Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Pastor Galen from Heart of the Shepherd comes to see me today. My mom has asked one of the pastors from St. Matthew to come and visit me, but they are only able to send the visitation pastor, a man who I do not know at all. Pastor Galen gives me communion, prays with my family and comforts my dad. He asks if I am ready for anything that may happen, and I tell him yes. The ladies from the church have made me a beautiful hospital gown. On the pocket is embroidered: Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, for the Lord goes with you. It makes me feel brave.
I go for my last MRI. It is even longer than usual, and the technician has made me keep my arms raised above my head the entire time I am in the machine, instead of allowing me to switch positions part way through the scan. When I feel I can take it no longer and I am choking back sobs inside the cramped tunnel, trying not to let my chest move so the scan won’t have to be repeated another time, I am finally pulled out. The technician unhooks me and tells me that that he is sorry it has taken so long. He said that the viewing room was full of doctors, telling him what to do. I look at him questioningly and he says that my surgeon came down to make sure the scan was performed correctly. He claims he has never seen a surgeon come all the way down to radiology. In that moment I know that Dr. Hafez will take care of me.
I arrive back in my room to the sight of my family dressed in Team Angela tee-shirts. Sam texts me a picture of her, Josh, Jackson, and their cat Phoenix dressed up as well. We take pictures. Later that night I am surprised by a visit with my friend Krisitn and my friend Julie’s mom Joan. They have driven all the way from Grand Rapids in a snowstorm. I am happy to see them and to take my mind off what is to come.
Late in the evening the doctors come in to have me sign consent forms. It is creepy acknowledging that I may die and I remind myself that it is just a formality. I ask the doctor if they have received the results of my latest MRI. She tells me that they will not need to open my chest. The tumor has shrunk far enough away from my heart. I collapse against the bed in relief and Ryan calls everyone to tell them the good news.

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