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Double whammy

[ 2 ] November 26, 2013 |

By Faith Wylie, co-publisher

As I undergo surgery this week, I am blessed to have two armies on my team, the medical professionals and the prayer warriors.

It reminds me a little of World War II, where the United States and England charged in on the Western Front, and the Soviets attacked on the Eastern Front, squeezing the Nazis in a vice.

On my western front, I have the incredible technologies of modern medicine.

Sure, I’ve been angry at the paperwork hassles and scheduling delays. But once I got to the medical professionals, it’s been amazing.

I understand best when I can see something. Back in my school days, I drew pictures of the story problems in math. Now, I draw little mock-ups of what the newspaper will look like.

Actually seeing pictures of the cancer in my body is fascinating—in a macabre sort of way.

A camera down my nose revealed the inside of my esophagus. Sonograms, CT scans, muga scans, PET scans and X-rays have revealed the inner workings of my body.

The PET scan totally amazes me. It works on the principle that fast-growing cancer cells are really hungry.

I fasted overnight so that my cells were really hungry. Then, the technician put me in a lead-lined room and injected radioactive sugar into the IV. The cancer cells gobbled up the sugar while I stared at the walls for an hour. (Hey, how did I know that my cell phone wouldn’t work in a lead-lined room.)

The expert ran me back and forth through a tube that took exotic pictures of the glowing parts of my body. A computer turned that into an incredible 3-D representation that showed the hot spots.

A 1960s science fiction film, “Fantastic Voyage,” featured a crew that was miniaturized, then injected into a human body. Today, we don’t need miniature people with all the imaging technology.

The PET scan revealed a hot spot on my head that is not typical of lymphoma, the type of cancer I have. So, the doctors are going to remove it before attacking the lymphoma with chemotherapy.

The procedure was described as “stealth-guided craniotomy” on the surgical permission form. Wait a minute here. What does stealth have to do with it?

I learned that stealth-guided means the doctors will use imaging and computers to guide the surgery. Here’s the best description I found on the internet: “Stealth neuro-navigational/image-guided craniotomy is a specialized imaging with computer guidance using the microscope for precise tumor removal.”

One of the doctors said I will have three navigational stickers on my forehead and skull to help the computer accurately triangulate the image—sort of like GPS in a car.

No wonder the hospital bill will be $68,000—not counting the surgeon, radiologist and private room.

Yup, definitely high-tech warriors on the western front.

The eastern front is well armed with prayer warriors.

That army includes old friends, new friends, long-lost friends, friends of friends, business friends, publisher friends, college friends, facebook friends and church friends.

Leading the charge are my family members. Of course, I have John, James and Alison. But I also have my mom, sisters, brother, in-laws, out-laws, aunts and cousins. Not to mention John’s cousins, second-cousins, and would-be cousins.

I suspect a mighty roar will rise up to God on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.

While this massive attack is underway, I’ll be sleeping peacefully, knowing I’m in good hands.

Category: Opinion

Comments (2)

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  1. Judy Horton says:

    Faith, you will be amazed to learn how many people you already know have already taken the journey you are just beginning. This time last year I too was just out of surgery and facing months of chemo. You will be amazed at the love and support that will flow from your friends, colleagues and family. I don’t know you but I pledge to pray for you. All my best, Judy

  2. Leader says:

    I am home from the hospital and scheduled for a late Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday.