Second, I really wasn't sure what was going on but there also was a bit of shock going on in my system as I entered into the unknown. I now come to you and ask for your prayers and intercession on behalf of my darling husband, Mickey. As some of you know, Mickey is not Catholic although he has Catholic great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers. He was cooperative enough to enter into the annulment process (because he was divorced) on my behalf so that our marriage could be blessed by the Church when I returned to Catholicism in 2008. I could not have asked God for a better spouse and our love for one another only has deepened over the years.
Yesterday, we celebrated our nine year anniversary in a hospital. Not where I would have wanted to do so, but circumstances had brought us there. Mickey was admitted to the hospital on Friday, December 3 for rectal bleeding. As you may suspect, this caused alarm. We went to the hospital's emergency room where, after checking him, they advised to admit him so they could keep an eye on him. I agreed and we did. A colonoscopy was ordered, but unbeknownst to me, there are certain procedures that aren't done over the weekend unless it's an emergency. So Mickey had to wait until Monday.
I think I can say that Monday was one of the most trying times of my life. The colonoscopy wasn't scheduled until the end of the day. It is a fairly quick procedure and thank God we have this method of examining our colons. Sometimes polyps grow in the colon that if left unchecked, can become cancerous. During a colonoscopy, they can safely remove these little buggers before they cause trouble. With Mickey's colonoscopy though, they found something a little larger than a polyp. They found a tumor.
And... that's when the roller-coaster ride of "what is it and what do we do?" began. The doctors determined that Mickey needed surgery to remove that section of his colon and tests began. CAT scan, X-rays, blood work. The good news is that his CAT scan came back clear as did the X-ray. Later on Tuesday, he had a bone scan. Yesterday morning we received more good news that his bone scan was clear. I was elated! Yesterday, on our ninth anniversary, Mickey had surgery to remove that nasty tumor, for which I was immensely grateful. But now, there is one more test to take, which I especially ask for your prayers: the lymphatic system. During surgery, it's routine to remove lymph nodes to test. So my prayers have been that this test will also show up as clear.
When things like this happen, it's so easy to say, "Why me? Why us?" As I walked down the hospital's corridor yesterday, I said to myself, "Why not me? Why not us?" We don't know the reason why God permits certain things in our lives, we only know that He is there and He is in charge. My faith has been getting a huge work-out this week and dare I say, so has Mickey's. I have been incredibly touched by the prayers and support we've already received from my home church as well as friends and family.
God has given me encouragement in many ways. For instance, the first nurse I talked to in the endoscopy department was very compassionate. After I got the news (and heard for the first time the word "tumor"), I said to her, "I think I'm going to cry." She immediately came over and gave me a hug and told me it was totally understandable as I cried on her shoulder. I then collected myself and said, "Well, I'm going to find the right saint for this one and start a novena!" She smiled.
I walked away and then thought, "Hmm. She looks Catholic to me." So being the enormous extrovert that I am (even in this circumstance), I marched back over to her and asked, "Hey, by any chance are you Catholic?" She smiled and nodded. In fact, she told me she attended St. Cecilia's, which is around the corner and down the street from where we live. I was surprised. "Wait a minute," I said. "I attend St. Cecilia's too, on occasion. I think I might know you...." As my mind ran through past introductions, it dawned on me. "I think you're my neighbor!"
She looked at me smiling, but with a puzzled look. I then described her back yard, which is adjacent to our building, and then described her husband who takes such pride in his garden, and especially in growing his hostas'. She nodded. Yes, that was her husband and garden. I slightly remembered here because one time when I went to church, I noticed she was getting in the car with her daughter. I pulled out behind them and saw they were going to the same place as me. We both talked about what a small world it was. I knew in that moment that I was in the right place and that God was watching over us.
At the moment, my husband is recovering from his surgery yesterday. There are all sorts of things he is going through in order to help him heal. But what I cherish above everything else is prayer. I attended Mass yesterday for the Holy Day of Obligation for our Blessed Mother's Immaculate Conception. (I found it interesting that I chose that day to get married without even realizing what day it was. Even though I wasn't in the Catholic Church at the time, I can't help but think this is significant.) I have been discovering some beautiful prayers and yes, the patron saint for cancer is St. Peregrine. This morning I prayed the Sacred Heart of Jesus prayer for the first time, at least for the first time I can remember. (What a tender and lovely prayer!)
So I ask for you to also keep my darling man in prayer. He is such a good man and treats people with love and respect. He gets along with everyone and is full of life, very much a "happy-go-lucky" type that can charm anyone. Throughout it all, I do ask for God's will and know that His will is indeed perfect. I ask for the grace and strength to accept whatever His will may be and the same for Mickey and our family and friends.
You, my dear readers, have encouraged me with your comments many times in the past. I want to thank you for your past prayers and ask if you send up a few more on behalf of my dear husband. I felt the prayers yesterday from my church family. How anyone gets through such times as these without faith is a mystery to me. Praise God for His Son, His Holy Spirit, for our Blessed Mother, and for all the angels and saints who constantly intercede on our behalf. I can safely say that since returning to the Catholic Church, I feel as though I have more "spiritual coverage" than I ever did outside of it. I am amazed and humbled, surprised and delighted. To God be all the glory. :-)