September 11, 2007

Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I will declare it fearlessly, as I should.

No news yet. I am partially thankful for that, though, because it gives me a day to just celebrate my life.

I did not sleep very well on Sunday night, knowing I had to be at the hospital by 6:30 the next morning. When appointments like this are scheduled, the doctor's office normally gives you a slip of paper that orders a certain test. You have to take that paper to the hospital the day of the test so they know what test to start and to get you registered. Because my appointment was scheduled on Friday and I was not present at the time, the order was going to be faxed to the hospital for me. When I arrived, my mom and I went to the radiology department. It was exactly 6:30 and there was one other man in the waiting area before me. When I went up to the little glass window where the receptionist was, I let her know that my order should be there. Well, it wasn't. She let me know that they were going to wait until 7:00 to page the on call oncologist to get a new order made. She put 2 paper bracelets on my arm, one with my name and birth date, the other was color coded for the procedure I was having. Shortly after 7, a tall man came to take me back and get me started. We went down the same hallway I had been down before, and into the same little room. After letting him know I have had this test done in the past, he went to go get the needle. I was incorrect in thinking that they would first draw blood... this was just an injection. I went through my normal routine of letting them know that my veins are not always very cooperative. I am sure he was very confident, but after trying for several minutes, he said he may have to get a nurse to bring an ultrasound machine down to find a vein. I obviously have veins in there, but for some reason just are MIA when it comes to needles! He told me that he was going to get teased for not being able to find a vein on a 27 year old! He was very nice, and I was thankful that God seems to continue sending people in my path that make the process a little easier. Pride probably made him try once more, and after several more minutes, he was able to safely inject me. By now it was 7:45 and I was told to come back at 9:30. I met my mom in the waiting room, and we headed out to get breakfast. I was told to hydrate myself as much as possible so that everything would circulate better. So I drank lots of water in the next hour and a half and needless to say had to make quite a few bathroom visits!

I arrived back at the hospital at about 9:15. By this time the waiting room was filling up. One other person had the same color bracelet as mine, and the rest were different. It amazes me and saddens me to see the amount of people that have to get medical procedures done on a daily basis. I took a minute to quietly pray for each person in that waiting room, as I know how nervous I was. The same man came to take me back to get started. A woman was already in the room having her scan done, so I waited in the hallway. A familiar face came by and asked " Are you a Ramba?" It was the same man that talked to me at the last scan I had two years ago. He is a colleague of Mike's dad, who also works at the hospital. After talking to him for a few seconds, it was now my turn to go in the room. There is a narrow bed that you lie on, fully clothed, with a pillow behind your head and under your knees. They put plastic arms rests under your hips so that your arms don't move. The bed raises up to a square panel that slowly scans, from your head down to your feet. As it scans, and image of your skeleton shows piece by piece on a television monitor. It's always neat but also weird to know that those are my insides on the screen!

The test took about an hour. It was administered by someone different than the last time I went, and I was thankful for that. This man was very friendly and talked to me the whole time. It makes the time spent there a little less scary when you have someone that will talk to you.

When the test ended, I met my mom again in the waiting room and we drove home. I have said before that I know God is in control, but sometimes what you know in your heart and what your mind tries to tell you are totally different. I had to work a few hours later, so I tried to take a nap in between. I noticed at work that my breathing was getting much more difficult. By the time I left there at 10:00, I was having to really try to take deep breaths, which were not coming. I believe I was having a panic attack, and almost called an ambulance or went to the emergency room. Instead, I made it home and along with Mike, my mom and dad and brother came over and just talked to me and prayed with me for a couple of hours. I was breathing easier and feeling better.

I went to bed at about 2:30 am last night. I set my alarm for 8:30 am to call Olivia. Today was her first day of preschool and I know how scared she was to go. Tommy handed her the phone, and she proceeded to tell me that she was getting ready for preschool,  what she was wearing, that she ate Rice Krispies for breakfast, what Emily was doing, and what Emily was wearing, all in the same sentence. I could tell she was nervous or excited but I couldn't tell which one for sure. Jenn said that Olivia cried when she was dropped off. She just gets herself so nervous sometimes, and starts to panic.  My mom, Emily, and I went with Jenn when she picked Olivia up. Olivia looked so cute with her flowered belled pants and her matching headband. She got in the car and said "I went to preschool all by myself!" She was able to enjoy herself after all. This was a victory over her mind telling her to panic. Many different circumstances, but we all know what it feels like to be scared, and how good it feels to overcome it!

The five of us met Brian and my dad for lunch by my dad's work for my birthday. On the way home, Olivia sang a song that she learned awhile ago. Coming from the backseat, her little quiet voice sang " O God, you are my God, and I will ever praise You! I will seek You in the morning, and I will learn to walk in Your ways. And step by step You'll lead me, and I will follow You all of my days!"

God will use whatever He can to reach us. I have received several emails from people that have said that I was on their mind, and when they checked the website, they knew why. I am so thankful for other's obedience to God's voice. I am also thankful for my family.  I will never take our closeness for granted. Olivia's song made me realize that each day is a new day. I will continue to seek Him daily and will walk where He leads.

I meet with my surgeon tomorrow at 10:30 am. I should know some results and more plans after that. I will post an update as soon as I know. To those of you who are checking this site, and who are praying, I am forever grateful because your prayers are what carries me through.

Click here to go back to my updates