Although it would be impossible to enumerate all of the ways in which God provided, protected, and cared for me throughout the course of my stay in the hospital, I wanted to share a few of them. While I was in the hospital before my surgery even took place, I made a handwritten list of the ways in which I could tell tahat God was bringing good out of my tumor. We are often troubled by the problem of evil -why does evil exist if God is good?- and certainly even the Bible does not completely resolve this mystery. We are told that God hates evil and that God will one day triumph completely over evil. But we are also told God uses evil events for good even in this life. The classic example of this is Joseph's response to his brothers after they kidnapped him and sold him into slavery: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" - (Gen 50:20). In light of that reality, I wanted to commend on the ways in which God comforted me during my experience and used it for good.
- I had a seizure on June 5th at 11:52 pm, approximately 9 days after arriving in Durham. If I had had a seizure before we left New Haven, it's unclear how we would have been able to travel to North Carolina since I drove our U-Haul from New Haven to Durham and would have been prohibited from doing so if the seizure had occurred prior to our move.
- If the seizure had occurred a few weeks later than it did, Christina would have had to start residency training before I was completely recovered. As it was, she had several weeks of vacation before her work began and was able to stay with me in the hospital and at home before her training began.
- One of our first worries in the hospital was our insurance. We thought it terrible luck that I had had the seizure during the only two weeks of my life in which I was not covered by work insurance. As it turned out, our interim insurance covered everything from the ambulance trip to my surgery to my hospital stay, so that we paid almost nothing for the entire process.
- I was brought to UNC hospital at around 12:30am in Saturday, June 6th. As a result, I became the patient of the neurosurgeon on call, who happened to be the head of the neurosurgery department at UNC. If I had come in on a different night or at a different time, my surgery would probably not have been performed by the chair of the department.
- Because my seisure occurred during the summer, my mother -who is a school teacher- was able to drive down to Durham and spend over a month with us while I recovered.
I had my seizure at home while I was asleep in bed. At the time, we assumed that it must be common for tumor-induced seizures to occur in one's sleep. However when we asked my chemotherapist, we were told that seizures of this type usually occur while the person is engaged in some activity, particularly while driving. Recall that 9 days earlier, I had driven a 25-foot U-haul truck from New Haven, CT to Durham, NC with my dad in the front seat and all of our possessions in the back. The trip had taken 10 hours, was incredibly stressful (have you ever driven a 25-foot truck?), and hopefully will never be repeated. Furthermore, the following Sunday, my friend Derek and I rented a second U-haul truck and picked up a living room set, dining room set, and bedroom set over the course of 6 hours. If I had had a seizure during any of these trips, it is quite likely that my passanger and I would both have died.
- As I mentioned before, my surgeon was Dr. Anand Germanwala, who is the head of neurosurgery at UNC. Apparently, my surgery was very difficult due to the unexpected magnitude of the swelling of my brain, so it was very fortunate that it was handled by him.
- Although we arrived in Durham only 9 days earlier, we managed to attend Summit Church the Sunday before my seizure and I had coffee with the campus pastor Brad that Thursday. When he learned of my condition, Brad visited us repeatedly in the hospital. Additionally, numerous Summit attendees were employees at UNC including one of the medical students on my surgery team, our social worker, and one of the neurosurgery operating room nurses.
- My in-laws were planning on moving to North Carolina shortly after we had arrived there. Because I had my seizure in Durham, they both arrived in town within a few weeks and were available to support Christina and care for me during my convalescence.
- My aunt-in-law spends large portions of the year traveling internationally. However, she had prayed about traveling during the summer and felt that God told her to "stay home". Because she lives in Greensboro, NC she was able to drive to Chapel Hill immediately after my seizure to comfort Christina and visit me while in the hospital.
- Throughout my hospitalization, literally thousands of people were praying for us, from the members of our old church in New Haven to our new church in Durham.
- As mentioned in my previous letters, the observations during the surgery were quite negative. Brain swelling was more dramatic than expected. Our neurosurgeon told us afterwards that many patients with such severe swelling often die in the operating room. Additionally, pathology reports confirmed that the tumor was not a meningioma, which would have been relatively positive (as brain tumors go). However, even before the positive diagnosis of an SFT, I had written on my list of God's mercies that it was
Back to home Back
to Essays   Back
to Tumor Letters