I had a minor surgery on 11 Oct’11, to draw out out the excess fluid floating in my stomach. The excess fluid was pressing my liver against my chest and it could be so painful that I felt a knife piercing through the bottom of my left ribcage whenever I exerted strength to switch from a flat to sitting position or when I laid in a flat position. This made sleeping at night for consecutive few hours near impossible, particularly during the last one week. As the pain became more frequent, I felt more and more miserable. I thank God that 11 Oct was my consultation as I was near the point of breaking down.
The whole surgery lasted about two hours. Ten minutes to prepare for the needle to go in, five minutes to withdraw the needle and the rest of the time to drain out the excess fluid. A total of 3-litter was drained from my stomach. Fluid which had been accumulated in the last few months and causing me the feeling of "bloatedness" in the tummy and the "knife sharp pain" near the left lung was finally been drawn out. The draining was quite painless except that I felt uncomfortable laying in a confined space, and I experienced gastric reflux twice as I did not have any food throughout the whole afternoon. During the span of two hours, I was also given albumin injection to make up for the one I had lost, and a separate chemotherapy injection to save time.
Towards the end of the surgery, as I watched the 3-litter of bloody-fluid in a inflatable bag, I heaved a sigh of relief but at the same time, I wanted to burst out in tears. I felt like I had gone through so much. I had gone through one episode of pain endurance followed by another. When would it end? I long to enter an eternal rest where there is finally no suffering, no sorrow, and enjoying the intimate fellowship of our Trinity God with our fellow brothers and sisters who had passed on.
As I was reading Henri Nouwen's The return of the prodigal son: a story of homecoming (First Image Book, 1994, p.96), a paragraph spoke to me:
In Latin, to bless is benedicere, which means literally: saying good things. The Father wants to say, more with his touch than with his voice, good things of his children. He has no desire to punish them. They have already been punished excessively by their own inner or outer waywardness. The Father wants simply to let them know that the love they have searched for in such distorted ways has been, is, and always will be there for them. The Father wants to say, more with his hands than with his mouth: ‘‘You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.” He is the shepherd, “feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast."
Nouwen has helped me to understand that despite the pains I am going through, I am a beloved child of God, and His love is always here to be found as it is it always present. Our God is a suffering God and God knows the depth of our experience because God walks with us in our journey. This thought brought peace to my mind once again and I would like to share my prayer concern:
1) I thank God for the success of my minor surgery. I was totally exhausted after my surgery, and I am still trying to regain strength. I don't know when fluid will build up till I have to go for surgery again, but I ask for the ability to enjoy life no matter how bad my condition will be (have mercy on me, oh Lord);
2) I am due for another CT scan again. I don't know what the outcome will be. If the tumours are shrinking or are under control, I will be delighted. But if the tumours are spreading, what are the alternatives for me? Fear lurks in the corner of my mind. I pray for my tumours to shrink and may God guide me through this valley of fear. May God allow me to feel His touch and to hear His voice;
3) I continue to ask for good appetite. I have been vomiting almost daily and I am losing weight, which is not a good news for any cancer patient. I ask for the wisdom to plan my diet and rest so that my stomach will not go hungry nor will it consume excess food. I need to take in more food to gain weight;
4) I continue to ask for quality time with my family members, and I ask for God's blessings upon them.
Thanks for being my praying partners. May God's blessings be upon you as well.