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.
Jay, Tara and family,
Praying for you all and thinking of you daily!
Thank you Jay for keeping us posted. You are all in my prayers and so thankful for all the Doctors were able to do. Praise God.
Tara, your dad and I are humbled by being chosen to be your parents..You have been told many times how we prayed and prayed for 10 years to have you and that was a miracle. Then brother Tim’s cancer was a miracle for healing and now God has given us another..PTL….We still haven’t finished the race but as I ran with you at the end while you were in cross-country in high school cheering you on “you can do it Tara” , I will be running right there beside you,until we cross the finish line!!!! on this continued race of life. God is using you in a mighty way. As you kept tellling us, you want only God to be glorified in this and we certainly feel that you are accomplishing that. Great is thy faithfulness is the song I have been singing all day.
(Singing this in my heart honey as I don’t want to embarrass you!!!)Dad and Mom Woods
I read this today and thought of you Tara:
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who
live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by
trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20 (New Living Translation)
Jay, Tara,, & the entire family,
Our hearts are in the right place — we are saying prayers to our Lord for the wonders and gudance that so many have brought to help you with. I am in awe of how expedient everything is going and I have so much love and concern for you folks.
Our family’s appreciation is knowing and not knowing what God’s plan is .
I also hope that this clinical trial works for me in the long run.
Our love to the Tree TOPS and that you heal fast, recover and have a long and wonderful liek with you and us!
Praise God in the highest
Love and hugs………….
Aunt DeeDee and Unclle Frank
Praises abound! I pray for you often as you have come into my heart often. Your whole family.”The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” Love from the Besch’s.
Tara and Jay,
We are also praying for you. God has this whole thing worked out. We were thrilled with the reports we have heard. Press on Tara. Win the race.
Dear Jay & Tara, You dont know me, I have the privilege of singing in the Heartsong Choir at Lenexa Baptist. I know your mom & dad, Jay. They are
a precious couple and I feel privileged to know them and be a prayer partner
with them and your family to lift upTara to the Lord In this crisis in your lives.
He tells us in Matt. 21;22, “AND ALL THINGS, WHATEVER YOU ASK IN PRAYER, BELIEVING , YOU WILL RECEIVE.” Praise the Lord for His healing power. It’s a blessing to everyone who knows you and those of us who hear about you and your precious family in your love for our Savior. We will keep praying and believing and trusting as he works his healing power in Tara. In the love of Jesus, Frances Thomas in Kansas City
Dear Jay and Tara,
Glad Tara’s surgery is finished. We know it was a very arduous day for all of you. We thought about you often throughout the day and will continue to do so.
Darrel and June Newkirk
Praise the Lord He has brought you this far! What a miracle! I have been memorizing this scripture this week as part of a bible study I am attending on persevering through trials. It has helped Dean and I tremendously these last couple of months…….
The Lord Himself goes before you and is with you, He will NEVER leave you or forsake you. DO NOT BE AFRAID! DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED!
. Duet. 31:8
You are continually lifted up in prayer.
Hey Jay and Tara,
Just heard and are praying for you all as you go through the storm. Lord we pray healing over Tara’s body and complete washing of the cancer from her body! We love you. The Dan Larson Family
Jay and Tara –
Well done, God! Well done, Jay and Tara! I am so thrilled at the news I’ve read here. So inspired to build the habit of consistency in my life because of how you’ve described Tara’s response to all of this. You can add Texas to the list of where prayers were sent up from. I prayed and pictured all of the cancer standing out to the doctors so they could see it well and know how to remove it.
Tara and Jay and family,
We are so thankful for the surgery going well. We are so encouraged by your blog…we can not tell you. God is already using this for good, so we will continue to cheer you on!. Keep going and He will bring you Joy you have never known. At the end of Job (Job 42) he says to God, “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see you…” Love from the Banksons in Fairmont
Dear Tara….We send our prayers and the very best for you and your family with love and prayers. Love to our Spirit Lake neighbors, Nancy and Larry. Our thoughts are with you all.
Jay- what a powerful tool to move people to action, not on your behalf…but His! Our prayers are with all of you through this. Wonderful news about the success of the surgery. Thank you for sharing!
God understands our prayers even when we can’t find the words to say them.