We woke early to leave for Santa Barbara to meet with Dr. Park, whose office is across from Cottage Hospital. We were met in the waiting room by a lovely girl named Kate, just like Josh’s sister. She is our Nurse Navigator… how brilliant! A liaison between us and the doctor. We can ask questions and she will be with us through the entire process. She has worked with the Neurology Team at this hospital for a few years and just moved into this position. Our connection was immediate… A believer and just so many things to talk about right away. My heart just kept saying “Trust, this is going to be okay.”
We met the doctor, a neurosurgeon, not the warmest guy but honestly he doesn’t need bedside manner – just a steady hand. That’s why I have Kate! We asked all our questions, some received well others maybe not. The bottom line … they don’t know what this thing is until it comes out and so the first step is to get it out and then proceed on to the next step. Everyone’s first question is if the tumor is benign? They believe so but until this mass is under the microscope, it’s hard to know. I like realistic, supposing the best doesn’t help me cope with the dreaded. So I am content taking the first step. The other question is complications, and of course there are always possibilities of complications in any surgery – above all a brain surgery. Balance issues, vision, hearing, personality, bleeding, losing spinal fluid could all happen, but not likely. I did ask one question that the doctor didn’t seem to appreciate… “If this was your wife, what other doctors would you be considering?” The answer makes more sense to me now but it sent me for a tail-spin. He stated that he didn’t believe that any of the 5,000 neurosurgeons in the country would be practicing if they weren’t good at their profession, but if we wanted to get a 2nd opinion up at UCSF we could or wait 3 months and get another brain scan – he didn’t advise on that. We had two possible dates this coming Monday or Friday. Monday seemed unthinkable so early morning Friday was set. We left after a hug from Kate and headed to State Street for food and some time to process.
Kate suggested Tupelo Junction Cafe on State Street, what a charming, yummy place. I highly recommend! We ate and walked around until I got really tired, like so tired I wasn’t feeling well. We reached the car… The thought of a 2nd opinion was still an option. My eyes closed, Josh driving, all the feelings and possibilities came pouring out. A 2nd opinion would require a trip to SF very soon, more meetings with more surgeons and then as I lay there this overwhelming peace came over me and these words filled the empty space. “Sweetie I am not putting my trust in the expertise of a surgeon, but in the God who has already seen all my days and he’s got this.” The last two months have been me clawing my way to control, to understanding and I’ve finally let go, surrendered… I don’t want to go back to the bondage of that, I just want open hands and an open heart…complete trust.
My dear husband and protector was not so easily convinced. So we talked more and sought some advice from those in the medical field and spiritual mentors… reports on Dr. Park and Cottage Hospital were stellar. I was pretty confident how I felt but also wanted Josh to be completely at peace with all of this… He can be a little slower to process this much information! I had voiced my thoughts and told him that he had 90 miles to decide. Those miles must have revealed something or maybe he just went with how I was feeling, he just said ok next Friday it is! We got home and by the time I woke from my nap, I love naps, I was feeling good and got the clear to drive up to A-Town for a night out of the house. Good talks driving to my BFF Jodi, prayers pouring down on me with De Morey and dinner out with my mom and beloved Curt was just what I needed. By the time I got in bed, we decided that it was going to be “A Walk in the Park.”