I have been able to spend the past 2 nights at the hospital with Brandon.
This morning Brandon and I were weak and weary. We prayed specifically for strength, hope and to strongly feel God's presence, just for today - we needed it today. Tomorrow we will worry about tomorrow.
Not long after God answered those prayers. A visit from the amazing surgeon who did Brandon's first surgery 4 years ago. He was not on call on Saturday for this surgery, so it was done by one of his associates who is a very skilled surgeon, but lacks the finesse of a bedside manner.
The surgeon encouraged Brandon to get up and moving a bit today, since that helps the healing process and gets the GI system waking up. The sooner that happens the sooner the dreaded NG tube (tube down nose into stomach that empties the stomach contents) can come out that has been in since Friday. This has been one of the most difficult obstacles of this for Brandon. And a reward for getting moving a bit and tolerating the NG tube hopefully only 1 more day, is being permitted a Popsicle, a very welcomed and desired item for post surgery - especially with an NG tube and adding how long it has been since Brandon has been able to eat or drink anything, let alone enjoy it.
So we got out of bed, into a chair, and standing for a few minutes then savored every bite of a Popsicle. This was only possible by the fact that God provided enough STRENGTH to withstand the task of getting moving just enough.
There were a few moments throughout the day that brought on a frenzy of anxiety, scrambling for nurses, and a lot of pain for Brandon. For myself, God truly STRENGTHENED me to not panic in the moment and stay focused and strong for Brandon, definitely a power not my own.
When asked about his opinion on the tumors, the surgeon expressed that he felt it more likely that these tumors have been growing for some time, and likely did not grow in the 6 weeks since the PET scan that did not show their activity. Some tumors grow a certain way that their presence isn't shown til they reach a certain extent and absorb the sugars that show on PET scans. Obviously this is where God answered our prayers for HOPE. Hope that this all didn't just happen in 6 weeks time, but slowly over months or even years.
We can't be guaranteed anything, yes, the 6 week theory is possible. I battled with myself over embracing this hope. Our hopes over the past 7 weeks have gotten crushed over and over and over. I asked God why do You give us this hope if we are only left devastated? How many times can we surrender our fears to hope, and why would we continue doing so only being left shattered?
He told me clearly that hope is His gift of strength for today. When we have hope, it lifts our spirits, gives us an opportunity to find joy and optimism. If we surrender hope to fear what do we have today? Misery, endless pain and a day lost of it's opportunities for glory. And we only have today. We only have right now. Ultimately what is going to happen is going to happen, and we can have a path of misery and fear leading up to it or we can have a path of hope and some joy leading up to it.
So as I look back at the day, with it's peaks and it's valleys I can not deny that God made himself incredibly KNOWN to us today, and I am so thankful.
I go to bed tonight thanking God for His faithfulness today. Ultimately we are called to find our HOPE in The Lord and his promises to us, not in the tangible things of this world. But I feel incredibly blessed when He gives us a little added booster of hope to hold on to.