There are more examples in my life than I can take the time to outline of times when our desert places were turned into the land of plentiful through faith, trust and prayer. God orchestrates our lives in ways unimaginable to us when we are willing to let it go and hand over the reins to Him humbly. The last two weeks, we have spent much time reflecting on God's plan for us, talking about peace, faith, our love, salvation, death, our past and the kids' future. We have shared tears and heartache and desperation and devastation as we struggled to let go and rest that Brian's life is in God's hands.
Today, after many hours of conversations and intentions made known to everyone that we would like to move forward with this surgery that would so obviously help Brian, Brian was taken to surgery around 3:30 pm. The surgery itself lasted around 30 minutes. Total pre-op, post-op, surgery and recovery time was around 2 hours. Brian was under general anesthetic. The procedure involved putting a permanent tube into Brian's right ventricle.
this is Brian's MRI two times ago - mid October labeled to show you what a ventricle is
Otherwise he is doing well and is recovering fine. He is still speaking better than last week, is alert and feels good.
The quality of life given back to us is immeasurable. What we have just done has not at all affected or addressed the cancer, but has alleviated Brian's fast developing symptoms causing a rapidly deteriorating condition.
And I believe God orchestrated this entire event:
Brian and I were inches away from canceling the consultation with the surgeon last week since we were not seriously considering a surgical resection at this point in time. Had we done that, we would not have personally met Dr. K and I do not know that he would have so rapidly read Brian's scan and personally called us with his finding and recommendation. We were not supposed to get the results of that scan until this morning. I shudder to think of the condition Brian would have been in today given the rate of the spinal fluid building up in his ventricle. Instead, Brian's complications were eliminated by Wednesday night via a temporary drain and now with a more permanent shunt.
I had the ball rolling for hospice assistance on Wednesday morning, but now we are considering further treatment.
Wednesday morning, Brian could barely tolerate light, wind, noise and movement. Today he wants to get out of bed, get home and play with his boys.
Last Friday, I had told my mom that she didn't need to stay past the weekend. We didn't need that help yet. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday she stepped up helping my kids while I attended to Brian's needs which were quickly and unexpectedly growing. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday she was here to get my kids to and from school, homework finished and baths and meals administered, including tending to my very sick Gavin. Today, she took the boys to her house for the weekend. It gives her time with Dad and back in her environment. It allows me the freedom to be with Brian instead of choosing between the boys and Brian. It gives the boys a welcome change of pace and some fun. Also, it gets sick Gavin out of our house and allows the house a couple days to lose the germs before Brian comes back home.
I know I made my voice very well heard at the hospital on Brian's behalf. Before each conversation as Brian's advocate, I felt the peace of Christ guiding me to use a respectful approach, logical wording and calm demeanor. My words were His words and because of making our desires known, I find it no coincidence that Brian skipped lunch despite the urgings of both a Physician Assistant and a Resident to go ahead and eat since he was not scheduled until Saturday only to discover that there was a cancellation and Brian's procedure took its place this afternoon. Had I not made our heart's desires and our frustrations known in such a manner, I do not believe Brian would have been placed on today's schedule. Had Brian eaten, he could not have had anesthesia.
Also, Dr. K. is a Christian man. Just prior to surgery, he came into the room and said he prays before each surgery and asks the patients to join him in prayer if they do not mind. He prayed for Brian's recovery and his performance and in thankfulness for the gift of salvation through Christ. It was a moving moment and one that we have never experienced before.
It was as if God himself laid his hands right on Brian and said, "I'm not done with you yet. I have more plans for you and I will be glorified even more through you." And I have come to understand that even through death, God can be glorified.
While this surgery has not done anything for Brian's prognosis from the tumor, it has restored within Brian a new hope and a spark to live his life, however long it may be, even more humbly and in greater service to the Lord with continued dignity and character. It has allowed him to come back home as the Brian we all know and love continuing his exemplary life and legacy.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God.”