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  • Jess Haag

Be Still & Know

Updated: Feb 6, 2019

So I have a slight feeling many of you are wondering what happened...what happened with the surgery that was supposed to happen on May 10th, 2018.  Am I right?

As you know, I was all set for colon resection (removing the tumor from the colon) on May 10th and was scheduled to be in at 1:15pm for surgery prep, with surgery scheduled at 3:30pm.  And let me tell you, I was excited.  I was ready for this next step in the battle.  I was ready physically--but more important, I was ready mentally.

I was happily out & about doing some last minute grocery shopping for my family when I realized I missed a call.  I listened to the voicemail right then and there while waiting in line to check out.  And I could not believe it.  I didn't want to believe it.  I remember checking out with all those groceries, my mind just racing--no clear thoughts, I was just straight up bewildered.  The message was from my surgeon...canceling my surgery.

Come again???  Canceling??? Two freaking hours before I'm supposed to be in???  Nevermind that I had to do a lovely colon prep the day before--that was nothing compared to the mental prep that goes along with pretty much every part of this nasty disease.  Physical stuff I can handle--it's the emotional & mental part of everything that gets tough to escape at times.  Not to mention we have 3 young children that we always need to make arrangements for, Steve took time off work, etc.  All that fun stuff.

So why did he cancel?  What it boiled down to--a big old misunderstanding.  When he looked at the MRI results from Madison, he was under the impression that the cancer was still growing in my liver (UW Health said it was not), and it was not until after the fact that he came to this realization.  So he (like the surgeon at UW Health) felt as though a stronger chemo should be the next step, not surgery.  However, the surgeon at UW Health said it was going to be up to my oncologist there, whether he would want to operate on the colon or not.  My oncologist here in Appleton & my oncologist at UW Health both felt colon resection was next step and then maintenance chemo after that.  So here was the tough part... the two surgeons were on the same page, the two oncologists were on the same page... two different pages. I decided I needed a walk.  I needed to think.  I needed to breathe.  I needed to know why the heck the surgeon didn't look at my MRI results from Madison prior to the day OF my surgery....2 hours before I was supposed to be in?   I mean seriously.  I made a call earlier that week (on Monday) to make sure my results were in so the Dr. could take a look.  Come ON.  I needed to know what to do.  I needed to know who to listen to.

I was angry.  I was frustrated.  I was confused.  I was disheartened.  I wanted to cry--so I did.  I cried.  That short, little walk....I cried and just kept looking up, asking, "God, what do I do?  What's the right decision here? Who do I listen to?  Pleeeeeeaaaaaase just give me some sort of sign on what I need to do.  Please, please, PLEASE, Lord."

I walked into our house after this plea and something flew off our refrigerator and onto the floor.  I reached down to pick it up and it was a small, square card that I stuck on our fridge as a reminder to myself.  The card reads, " BE STILL AND KNOW.  Psalms 46:10. Be still and know that I am God..."  Yeah....I took that as my sign from up above.  Crazy thing?  I was immediately calm.  I had a sense of peace, a sense of understanding.  I knew in that moment that everything was and is going to be the way it should.  Yes, I was still bummed about the 'next step' not happening....but I was at peace with it.  He wasn't "my guy."

So now what?  Hope & Pray.

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