It’s been 5 days since we heard the dreadful news, and we are just beginning to come up for air.
In that first conversation with a doctor, in just a few excruciating minutes, Nate and I found ourselves tangled up in a snarl of horrifying words we did not expect: pancreatic cancer, inoperable, metastasized, stage 4, terminal.
“Stunned” does not explain our response. “Crushed” is better. “Devastated” is accurate.
The doctor was backed by six others in the room, all eyes fixed on us. When he paused to let us respond, I spoke first. Trying to will the words away, to banish them from the room, I said, “But we only came for surgery on his back! He doesn’t have any other symptoms! We don’t know anything about any of this!” As my voice got louder and began to crack, Nate reached for my hand.
We had known about his back pain and the stenosis, bulging disks, arthritis and spurs causing it. Having made the rounds to several doctors, we’d settled on “the best in the country” and signed up for spine surgery to take place on September 28… which is tomorrow. In Nate’s routine pre-op physical, multiple red flags popped up. Two short weeks after that, we were sitting in a hospital conference room surrounded by learned doctors, being assaulted with unwanted words.
Encouraging friends have responded. “Remember, this was not a surprise to God.”
And my heart has screamed, “BUT IT WAS TO US!”
Today, five days later, we are still reeling but are no longer screaming inside, at least not on this day. Our family is gathering. We all agree on how we want to spend our time. Love and support is pouring in from all directions, some quite unexpected and all exceedingly helpful and precious to us.
I plan to use this blog space to keep interested parties informed of Nate’s situation while the clock ticks and the days pass. As we begin putting one foot in front of the other to plod into this foreign land, we’ll let you know how things are going. Feel free to comment. And thank you so much for your kindnesses to us already. We’ve seen that our un-surprised God has traveled ahead of us and now stretches out his hand to say, “Over here now. Follow me. It’s all going to utterly amaze you, and I can’t wait to show you.” And so with tears streaming down our faces making it hard to see, we follow.
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you.” (2 Thessalonians 2:16)