The Choices I Face in My Prolonged Suffering

On 17 January 2019, I went through RFA for 2 tumors. The doctor could not see the third one with ultrasound so she could not RFA it. She mentioned that she may have to do TACE with CT Scan later on. There was a slight complication as there was bleeding and I have to be in HDU for monitoring. I have to stay another day.

Thank you Lord Jesus. Thank you for the doctors and nurses who have carried out the 2 RFAs. Thank you for my family, relatives and friends who have prayed for the tumor procedure.

 

In the last 20 months, I had 5 new liver cancer occurrences. I also had problems with constipation, colon, chest, chronic cough, dental tooth and gum. I went through an intense and prolonged period of suffering. Life seemed to be at a standstill because I had to see the various doctors practically every 10-14 days and the total wait, payment, medical tests and medicines took some 2 to 3 hours plus every time. It was the waiting that caused the most stress and anxiety.

 

It is easy to fall into the automatic reaction. Since I saw the Interventional Radiologist on 18 December 2018, I noticed that I was having palpitation of my stomach every so often. Intuitively, I must have been anxious and stressed. I could not help myself as this is a normal human reaction. What is most unique to me is also most common and universal.

 

I just found out from the internet that the liver size is from 12 to 14 cm. I was told that for a 1.0 cm tumor, the Interventional Radiologist need to burn about 3.0 cm around the tumor to ensure that all the cancer cells are killed. My liver is small and compromised with so many procedures done. For the latest TACE procedure for Segments 2 and 8, the liver has not fully grown yet. Thus, to carry out 3 RFAs at the same time means that 9 cm of my liver has to be burnt. It is thus a challenge to ensure that my liver still function properly after the 3RFAs. In a way, I cannot say that I was sad that only 2 tumors were done. God has His mysterious ways to help me cope with my small liver!!!

 

Every one has to find a solution to his normal negative feelings in order to be positive about his suffering. If he can adopt a positive attitude or accept his circumstances---that is the best for him.

But, for me I am weak and I have to depend on my Lord, Jesus Christ to support me in order that I have the courage, strength and hope to continue to fight on. I choose to respond by going to Jesus daily and in the process I find that the emotions in my heart are being slowly transformed. From God’s perspective, the healing in my heart is in its purification to becoming more loving and forgiving. This is far more important to Him than mere physical healing. But for the loving to grow, I must forgive first. I just got this into my head!!!

 

See how Fr Ronald Rolheiser explained it:

In “The Choices we Face Every Day by Fr Ronald Rolheiser”, he said:

“. . . in Gethsemane, we see Jesus prostrate, humanly devastated, on the ground, struggling mightily to cling to a cord of sustenance that had always sustained Him in trust, love, and forgiveness and had kept paranoia, hatred, and despair at bay. And the answer doesn't come easy for Him. He has to pray repeatedly and, in Luke's words, "sweat blood" before He can regain His balance and root Himself again in that grace that sustained Him throughout His ministry. Love and forgiveness are not easy.

“And that's our ultimate moral struggle: to not give in to our natural reaction whenever we are not respected or when slighted, ignored, misunderstood, hated or in small or large ways victimised. In the face of these, paranoia automatically takes over and almost everything inside us conspires to create an obsessive pressure towards giving back in kind, slight for slight, disrespect for disrespect, ugliness for ugliness, hatred for hatred, violence for violence.

“But there's another possibility: Like Jesus, who Himself had to struggle mightily to not give in to coldness and hatred, we too can draw strength through the same umbilical cord that nurtured Him. His Father, God's grace and strength, can nurture us too.

“Jesus' passion is not a physical drama but a moral one, indeed the ultimate moral drama. The real struggle for Jesus as He sweated blood in Gethsemane was not whether He would allow Himself to die or invoke divine power and escape. The question was only about how He was going to die: In bitterness or love? In hatred or forgiveness?

That's also our ultimate moral struggle, one which won't just confront us at the moment of death but one which confronts us daily, hourly. In every situation in our lives, small or large, where we are unfairly ignored, slighted, insulted, hated or victimised [or suffer] in any way, we face a choice of how to respond: Bitterness or understanding. Hatred or love. Vengeance or forgiveness.” [CatholicNews--- Sunday January 20, 2019]

 

Written on 18 January 2019 while still in the hospital.