Since our email and our request for prayer in detailed areas, God has seen fit to answer so specifically! Things have been happening so fast! We had 3 set appointments that were scheduled for this week (chemo class, heart scan, and a bone marrow biopsy) and by the end of this week, the 2 “prayed-for” tests to be scheduled will actually be completed by tomorrow! If you have the time, I’d love to tell of this wondrous work the Lord has done.
By Monday afternoon, when we hadn’t heard from the hospital about the two pending tests Paul needed, we decided that a call to check would be in order. Paul called the X-Ray dept. in Walnut Creek Kaiser and the gal that answered said that Dr. Schwartz’s order for him was still in her pile, but she went ahead and pulled his order out of sequence and booked an appointment for the 18th anyway. It was two weeks out, but we were thrilled! Yet while talking with the lady, she noticed that Paul had had some appointments at Richmond Kaiser for his recent glaucoma surgery, and suggested, “Well, why don’t you go to Richmond since they have an open slot for this Friday on the 11th?” We know that this was no small thing for her to suggest! This meant that she would have to forward the doctor’s order to Richmond first, and then they (Richmond) would have to call back and verify before an appt. could be booked there. But all the extra steps she initiated were made and half an hour later, Richmond Kaiser called to confirm his PET scan appt. for this Friday!
Paul then proceeded to call the Gastro-Intestinal dept. for a sigmoidoscopy. If you remember, we were told by Dr. Schwartz that the G.I. doctors’ appointments were fully booked for the next two weeks, and even he was not able to force Paul into the computer system. Yet, somehow when we called, there was an appointment available on this past Wednesday for that initial consultation with the GI doctor. Again, we knew that once we met with the GI doctor, it would bring us one more step closer to getting on their special procedures room appointment book. Isn’t God so good?! We thank Him for graciously allowing us to move forward so quickly! At this point, we started praying specifically for this procedure to be scheduled before chemotherapy would begin since it would not be possible to go on a 24 hr clear liquid diet to flush out his stomach while undergoing chemo side effects.
On that Wednesday morning, Paul and I were sitting in the hallway of the X-Ray dept. waiting to get his heart scan done. When it comes to hospital appointments, we were automatically prepared to just hang out and wait around if need be. Equipped with our little pocket Bible, a journal, our binder crammed with all the cancer information handouts, brochures & papers we’ve quickly accumulated since Dec 28, only 1 ½ weeks ago, and a couple of bottled waters, we were ready to spend a good chunk of our day in the hospital wings.
Together we enjoyed our daily Bible passages from the book of Psalms & Matthew and this was the verse that spoke to us loud and clear:
I love the 4 “I wills..” in these verses! So while we waited for a time period to elapse before they could re-inject his blood mixed with radioactive material to take the heart pictures, we sat there sharing the many things we were thankful for, recounting His wondrous works He’s done in our lives, exulting in His Presence, and singing praises to His Name. (I can’t recall a hospital appointment that was so spiritually uplifting!)
“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1-2
After the heart scan was done, Paul’s next appointment, down another wing of the hospital, was with Dr. Martin, the GI doctor. This next visit was nothing less than incredible. After going through all the explanation of what was needing to be done, Dr. Martin informed us that Dr. Schwartz was hoping to get this procedure done as soon as possible. He then proceeded to ask Paul of his availability this week. Well, with Paul being on disability, we were open to any appointment...and the sooner, the better!
“How about tomorrow?” he said.
“But I have a bone marrow biopsy scheduled @ 11:50 that I can't miss.”
“That’s fine..the appointment that’s open is at 9:15.”
“As soon as tomorrow morning? Wow, sounds good to me,” Paul said, somewhat in a state of astonishment.
Then before we could ask any questions, Dr. Martin, motioning us to follow him, quickly got up, and ran down the hallways to his office where his nurse was sitting in front of a computer.
“Quick! Schedule in Mr. Miranda @ 9:15 tomorrow morning.”
She typed it in and said, “Okay, got it!”
Dr. Martin turned around to us with a smile of triumph on his face and said, “Good, I beat the other doctors in booking that special procedures room!”
All right...so we were a little stunned & amazed at what had just happened. Did this doctor really run us through those hallways so he can secure this appointment for Paul? Amazing! I mean we could hardly gather our coats from behind his exam room door when he took off running!
Needless to say, we are in awe of God’s wondrous ways!! We weren’t half way exiting out of those hallways, when Paul and I just couldn’t help ourselves but to stop and pray, with tears running down our faces, and worship Him in the wings.
- The 6 appointments Paul had this past week:
Tuesday, 1/8: chemotherapy class @ 10:00
Wednesday, 1/9: heart scan @ 8:00 & G.I. consultation @ 11:15@ 11:15
Thursday, 1/10: sigmoidoscopy / more blood tests @ 9:15 & bone marrow biopsy @ 11:50
Friday, 1/11: PET scan in Richmond Kasier @ 2:00
- Next week:
Thursday, 1/17: Glaucoma Post-op appt. in Richmond Kaiser @ 10:00
Friday, 1/18: First treatment of Chemotherapy begins @ 8:00. (We just found out today and were told that treatment is an all day affair--at least 7 hrs!)
- Praises & Prayer Requests:
- Praise the Lord for orchestrating the necessary appointments all in one week! We are still in awe!
- We should get all the results back from the sigmoidoscopy and bone marrow biopsy before chemotherapy begins. Pray that they both come back negative, otherwise chemo will be doubled to 6 treatments over a period of 18 weeks.
- Pray that God would guard our whole family from sickness and keep us strong & healthy as we soon enter the chemo stage. Paul will be needing to lay low and avoid crowded public areas.
- Pray for God's mercy on how Paul's body will respond to the 5 chemo drugs that must be injected during the 7 hour period. All the drugs may have serious side effects (short term and long term), but one of the greater concerns in this initial treatment on the 18th is a drug that must be closely monitored when administered since its severest reaction could happen in the first 15 minutes.
- Pray for the Lord’s continued good & perfect work in our hearts and lives. “I would not trade the sorrows this trial has brought me as it has deepened my love and affection for my Savior and given me a fervent desire to glorify Him through my life.” -Paul
Strangely, it has been the sweetest, most purifying, yet loudest wake up call! How we pray that we would be perfectly fitted to do as He wills for the remainder of our short stay on this earth.
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus!” Philippians 1:6
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28