The next mysterious encounter came in October, 2010. I sat with son Kevin in a recovery room waiting on the results of my colonoscopy. The doctor’s demeanor spoke before he did: “I’m sorry, but you have rectal cancer.” I replied, “OK. First we run tests. If the cancer has spread, I’ll do nothing. My faith is intact.”
Ingrid Nisswandt, my primary care doctor, set up blood work, x-rays, scans—the works. No hint of cancer elsewhere. In early November, surgeon Melissa Najarian whacked a foot off my intestine and hung a bag on my belly. After four hospital days, they hauled me to rehab, though I felt lousy and had zero appetite.
The second evening at rehab, a nurse, insisting I eat to gain strength, spooned soup in my mouth. My belly exploded. Black gunk flew out. “Feces” said the nurse and summoned an ambulance.
The night was bone cold. They laid a warm blanket over me and wheeled me to the unheated ambulance, leaving me untended while the crew completed paperwork. The blanket soon lost its warmth and I grew colder and sicker than I had ever been. I cried in despair, “I’ve had it, Lord, I quit!”
From somewhere came the reply: “Quit what? You never started anything. I’ll tell you when to quit.” Peace flooded in. The ambulance crew soon returned and we rattled over frozen streets to St. Mary’s where a kind medic poked a tube down my nose into my belly and hooked me to a pump. Blessed sleep came, warmed by word from heaven: “I’ll tell you when to quit.”
Old Grandpa Lloyd