The title says it all - but little did we know at the time.
July 30, 2014 Mickey sees our primary care Physician with concern over becoming increasingly short of breath. (As an aside: Mickey had double-bi-pass heart surgery in October, 2008 at the VA Hospital in Oklahoma City. We decided we did not want to use VA this time and be hospitalized at either Oklahoma City of Muskogee, so we opted to use our regular insurance carrier.)
A few tests are run and he is referred to Cardiologist Richard Irvin.
August 28 - First appointment with Dr. Irvin.
September 9 - Dr. Irvin performs a Heart Cath.
September 14 - Dr. Irvin orders an Ultra Sound & Echo Cardiogram.
October 13 - Based on the Heart Cath, Ultra Sound & Echo Cardiogram Dr. Irvin's conclusion is the Aorta Valve needs replacing.
Mickey is referred to TAVR, which stands for transcatherer aoritic valve replacement, for people who are considered high risk for a standard valve replacement surgery. The TAVR is a group of 4 Drs. who must all evaluate the patient and must ALL agree that the patient qualifies for the replacement. Mickeys age, 82 years, is also a factor.
At this time we are becoming very aware that we are facing a very difficult and serious challenge. As we seek God's direction and guidance we are BOTH assured by God's Holy Spirit that even though we are going through a difficult season we will walk through it safely and the end will be good. We have complete assurance that 'GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH US YET' and has much more for both Mickey & I individually, and collectively, to do in the future for His kingdom. We are at utter peace, 'That peace that passeth understanding".
November 5 - Beginning at 9 a.m. and running through 12:45 p.m. 4 different tests are preformed at St. Francis Hospital by Dr. Edward Morris, Dr. Thomas Smith & Dr. Ralph Ensley in preparation for the TAVR procedure and to ascertain Mickey's qualification.
November 11 - Appointment with Dr. Matthew Parmley & Dr. Ralph Ensley where Mickey is informed the tests have shown 'something' in the left lung.
November 17 - A biopsy is performed to see what the 'something' is.
November 19 - The biopsy tube is removed. There is suspicion it might be cancer.
37 days after our peace & assurance from God we are now facing our first unexpected hurdle and challenge. We view it as that - a hurdle we must get over and through.
November 25 - We are referred by Dr. Parmley to a Lung Specialist, Dr. Timothy Nokes, for an assessment to whether Mickey could tolerate both lung surgery and the TAVR procedure. His conclusions was affirmative. Over THAT hurdle.
November 26 - Pet scan to determine if mass is cancerous. It was! The scan also showed a possibility of cancerous cells in the breast bone.
December 10 - Consultation with Dr. Parmley. The small lung mass can be addressed and they believe removed successfully surgically, but if there is cancer in the breast bone EVERYTHING is off --- no TAVR, no Aortic valve replacement. He schedules a Mediastinoscopy.
21 days after hurdle #1 we are facing hurdle #2. Our peace, our confidence, our 'knowing' God is faithful and with us is holding and sustaining us.
December 12 - More tests at St. Francis Hospital in preparation for procedure.
December 18-19 - Mediastinoscopy if performed by Dr. Parmley. Results will follow and we will be informed later, probably after Christmas because of the holiday.
December 20 - That evening Mickey had a turn for the worse and had to be re-admitted to St. Francis for 1 day and further tests.
Waiting and waiting - Christmas, and my 77th Birthday, and we are trying to have a 1/2 way normal Holiday time, but none of us are really feeling it. We tie ourselves literally to the hem of His garment and we hang on with everything we have. The children and I have decided we are not going to say anything to Mickey until after the Holiday since we don't know anything affirmative.
DECEMBER 23 - The BEST possible Christmas gift we could ever receive ---NO CANCER in the beast bone - it has not spread past the lump in the lung. All is GO full steam ahead.
Our joy, our exultation to our JESUS and GOD cannot be understood unless you have experienced something of this degree. We are jubilant, we are beside ourselves. Our God is faithful to His word and our assurance is solid.
Over the 1st, of 2 hurdles, and full-steam ahead. Lung Surgery and TAVR coming in 2015. Part II of - What? ------- A YEAR!!!!!! to be continued.....