Saturday, April 16, 2011

Familiar Feelings of Past Days

On March 1st I started down a path that began in fear, transitioned into faith and ended up with victory. Today I am home recovering from a outpatient surgery that has resulted in the loss of my right ovary. This end result was so far from the original reports we received when this all began 45 long days ago. I was facing cancer, a potential hysterectomy, several days in the hospital and six weeks out of work. Yesterday, that was all reversed and now I am on a short path to recovery. However, this experience brought up some old fears and has given me a chance to have some other healing as well. I wrote this blog right before I met with the oncologist in mid-March and thought it was worth sharing.

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Such a familiar feeling this morning as my nerves feel like they are on edge, my stomach is turning and my mind is reeling. I have been here, oh so many times before and yet I still experience the same internal anxiety. Such powerful, overwhelming emotions assault me until I almost feel numb. Once again, my future feels as though it hangs on what I’m going to hear from a doctor today. Once again, I am reliving the past in my future………

Nineteen years ago I was desperate to have a baby. Everything natural had failed and our only option was to start with Advanced Reproductive Technologies (ART). We connected with a world-renowned doctor, who just happened to practice in St. Louis, and started with our first IVF-type procedure. I took the prescribed meds and shot up my body with everything required to maximize my chances for a baby. Over a few years time every attempt failed; and yet, I just kept trying to reach that which eluded my arms. Pergonal and Repronex were my drugs of choice those days, and my ovaries took the repeated abuse as I drove them to perform seven different times before I was done.

Repeatedly, I waited by the phone to get word from my doctor. What was follicle count? What were their sizes? How many ampules tonight? What was my Estrogen level? How many embryos? What was their cell count? What was my HCG - was it positive or negative? It is a viable pregnancy? What, my count is how high – how many babies? I became an expert at the numbers and odds and waiting: numbers, waiting, numbers, more waiting [with loads of tears in between] …and on and on and on year after year………….

Today I have an appointment with gynecological oncologist to discuss a large growth on my right ovary. My doctor had scheduled an outpatient to remove it next month, but then my blood work came back. Suddenly, my world shifted and I was told that a second opinion was in order and the scope of the surgery might be changing. Reeling from this report, I found myself once again in the old game of waiting for my phone to ring: more numbers, more waiting, and waves of tears. What a minute, I though infertility was behind me? I have my babies now -- certainly I can’t have cancer from a day so long removed? And even if I do, I would never have changed my decision to have these kids for even a few days, much less the years we have shared. The price was not too high, it was not.

But today just as back then, I find my footing inside my faith. I believe God has outlined a destiny for my life and I believe Jesus is my healer. I believe that I have a family to raise and so many dreams yet unfilled. My life is not defined by the numbers or even the phone to ring, but rather my life is anchored in the Author of Truth who I’ve also come to know as my Restorer. So, although it might FEEL as though my future hangs on what this specialist will say to me today I really KNOW that is not true. My future is not dependent on the words of man. Although I am anxious for the day to unfold and the information to be transferred, I am relieved that I do not face this day alone.