Last night when I tucked into bed I was scared.
Not of resting, but of falling asleep to anesthesia the next morning. My surgeon had requested a repeat uppper GI scope before scheduling the surgery to remove the tumor. I agreed it needed to be done and mentally I understood the procedure, but my whole body constricted at the thought of being intubated again.
Laying there in the dark my mind fumbled for hymns and verses to steady my heart, but I kept tripping on the vivid terror of waking up on a ventilator the last time they did this procedure. Yes, there had been complications. . . but even months later I still cannot fall asleep with a shirt or blanket snugged close around my neck.
Then a tune slipped between my thoughts and I could breath deep again.
"If I rise on the wings of the dawn, If I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast."
It is the chorus to a choir song from academy years and the words to one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. These promises have walked me through every chapter of my life thus far. And last night they were my lullaby.
I arrived at the hospital this morning with a greater measure of peace in my heart, but God knew I was still struggling and He had several blessings in store:
When I arrived in pre-op my nurse told me that she has been praying for me every morning because I am on the prayer list at her church, and how glad she was to meet me.
Then God sent Kristin Thomas to come access my extremely positional port - she is in my humble opinion is the best IV team nurse ever! It's nice to have friends in medical places :)
Then another nurse came in and we all had prayer together.
As I turned over and they put the plastic bite block into my mouth the fear swelled up again. God, please help me not to fight them this time, help me not to aspirate. But then a bigger wave rolled over it. . . "If I rise on the wings of the dawn. . . ." and there was peace.
When the Doctor brought the results in he said that the tumor has shrunk a lot - up to 75%!!! I'm so very grateful! I'm still facing a complex and tricky surgery, but the chances of the being able to eradicate the cancer has improved! Thank you for your prayers!
"Even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast."