Stephanie is out of surgery, and it went better than expected!
This is her husband writing the update for her as she recovers from surgery. First, some more back story, and more proof of God’s presence in our lives and the power of prayer.
As we waited in the doctors office yesterday, Stephanie kept talking about wanting a sign from God that we were in the right place. We had heard tons of opinions and had many highly qualified neurosurgeons telling us that no one would do the surgery. So why would he here? There were little signs along the way, like the receptionist sharing Stephanie’s birthday. But Stephanie insisted she wanted a big YES to confirm that we were taking the path God wanted us to. Even without that, we decided to press with the procedure and Stephanie was admitted into the hospital.
It was a long night, with tests, pokes, blood samples, etc. At last the morning arrived and we were told to expect the surgery to be in the late morning, but there wasn’t a set time. So we continued to wait. We prayed, played games, chatted, and Stephanie continued to be poked and prodded. We requested to speak with a priest, and a chaplain was able to visit and pray with us. After waiting a while longer, a priest arrived and was able to give Stephanie the sacrament of anointing of the sick. Shortly after, they were ready for Stephanie. God just wanted her to wait for the priest to pray with us first.
They took Stephanie to the OR holding area and prepped her for surgery. We were informed that instead of the sitting procedure we had discussed the day prior, she would now be laying down on her side. This was due to an issue they found in her heart (a small hole of which the only consequence was not performing this surgery in a sitting position), so she had to re consent. After doing so, they had to mark her consent. In order to do so, they wrote the word yes on her forehead. The word yes. In large letters. YES. Right on her brain. She had asked God to be blatant with his sign, and I don’t know how He gets more blatant than that.
So from there we left, and Stephanie went into surgery. This part is more about me than her, but I felt a peace about the situation the entire time. No doubt all of your prayers I could feel, and they kept me calm. I was more anxious for her biopsy last week than I was today. The power of prayer. Expecting a six hour surgery, I was amazed to see the Dr standing before me less than three hours after the first incision was made. I never considered this could be bad, I immediately felt it was done and it had gone well. Sure enough, he informed me that she was awake and responding to basic directions. Praise the Lord! Furthermore, the procedure went better than he had expected. While some of the tenant was still left, as we knew there would be, the Dr informed us that he had removed 95-98% of the tumor! 95-98%!!! I was floored. He also commented on how it “peeled off” easier than he expected. So not only did he remove more than he expected, it went smoother and quicker than he expected. MIRACLE. That’s the only word that came to mind. Through all the prayers over the last week plus from thousands of people across the globe, He has given us a miracle.
Know we know the road is not done, and we still need your prayers. If even one of the cells left behind is aggressive and immune to further treatment (which is possible), the entire tumor can grow back, and quickly. However this is much better than the full 100% we would have started with had this procedure not occurred.
To finish off continued signs, Stephanie left the OR for the recovery room. Her nurse’s name there: Jesus. Jesus was with her. Literally. Finally, Jesus informed me that no neuro ICU rooms were open. At this time in the evening, it’s usually hours until one opens and sometimes not until the next day. Not more than ten minutes later, she had a room open, and a cleaned one at that (which Jesus informed us was a minor miracle itself). So Stephanie moved to the neuro ICU where she’ll recover before moving back to the neurology floor.
Today has been a crazy day, but God and his love has carried us through. Everyone who has read this blog, shared it, prayed for us, or anything else has helped us in this journey. We are forever grateful for His grace and mercy, and we pray that we have continued strength, courage, and faith moving forward. We’re here to serve Him and follow His plan, whatever that plan may be.