On Thursday, March 28, 2019, I went in for what was probably a long overdue surgery to have my gallbladder removed. The surgery was easy, and I recovered fast and well. I checked in at the Maple Grove hospital at 8:00 in the morning, and I was home by 2:00 that afternoon. My dear friend Phyllis Close stayed with me and took great care of me after Renee Lesnar got me home and tucked into my own bed. I recovered very fast and drove to church on Sunday and was back to work full time on Monday with NO pain!
Unfortunately, the journey doesn’t end there with a great testimony of pain relieved and feeling energized and healthy. I went to the surgeon for my post op, and he told me that they found cancer in the gallbladder, which is very uncommon. That meant a surgery to remove part of my liver and some lymph nodes with a four-night stay in the hospital.
On Wednesday, May 1st, I had a 4-hour surgery at the U of MN Hospital and woke up very groggy yet pain free. I am SO BLESSED by Pam Mertz, who paid no attention to me when I told her she didn’t have to come for my surgery. It was such a gift to have her there when I was so drugged that I couldn’t understand anything. She brought such comfort to not just me but a roommate who was suffering with intense pain. Thank you, dear friend!
The Thursday after the surgery was a day I wouldn’t want to repeat, but I had amazing care from doctors, nurses, aids and all of the students. By Friday, I had some visitors and could hold a medicated conversation with them. Saturday was a day I was feeling stronger, and by Sunday, Dave Lesnar picked me up when I was discharged and got me settled at home once again, this time wearing a belly band and sporting a very long incision that was likened to a shark bite by one of my friends. Thanks, Dave!
Denise Ehr stayed with me that night and literally tucked me in bed by helping me get my legs in and covering me up. I’m so thankful to her as she had to get up four times with me to get me to the bathroom and back into bed. The next morning, she picked up groceries and ran a couple more errands for me. When she got back, I made lunch and was already able to do a lot more. She helped me sort all of my medications, and I was starting to rock and roll, still with NO pain.
Monday night, Renee Lesnar stayed with me, and I was able to get in and out of bed with no help, so I was able to stay alone the next night. I had wonderful friends, too numerous to mention, who sent cards, brought food, ran errands, and visited and prayed for me. Pam set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for my big deductible and other bills for when I was receiving no paycheck. I don’t know what I would have done without those financial gifts through GoFundMe and through gifts in the mail. Thank you to all of you, amazing friends and family and church family.
I healed so well and fast that by the time I got back to my surgeon for that post op, I was already back to work part time, well ahead of schedule. The news I didn’t want to hear that day was that I would have to start chemo. The long story short is that I will start chemo sometime after June 6th for six months. The good news is that I can do oral meds at home with labs in between the 14 days on/7 days off chemo therapy. When I asked the oncologist about work, he said “Work when you are able.” I still am planning to miss NO work and will continue to do ministry sessions and do respite care for Megan. The devil may have other plans, but I’m leaning into God’s goodness. He has been SO faithful to me all along.
There are, of course, a list of side effects a mile long, so I am asking for specific prayer:
--Correct white blood cell and hemoglobin and platelet counts
--No diarrhea or constipation
--No mouth irritation or sores or dry mouth
--No hand-foot syndrome which causes “pins and needles” and bleeding dry feet and hands
--No nausea, fatigue, swelling, or hair loss/thinning
By the way, donating to CaringBridge goes only to CaringBridge, not to any person on a health journey.
For those who have asked to make a gift, you can give a donation through GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/supporting-alice-on-her-medical-journey
I will update this site as soon as I find out what the whole chemo protocol holds for me. I am asking for a supernatural gift of faith through all of it. After having a couple of meltdowns, I feel only grateful to Father God and His people. I am in a good place emotionally and feel very well, something I will continue to embrace as I keep going on the journey. I am already believing that 2020 will be an amazing year as my chemo treatments will be done around Thanksgiving, and I will be in good health with no more medical procedures. Father, I am yours, and You are mine!