The radiologists have discovered a growing tumor on my spinal cord in my neck which is about 1 inch long and about .5 in wide. It has displaced the nerve and has deformed some of the vertebra in my neck. I am not sure if it is related to my continuing problems with my leg and back pain but it could be. Anyway, it requires immediate attention since it could cause complete paralysis at any time. I am going in for surgery next Tuesday (Dec 13, 2005) at 1:00. They will have to remove quite a bit of bone to get at the tumor to remove it so it will require a triple fusion as well. I'll be in a neck brace for several months.
I covet your prayers for me, my surgeon, and especially for my wife Delaine and my daughter Bethany. She was doing fine until I was talking with her on the phone and started to quote all the scripture verses I am standing on. That's when she started crying but it is a sweet thing to have your daughter say that she depends on my faith to bolster hers because somehow I draw her closer to Christ. Of course I can only reflect my own utter dependence on my Lord and implore her to trust in Him too. People will disappoint you but Jesus will never do so. I am confident I am in his perfect will and that he is sustaining me.
Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NKJV)
Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
I have been suffering from chronic pain for the past three years in my lower back and legs. I have been through one discectomy and a fusion of the L5/S1 joint already neither of which have resolved the pain. I have asked the Lord to remove my pain from me numerous times. But since it has not been His good pleasure to do so, I decided to go to a pain clinic recently. The neurologist there observed something unusual about my reflexes and decided to order a cervical MRI. That was last Monday and the diagnosis came Tuesday. I remember noticing the unusual mass while looking at the X-Rays on a makeshift lightbox using my computer monitor and a white background. I figured I did not know what I was looking at but the urgent and somber call came the next day confirming my suspicions.
By the way, I am in perfect peace about this because the circumstances which led to this discovery. The upshot of it is that had it not been for the low back pain which is still bothering me after two failed back surgeries and three years, I would never have gone to the pain clinic. My doctor commented that somebody up there must really like me. So I introduced him to the One so takes such pleasure in me.
Praise God for the pain!