You can imagine my frustration then with a recent series of health concerns. At the risk of boring you with details, here is the timeline of what has transpired in the past few months:
- September 26 - I had minor surgery to remove what my doctor thought was a benign cyst from my scalp.
- October 3 - Pathology revealed that the cyst was actually a tumor...and my doctor and the pathologist both suspected lymphoma. The sample was sent to a lab out in California to get a second opinion.
- October 6 - The secondary pathology results come back "inconclusive," leading my oncologist to send the tissue to Mayo Clinic before proceeding with any form of treatment.
- October 19 - We learned that not only were the Mayo results not available, but they didn't even have the sample yet! My oncologist decided to order a PET scan while we're waiting, just to get a jump on things.
- October 21 - The PET scan is scheduled for early next week, but we won't have our next meeting with the oncologist until Thursday the 27th.
Essentially, since being told that I possibly have lymphoma, my wife and I have had to wait three agonizing weeks with no definitive diagnosis or treatment plan. And there is more waiting to be done. Given that my life is in the hands of these results, I'm growing increasingly frustrated with the entire process. (On the positive side, waiting for a traffic light to change doesn't seem so bothersome anymore.)
I'm reminded of Isaiah 40:31 which says, "They who wait upon the Lord will get new strength. They will rise up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weak." But, being completely honest, I am tired. I am weak.
I'm tired of waiting. I'm tired of wondering. I'm tired of worrying my wife. I'm tired of staying up until midnight having morbid conversations. I'm tired of smiling and saying "I'm fine" just because I don't want to get into it. I'm tired of living my life under a cloud of uncertainty.
Thankfully, I'm also reminded of Exodus 17 where Moses was watching a battle between Israel and Amelek. When Moses held up his hands, Israel would be winning. When he put them down, Amalek would take control. In verse 12 it says, "Then Aaron and Hur held up his (Moses') hands, one on each side. His hands did not move until the sun went down." When Moses didn't have the strength to continue on his own, God provided people to help him press on. As it turns out, I need people like that too.
Though I have had many close friends and family praying for me already, I guess I'm asking for more. I'm asking for help "holding up my hands" today. When you get the chance, would you be willing to pray for me and my family? Pray for strength. Pray for encouragement. Pray for a complete absence of lymphoma in my body. And above all--despite the waiting, the fear, and the frustration--pray that my hands be held up throughout this entire process.