Sorry I haven’t posted for over a week, but the last 7 days have been…um… taxing, to say the least.
A few months ago my mom’s blood sugar started going crazy (she was at work one day with a blood sugar level over 500). As the doctors began trying to figure out what was going on, they discovered a tumor in her pancreas. Last Monday, my two sister and I accompanied my mom to the University of Washington medical center where she underwent a 10 hour surgery to remove the tumor.
Halfway through the surgery, the doctors came out to talk with the three of us and explained that the tumor ran through the entire length of pancreas. Since they couldn’t wake my mom up and ask her, they were asking our permission to take out her whole pancreas. As we learned, you can live without your pancreas. No pancreas just means welcome to diabetes… and insulin dependence. The doctor explained that he believed the tumor was a carcinoma and, if it was left in, we would be leaving in a “ticking time bomb.” When faced with the decision of diabetes vs. pancreatic cancer, the decision wasn’t too difficult.
By the time the surgery was completed, not only had they taken the entire pancreas, but they also removed her spleen, part of her stomach, and part of her small intestine. Like I said, the entire process took over 10 hours. My sisters and I outlasted everyone else in the waiting room and were still there when the janitors arrived. That was last Monday.
Tuesday through Friday was spent in three worlds.
First, I wanted to be there for my mom (who spent two days following the surgery in the ICU) and my sisters. This meant daily trips to Seattle and the UW. It is a drive I feel I have now mastered and understand that much of it will be spent sitting and waiting on the freeway. This world was a new one, but God gave me gracious blessings in it- being able to spend time with my mom and sisters and have some wonderful conversations about our life together and our life with the Lord.
The second world I walked through this last week was one that I’m much more familiar with and, thankfully, was portable. Our Senior Pastor is away on vacation, so I have the responsibilities of our church ministries to care for. With the invention of the cell phone and the laptop, I was able to have a portable office and work on my sermon, on email, and help people work through ministry issues. Honestly, it wasn’t easy to get my brain into this world, but (again) God was gracious and so the church is still standing and a sermon was preached last Sunday.
The third world is that of my wife and daughters. This was the world that I gave little to this week, but in return it gave so much to me. My wife was so supportive and such an encouragement. During a week like this, you really see and understand why God said “It is not good for man to be alone.” The blessing of a gracious and support spouse is one I was praising God for over and over again this week. In addition to Amy’s love, it was such a blessing to come home after a long day in worlds one and two, and see two smiling little girls and hold them in my arms. It is amazing how hugging your children can make so many of life’s cares and concerns melt away.
Then came Saturday… Read the rest of this entry »