Dear Friends and Family,
I went into the operating room around 8:30 a.m. (Taiwan time), and the surgery last about 2 1/2–3 hours. The doctor said that it was a perfect surgery with no complications. They did a frozen pathology on the mass as soon as they removed it, and it was completely benign, so they had to remove only the left side of my thyroid. Praise the Lord for that and for the mass not being cancerous! I was in the recovery room for about 2 hours, and I was back in my hospital room around 1:30. My family said I looked great; in fact, Ashleigh and Sara were a little disappointed that there wasn’t anything funny to video record. ;)
Now it’s almost 10 p.m. on Wednesday, and I’m amazed at how well I feel. I just got a shot for the pain (probably helps with feeling well!), but it was the first one since I was in the recovery room around noon. I’ve been up walking around several times, I can get to the bathroom with no problem, and I ate a good dinner of leftover chicken and dumplings (American style) from my birthday meal. I was very weak earlier in the day, and I’ve have a good deal of nausea, but eating a hearty meal helped. My dad and sisters have been an awesome support in person, and I’ve even skyped with my mom since the surgery, so she’s been a support too. I was even able to speak with both of my grandmothers on the phone (their phones, my skype), and that was a blessing. In addition, I so greatly appreciate all the people who have prayed and sent notes in email, facebook, text messages, etc. I’m supposed to rest my voice for the rest of the week and even next week, so it’s probably best if I continue to stay off the phone as much as possible.
I’m completely astounded by the number of people who have been praying for me and by how much peace I have experienced through all of this! I tend to be kind of a wimp when it comes to pain, so I thought I would be incredibly worried going in to surgery. Instead, I was flooded with a sense of peace and security from the Lord. I know that so much of this was due to the faithful prayers of the Body of Christ.
Please continue to pray for healing, for no infections, and for little pain. I should be discharged on Friday morning, but I’ll keep you posted.
In His Grip,
I’m settled in the hospital now, and I’m hoping to get some good rest tonight. I am in a room with one other lady, and the setup is not bad. She speaks very good English, and she helped us so much when the nurse was asking me all the initial questions. God definitely watched out for me when he put me in this room with her. I’m still hoping to get a single room for the rest of the time because I think it will be more comfortable for me and for my family, but we’ll see if that happens.
The doctor came in a bit ago and told me that someone will come to get me for surgery tomorrow (Wednesday) morning between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. (Taiwan time). That’s 7:30-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday in Eastern time in the U.S. The surgery will last for approximately two hours. I’m nervous, but I’m so happy that the surgery part will be over soon. Thanks for your continued prayers.
In His Grip,
Friends and Family,
This is a just a quick post today. It’s 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 28, and I’m sitting on my bed thinking of all that is to happen over the next few days. Yesterday, I had a truly enjoyable birthday with lots of sweet reminders of being loved: birthday phone calls from my grandmothers, students singing when I walked in the room, staff members wishing me birthday blessings, flowers from friends, a favorite home-cooked meal from my dad, an awesome birthday cake made by Sara and Ashleigh, Skyping with Mom at supper time, countless emails and facebook comments with birthday wishes, several sweet and heartfelt gifts, and the list goes on. I heard a lot of people use the term “Golden Birthday” because I was 27 years old on the 27th of September. I had never heard the term before, but the birthday did feel pretty golden. Thanks to everyone who made me know that I am loved.
For those of you who don’t already know, I am having surgery to remove a mass on my thyroid (see the post entitled “On Wings Like Eagles” for more background information on this). Today, I will go into the hospital. Dad and I are planning to run some errands this morning and get all packed for the stay at the hospital. In Taiwan, hospitals are quite different than in the U.S. Rooms have furniture but little else. We’ll even have to bring our own toilet paper and hand soap, so there is a bit of work involved in getting ready to go. Sometime this afternoon I will get a phone call from the hospital telling me that they have a room ready for me, and then I’ll be admitted. That’s how it works here. I know very little about when things are happening or what exactly is happening when I get to the hospital. I do know that today I will have some tests and surgery prep done.
Tomorrow, September 29, is the day of the surgery. I don’t yet know what time it will occur. If it is in the morning when I have the surgery, it will be the evening of September 28 for my friends and family living in the States. I know that many of you are committed to praying for me, especially during the surgery, so as soon as I am told a more specific time, I will pass that along to you. I am supposed to be discharged from the hospital sometime on Friday morning, so it won’t be a very long stay.
I am nervous about the surgery, but I know that God’s hand is absolutely covering me during this time. I’ve had several reminders of God’s provision in the last couple weeks, so I’ll share two of them here as encouragement to you and praise to the Lord. 1) My blue car was having a serious problem, and the mechanic said she thought the problem was so big that it wouldn’t even be worth diagnosing. I needed another car that would be cheap and, more importantly, reliable. I was searching and wondering whether I would find anything that I could afford when I learned at just the right time that Morrison Academy was selling an old car. It’s a 1997 Toyota Tercel. It looks old, but it’s in pretty good shape with no horrible cosmetic defects. It’s comfortable, and it’s safe and reliable. It also has low mileage, so I hope I can drive it for a while. I bought the car from the school, and because it was from them, they put me on a payment plan with a loan of 1% interest that comes directly from my paychecks. I couldn’t beat that setup since I hadn’t saved anything to buy another car so soon. God provides. 2) The day that I was making the decision on the car and worrying a lot about money for that and for the surgery, I received an email from Victory Baptist Church, my home church in KY. They said that they would cover my out-of-pocket expenses for the surgery up to $500 USD. Again, praise the Lord because He provides! What a blessing to know I can put the money worries of the surgery out of my mind.
Please continue to praise and thank God with me for His provision and protection. Pray for His healing through the doctor’s hands. And pray that I can have the peace of God in my heart. I or one of my family members will keep you updated throughout the coming days.
In His Grip,
P.S. The “new” car is red, and Ashleigh has named her “Rhonda.” I think the name is sticking…