Wednesday, November 23, 2016

“Whenever you feel a little stricken down in pain, think about this. The knife has to be sharpened by striking and rubbing it against something strong before it can become useful! You are going to be great after the struggles.” ― Israelmore Ayivor

Had a rough night with the doctor here for over four hours, but the main problem has been temporarily resolved.  I have been confined to bed until the properly sized medical equipment can be purchased in Musoma.  Seems I am a tad larger than the average Tanzanian (okay a lot bigger than a tad)—which is hardly news to me.  Was supposed to meet with the oncologist today, Dr. Masumo, but he had an emergency in Italy, so that meeting has been postponed.  Notice that I wrote “the” oncologist and not “an” oncologist because there is only one in this country.  Happily, he lives and works in Mwanza, just a three hour drive from here.  Unhappily, he is out of the country at the moment.  We have to postpone any surgery until he gives the all clear because under certain conditions, surgery would be the worst thing we could do.  I may be facing chemo-therapy and possibly radiation.  I don’t think my body can absorb any more radiation since I had a two-month daily dose for cancer on my head years and years ago.   I would go early in the morning and get treated and then go to work at the church.  I had lots of problems with my memory during those months and missed meetings and services which did not go unnoticed.  Only found out with three days left in my treatment that I was not supposed to be working but going home to rest.  Ah well, what can you do?  Around that same time, I had to have some extremely painful surgery to correct a problem that most doctors said was inoperable.  I was on powerful pain killers that also caused me problems at work, but no one there ever knew.  When I found a doctor who did do the surgery, quite successfully, the only person from the church who visited me in the hospital was a singer in the praise band.  Thank you, Mimi Vines.  You always need to be kind to everyone even those who seem to be causing problems because you never know what quiet pain and struggling with which they have to deal.  I was blessed that there were many who were kind to me during that period and have forgiven all those who were antagonistic—they just didn’t know.  Hey, that sounds familiar, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Many, many thanks to those of you who have already sent financial contributions.  Some came from folks on my watch forum, some from seven different countries, and even some from grown ups who were five-year-olds when they had Karen as their kindergarten teacher.  Our spirits rise from such gifts.  God bless you all.  
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