Friday, November 20, 2009

Surgery Smurgery...

For those of you who don't know it's been a very looong week. Last April they found a "giant cyst" inside my hip bone. View my older post "My Daily Battle" there's a lovely picture for those of you who really want to see it. Anyway, I go in for my 6 month follow up appointment last Thursday. On Tuesday, I get a phone call from a nurse. "Mrs. Crouse, Dr. Huxtable (no, that's not his real name for those of you who grew up watching the Cosby Show) wants you to see Dr. Cox (Scrubs anyone)". Kat now speaks, "Who is Dr. Cox"? Nurse: "Oh, I don't know I thought you would know". Kat: "No, I don't know who that is? Where is this Dr. located and why am I being referred"? Nurse: "I have no idea, let me call you back." Kat: "Yes, that would be wonderful for you to call me back with some actual information!
I got this phone call at work, call Superman (aka my hubby) at work crying. Superman is irritated and says, "Baby, don't worry I will take care of this". Fast forward a few hours later and Ryan gently breaks the information that I will be seeing an oncologist. So let me put the past few days in a nutshell. Many frustrating phone calls. Go to 2 hospitals and pick up every X-ray, CT scan, and MRI that has been taken on my hip area, extreme chest pain, "Could I really have bone cancer?", "I feel like my heart is going to explode", the day before my oncologist appointment was awful, chest pain so bad we debated going to the er, Ryan holds me numerous times as I cry...weep, Isaiah 41:10, I hope mom is okay, many phone calls from friends and family, I am so thankful for them, I am so thankful for my faith, "Why?", go to Vanderbilt hospital to the oncologist cancer center, there for 7 hours, saw at least 8 different doctors, Dr. Elliot is my oncologist surgeon, LOVE her! She is sensitive, genuine, and gives me a sense that she is going to take care of me. Need to have surgery soon, 3 days in the hospital, and 3 weeks recovery, you will still be able to have kids. Won't know for sure that it is not cancer until the surgery when we do a biopsy. Kat: "Why do you think it's not cancer"? Dr.: "Because your bone is not angry, cancer makes the bone angry". Kat: "I've never thought myself to be an angry person". We laugh, laughter is needed. Dr. "Also, this cyst is full of blood which means it's an aneurysmic bone cyst and that also means it's grown so we need to get it out asap". Back to Kat's thoughts. I can do this. Tonight I have to go to the ER because my chest pain is so extreme. They give me pain medicine which so far hasn't worked much. Really God? Can I please have some pain relief? Ryan holds me as I cry...weep.
So, where am I now? I don't know why we are having to go through this, but I know God has a plan. We will grow and get closer to Him and that is worth it. I will choose joy. I am so thankful I do not have any pain in my hip and that my chest is not any worse. I am so thankful to have a wonderful man that loves me. He is affirmation that God is taking care of me. That God loves me. I could not do this without him. I am so thankful for my friends and my family. Their encouraging words and generous spirits are so humbling. We could not do this without them either. I am so thankful for God. Where would I be if didn't have anyone to put my trust in? If I felt that no one was in control?
For those who take the time to read this please pray for both Ryan and I. Please pray that my chest pain will subside. That everything will go well in surgery and of course that they will not find cancer. It's going to be a busy next few weeks with holiday plans, traveling, and getting ready for the surgery. I want to clean my house top to bottom and buy some cute pajamas. :) My surgery date is December 15th. Happy post birthday celebration! I will keep all updates on my blog. I also have an appointment with the cardiologist on December 9th. I have to get cleared with her before I can have surgery. My heart is fine, this cardiologist is supposed to be very helpful with young women and chest pain. Dr. Elliot said, "You are not alone, many women suffer with the same pain you do". Maybe God has me in chest pain so I won't be distracted with all this bone and surgery junk. Mission accomplished.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Experience at Ala-Teen

A student of mine (let's call her Pocahontas) has a father who is an alcoholic. Out of support I offered to attend an Ala-Teen meeting with her. Ala-Teen is an organization that offers guidance, counseling, and support for the children of alcoholics. A little background on Pocahontas, she lives with her mother, has seen and been through some very traumatic experiences. She wants to do what is right and she wants to succeed. I feel a connection with her and I want to reach out to her before that window of opportunity is too late. Thus far, Pocahontas has surprised me. At a glance you think she is going to give you an attitude and nothing but trouble. God never stops teaching me. I was humbled by how wrong I was.
So Pocahontas and myself drive to this meeting. Immediately I am surprised by 2 things. 1. There are children in here that can't be over 7 years old! 2. There were over 15 children/adolescents in this meeting. We began the meeting the standard way...introduce yourself, "Hi, I'm Kat" and in unison I hear, "Hi Kat". The floor was opened for discussion.
Sharer number 1: (guesstimated age 14)
My best friend lives down the street from me. I walk to her house often. Last night I joined them for dinner. As I was hanging out with them I see a mom who is Betty Crocker, a dad, and a brother and a sister. We sit down and eat dinner together and there was not 1 fight. I went home that night and I felt really messed up inside. I want that so bad. So I took out a notebook and wrote down everything in my family I wanted to change. And I'm willing to make these changes. I'm even willing to get along with my mom's boyfriend. I gave this list to my mother and for about 2 days things changed but after that everything went back to the way it was. I was in the kitchen making easy-mac for my usual dinner and as I'm throwing away the box I see on top of the trash can my list crumbled up. I just stood there...all my hope had been thrown away in the trash can. I took my mac and habitually spent the rest of the evening in my room alone.
Sharer #2: (guesstimated age 12) I think we all want that. We all want a family. I have to make sure that my mom buys 7 TV dinners so I will have dinner every night of the week. I love my Dad, but he is responsible for him and I am responsible for myself. He tells me he's going to change and I know there's nothing I can do to make this happen. Last time he told me that I said, "I'll believe it when I see it."
Sharer #3: (guesstimated age 16) I had to decide who I wanted to live with. I told my Dad that I can't live with him because he is unable to set boundaries for himself, yet alone me. I don't do well when I don't have boundaries and structure.
Sharer #4: (guesstimated age 7) My dad is going away to treatment. I think he is only going to obey his mom. If that is true than that makes me really sad. If it's not true than it makes me happy.
Sharer: 5: (guesstimated age 11) I don't like getting in the car with my dad because he is always drunk and high. It makes me so sad because he's willing to put his life in danger, but what is even sadder is he's willing to put MY life in danger.
Pocahontas teared up several time through out this meeting. I teared up several times. To see these "adults" in young bodies share such wisdom and courage was so inspiring. I wanted to take them all home with me. I wanted to hold them all in my arms and tell them that you DO have a family. You have a whole kingdom! It's amazing how smart and aware these children are. For them to take the role of a parent broke my heart. Children desire to be taken care of, they desire to be loved. I wish I had their knowledge at my age. Despite their situations they still had hope. They chose joy. I want to thank these children for teaching me how important love is. I want to thank them for teaching me how important my choices are. I can only pray that they will continue on a path of maturity and that their parent's love them more to sacrifice a change.
Say a prayer for Pocahontas. I invited her to church this Sunday.