Being hopeful is some tangible, seemingly hard gift that appears to be out of reach, yet it is so close. Hope for the soul and for the heart is attainable and is closer than you think. Being hopeful is looking at life in the light of the things going on around you and choosing to see the good in the midst of the mess and believe that things will change. You may not even see the changes occurring right away, but if you will stay in faith you will begin to see glimpse of those things transforming right before your eyes.
I can remember a time when I was not as hopeful about things changing in my life. I had gotten comfortable with having this huge nodule in my neck and my neck looking deformed. I was so uncomfortable with it when it began to form and would wear turtlenecks and scarfs all the time trying to hide this disgusting thing. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I thought that I would live with this growth for my entire life. I then began seeing people with nodules bigger than mine and I was like oh goodness would mine get this big? Would I have to live with it developing on one side more pronounced than on the other side? I was terrified and I was assured that I would never get another husband or any relief due to this ugly growth on my neck.
I went to doctor’s and they could not and would not operate due to the risks. So, I decided that I would live with this and enjoy my life. I began to have hope that this thing would not continue to grow and I would still be pretty no matter what my neck looked like. I told myself I am only ugly because I am choosing to be ugly. I had to have a better outlook on my life and what I wanted to see happen around me. I wanted to live differently and be hopeful when it all looked gloomy. I began to speak to my life and my heart and tell myself these mood swings, these anxiety attacks, these feelings of heart racing is not going to be my lot in life for the rest of my life. I had a choice to make and that choice was that I was going to see my life in a new way and hope against hope that I will be healthy and happy.
I began to challenge myself to see things this way everyday and every minute especially when the thoughts and anxiety surfaced. It was not easy, but it was worth it. I was tired of crying and feeling sorry for myself. I wanted and needed to feel loved, wanted and cherished and I had to determine within myself that if I wanted to feel that way I had to be that way for myself. I could not look for this type of love from an outsider if I didn’t feel that way about me! So, determined as I was I would encourage myself and when I missed it and I did a lot!! I would tell myself, it is okay start over tomorrow. I had hope that my life would be different and it has become different. Not that my situation changed right away because it did not, I changed! I changed the way that I saw me and the way I saw the growth in my neck.
I moved to North Carolina and I met this doctor named Dr. G and she was like no, this growth has to go and we are going to safely remove it and you will live! I was like okay, I am not sure about this, but if you are this confident than I am riding on your faith. I did just that! I had hope that I would live beyond the surgery and that I would feel better about myself because the nodules would be gone.
On the day of surgery I had a great outlook and I was not nervous. I was excited about seeing what my neck would look like without the nodules sticking out. I wanted to know how I would feel after this thing was taken out of me. Would the anxiety go away? Would the racing heart stop? Would the jitters go away? Would the mood swings stop? I had hope that these things would change once the surgery was over.
The surgeons had a hard time intubating me due to the large nodules blocking my path. They had to try twice to intubate me. They finally got the tube in they told me and despite the fact that they had the films and they knew what they were going after they had no clue the depth of these nodules in my neck. When they got in there they found out that the thing had legs!!! The nodule had separated on both sides of my lungs and was headed towards my heart. If the nodule would have wrapped around my heart I could have died! Even thinking about it now is causing me to rise up in emotion. I was told several times that I could die in my sleep due to the large nodules blocking my airway. The surgeon pulled the nodules out of my neck and weighed it on the scale. The thing was as big as a newborn baby, weighing 190 kg. I had hope that I would make it out of the surgery and I made it and I have no more fear of dying in my sleep or choking while trying to eat. See even eating was getting to be a challenge because sometimes I could not swallow. Back to the blessed day of removal!
When I woke up from surgery which was longer than they anticipated, I was in so much pain. I could not move my head and I could not lay down flat. I could barely talk and trying to get up and walk was a challenge. I had no balance and no control over my feet at first. I cried out in pain as I tried to communicate to my sister and daughter that I needed to use the restroom. My sister got the C.N.A to come and help me and after almost falling I made it to the bathroom. By the third time getting up I was more stable on my feet. The pain did not subside although they had me on lots of drugs I could tell when they were wearing off because I had tremendous pain. What I had more of was hope that once I saw my neck I would be so happy.
Well, when I saw my neck I cried!!! I was like this is what a “normal” neck look like. I am not ashamed of my scar because unless you are directly in front of me you can barely see it. My surgeon did such an amazing job and I am so glad that Dr. G, my sister and daughter, Dr. Stang and his staff encourage me and helped me to see how much better my life would be free from the worry of this growth.
Hope saved my life! Hope gave me a renewed life! Hope gave me confidence in me again! I know that my God is a keeper and a healer! So many times this growth could have killed me, but God!!!! I have hope that He can and will do the same thing for you. Being confident in this one thing that HE which began a good work in you will complete it, He will perform it and He will perfect it in the Name of Jesus! You can hope again! You can believe again and you can live again!!!
Let 2019 be the year that we get UNSTUCK and remain UNSTUCK!