I read this passage last week during my quiet time and was struck by it, and since then, the Lord has impressed it on my mind through various people all week long. You ever feel like maybe God is trying to tell you something?? Just like the Israelites in the desert, are we so afraid of what lies before us that we would rather go back to known territory (Egypt and slavery) than trust that God has a plan for our sanctification and growth (even when we don’t want to go there)? That is what we are struggling with. As believers, we are promised that God will never leave us or forsake us. Unfortunately, we are also promised (and even supposed to desire) to share in Christ’s sufferings. Paul actually asked to share in Christ’s sufferings; some days I wonder if I will ever feel that way! Right now, I feel like we would both quite happily go back to Egypt and slavery. But that is our fear talking, and God does not call us to be fearful; He calls us to come boldly before the throne of grace.
We arrived in Indiana safely yesterday, and today Clay had his appointments with Dr. Einhorn and Dr. Foster, the surgeon. Dr. Einhorn spoke with us briefly about the tumor; he feels that it is likely either a slow-growing seminoma or a teratoma. Either way, he expects that the surgery will likely remove most or all of the tumor, and he does not think that Clay will need chemo again. Praise for that!
Dr. Foster was intense but patient with our questions. We felt that he was very knowledgeable. Clay’s surgery is the only surgery scheduled for tomorrow, so that he can take as much time as he needs. That is definitely a blessing. He said it would be a three to six hour procedure.
Dr. Foster is going to actually remove the occluded section of Clay’s vena cava, since he has all the collaterals taking blood back to his heart anyway. He does not expect Clay to have any long term effects from the removal, especially since he has not really had any symptoms up until now. There are some potential complications regarding reproduction, which was not really surprising, but still sad.
Dr. Foster does not expect that there will be significant involvement with Clay’s aorta or with his other organs, such as his kidneys. There is a small chance that there will be some involvement, and if so, of course the procedure becomes more complicated. If there is aorta involvement, he will call in a vascular surgeon to replace Clay’s aorta, and if there is kidney involvement, he might have to remove the kidney. He doesn’t expect those things to happen, though.
Please pray that there would be no significant involvement with Clay’s other organs, and pray for little blood loss during surgery. Pray for all the people involved in the surgery; Dr. Foster, scrubs techs and nurses. Pray for me, my family and Clay’s family as we wait during the surgery. Pray for us as we are missing our son this week. Pray that we would be used as a conduit of grace and our hearts would be open to God’s will in all of this.
Clay wanted to include these last two verses: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them [the Egyptians], for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 3:6
“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 3:8
We are so incredibly thankful for your prayers. We will keep you posted.
Clay and Lauren