Thursday, February 28, 2008

Our Hearts Are Fixed, Trusting in the LORD

It's been a full week since Paul's left eye surgery. We just returned from his 2nd post-op appt today and found out that his eye pressure, which was at a scary "40" three weeks ago is now down to a dangerous "0"! Post-op recovery has left Paul's eye red, sore, irritated, blurry, and very sensitive to light which is all normal & expected, but to go and find out that there is actually a small leak at the suture site, definitely took us by surprise. Isn't that funny? You would think that with all the surprises we've had these past couple of months we would be pros at receiving unexpected news! Not really! As we sat there and processed the information Dr. Lee was relaying to us calmly and professionally, we were a bit stunned..okay...shocked. With his right eye surgery, everything went so smoothly. The doctor did not have to "tweak" his eye..not even once during those 6 weeks of post-op appts.! Everything healed perfectly. His left eye is definitely not following the same recovery path.

Today, Dr. Lee swiped some dye over the surgical site, and through her magnifying lens, was able to see the tiny leak. She placed a "bandage" contact lens to cover his iris, most of his sclera, and even the surgical site under his eye lid in hopes that the tiny hole that was made from the suture needle would heal up within the week. Though at a "0", she pointed out that apparently the eye is still reacting positively as it has not rejected the procedure. "Your eye just needs to heal up over that tiny leak near the suture," she said. If not, next Wednesday Paul may have another mini-surgery to close it up tighter.
On our 30 minute drive home from Richmond, we both were quiet; we both were deep in thought. Lose hope? Despair? NO!! Psalm 27:13-14 says:

"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I
would see
the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take
courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.

Our hearts took courage as choruses of praise and trust in our Lord came to mind:

"Find rest, my soul, in Christ alone, know His power, in quietness and trust...
When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm.
Father, You are King over the flood. I will be still and know You are God!"

Earlier this week, I was reading about the Israelites and how God delivered them out of the oppressive hand of the Egyptians and brought them safely through the midst of the Red Sea on dry land. What an incredible story. (Exodus 14) I am amazed over and over again how mighty and powerful my God is. Can you imagine those mighty walls of water heaped up on both sides which God held in place as more than a million people walked across on dry land? He held it perfectly in place so that even the smallest child could cross, and at the right time He let go of the flood gates to overthrow the Egyptians who were in hot pursuit after the Israelites. Why? So that the people would know that He is the LORD and He is to be honored and glorified!
Is He in control over the mighty seas? Yes!
Is He in control over a tiny microscopic leak? Of course!

Spurgeon said it well when he commented on Psalm 112:7:
"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings;
his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD."

"Faith is the cure for this condition...The Lord by His Spirit settles the mind in holy serenity, and all fear is gone as to the future as well as the present. This fixedness of heart be diligently sought after. Let the morrow be what it may, our God is the God of tomorrow. Our Jehovah is God of the unknown as well as the known. We are determined to trust the LORD, come what may. If the worst should happen, our God is still the greatest and best. Therefore we will not fear...The Lord liveth, and what can his children fear?"
-portions from Feb 27's daily reading from the Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith by C.H. Spurgeon

Praise/Prayer Updates:

  • Tomorrow is Paul's third and last chemotherapy treatment! We praise God that Dr. Shwartz gave the green light to proceed with the treatment even though his white blood count is at its lowest -2.4- since we started this cancer journey. (Last week it was at 6.)

  • We praise God that Paul still has not gotten sick! Pray for continued protection of health.
  • We praise God that the Lord gave us a day to enjoy a leisurely bike ride when his chemo side effects tapered off before his eye surgery and before he was unable to do any physical activities, lifting, straining, bending, driving, etc. for at least a month. So much fun!

  • Please pray that God would mercifully heal the tiny leak in Paul's left eye.

  • We anticipate that this next week will be pretty rough with the fresh onset of chemo side effects plus the uncertainties of a very irritated, sore, blurry, leaky eye, plus low blood counts... Please pray for us in every way...

Paul's Calendar of Events for March:

Feb 29th: Last chemotherapy treatment@ 8:00 to 3:00 (VJO)

March 5th: Post-op eye appt. @ 12:00 (RCH)

March 10th: Pre-radiation appt. @ 9:00 (Queen of the Valley, Napa)

March 11th: Post-op eye appt. @ 9:30 (RCH)

March 17th: Post-op eye appt. @ 9:15 (RCH)

March 17-21: 1st week of Radiation begins (QVN)

March24th: Post-op eye appt. @10:30 (RCH)

March 24-28: 2nd week of Radiation (QVN)

March 31st: Post-op eye appt. @ 10:40 (RCH)

March 31-April 4: 3rd and last week of Radiation (QVN)

April 14: Phone appt. w/ Dr. Schwartz to discuss future follow-up plan @ 4:50


Anonymous said...

Paul & Arlene, You are constantly in our prayers. After catching up on your updates, James 1:12 came to mind "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him!"
In His Love,
Jeff & Tammy

Myra said...

God is proclaiming His great power and mercy and comfort through your lives. Thanks for the update so that we can continue to pray very specifically. We love you both so much!

pastorprof said...

Hi Paul & Arlene,

We are continuing to lift you up to the Lord. Thanks for keeping us up to date on the Lord's continued work in your situation. We love you!

Brian for the Shealys

Sheila said...

Hi Lene and Paul,
Thank you so much for sharing your hearts and proclaiming the praises of His glorious grace through this trial. We (and the children) have kept you in our prayers. We look forward to reading your next posting.

"He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him." Ps.32:10

Hugs and kisses and so much love,
La and Jimmo

Lir said...

Hi Paul and Arlene,

Jennie showed me how to do a blog and I saw yours. Thought I'd drop you a note. I've been thinking of you, Paul, and others who are going through a medical condition. Ray and I are praying for you. You are an encouragement to us and your trust in our heavenly Father is a strength to many of us. God is using your testimony to show His children and the unsaved His kindness and mercy. What a powerful testimony!! And Arlene, your support and love to your husband is so evident. May God continue to grant you strength, comfort and peace. And may He bring healing to Paul's body in His time.

Ray and Lir