Thursday, October 17, 2013

Two Weeks Since They Put My Arm in My Mouth

It's now Thursday, October 17th, 2013. Two weeks ago, I went under general anesthesia for the second major surgery in the same week. The surgeon hadn't gotten all of the cancer just days earlier and the surgery had to be more drastic. I went from losing "nearly" half my tongue to being told I'd lose at least half and that it would be so undermining to the tongue's strength, that I would never be able to talk again unless they rebuilt it with skin from my forearm.

I was stunned as I sat there listening to the doctor... at least hearing the parts that got through.

"We didn't get it all," he said with a serious face. "We need to operate again and be more aggressive..."

It was like my ears were hearing... but my brain was having difficulty comprehending. "You're going to take skin from my arm and build me a new tongue?"


"Okay... when?"

"Tomorrow. I'm leaving for a week to a symposium and I want to do it personally before I go. I needs to be tomorrow."

The whole scenario seemed too crazy to be real, but it was. My life was about to change.

That was 14-days ago. Since then I've gone through having the unique surgery performed, having tissues, veins and and a nerve stolen from my forearm, leaving my tendons exposed... tissue was borrowed from my leg to cover up my tendons... a tracheotomy was performed so that I could breathe... a PEG tube was installed in my abdomen so I could get nutrition when my tongue would hurt so badly or be so swollen that I wouldn't be able to accept anything by mouth.

I feel like a walking war zone survivor. I told my daughter, Holly, this morning that for Halloween I could just remove my shirt and bandages and go as me... the man who survived the most recent battle of war. But that's okay. If my medical background has taught me anything, it is this: What is broken will heal, often stronger than before. The scar tissue can be altered as well. But, if the "range of motion" in my neck becomes reduced and that leads to me looking forward and rather than at the distractions of life, then all the better.

Not a long blog today, but I want to encourage you...

First, no matter the wounds of life, you will emerge stronger. No matter the pain you feel, your "Pain Threshold" is being reset, making you able to handle nearly anything as it comes.

The second encouragement is important. I have mentioned it before on my Facebook wall and that is this:  I've been told since I was a child that God would never give me more than I can handle. The truth is, the Bible says that we will never experience more temptation than we can handle. As for life, we often get more than we can handle... it is at those times that we need to fall to our knees and come to the realization that "I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) You will encounter more than you can handle. Just know where your strength comes from when you face the storms of life.

A Blessed Man

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  1. Great to hear You! Thank you for your encouragement. -Andy

  2. It is so awesome just to hear you speak!! It is still the Bob Haase that I remember in class!! Keep up the positive attitude!! Wishing you all the good in life that you deserve!!

  3. You sound great! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You've encouraged me so much. God bless you. Angela

  4. They may have taken half your tongue away but they will never take your voice or spirit. You absolutely amaze me Bob. It is such a privilege to know you. Thank you for letting us follow along on this journey with you. I can't believe how far you've come in such a short time! May God bless you richly. Praying all keeps going well. With Love. Katie Fitch.

  5. You make me smile! I am praising God for all He is doing in you and through you.