Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Health Update

I apologize for not updating this sooner.. every single time I sat down to write I was stuck with brain fog... plus there were soooo many factors up in the air I wanted to wait until something was concrete.

So to catch you up.. after surgery you enter a waiting period until your TSH level (thyroid hormone) gets above 40.  (a normal TSH level is like somewhere between 0 - 2, over that and you feel yucky.)  Some people wait weeks to get their numbers above 40.  I had my first visit with my Endocrinologist last Friday and had lots of bloodwork done.  We were quite surprised to find out my TSH went to 98 in 10 days!  So although the affect is I feel terrible, the good news from that is I could proceed immediately to the next stage of treatment ~ radioactive iodine.  (haha I feel like I'm writing about monopoly)

So tomorrow morning I go in to drink a teeny tiny bit of radioactive iodine.  Then Friday I will have a whole body scan.  They will use this whole body scan as a *marker* to determine the dosage of radioactive iodine I will receive next Tuesday.   I asked the Doctor what would be the procedure if the whole body scan came back completely clean with not one single 'lit up spot'.   She replied 'in 35 years of practice I've only seen it twice so don't count on it.'  So that has given me a new prayer request - a completely clean whole body scan.  For some reason I just love hearing the words 'that never happens'  :)   because then if it does God gets all the glory not the Doctors ~ heh!   So if you would join me in prayer for great results of the whole body scan that would be greatly appreciated.   One note I received from the prayer room up in Borger read Ps. 101:15 'Do not touch my anointed ones.' We are claiming this verse for you.  I am praying for nothing when they do the body scan - totally clear!'  Can you imagine getting all sorts of notes saying things like that ~ what a HUGE encouragement.

Our family is overwhelmed at the love, letters, meals and acts of kindness we have received from brothers & sisters in Christ and total strangers.  Seriously, I could write a whole epistle - our family will never forget the past 3 weeks.  Our lives were certainly turned upside down and yet as we wake up each day and keep 'doing the next thing' as Elizabeth Elliot always says, we have been amazed at the grace and peace we've been given.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

THANK YOU for praying!

Susan Beaird is actually sitting at a computer typing this!! :) Okay where to begin.. we met with the Doctor Monday afternoon and it was a bit disappointing to discover the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes outside the thyroid cavity. So instead of a simple 90 minute thryoidectomy I would be undergoing an extensive surgery where both thyroid glands and all lymph nodes would have to go. We were up early Tuesday morning walked into the hospital and four hours later was very happy to have an excellent report by the Doctor that my neck area is now free of cancer! YEAH! Although this has been a very tough 2 days.. I can say that God has given us an amazing amount of grace and peace ~ I know only because of so many people around the world were praying for us. I can not thank you enough!! I will write more soon.. but just wanted to say I am doing very well and on the road to a full recovery. Thank you for your love and prayers!!! I would wax eloquent but I'm still woozy :) All I can say is I have some amazing friends and wanted to say thank you from the very bottom of our hearts!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Update on Susan's health

What a week we've had.. amazing how drastically your life can change in just a few hours.  It's hard to even put in words... so here's a feeble attempt.

Our whole family is going to the States.  How God worked out plane tickets and the document we needed to leave (looong story) is a miracle and we literally have been in awe of how God has worked out details and provision for our family.  Susan will have tests on Monday the 11th and then surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning with Dr. Rosendahl.  Please continue to pray that God will give us wisdom and clear direction on the many decisions that need to be made. We did have some very good news today ~ the cancer seems to be contained to the thyroid area and has not spread anywhere else; big praise! 

Also pray for our children as we leave, many tears have already been shed. If nothing else I keep telling myself our children will have learned to be super flexible and live out of a suitcase :)

For myself this experience has opened 'Pandora's Box' so to speak of my secret fears.  When the Dr. told me she thought the cancer was caused from exposure to radiation it was very tough news to take.  I remember 10 years ago being pregnant with Rachel and having this little gnawing fear in the back of my mind 'what if your children get sick or are permanently damaged just because you decided to live in Russia?'  I know the truth that God is all powerful and able to protect.. and yet what about the personal responsibility of every person to care for their children?

I was up early yesterday reading and thinking through things.. I finally got up and walked past Rachel's bedroom, her door was cracked and I heard her happily singing

Here am I Lord, send me
Here am I Lord, send me
I will serve you faithfully, here am I Lord send me

I couldn't breathe for a minute and went back into my bedroom and shut the door.  In that moment I realized how much I had changed over the years without even realizing... I remember singing that song when I was a teenager ~ I mean really signing it not just saying the words.  I remember telling God my life was a blank check and He could do whatever, wherever, whenever.  

But over the years things had changed.. now I more or less was singing 'Here am I Lord, send me only to where it's safe and radiation free and my children will be protected.  Send me where I can still do everything in my own strength and feel confident ~ I'll serve you faithfully as long as it's in my comfort zone and on my terms.'  Things needed to change in my heart - big time.

I kept thinking of the verse in John 17:4 when Jesus is praying in the garden;  "I have glorified You on the earth, I have finished the work which you have given me to do."  How could Jesus say he had finished the work God had given to him when Jesus had yet to die on the cross or raise from the dead??  Could it be the whole battle was won when Jesus was willing to be obedient to what His Father asked of him?  

Could it be that what God looks for in our lives is not the summer camps, the Bible studies, the orphanage visits.. but the very simple fact that when HE directs we obey.  Is that where the battle is won or lost?  Will we make our own decisions or yield ourselves to the one who gave us life in the first place?  Can I say like Mary 'Behold the maidservant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word " Or like King David 'I will not give unto the Lord that which cost me nothing.'

Well I've gotten all philosophical and wordy on you :)  heh!  But my dearest prayer has been that we will walk through this trial and become more like Christ.  That our kids will see that even when life throws you a curve ball that you never have to fear.  "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."   Thank you again for your love for our family and walking through this test by our side.  Your notes and prayers have been greatly appreciated.  

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