Surgery Week

Hi everyone,
Thanks so much for all your sweet well wishes, emails, texts, prayers, and love this week. I wanted to give you a bit of an update and answer the questions I am receiving most.
Mom and Dad arrive this evening. They left the day of my original biopsy, February 8, so I haven’t hugged their necks since my diagnosis – I am anticipating quite the emotional reunion.
Wednesday I have to be down at this hospital by 1:00. First, I see my plastic surgeon, Dr. Mackay, for him to mark me. Then at 2:00 I go for the dye injection. They said this could take a few hours. The hospital campus I am having my surgery at is about 45-60 minutes away from where we live so we decided to stay down at a hotel by the hospital Wednesday evening.
Thursday morning I have to check-in at 5:30. The surgery is scheduled to start at 7:30 and last about 4-5 hours. Afterwards they keep me for another 2 hours before Mark will be allowed to see me. So I probably won’t be in recovery room until 2:00 in the afternoon.
Right now I should be able to be discharged 24 hours after I am put in recovery – so home probably by late Friday afternoon. I have an appointment with Dr. Zelnak, my oncologist, the morning of 3/31 where I should be able to find out the pathology results which will determine post-surgery treatment.
We did move this past weekend. What a whirlwind ride. We came in the house to beautiful and generous gifts from neighbors we haven’t even met yet. We were blown away. Friday night I went to bed in tears thinking what in the world have we done. There is no way I can unpack and make this place feel like a home for my boys in 5 days. I was overwhelmed with how much there was to be done. But Saturday from 9-4 we had about 10-12 people (coming and going throughout that time) helping us unpack. We got the boys rooms all set up, drapes hung, kitchen unpacked and organized, boxes unpacked, and even lunch provided. When the boys arrived it immediately felt like their home. Even the play room was all set up perfectly. Saturday night I was able to sleep in peace knowing that this was our home.
Monday I went to my last Leaders Council meeting for CBS (Community Bible Study – I spoke of CBS in an earlier post. Hopefully if you are new to this site you have gone back to read all my previous posts, but if not check out CBS. Doesn’t matter your Bible knowledge, your gender, your occupation, or even your religion/denomination. It is a world-wide ministry so there is probably one in your area. If you do anything (besides pray for me) find a CBS class in your area to join and you will have made me happy). Anyway, the ladies prayed over me. It’s fitting that I got ‘the call’ on a Wednesday morning at CBS and the entire class surrounded and prayed over me. And on Monday at Leaders Council the entire leadership team surrounded and prayed over me. I felt sent out to surgery fully covered and protected in prayer.
The love and support that continues to flood in (and I mean like a rushing flood, not a gentle trickle) is so humbling and overwhelming. We have no idea how we are even going to pay everyone back for their time, resources, money, support, and love. God has blessed us with such amazing friends and family both locally and far away. A sweet friend said, “Ashley, it’s just a testament to how you and Mark have loved and served everyone in your life that they are actually repaying you – this is their pay back to you.” <Insert humbling ugly cry now!>
This is Easter Week – the week God provided hope to a hurting world. I’m still not scared and have no fear. How? Because I serve a Savior who isn’t dead in a cave, but a Savior who is ALIVE and reigning from his throne. Why should I be scared? What do I have to be fearful of? A few thousand years ago Jesus said, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26:39) Yet! Yet I want your will not mine. Do I want to do this? No! I wish I could said, “Actually God, I’d rather have what’s behind door #2 please”. But when I think about it do I really want what’s behind the next door? Probably not. It might be easier, yes, or it could be harder or worse. So I say, if it is your will Lord please take this cancer away. Please free me (and my family) from suffering through this time. Heal me in a miraculous way. YETeven if you don’t I will proclaim that I trust you and I want your will to be done more than mine. (I mean he’s the one that created the world and predicted his own death and resurrection and actually rose from the dead – the last thing I created was an Excel spreadsheet and I can’t predict nothing – so I think I’m gonna go with and follow him).
So as you celebrate Easter this week. As you remember the hope that was given to you this week by an actual event in history occurring about 2,000 years ago: be encouraged. Receive his gift of life and hope by trusting that he died on ‘the ol’ rugged cross’ as the ultimate sacrifice to pardon all of your sins so that you could spend eternity with the one that loves you most.
Enjoy the fun of Easter with your children hunting for eggs and eating candy. But more importantly, rest in the peace and hope that was the purpose of the first Easter.
And if you don’t have a church home to worship this Easter feel free to watch with me (I’ll be tuning in from my bedroom this weekend): http://northpointonline.tv (They have services being broadcasted all weekend: Saturday at 4:30p & 6:30p and Sunday at 9a, 11a, 2p, 4p, 6p, 8p, & midnight. (all times est)

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