"So, how are you doing?" seems to be the pressing question these days. The question is often combined with "You look good for someone who has just had surgery." We are surrounded by friends and spiritual family that is caring for us. Even though there are competent urologists and surgeons in many places, I feel very certain this is where God wants to treat me.

"So, how are you doing/feeling?" The best answer I can give is like the Michelin Man attacked with a staple gun or even worse, Jabba the Hut attacked with a nail gun. In short, a puffy guy with a line of metal fasteners a quarter of the way around his abdomen. I am trying my best to make the Michelin Man smaller and not get to the size of Jabba the Hut.

One of the biggest challenges right now is the edema (swelling from fluid) that makes shoes and clothes fit snugger and my watchband fasten two notches longer than usual. Bending knees and other joints is limited because of the swelling. Since water weights 8.3 pounds per gallon, I am carrying around several more pounds. Fortunately the fluid does not seem to be around my lungs or heart so walking is still my preferred form of exercise and I can still do it slowly. The weather here has been much warmer than normal so Lucy and I have taken nice walks in the neighborhood and benefited from the nice weather.

Today's office visit was for removal of the staples and to assess the progress. We also got the pathology report which was no surprise. The tumor was kidney cancer but the cancer was confined to the tumor. CT Scan results show some other things to follow but they are not related to the cancer or surgery. More details can be found later on our Caring Bridge site.

In short, the physician's assistant said things looked good. All the staples could come out and now it is just steri-strips and the incision is healing nicely. I can control pain with over-the-counter meds when and as they work. All the things I could not take before the surgery are now fine to take so that part of the routine is back to normal. The biggest need is to get back to my normal bodily routine which includes diet, sleep (and where I sleep), exercise, etc.

Looks like, unless something changes, we will be able to leave next week and spend Christmas with Megan and Justin in Florida; something we have been looking forward to for some time. The next doctor's appointment is 5 January and will be on our way to our stateside conference in Virginia. Then we expect to get the final report and suggested follow-up plan.

So for now, it is healing time and continuing to connect with our partners here. That has been the major blessing in all of this surgical journey. Sharing life with people who we love and who have shared life and ministry with us in Gent. Next big challenge/decision will be can I attend church on Sunday and, if so, where? There are way too many choices for the day. But that too we trust to God.

Many people are reminding us of their prayers for us. All I can say now is that we are living in the answer to those prayers, an exciting and blessed place to be. Once again God gets the glory for how He cares for His children. We are blessed and cared for far above what we deserve. May God be glorified in and through what He is doing in our lives!

More to come.


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