Wow! What a day. The biggest one yet for Tara. She had a 6:30 check in at the hospital and an hour or so with me and two of her good friends before they took her off to prep for surgery. By 9:30 they were administering anesthesia and by 10:30 making the incision.
From sternum to pubic bone she was opened up by Dr. Gostout and her team. Removed was 7.5 liters of ascites (fluid from the cancer), a few girl parts that she no longer needs, multiple tumors and cancerous lymph nodes. Several lymph nodes were pressing on her aorta in her upper abdomen as well as some tucked under her liver. The skill and precision of the surgical team was on full display.
For 9 hours the surgery went on. Prayers ascended from every corner of the US (Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, New Mexico, and more) and as far away as Thailand. Tara came out of surgery and I got to see her briefly around 7:45, a precious kiss, then I saw her again around 9:45. This time I couldn’t get myself to leave. So now I sit on a recliner in her room, thanking God for bringing her through. And not just bringing her through, but doing it with tremendous hope. They were able to get more of the cancer than they anticipated, including the mass in her chest near her her lung. That was supposed to require another surgery in the future, but they were able to reach it through her diaphragm now.
Now it is time to heal. There is pain in each breath for now. Tubes in her chest and abdomen to drain fluid and ascites. Monitors connected and IVs set to administer the necessary drugs. God, please comfort my wife and sustain her.
God also sustained me through his spirit, a few close friends, and his word, which came alive again today through the encouragement of the readers of this blog who posted comments. Many of your comments are straight from scripture and that is so uplifting.
Many of you are wanting to help us in a tangible way. We are so honored by that. So here is what would mean the most to Tara and I. First, go love on your spouse and your children like you never have before. Use our experience as a lesson in your life. Second, go and give. Give blood. Give your time (taking your family with you) to serve at the Salvation Army, Next Chapter Ministries, Boys and Girls Club, your church, or anywhere else that will help someone else. Also give some of your money away. It really will be the most rewarding thing you can do with it.