Saturday, June 27, 2009

Literature, Drama, and Medicine

I recently read a short story by Flannery O'Conner entitled "A Good Man is Hard to Find." In it, a conniving, manipulative, vindictive, and otherwise annoying grandmother is held at gunpoint by bandits after they have murdered her children and grandchildren. All of a sudden, as she stares death in the face, she changes her tune and gains a whole new perspective on how one should live their life. After she is shot, the thug comments to the rest of his gang, "She would have been a much better woman if there had been someone there to shoot her every day of her life." The point being, we become different people when we realize that death is imminent.

There is something about going into surgery that causes a drama queen to think she is going to die on the operating table. 'Tis true. I was preparing to die in my own melodramatic way. The good news is that I was totally at peace with that. Now, that's a huge switch for me. I expected to be frantic and frightened and wanting to back out, but no, I was at peace. Not that I wanted to die. It is a huge unknown, and I really want to watch my daughter grow up for a little while longer. However, I was okay with whatever happened. Maybe that doesn't mean much to you, but knowing myself, it just thrills me. It's called growth, and I like that.

I have to tell you something funny. I called my daughter right before I was going into surgery (because I wanted to leave a few last words with her). Just as she answered the phone, my doctor walked by my room and waved at me. That happened to coincide with me greeting my daughter with a soft and sweet, "Hi Honey!" The doctor did a double take, and I hurried to clarify that I was talking to my daughter on the phone. For those of you in the south, it might not seem too out of the ordinary to call your doctor honey, but we just don't do that here in Minnesota.

The surgery went ever so wonderfully. No big long name procedures. Just a little old excisional biopsy. Now we will be waiting to hear back on the tests in the next couple of days. The doctor is pretty sure that it will be papillary thyroid cancer. I wonder how many tests they will keep taking to keep coming to that same conclusion. I asked, "What's up with that?" And they gave me some kind of answer that I don't remember because I was taking happy pills. Anyway, I will keep you posted. My post-op is Tuesday.

As I left the hospital, I felt like I was starting a brand new life (drama queen, remember?). I was having the best conversation I ever had with the sweet, little volunteer who wheeled me out. I thought the flowers were the prettiest I had ever seen, and the waterfall was simply marvelous. My husband was sexier than ever, and I just felt like life couldn't be grander.

Of course, I am on pain meds, so we will see what life looks like when they wear off. Overall though, God is so good. No matter what, he is good. I am overwhelmed right now by his goodness. It leaves me speechless, which is saying a lot.


  1. I do not remember you being speechless!!


  2. Well, Josh, it doesn't happen very often, and it doesn't last very long.