Wednesday, October 2, 2013

When the Surgeon Walks in with a Sad Face

It's nearly 6:00pm on Wednesday evening. I was originally supposed to be heading home today, but I got a "bonus night" because I had a "PEG Tube" installed in my abdominal wall allowing me to get nutrition. I've consumed about 200 calories in the past three days and I'm feeling weak. It doesn't help that the morphine is making it hard to think, so please forgive my writing errors and style...

After not hearing from my surgeon yesterday, I was wondering why he still had not stopped in today. The reason became clear when he eventually arrived around 5:00pm tonight. The pathologist's report wasn't what we wanted to hear.

The cancer I am dealing with is apparently has "very aggressive features" and it still remains in my tongue and elsewhere. Basically...
  • The cancer on the front of the tongue remains in the cells adjacent to the tumor and extends beyond where they felt was an obvious "clear margin."
  • The cancer follows the remaining left nerve trunks in my tongue.
  • The suspicious lymph node in my neck indeed has cancer cells in it. More concerning is that the cells are bursting through to the outside of the lymph node.
I am scheduled for another, more aggressive surgery tomorrow afternoon, roughly around 4:00pm. The surgeon needs to remove even more tissue, which will make my tongue useless unless they rebuild the bulk of it from tissue on my left forearm so that I can eventually talk. They will also borrow an artery and vein.  That depth of tissue removal will go down to my forearm tendons, necessitating grafts from my legs to my arm.

During the surgery, I will have a tracheotomy, installing a tube through my anterior throat so I can breathe without air passing over my tongue. The tongue is likely to swell, filling my mouth cavity.  After the surgery, I will end up in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) for at least a day, then transferred back to a hospital room for another week of care.

Because of the aggressive nature of the cancer and the lymph node involvement, I will need chemotherapy after all, in addition to radiation.

I guess I'm feeling numb emotionally right now. There is so much to process. It even hurts to cry with the tube penetrating my neck and abdomen. Please pray. Just when I thought I was looking up from the deepest of valley's, the floor of the valley gave way dropping me into a dark cave. All I can do is look up and ask God to show me His face amidst the dust of the impact of the collapse. He does have me in his hands. I know that to be true.

My fleshly body is going through Hell, yet amidst all of this, I remain a blessed man. I have so much. So much more than I ever could have dreamed.

20 comments:

  1. my thoughts are with you Bob

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Bob- You don't know me, but I am a medical student currently working in surgery, and a strong believer that God's hands are the ultimate Masters of Healing. Sometimes we do not understand why God requires the sacrifices from us that He does, or how He can possibly be in any of it - but He is there, holding you fast, stroking His precious son's (yours!) head, and reminding you that you are STILL His son, and STILL in His hands. You are in my prayers, and will be through out the week. -Analiesse

    ReplyDelete
  3. For some reason I missed everything before leading up to your video on Monday. And I didn't have time to respond on Monday before we left to go out of town. I honestly cannot imagine walking through this. The last sentence of your post really grabbed me. The hope of Jesus Christ and blessings He has given are enough to hang on - He wont let you go. Even when it seems like everything else is failing you. I am praying for you!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bob, our family has been praying for you since Monday when I saw your blogpost on facebook. We grieve with you ...and rejoice that you are Christ's and that your hope is in Him. We will continue to pray that His peace, that can't be explained, overwhelms your soul and keeps you. And of course we will continue to pray that the Spirit of the Lord move over your body and heal you and make you whole for His glory.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Brother we are with you. Have faith now. Jesus hears and sees

    ReplyDelete
  6. The confirmation words for me to enter my msg to you were 'ncaGod'

    Hear our prayers Jesus, have mercy on Robert Lord hear our prayers

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't know who you are and you don't know me, but you, your family, surgeons and nurses will be in my prayers. May you feel The Lord with you through this time.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We are praying for you and your family--peace and love

    ReplyDelete
  9. God's comfort and love surround you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have found that when I was in my deepest of valleys, God was all around me, and angels called friends and a few strangers held me close. May you be comforted as we all pray and cry with you during this time!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Its devastating news no doubt and I am heartbroken. You are very important to me and I need you to stay strong and BELIEVE. May God bless you and keep you safe!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You, your family, your doctors and your nurses are all in my prayers. May the Lord bless you and keep you safe. May he stand beside you in the times of hurt and pain and may he help you through this trying time.I pray that the cancer will be wiped out and that you never lose your faith in the almighty God.
    In Jesus' name I pray,
    Amen.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bob, I am holding you up to Jesus right now. I can't imagine what you are going through and won't attempt platitudes but I will pray and cry with you my friend.

    Love you brother,
    Ronna Patty

    ReplyDelete
  15. Bob,
    Someone I did not know who was in the midst of a battle with cancer gave me a link to this song when they read a post about the fear and uncertainty I was feeling at a very scary time. I hope it touches and comforts you as it did me. May the Peace and Grace of God hold you safe and securely in their grasp, and the wings of his angels surround and protect you. My love and prayers to you- Hold Fast!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVWUBD7utko
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xzaivDbu9c

    ReplyDelete
  16. I pray for peace and comfort for you and your family. I ask the Lord to give you strength and endurance as you walk through this to the other side of victory.
    God is ever faithful even when we feel faithless. He will never let you go!
    Dig deep and let your roots be hidden in the river of life which is Christ!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Bob!!! We will be praying!! Not sure if you remember John and I, we were at ECC in mid 90s. Pastor Edwards is my dad...I will let them know as well, and they will be praying too! Praying for you, and your family!!
    Trish

    ReplyDelete
  18. Praying for you Bob. Lifting you up and blessing you. Angela

    ReplyDelete
  19. Praying for you, Bob - I know He is faithful and He will carry you. This is the time when you will draw closer to each other. Robin

    ReplyDelete