Saturday, January 10, 2009

Peace and Rejoicing...

Have I said how much I love the fabulous Dr. O, a.k.a. Bilbo Baggins? :) I just wanted to hug him after Tim's surgery yesterday!

Tim went into surgery at 2:30 -- what a wait. As he was getting prepped and they gave him some "relaxing medicine" in his IV. Dr. Korper (who is the anesthesiologist and is also a member of our church) said that the relaxing medicine was kind of like a "truth serum". Yes it was. The truth was that my knight was somewhat scared about all that was happening to him. He didn't say that but when he took my hand and looked at me with those sleepy eyes and said, "No matter what happens, never doubt that I love you." it just about broke my heart. I knew he was worried....and I was worried.

My wait began. I went to the waiting room and couldn't help but to cry. I was there alone to wait. What if the lymph nodes were too close to the carotid artery and couldn't be removed as the fabulous Dr. O planned? I sat. I cried. I prayed. I read old magazines I brought with me so I could toss what I didn't want. I took a picture of the tall windows in the waiting room. I straightened the magazines on the waiting room tables and threw cups and soda bottles that people there before me had left behind in their haste to hear they could go see their loved ones that were waiting to see them. Their wait was over but mine went on. Finally I rested my head on the wall behind me and fell asleep. I don't know how long I dozed off for but I woke up to a feeling that someone was beside me. You know that feeling that someone is looking at you?....that is what woke me. I looked at the seat near me and there sat Dr. Korper's wife, Laurie. I have only met her once before and there she sat next to me announcing that she was there to wait with me until Tim came out of surgery! What a wonderful gesture to someone she barely knows. We talked about all sorts of things, Tim and his cancer diagnosis, our kids (their nine, our six), and lots of other things. She was like an old friend although I hardly knew her until yesterday.

After 3 hours and 15 minutes of surgery finally word came that Tim was in the recovery room and the fabulous Dr. O would be out to talk with me soon. I had to hope that the very fact that the surgery took so long that meant it was good news. Soon the fabulous Dr. O came out and told me that Tim was doing well. He said they were able to get the whole chain of lymph nodes out -- YEAH! Dare I ask how close the lymph nodes were to his carotid artery? He tells me they were VERY, VERY close and that had we waited to have radiation and chemo and then wait for the the lymph nodes to be evaluated (as the other doctors wanted to do), the lymph nodes would have compromised the carotid artery and would not have been able to be removed. Is there any doubt that prayers are answered? Not in my heart nor Tim's.

So my knight came home minus his lymph nodes on the left side of his neck, minus his exterior jugular vein and minus the muscle that runs down the side of his neck. My knight came home with an incision that goes from his earlobe, down his neck and around to the front just past his Adam's apple. My knight, according to the fabulous Dr. O, has hundreds of stitches in him. My knight has a pretty major "dent" up under his jaw bone but a dent that we will take any day over cancerous lymph nodes.

So life has battered and dented him a bit but he is as strong as ever. He is still preparing for further battle. And there is battle yet to come with the promise is radiation and chemo ahead. But, he is up for the fight.
(2 Chronicles 25:8 But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle...) The dragon has been partially taken down; he has been wounded and my knight will continue to stand tall and fight. I am here to aid him, to shine his armor, sharpen his sword, dust off his helmet and help us both remember the words of Richard G. Scott....
“Please learn that as you wrestle with a challenge and feel sadness because of it, you can simultaneously have peace and rejoicing”.
Today we feel peace and we are rejoicing.

10 comments:

Natalie.Rob.Branson said...

So glad to hear that everything went well yesterday. You were on our minds all day, and we just prayed that all would be well. Like we said the other night, please let us pay the kindness that has been shown to us forward to you...let us know of anything we can do to help...we love you all.

Vest Family said...

I love the Richard G. Scott quote. And, my eyes watered with joy as I learned about Tim's victory in his first battle. More prayers coming your way! Hopefully Tim has a good recovery so he can work up his strength before the chemo and radiation battles. You can do it Valenta family! Lots of love, Heather
(Let me know if there is going to be a ward/family-friend fast...I would like to join)

julianne said...

I've been anxiously awaiting news of the surgery, and so happy about the good report. Your visit from Laurie Koerper was an answer to my prayers in your behalf - as I wanted so badly for you to feel peace and comfort. She has the rare ability to make everyone feel like her best friend, and is truly a example of Christlike love and acceptance. One shouldn't wait alone in a hospital waiting room - and what a perfect companion Laurie must have been. There's no doubt in the power of prayer!

Thank you for sharing your life, the joys and the heartache through your wonderful blog. I've always loved the Valenta family and am grateful for your influence in our lives over the years. Our prayers continue to be with you.

Marissa said...

I was thinking the same thing as my mom- what were you doing there alone?? And then you said Sis Koerper came... what a sweet person she is. I <3 her! I continue to admire the both of you... your strength and courage through all of this. I was so thrilled to hear the surgery went well... your family has been in our prayers and thoughts and will continue to be until this is all over!

Patty said...

Loretta, my sister, separated at birth, we love you guys and are happy you have gotten past this hurdle. The Lord's hand is in everything! And my word verification is Ammen!

Jeff Valenta said...

I'm so happy to hear Tim is recovering and doing strong.
He is the best brother anyone could ask for. I love him more than anyone knows!
I love you all more than you know.
I am there in spirit, and pray many times each day for better progress and full recovery.
Love, Jeff

Coopers said...

Best news I've heard all day! I'm thrilled the surgery went well and so glad everyone's prayers were answered. You are truly loved and your courage is admired. :)

sweetsusan said...

I am so happy that everything turned out right. Your prayers were certainly answered. Go forth into battle and win!!!

John and Erin said...

So so so glad to hear everything went so well! I was thinking about You and Tim all weekend.I have been checking every few hours for an update! My prayers are with you and your family...tell Tim I will hold the fort down at the LDC for him ;)

amaree said...

I am glad that things went well also, and that you have a wonderful doctor who takes care of Tim, and also that you have angels that seem to be watching over you and your family. You are in my prayers, and I prya that things continue to go well. Your family truly is an inspiration to us all!