Wednesday, January 26, 2011

This One Was Fun, Too ...

So, as I was saying, I had my appendix out a week ago Tuesday. Well ... maybe I wasn't saying it, but I will.

Oh yes ... that's the part of Shelby Baptist Medical Center I stayed in, over there in the picture; I didn't figure you'd want to see my appendix.

Trust me. You wouldn't.

As part of the litany of tests they inflicted on my body ran on me, when I was in Shelby Baptist Medical Center December 1st-6th .. about which I blogged here, they did a CAT scan of my abdomen. Along with an Echo-Cardiogram and a sonogram of my abdomen. As the prior hospitalization was ostensibly due to a serous infection, I suppose they wanted to know where all it had gone.

They saw several shadows in the abdomen, which seemed to be enlarged lymph nodes, along with a shadow around my appendix. Since a PSA test (0.01) pretty well confirmed the enlargements weren't a recurrence of my prior cancer, they were presumed to be caused by the infection. But that left the appendix thing.

A followup visit to my family doctor to confirm my blood tests were back to normal confirmed just that, but he suggested I have the CAT scan re-run to see about the enlargements. That test, done the next day, confirmed there was some sort of growth on my appendix, which necessitated its removal last Tuesday. Despite the fact that I'm on Plavix, which the Cardiologist said should not be stopped.

Anyway, the surgery went fine.

This visit was fun, too. I talked to a very nice young nurse in the recovery room, about eternal things. I started by asking where she went to church and she said she didn't. We chatted about things a bit and I told her she was certainly worth it .. going to church .. and that was a really important thing to get ironed out while you had the chance. After a little more talk, she finally said " ...you're going to make me cry.." My hope was that I somehow touched her and awakened a Spiritual desire that will be addressed by someone else God sends across her path.

Then I went to the room on the 3rd floor of the new South Tower .. just one floor under where I was December 1st to 5th, and every bit as magnificent. I was there about 24 hours and I didn't have to witness to my nurse. It was Melissa Vondereau, a good friend from church.

Missy and I go back about 15 years, so this one was a fun time of the "hallelujah" variety.

So, today, I went for the followup visit with the surgeon, Dr. Christopher. He asked how I was doing and I told him that's what I'd come to his office to find out. So he got out the pathology report and told me what it was they'd torn out of my body a week ago. Turns out it was a low-grade mucinous tumor, well confined, with clear margins all around. Not cancer, and not dangerous unless it becomes really huge and bursts, gets, infected, etc.

News as good as it could be!

Funny thing is .. what started this whole mess about a year ago was mild chest pains, with hot flashes, and I still have them. After the stent, after the serious UTI and dehydration, after discovery of, and removal of, the appendix tumor (and appendix itself), I'm back where I started.

Except whatever it was that my appendix did, before, it's not going to be doing, any more.

Although the news was good today, there was no big "sense of relief". I know where it comes from, and it comes from the One who wrote down the number of days of my life, before any of them came to be.

And He's doing just fine!

Monday, January 10, 2011

We Meant It. We Think God Did, Too.

Back in 1983, we'd sold the company I was working for .. the one which bade us move from Indiana to Alabama .. and we had some money in a CD. At the time, the going interest rate was 20%, and we got 2 years of that before interest started down.

I thought about the money in that CD and that it'd be better off in a rental house, so I asked a friend to find one in Pelham for us. She found the house in the picture, which was a huge bargain, had a favorable interest rate, the down payment was just what we had in the CD, and it was about twice the size of the house we lived in.

Now, Brian had married by that time, and the house was too big (and, frankly, too fancy) for the 3 of us, but it occurred to me we should buy this one and rent out the house we already owned. Peg and I had long discussions about it, and we finally agreed that the only way we should buy this house would be for us, somehow, to use it for God's glory. So, we went ahead and made the offer, signed the papers, and then, on closing day, came to the house and had a little prayer time.

We actually laid hands on the kitchen countertops (more easily done than, say, the ceiling or floor) and prayed that God would use this house for His glory. That the house truly would be His. Then, over the years, we've simply looked for opportunities to have folks here. And, when folks come in, they're going to see lots of stuff around like the needlepoint a good friend made, that quotes "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord".

That's really about all we do. But it's taken some interesting turns. Shortly after we moved in here, Mom and Dad sold their condo in Florida so they could move to this area .. to be close to us. They stayed with us for several months while their apartment was being completed (about 5 minutes from here). That couldn't have happened in the house we'd occupied, formerly.

We've had visiting missionaries stay here for a night or two. Even from South America

We've had DiscipleNow kids spend a weekend with us.

Peg leads a Bible Study here, for some of "her girls", once a week.

We've had lots of Sunday School parties here. Because of the way our dining room and living room are arranged, we can put up a table about 30' long to seat everybody. Or, more likely, we can fit 40 or so kids in the living room sitting around the coffee tables, having a buffet dinner and watching the Super Bowl (or some such).

I recall once we had some sort of party here .. I think it was the 25th anniversary party our kids threw for us .. and the soon-to-be Fire Chief (I was just finishing a term as Fire Commissioner) remarked that he couldn't understand why we were letting little children ride tricycles around in the hallways.

We had a chance, then, to tell him our tale.

A couple of times, we've had ice storms that closed the roads. At those times, our son Brian has stayed here, with a Paramedic Vehicle, with a fellow medic from the Fire Dept. Our subdivision is somewhat hilly, and it's over a big hill from the fire station serving this area, so it was beneficial to the city's ability to provide service here, so they stayed.

Both our sons and their families come here for lunch on Sunday. Peg's momma was a cook in a school, always cooked for the crowd, and there were apt to be 8 or 10 or 12 extra people show up Sunday dinnertime, and Peg seems to have inherited whatever gene her momma had. So there've been a lot of folks over the years who have popped in at noon on Sunday, to our and (hopefully) their delight.

One of the young men who is here most every Sunday is Marcus, who works not far from here but lives about 35-40 miles away. He's a pal of Matthew and Meredith, so he eats here and then they all crash in the living room until Sunday evening church activities. Last night, however, he stayed over, since he had to go to work today and didn't have any way to get home .. what with the winter storm and all.

Since Brian was on duty last night, the rest of his family stayed over, too.

All in all, I'm thinking about getting some banners and signs and starting selling used cars. There are a bunch of'em sitting around.

NOW: Let me say this: I'm not pointing to us as any great example here. What I am, however, saying, is this: if God can use our house for His glory, He can use yours, too. He's no respecter of persons, and He doesn't need 3000 Sq. Ft. to bring on some magic (I mean, how much space do 2 DiscipleNow kids take up, anyway?).

Yes, indeed. God does mean business. Especially with those who mean business with Him. So look around, see what it is in your hand .. or under your feet .. talk to God about it, and get busy.

I think you might be amazed.