comes in like a flood at points, and there is fear — reassured that everything will be successful (even the surgeons and doctors believe this is curable). The real battle here is spiritual (Eph. 6:12), the enemy never gives up (but “so what let me eat my donut” [that’s an inside joke for one reader here]); but then again, neither does the LORD God almighty, who’s my “King” (do you know Him?)! I’m starting to feel like I could preach πŸ™‚ . . . thank you, everyone!

Update on my current health

I’m feeling really strong, the longer I’m off chemo the better I feel (imagine that). My last “labs” were really good (all my numbers were really good, as far as blood count, and all kinds of stuff). I’m starting to grow back some facial hair, and I’m even developing a bit of a “shadow” on my head — sweet! It’s nice to feel a little bit normal again (that’s all I really desire, to be “normal” again — which I’m not sure what that is πŸ˜‰ ), but you know what I mean. I’ve gained about 10 to 12lbs since my last stay in the hospital, about a month ago (I dropped to about 158lbs and now I’m back up to 170 to 175lbs [185 is ideal]. I walk about 2 to 3 miles a day, and for the last 4 days I’ve actually ridden my motor cycle. Other than the cancer I’m feeling great πŸ™‚ ! Anyway, we continue to c0vet all your prayers, I know we’re going to make it; but not without you guys (and of course the LORD)! I want to leave you with a sermon that is just emboldening and inspiring (not sure it’s a sermon, it’s more like a spiritual pep rally, you’ll see), this is Dr. S. M. Lockridge (the first version is the “abridged” version and has been put to music, if you want the full effect listen to the second video — or both):

and

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