And I Thought I Was Having A Rough Time Of It

The more I watch Duck Dynasty, the more I appreciate the value of a dead squirrel. A squirrel had been teasing our dogs unmercifully, running along the top of the backyard fence causing all kinds of dog ruckus that, of course, feeds the neighborhood dogs. The squirrel wasn’t running away … just running around. There are fines in Richardson if I do the Uncle Si thing and catching it is not on my bucket list. ​One morning, though, our youngest dog, Momo, was trotting around in a big circle in the backyard … with a dead squirrel in her mouth. The squirrel got careless or slipped or just got into the leaping reach of Momo. Never having done such a thing before, Momo didn’t know quite what to do and trotting around with a squirrel seemed like the proper thing to do. As I focused on the now dead squirrel, my mind began to think “… and I thought I was having a rough time of it …”

My Rough Time

I’ve developed a condition called ascites which is liquid that is leaking into my abdominal cavity. With nowhere to go, it’s caused something called an abdominal distention where my belly is right around 4-5 times it’s normal size. The abdominal distention has caused no end of problems – wearing most of my clothes is an effort of futility, swelling in my legs, ankles, feet which puts shoes in the same category as clothes, etc. The liquid is most likely coming from the tumor which indicates it may be growing. The only real treatment for folks with my type of cancer and the severity of the distention is paracentesis which basically means “stick-a-big-needle-in-your-stomach-and-remove-the-liquid”. I’m scheduled for just such a procedure today at 11:30am. Tomorrow, I’ll go in for a CAT scan to see if the scan can reveal anything new about the tumor, it’s size and any other anomalies. Then, on Friday, we sit down with the doctor at 1:30pm and go over the results of everything. It may result in a change of the ‘chemo-cocktail’ but that’s a bridge we’ll cross in a few days. And, of course, this happens during what has to be the most dreary, cold and wet weeks we’ve had all year.

“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the one who made heaven and earth.” PSALM 121:1-2.

That was my verse for the day. Seriously. I was reminded of Where and from Whom my help will come. And there’s something about that kind of reminder that causes anxiety to diminish and peace to reign; causes my fears to weaken in the Light of His word. It’s exactly the kind of reminder I need when faced with the prospects of a “stick-a-big-needle” procedure this afternoon.

Prayer Requests

  • That I would be an encouragement to the doctors and nurses (especially the one holding the needle) for the paracentesis this afternoon at 11:30am.
  • That the CAT scan on Wednesday will reveal what He wants us to know to make wise decisions.
  • That none of this will disrupt our plans to participate in an e3 expedition to Israel this December.
  • That I am ever aware of sufficiency in His grace, strength in His embrace, and comfort in His Word.
  • That His Peace and Presence overwhelms my fear and anxiety.

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