Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles! – Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick from “Fiddler on the Roof”
During our last episode, we were all gearing up for the big day, April 28, when our dear Bobby was to have brain surgery to remove an aggressive cancerous tumor. Anxiety was high all around, with many “what if” questions floating through everyone’s minds.
Sleep deprivation was the norm in that week before the surgery, especially in the wee hours. But with the dawn would come glimmers of hope, as fervent prayers were being said on his behalf by people all over the country. Then very early on that Wednesday morning, we put him in the good hands of the wonderful people over at MD Anderson (and in the hands of God, I am fully convinced) and prayed some more.
After that came the waiting. From start to finish, the process took almost 12 hours. People came and went, some bearing food (LOTS of food), all bearing positive attitudes and huge doses of hope.
Personally, I arrived about noon, bearing food (of course). But I had gone off without my book and was ruing that oversight, thinking what was I going to do to while away the hours? As it turned out, I had no need of a book; our gathering of family and friends came and went all afternoon; it was as if we were attending an open house!
Stories and laughter abounded, and then when the time for updates drew near (every two hours), a certain tension would arise until Bobby’s name was called. Mary and his sister and mother would spring up and go get the latest news; happily, all seemed to be going well.
My prayers had been for “a miracle that defied expectations”. I was thinking that maybe I should be more specific, so I actually looked up the definition. Here’s what it said:
Miracle: mir·a·cle [ mírrək’l ]
- act of God: an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature and is regarded as an act of God
- amazing event: an event or action that is amazing, extraordinary, or unexpected
- marvelous example: something admired as a marvelous creation or example of a particular type of science or skill
And then I marveled at how God answered my general prayer for a miracle with all three of these specific definitions!
When faced with the magnitude of such a devastating diagnosis, it is natural to want to find the best doctor at the best hospital and hope for the best treatment. Look at definition number 3. The miracle that is MD Anderson (its physicians, staff and equipment) was a gift to us, and to all who cross through its threshold.
(note about that threshold: MD Anderson has lots of buildings. Be sure you know which one you are going into before parking miles away! Guess who didn’t?)
Miracle number 2 was the actual surgery in what’s called the “Brain Suite”, a high tech room filled with the latest equipment to allow the physicians to perform this delicate, precise surgery. From what I was told, there were nine physicians and staff members attending Bobby that day, and that extraordinary team did produce an amazing event. The head surgeon said that they got 99% of the tumor “and then some”. Mary says that on a scale of 1 – 10, they considered it an 11.
Dare I say that miracle number 1 was answered? No one can predict what the future holds, and in truth, all our days are numbered. But I am convinced that Bobby has years of good living ahead, against the odds of this diagnosis. Combining all three of the definitions of the word “miracle”, I truly believe my prayer HAS been answered.
Praise be to God from whom all blessings flow!