Happy Socks Part III – Music Moves Me

DSC_2417-3-18-2020

Happy Socks Part III

As I said, my wife and I made the decision to travel to Little Rock, AR a couple of days early prior to my surgery.   Our oldest granddaughter and her husband live in Little Rock and were in the process of building/buying their first home so we had an early dinner with them then drove out to their new abode. The house was still a couple of weeks from completion but it was a nice starter home and they were super excited about leaving the world of apartment living and owning their own piece of the dream.

The day before surgery there is the usual preparations of diet, bathing with anti-bacterial soap etc. I was scheduled to arrive at the hospital at 9:00 a.m. on October 30, with surgery to start around 11:00. We got to the hospital on time and by 9:30 I was checked in and headed toward the staging area. While there, three of the pastors from our church and their wives gathered with our family to pray. Then the pain team came in and administered the first round of drugs to relax me and roll me down to the surgical suite. UAMS is a teaching hospital so there were several interns, nursing students and interested observers in the surgical suite from what little I can recall. The anesthesia was administered and I drifted off. The surgery took six hours and the team was able to successfully remove a thirty-one pound tumor. Yes, I said thirty-one pounds! It had occupied the majority of my abdominal cavity and was pushing other organs out of place, including my colon. The mass had also surrounded the left kidney, so the kidney  had to be removed as well. I had lost about forty pounds in less than twenty-four hours. By the end of my hospital stay I had dropped an additional ten pounds.

When I got out of recovery and into my room, my family was waiting for me. The next two days were spent on a liquid diet and on day two I took my first steps from the bed to the chair in the room. Several hours later I walked from the chair to the door and then to bed. Rehab had commenced. Seven days after entering the hospital, I walked out the doors and was headed home to my own bed. God is good and He had placed some marvelous medical professionals in my life on this journey and had put His very best caregiver at my side in the person of my wife. The Creator had also provided a miracle for everyone the see. I had no pain throughout the entire experience and I took no pain medicine when I got home.  Two weeks after surgery, I returned to UAMS to have the staples removed, and there were a lot of staples. I looked like someone built a model railroad track on my abdomen.  Now that the tumor had been removed, a recovery period was necessary before we could deal with the prostrate by means of external beam radiation.

On December 16, I began my first of forty-four radiation treatments at the office of my local oncologist.  Yes, every day for two months I made the short drive to the clinic and spent a few minutes under the machine. It took more time to undress and dress than the treatment itself. I did get Christmas and New Years off. There is a tradition among most cancer patients that undergo chemo to ring a bell on the day of their last treatment. Apparently radiation patients have no such tradition so I decided that I would start one.  I went to Marshall’s/Home Goods and purchased the brightest pair of socks I could find and wore them to my final radiation treatment. They became my “Happy Socks”.  The clinical staff and radiation techs loved them. The next step in the journey would be follow-up.

In February we traveled back to Little Rock for my first post-surgery CT scan to see if there was any evidence of cancer. You see, since a sarcoma does not directly attack an organ so there is no “margin” to achieve during surgery. They have either removed all of the tumor or they haven’t.  The results of the scan appear to be all clear!!! Praise the Lord, God is good! This past week I had lab work done and met with my oncologist to discuss the results of the radiation treatments. Again, the results were great! There is ongoing hormone therapy that will continue for a few years, and there will be periodical CT scans and lab tests, but overall I am good to go. I think I may go buy some more Happy Socks!

 

Monday’s Music Moves Me

This week is a freedom of choice week at 4M so I am going to share a couple of songs that have become very special to me through the “Happy Socks” journey.  When faced with the reality that I had two types of cancer and both of them could take my life, there was a brief time in this journey that I was fearful.  I might not see all of my grandchildren graduate high school.  I might not get to witness all of them get married.  I might not hear the proclamation that I had become a great-grandfather. I might not get to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary with the love of my life.  The flood of things that I might not live to see was overwhelming and I wept.  Still, my prayer was not solely for a healing but that my Savior would be honored and glorified.  I asked God to do things that only He could do as a witness to the world that He is still on the throne. If He chose to call me home then I asked that He would make my final days a testimony of faith and trust in Him. Two songs became my personal anthems during this time. The first was a song by Mercy Me called “Even If” and it speaks to exactly what I was facing.  I worship and serve a God that is capable of healing me with the touch of His hand, but even if He doesn’t, my hope is in Him alone. The lines from the song;

You’ve been faithful
You’ve been good
All of my days
Jesus, I will cling to You
Come what may
‘Cause I know You’re able
I know You can

I know You’re able
And I know You can
Save through the fire
With Your mighty hand
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

I know the sorrow
I know the hurt
Would all go away
If You’d just say the word
But even if You don’t
My hope is You alone

It is well with my soul
It is well
It is well with my soul

The other song comes from one of my favorite Southern Gospel groups, The Booth Brothers. Again the song speaks to what most believers would hope to be said about them. In my case, God has chosen to give me victory over cancer. But that victory came because He placed the people in my life to successfully deal with the disease. Post surgery, God knew that I was going to need a very good caregiver, so 47 years previous He gave me the best one He had in the person of my wife. Sometimes God answers our prayers before we are aware of the need.  But even if He had chosen to call me home, I could be thankful for the life I was given to live and the source of strength that I found to live through every journey came from my God.

