A year ago today, I almost died. In fact, my whole team of doctors really thought that I would not make it off the operating table. By God's healing hand, I shocked them all.
A year ago today, I found myself reminding God that two of my girls have birthdays this week, and I really could not die and leave them sad every coming year on their birthdays. I'm so glad that was already in His plan.
A year ago today, I spent my day in a hospital bed, not allowed to get up, waiting to hear what my next couple of weeks would hold. Would I have surgery to remove this rare adrenal tumor (called a pheochromocytoma) now or would we wait a week or two?
A year ago today, I had a sneaking suspicion that the tumor was bleeding again. I was trying to talk myself out of that feeling and trust that God would lead my doctors.
A year ago today, I watched my very friendly, energetic surgeon reenter my hospital room with terror all over his demeanor. His words were startling. "You are bleeding again; this time from your vena cava. We have to do surgery right away. There is no waiting like we had planned. We have to get you in the operating room as quickly as we can. And I'm sorry, but I can't give you any hope of a positive outcome."
A year ago today, I watched my husband's eyes fill with tears. Then I turned to see my mother's eyes also filled with tears. I could see them holding back the sobs. On the inside, I was feeling the same impulse, but I purposed to spend my last moments trusting my Father. To cry felt very opposite that trust. If I had started to cry, would my sweet husband have been able to make it through the 4 hours of tense waiting that my surgery would bring?
A year ago today, God gave my fretting husband a beautiful picture. As he was waiting and praying, Hubby saw a picture of Jesus walking into the operating room where two surgeons, two anesthesiologists, two doctors to manage my blood pressure, and a team of nurses were working on me. Jesus walked into the midst of them, reached in and removed the tumor. Then he turned to the doctors and said, "You have everything you need to finish." At that, He walked out of the operating room. From that moment, Hubby had peace in the waiting– a peace that my daddy could see as they all waited together.
A year ago today, I woke up in a stupor, asking for my husband. Of course, by the time he arrived at my side, I informed him I just wanted to sleep. I don't think I'll ever live that one down, morphine or not.
A year ago today, I was given another chance at life. I was given a new gratitude. I was given the rare opportunity to have insight into what had been happening in my body for so many years prior. The understanding of what havoc my body was playing on my mind has been a blessing.
A year ago today, God chose to use my frail body to display His Splendor. His Healing. It was undeniable. My team of doctors looked worried every time they visited my room. Until the day I was going home, when every single one of them– students, residents, fellows, and head docs alike– told me how shocked they were at how quickly I had recovered, how surprised they have been about how well I have done, and then each of them clinched it with, "especially since we didn't think you'd make it off the table."
A year ago today, a plan was set in motion. A plan to save other members in my immediate and extended family from a rare disease, called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia– a disease that causes a rare kind of cancer and rare adrenal tumors. That plan began with a tumor that was growing on my adrenal gland.
It's been a year full of wonder. It's been an amazing opportunity to watch God work. It was undeniably His Hand.
Thank you, Father, for another year.
You can read more of my story here: