Reflections

My Mom ceaselessly reminds me to be Thankful and be Humble, especially during these last days while I was getting prepared for surgery.  She impressed upon me that I have experienced more than my share of “miracles” and that I should proclaim them aloud and declare God’s Glory … through me.

To start life, I was born a 6-month preemie, weighed in at less than 3 lb.  The doctor basically told my 18 year old mother that I had no chance to live, let alone grow up to be “normal.”  Fortunately, my parents found an experienced “nanny” who had just cared for another set of twins.  She taught Mom to feed Winston and me powdered milk through nose droppers almost continually.  They must have spent every minute of everyday taking care of us and nursed us; by God’s Grace we survived and thrived.  In those days, imagine our living environment as similar to present day situation in Syria.  Warfare surrounded us as the Japanese were invading and bombing China.  But without the “modern science” of heated incubators and the wide usage of unlimited Oxygen for preemies , I was spared blindness and other infirmities.  Instead, I was able to become an Eye MD, a physician who specialized in eye ailments.

I have also reported that when I was nine years old, Winston and I went to fly kite on top of a hill in Hong Kong.  I fell, hit my R temple on something, and was knocked out, turned ashen grey, basically dead.  Again, through God’s Benevolence, Winston and Mom, with the skills of physicians, brought me back.  I experienced amnesia, but again by His Compassion, I was able to re-format and reboot my brain slowly.  Fortunately, I was able to relearn most of what I had forgotten.  It did seem that learning was much more deliberate and intentional than before my fall.

In September 1979, less than one year into starting private practice, while I was leisurely driving to attend a Thursday departmental meeting at Harrison Hospital, I was hit head-on by a drunk driver just as I was entering Poulsbo.  Again I became unconscious.  After a valiant 2-hour effort, the Medics and Firefighters extricated me out of my poor little Chevy Chevette and ambulanced me to Harrison.  I ruptured my spleen, fractured a few protrusions along my vertebrae, cracked a few ribs and twisted the ankles of both feet.  Following immediate surgery and blood transfusion, I survived again, once more intact as new!  In 1979, transfusions were not tested for HIV.  Later on when I decided to get checked was I scared awaiting the result!  Praise Him, I was not affected.

Now I have Pancreatic Cancer.  Again with His Grace and Mercy, I have experienced success each step of the way.  I underwent 12 treatments of Chemo therapy until I developed pulmonary complications.  Then I responded well to lung rehabilitation and was operated on in 7 weeks on April 1, 2016.  I tied the record of earliest discharge post Whipple’s procedure on April 5.  The Pathology report was very good.  The primary tumor measured 1.8 x 1.0 x .08 cm in size, which is relatively small, totally removed.  There was evidence of tumor extension onto the Portal vein and the Duodenum, but all were included in the excised specimen.  Grossly, the surgeon was pleased that he was able to remove all involved diseased tissue.  Most importantly, of the 18 lymph nodes removed, 0 of 18 showed any cancer involvement!!  However, the type of malignancy I have is now classified as Pancreatic Adenosquamous Cancer, one of the worst.

Mom says she’s not surprised.  She reiterated that any illnesses having to do with me just has to be the worst possible scenario.  Don’t you know by now?  God is Great.  He is using you to demonstrate His Mercy, His Grace and most of all, His Love.  Why You?  We may know in due time.

Be Grateful, and Be Humble.  Amen