The lines from this song;
In Christ alone I place my trust
And find my glory in the power of the cross
In every victory let it be said of me
My source of strength, my source of hope

To God be the glory. Have a blessed week.

 

 

19 thoughts on “Happy Socks Part III – Music Moves Me

  1. What a frightening journey, but you were not alone. It looks like the Lord guided lots of hands. I didn’t have a doubt about that.

    Have a blessed day and week. You and yours be well. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. yogiabb

    What a great story and I am loving how it is going so far. I can’t imagine what getting such a huge mass removed all at once would do. I am so glad that you are recovering so well. Yes, God is good.

    Every year my mother-in-law buys me Christmas socks. I decided this year to wear them all year long. Why not? is what I say.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Once this “Shelter in place” thing is over and stores open again, I will probably increase my wardrobe of Happy Socks. I think I may purchase a pair each time a CT scan or lab work comes back with a good report so I need two new pair already. Have a blessed week.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Happy socks are inspirational socks. What a large tumor, and what a story. If you google “sock out cancer Binghamton” (the website is “sock out cancer” without spaces and then an “.org” at the end) you’ll see our local efforts to support cancer patients and their families with everyday expenses and those socks are also so colorful. It’s the color of hope, as are your socks. Mercy Me is one of the favorite groups of my husband’s cousin in New Mexico.

    Like

    Reply
  4. Driller,

    Indeed, God is good! I’m so happy things turned out well thus far for you. I pray that you’ll have many years of happiness with the love of your life and to witness the many blessings with those you mentioned. I’m absolutely amazed how a tumor of that size went unnoticed. I can’t recall if you said if this all evolved over a period of time like from one yearly visit to the next but I know how tumors can do the strangest things. I had a many benign tumors on my ovaries over the years, some getting quite large which twisted and turned doing all manners of strange things, causing lots of pain usually, too. The largest one I had was the size of a grapefruit, which pulled itself and ovary to adhere to my uterus making it twice the normal size. This all resulted in a hysterectomy. Thankfully I was done having children so it worked out perfectly. Having had children to begin with was a miracle. At 16 the doctor told me that I’d probably wouldn’t be able to have them but God had other plans. 🙂 Thanks for continuing to share your amazing story and mewsic of praise. Be safe and well. Sending prayers to you and yours, my friend. Have a boogietastic week and God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. The purpose of these posts is to share a testimony that I believe that God has given to me. I trust that it is an encouragement to others traveling a similar path. Just know that God is in control regardless of the outcome.

      Like

      Reply
    1. The songs have been a reminder that I must never doubt that God knows my situation and is working in my life. He created me, He loves me, and He has my very best interests at heart, even when life looks unmanageable, He is in control.

      Like

      Reply
    1. I can’t wait to see what He has planned for me. God chose to extend my life rather than call me home and that means He has more for me to do, so there is more to come in my story.

      Like

      Reply
  5. Now what’s wrong with you makin’ me get all teary eyed like that. You silly man you will live as long as God says so and so will I, and the happy thing is it will be just enough for when we do go to meet our maker it will be the happiest moment in our lives I’m sure of it and when you rejoin with the woman of your heart it will be so happy too I just know it because that’s how I feel too. My mate and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary and I couldn’t have been more happy. Each night he tells me, “Let’s go to heaven”. He says so we can float on a cloud in each others arms and feel the love. Try it… it’s really a good feeling when I lay down on the pillow and think of such a thought. I’m sure you and your wife will like it too! May the Good Lord bless you & yours my friend. I must say I’ve read many things that have happened to people, but this Post you decided to bear your soul to us and things that have happened to you.. you’re definitely a miracle child & I believe the Lord has something special for you planned so you’ll be here a very long time with your loved ones for sure. Your a miracle of the Lord. Bless you my friend… bless this child of the Lord. May you keep your health for a long time and your whole family too!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. We are a miracle when He created us and He wants to shower us with His love. He only asks that we love Him, trust Him and obey Him. That seems like very little to ask in return for His love and eternal life.

      Like

      Reply
  6. Your story is amazing and we are so happy you made it through it all with flying colors. We read parts one and two, but somehow missed part three and finally decided to go and find it today. Continue on your journey, Happy Socks are great! You are a very lucky guy to have survived it all so well, and to have such an amazing family.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply to My GBGV Life Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s