SIRT – Part 2
So today was the ‘trial run’ for the SIR Spheres insertion.
It was awful… but it worked. My body is doing exactly what the Doctors want it to and so after hours of poking, prodding, endless contrast injections and general discomfort the green light was given. I’m home and in a bit of pain but the treatment will be possible.
I go in for the real deal on Wednesday, November 3rd.
Today I had an angiogram where I got to see all the blood vessels in my liver in action, then I had a CT scan and then I went down to the nuclear medicine department and was photographed endlessly by a Gamma Camera. All very high tech and expensive. Glad the technology exists or I’d be toast, medically speaking.
But thinking ahead… I’m more than a little anxious now that I know what I will be facing again. The insertion of the catheter into my groin was less than thrilling and once again, my dignity was blown away as anyone and everyone who was working on me was subjected to my private bits each time they wanted to do anything. Such a wonderful feeling to dress up in their gowns only to have them immediately cut off once laying on the table…. but the potential benefits far outweigh the drawbacks… so I just need to man up and get on with it.
Being in all these specialised treatment rooms today made me so aware, again, of how serious all of this stuff really is, and so appreciative of our Medicare and hospital systems. The staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital were overwhelmingly comforting and kind. They were totally professional and really deserve far more recognition than they currently receive. One of the guys working on me during the angiogram, David, has had prostate cancer himself. His words were so comforting as I knew that he knew exactly what was going on inside my head. He was able to make me laugh over and over as the day continued. That kind of empathetic knowledge is priceless.
On top of that I was tended to in the recovery ward by a beautiful man named Peter. He would check up on me regularly, offering food or drinks. He would hold the cup while I drank as I was not allowed to sit upright or move at all for 3 hours. Then he would go around to the other patients and do the same thing for them. As it turns out, he does this work voluntarily…. no pay. I think when I get clear of all of this cancer stuff I need to take a page out of Peter’s book. A kind word or the simple act of holding a cup could be the difference between a good day and a really bad day for some people. Especially when fear is knocking loudly on the door as it so often does in hospital situations.
The SIR treatment is quite a bit more expensive than we were first told, $7,000 aud instead of $5,000 aud. The procedure itself is covered by the Australian government’s Medicare system but the radioactive spheres themselves are not. But, thanks to the generosity of a number of audio engineers and musicians around Australia we don’t have to find too much extra cash to get it underway. They donated just over the $5k mark within a week…. 95% of them have never met me before. Once again I was astounded and humbled. I had specifically asked God for a way to afford this treatment just days earlier. The guys who donated didn’t know that…. but God moved on their hearts anyway.
Phillipians 4:19 (The Message) says:
You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus.
And that is certainly my experience to date. And it isn’t just in regards to physical or financial needs. While I was wincing as the local anesthetic went in I heard the voice of God again… as a father woud talk to a son. Reassuring me that beyond the cold and frightening walls of the medical imaging department and beyond the realm of the visible, angels were standing guard. That this fight is not mine, it’s His. And while I don’t see it with my eyes, there is most definitely a war taking place in the realm of the unseen. A war for my life and for the well being of my family. Each of us precious in the Father’s eyes. Each of us known intimately by Him.
I have called and He has answered.
Like He said He would.
When I walk into the hospital, scared of what the day might bring… He knows.
When I sit down in the waiting room flicking through the pictures of my wife and sons on my phone and tears fill my eyes… He knows.
When the emotional strain of an entire day of medical tests are piling up on me like a schoolyard rumble… He knows.
Nobody knows or understands me better.
Psalm 139 says:
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
So I move forward…. one serious, life saving step at a time. Fully aware that my steps are shadowed by the fiercest of Heaven’s warriors… under the direct command of God himself.