I’m so glad to finally be able to sit down and fill everyone in on life. My health has been quite a barrier to communication lately (a barrier to everything in life, actually).
In July I had an ovarian cyst rupture, and the trips to the ER that resulted led to the doctors discovering a mass on my liver about the size of a handball…a little smaller than a tennis ball. It’s been causing increasing amounts of pain and nausea, and is getting pretty incapacitating. The doctors are almost certain the mass is not cancerous, so that is good. I’ve spend the past two months in and out of doctor’s offices, procedures, and waiting. Now I can say surgery is finally scheduled. Long story short, I have a liver surgeon at Froedtert Hospital who is a fellow believer from Elmbrook. He’s one of the country’s “top docs” and we’re really impressed with him; also so thankful to the Lord that Dr. Gamblin is the one my other doctors sent me to see. I’m scheduled Friday, October 5th for an open abdominal surgery to remove the mass as well as my gallbladder. The mass is on the back of my liver right next to the spine, so it’s not an easy surgery. My gallbladder is also coming out because of the risk of complications now or later if they leave it. Since it will be a multiple hour surgery, it’s considered high risk for anesthesia; I have an appointment Thursday morning with the anesthesiologist for a complete physical and to work through the pain management plan. Immediately after surgery the plan is to use an epidural to control the pain instead of flooding my system with morphine through a pain pump. I’m hopeful that will mean an improved recovery time. I will spend about a week in the hospital, and then four to six weeks recovering. I should be able to gradually work my way back into life during that time, but I’ll have to take it as it comes. I’m not looking forward to the pain of recovery, but very much hoping this brings the relief I need!
My mom has already been with me for three weeks to take care of me and the household stuff; I pretty much work and sleep. I’m glad she’s been able to be here since I wouldn’t be able to keep working otherwise. My dad is arriving tonight for a long weekend; he’s been holding down the fort at home in NJ, and really misses Mom! Dad returns home on Monday, and Mom is staying through the end of October. My nephew is due to be born on October 22nd, so my mom’s stay to help me recover is going to blend into being here for the baby’s arrival.
Please just be in prayer for my whole family right now. I’m in significant pain from the pressure of the tumor, and it causes pretty bad nausea as well. I try to put on a happy face and keep going in my ministry, but it’s just not always possible. I now have to stay pretty heavily medicated to function at all most days. My mom is a huge blessing, but it’s a strain on her as well; she’s been dealing with recurring migraines recently too, so that’s even harder. Dad is in his very busy season of ministry with multiple conferences, and now Mom and I have had to bail as workshop teachers for the October New Jersey Awana conference. Please pray for him as he bears the weight of the entire ministry as well as misses Mom and wishes he were here to be with me. My brother Nathan and his wife LaShani are in the last month of pregnancy, and we’re all eagerly awaiting our little guy’s arrival. Nathan desperately needs to find a full time, solid paying job to support the family; his current job just isn’t enough. His degree is in Student Ministries, and he would really love to find a job somewhere in the Waukesha region in youth ministry; he’s open to working a “normal” job though to pay the bills as he does lay ministry on the side. Shani is working close to full time in fast food, but will soon be taking a leave of absence to have the baby. Please pray that they can find the right job as well as for encouragement and stamina in this last month of pregnancy and first months of parenthood. Please also pray for the safe delivery and health of this eagerly awaited little one…I’m just praying I can be on my feet in time to meet my nephew at the hospital!
I’m checking my email regularly, but please forgive me if I am slow to answer…many times writing emails is just more than I can do and still be in the office every day. I do read them though, so I’d love to hear from you! I’ll do my best to keep you informed, even if I need to get my family to update for me. If you’re on Facebook, you can “Like” my ministry page at www.facebook.com/Laura.Meyers.NTM and I will do my best to have my family or myself keep updates on there as I recover.