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Decisions, Decisions

Baby, surgery, chemo? Chemo, baby surgery? C-section/surgery combo, chemo? Which surgeon, OBGYN, oncologist, maternal-fetal medicine doctor? Which hospital?

These are all questions I never would have dreamed I would be asking myself a few weeks ago.

I have always thought I was very good at multitasking. So God must have thought he would see just how good I really am.

Or more than likely He was trying to show me how weak I am and how much I should be relying on him instead of myself.

In addition to multitasking, I am also a planner. It drives my husband and most of my family members nuts. I want to know what time we are having our family dinner 13 days from now and what side dish everyone is bringing. Are we meeting at 5 or 5:30? It doesn’t matter I am going to show up at 4:45 just to make sure we are not late.

As any good planner would, I had everything for this baby scheduled out on my timeline. My other two children set up camp in my uterus and probably wouldn’t have come out until their 3rd birthdays had my doctor not evicted them. My due date with Robbyn was May 24th, so I fully expected to still be pregnant well into June.

I was on cruise control having passed my glucose test, genetic testing for baby bird came back normal, and I had all the girl clothes washed and ready. I just had to coast through this last 7 weeks of pregnancy to enjoy my last maternity leave that happened to fall in the summer months. (If my coworkers are reading this; I swear I didn’t plan it that way)

But after Friday’s groundbreaking revelation, my life was in complete and utter upheaval. All of my plans flew out the window, and the only things that mattered were getting Robbyn out safely and getting treatment started so that my kids still had a mom to sing them to sleep at night.

Enter Robb Barlow.

My dad and I have many similarities. We are antsy, most people can’t follow our train of thought, we have less patience than a toddler, we get fixated on problems, and we HAVE to fix said problem like 10 minutes ago.

My dad had talked with another doctor who was able to set me up with a different hospital in Indy early the next week for a consultation. This hospital thought they would be able to coordinate care between all of the different specialties my unique situation was going to require.

I was so relieved. Friday at 3:30 I felt like I had no solution to this problem, and now I had TWO options thanks to my dad’s Mr. Fix-it personality and my favorite surgeon. Now I didn’t have to just pick whichever provider would take my unique case.

Instead, I could weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision. God bless Robb Barlow and his meddling ways (which thankfully I inherited tenfold.)

So what now? How would I know which provider to use? What if I made the wrong choice and the outcome was poor because of my choice?

This was the first time in my life that I decide to “give” God complete control over a situation. I had no idea which providers’ hands to place mine and Robbyn’s lives in. I had a grade 3 breast tumor.

For those that don’t know, grade 1 grows the slowest and 3 grows the fastest. Awesome, right?

So, time was really of the essence for me to figure out who would provide my care. I decided this was all so sudden and SO gigantic of a problem, that I would not be able to fix it.

Yes, in my control freak mind, I assumed that I was actually running the show, not God.

Sure, I pray, quite a bit actually, but most of the time, I already know in the back of my mind what decision I am going to make. I am just running it by God really quickly for formality sake. I mean can He really expect me to wait ten minutes for an answer?

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the lord with all of your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

I had so many paths in front of me. So many different possibilities for how the next two weeks might play out. How would we coordinate all of these moving parts before this aggressive tumor spread too far?

Well, the short answer is…we couldn’t.

WE could not coordinate this monstrosity of a problem. WE couldn’t control the rate at which the tumor was growing. WE couldn’t make sure Robbyn was developed enough to be delivered early. WE had no control over how quickly all 8 of these new doctors could coordinate care to set a plan in motion. As much and Robb Barlow and I wanted to manipulate the situation to work in our favor; WE couldn’t.

God is sovereign, meaning he has complete and total control over every situation. I think He was using this to show me just how in control He really is and just how powerless I really am.

How else can we grasp the magnitude of how powerful God is except when we are at our absolute weakest?

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 it says, “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Had it been up to me I would have lopped my own breast off at work in an empty OR the moment they told me I had cancer. In my mind, everything would be ok if we could just control it, contain it, FIX it right now.

But I am not a doctor, and it was the weekend. The longest weekend of my life. And God was telling us to wait. He had a plan, and we needed to wait on his timing.

I don’t know about you, but it is very frustrating when God is trying to grow you in a spiritual discipline. Am I not patient remember? I get to movies AT LEAST 30 minutes before the previews start. And God was expecting me to wait until Monday morning to hear back from our second opinion provider???

Well, Monday morning came and as my mom and I sat at Cracker Barrel my phone rang…and rang, and rang. Literally, 7 different doctors’ offices called me within 10 minutes. They all had appointment times for me that week, and none of them conflicted with the others. I was scrambling to writes down all of this information as fast as I could and keep the 3 hospital systems straight. I had begged God ALL weekend for information.

It’s funny how God answers our prayers in ways we never would have imagined. Monday morning, I had more information than I knew what to do with!

I know that I am sarcastic. I personally think it’s one of my best features, despite what my husband might tell you. I also know that I am made in the image of God. This leads me to believe that God must be pretty sarcastic too! I pleaded for information and, now I had so much my head was spinning.

Disclaimer: For those of you following along, in two weeks’ time I had so many appointments, testing, and information thrust upon me, it is going to take a few more posts to catch you all up to speed on our current situation. So stick with me! I have SO much more to tell you!

13 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions”

  1. You are so the natural at writing. To make you smile, I would have helped you in that empty OR. I’m so lucky to have you as a friend and coworker. Keep fighting and smiling so when you get back we can get some ice cream.

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  2. Makes me realize never take a second for granted. Continued prayers for you sweet girl and your family. Stay God strong.

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  3. It takes tremendous strength to share your story. Keep up the strong fight and remember we are all here cheering you on.

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  4. You are the most amazing person I know! I love your sarcasm, your wit, and your laughter!!
    I think about you and pray for you every day.

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  5. Kari, I think God is certainly working in your life right now. What courage and faith you show in these beautifully written blogs. I honestly believe after reading them that you should write a book about your journey to inspire those who may be facing similar circumstances. The best decision you ever made was trusting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior and you are leaning gently upon His breast as you have placed your life in His control. I am praying for complete healing and will continue to do so until every cancer cell has been eradicated from your body. He is able. You are faithful and He us faithful to you.

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