Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The First Miracle

April Fool's Day: the big day. What a day for a brain surgery. The rest of the world was busy devising hilarious pranks to pull on each other. They were buying stink bombs, saran wrap, and silly string. My 23-year-old husband was in a hospital gown getting his head shaved in preparation to remove a golf ball sized tumor from his brain.

They led me back into the deep recesses of the hospital where they would be getting Rob ready for the big moment. The nurses and doctors let me go back to the room where family isn't allowed - the room where Rob would receive his anesthetic and would fall to sleep. There were so many thoughts running through my head. There were some I wouldn't let surface and that just lay back behind my consciousness. But as I gave him one hug and kissed him one time, a lump rose in my throat. Anyone could see the welling tears in both of our eyes as he fell gently to sleep. The last moment. I had never known a moment like that and I have not known a moment like that since where you look into someone's eyes and question whether it will be your last moment. "Bye," I thought. "Come back," I prayed.

Hours passed. I read. I talked. I ate. There were so many people there in support of Robert. It was truly an honor to know that I was part of someone's life who had touched so many other people. Far too soon, a doctor emerged to talk with us. Something went wrong... stopped the surgery... try again later. April Fools... right?

The next day, my dear husband awoke for only a few minutes and soon suffered a seizure and slipped into a coma. The pressure of the tumor was too much for his brain to endure. Emergency surgery was the only option to save his life. So, they tried again. After 7 1/2 hours of surgery, the doctors explained that they had removed most of the tumor.

Months later, I spoke with a friend of ours, Barb, who worked at the hospital where he first received news of his tumor. She said that the CAT scan showed that the tissue around the tumor was extremely vascular in nature. The doctor who first diagnosed him stated that surgery would be almost impossible with all of the arteries and veins that surrounded and were imbedded within the tumor. Overnight, the word went out through the Gunnison valley, throughout Colorado, and around the world and fervent prayer began. 24 hours later, an MRI was taken. This MRI showed a true miracle. The vasculature that originally surrounded and fed the tumor had pulled to the side. Hmm... The God who parted the Red Sea, the God who created gravity, temperature, and set the planets in motion - the same God who had separated vascular tissue from nervous tissue from cancerous tissue in the love of my life.

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