Seeing Ronnie For the First Time Since His Lung Cancer Diagnosis

I had never driven that far by myself. Well, even though I was the only one in my car, I wasn’t alone. God’s Presence gave me strength and peace, and I strongly felt the prayers of my husband and my sister. My drive to Albuquerque went smoothly, and even though I had never been there before, I had no problems finding the VA hospital.  Thanks to God and my gps.

I easily found Ronnie. In a ward with several other veterans,he was thrilled to see me. He seemed weak, but not in pain. Ronnie was emotional about all the events of the last few days, crying easily and frequently. When I began to talk to him about his diagnosis, he cried even more.

Within just a few minutes of my arrival at my uncle’s bedside, two doctors walked into the room and began to talk about his diagnosis, and the fact that some decisions needed to be made. Because Ronnie still had a great deal of confusion, the doctors felt that he was not capable of making those decisions himself.

At this point I did not have medical power of attorney, but because he never married and had no children, and as the oldest of his nieces and nephews, I was considered to be his next of kin.  Therefore, the decisions were mine to make.  The doctors wanted to talk to me alone.

I looked Ronnie in the eyes and asked him if he trusted me to make decisions for him.  He said that he did. I then told him that I loved him and would take care of him to the best of my ability, just as I did his mother.  We both cried.

For about 30 minutes, the doctors and I met and discussed treatment options for Ronnie.  One of the doctors was an oncologist and the other was a hospice specialist.  They were very easy to talk to and had quite a of information about Ronnie’s condition.

Next post: Making major medical decisions on Ronnie’s behalf.

She is going to live. The doctors are expecting a full recovery. She is the daughter of one of my friends, and she was in a terrible car wreck at the end of October.  Her baby, three months away from birth, died. She had to give birth to her baby, enduring labor and delivery without joy and delight, because the life of her little one was gone.

She had several surgeries to repair broken bones in her legs and pelvis. Then she had to have another surgery because previous surgical repair work was not holding her broken pelvis together. She truly is her own version of ‘the bionic woman’.

She can not walk for 3 months and must transfer herself from bed to wheelchair to tub to couch to toilet all by use of a transfer board. She is a former high level gymnast, who was always muscular and strong. Now she has lost most of her muscle mass and is very tiny.

I spoke with her mother at length a couple of days ago, catching up on Lacy’s progress (not her real name). The mother told me about Lacy’s inner strength and will to live. She told me that Lacy’s determination has made a major difference in her recovery.

We talked about how God has shown His Presence during this serious crisis in their lives. We talked about God Winks, about God’s Grace and God’s Provision.  It appears that though Lacy has far to go before she is recovered, the crisis, the worst is behind them.

When we look back and reflect on a crisis we can see the Hand of God as He works, meets needs, calms fears, gives strength for the moment, and provides hope for the future.  It is during horrible crisis that we experience God in new ways.  In the midst of indescribable pain, worry, sadness, and despair, God gives us precious sweet moments with Him, allowing us to know and feel the depth of His Love and Care.  It is all seared into our memory, forever with us, changing who we are , our perspective on life, and our relationship with God.

Even though we would not ever want to walk down this road again, stand beside the bedside of a precious child, spouse, or loved one, watch them in pain, and listen to their cries; even though we would never wish this on anyone, priceless is the experience of God’s special Presence for these special moments, priceless is the experience of  His Provision when there is special need, and  priceless are our memories.

God is good.  All the time.