Today is a…BIG…day. To be honest, it’s
BEEN a big day for a while. But now, it is even…BIGGER! You see, I am in St.
Louis, MO as you read this, in the midst of “medical stuff”. Originally, I had:
2 different doctor visits, 1 round of lab work, a CPAP evaluation (checking to
see if I am ready for general anesthetic) and a CT scan. But last Friday…that
A week ago yesterday, after our “early”
worship service, my wife said, “Are you OK?” After questioning why she asked,
she said that my mouth didn’t seem to be working right. One of the concerns
with this tumor in my head is that it will impact the 7th Cranial
Nerve- the one that controls the right side of the face AND the sense of taste.
Well, after she asked me that, I went to the bathroom and looked in the mirror-
I was indeed experiencing partial paralysis on the right side of my face. In
addition, my sense of taste is nearly shot.
After church, I called and talked to the
neurosurgeon on call at Barnes Hospital/Washington University School of
Medicine. (MY neurosurgeon is part of that group.) He said that he was
reluctant to prescribe anything for me but encouraged me to go and get checked
out for a possible stroke. My local doctor confirmed- no stroke.
After talking to all 3 of my doctors’
offices (ENT, oncologist and neurosurgeon), it was decided that the CT scan scheduled
for today needed to be moved up. Done. It then needed to be overnighted to STL.
Done. After reading the scan, it was determined that the tumor hadn’t changed,
but was “more cystic”. OK- but what does “cystic” mean? It means there is a
fluid build-up going on. That would explain both the localized facial swelling and
the paralysis symptoms. The question is- what’s causing the fluid?
So, here is the NEW schedule for today.
9:30AM- Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. He will evaluate me and decide if the
antibiotics he put me on last week are helping or not. If he feels I am making
progress, then I will head to Barnes Hospital and have an MRI, blood work and a
visit with the oncologist. Then…I will go home and plan for surgery in a few
weeks. If, however, he decides that I am NOT making progress but instead
getting worse, he will admit me to that very same Barnes Hospital and…the
surgery will happen!
You might imagine that this uncertainty has
caused a lot of stress in our family. My son has a LOT of big school-related events
coming up. Easter is almost here. And I am responsible for a vibrant, growing
church that takes a great deal of time and energy. And SOMETIME in the next 6
weeks, I will have a surgery that will put me out of commission for 2 months.
AND, that “sometime” could be this week!
Do I want to have surgery this week? No.
Do I want to have surgery in 6 weeks? No. Do I want to have surgery at ALL? No.
But…it IS going to happen. No other medical treatment has worked. So what am I
left with? I am left with the promise of God. I am left with His sure presence
in difficult times. I am left with the fact that He will continue to walk this
journey with me. And I cling steadfast to the knowledge that He is good, all
Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a
blessed day! Please make sure and come back again tomorrow, and stick with
Tomorrow- The 411