My Story Continues

Read: Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Now that we know a little more about trust, let me set the scene in our story for you. Last year in March, after the tumor was discovered, things went downhill quickly. My husband was suffering from hydrocephaly, which is swelling of the brain due to a build-up of spinal fluid within it. The tumor had grown right next to the brain stem and completely blocked off the aqueduct, which is the canal through which the spinal fluid flows out of the brain and down into the spinal cord. Because of this, the ventricles (empty cavities in your brain that contain the spinal fluid and through which it circulates) were becoming enlarged, causing all sorts of problems. This was a dangerous situation, and he was immediately scheduled for emergency surgery to relieve this pressure. All of a sudden, he had trouble thinking well, he was losing his balance and even passed out and fell, his headaches had intensified, and he was no longer allowed to work or drive. Within a week, my husband was in surgery. They did a third ventriculostomy on him, which basically meant they made a hole in the membrane to another ventricle so that the spinal fluid could circulate and reabsorb through another path, relieving the pressure in his brain. This was successful, but they could not get to the tumor itself. They couldn’t even catch a glimpse of it, it was so deep inside of his brain. 

Over the next month, the news continued to worsen, as the doctors conferred with other experts and made their guesses as to the type of tumor this was and what to do about it. We had a scan scheduled – exactly one month after the initial discovery of the tumor, on April 4th. One day prior to that, April 3rd, we went in for a consultation with the brain surgeon. This was the most terrifying meeting I had ever had in my life. Terrible, aggressive types of brain tumors and limited life expectancies were discussed. High-risk surgery was discussed, along with its resulting nearly certain permanent side effects. We were told that after the next day’s MRI, my husband would be in surgery within 2-3 weeks — a very dangerous surgery, with no promising outcomes and a spate of probable, quite severely disabling side effects. I admit that fear got the best of me that day. I was shaking like a leaf. Everything depended on the next day’s scan. These were incredibly high stakes! The next day, we sat down with our doctor to look over the results after the scan. Improbably, miraculously, without human explanation, the tumor had shrunk from every direction — not completely, but just enough to be undeniable. This changed everything. The doctors agreed to just watch the tumor with frequent scans. Within a day, we went from the worst news to an eleventh-hour reprieve!

Over the next ten months, the doctors continued monitoring the tumor with frequent scans. Every scan revealed that the tumor was quiet and in fact, each scan seemed to improve until January of this year. But I am going to save that part of the story for later. 

For the rest of this study, I want to talk to you about the lessons I learned during that time before and after the reprieve. 

Prayer for Today: Father, thank You for Your Word that shows us how important it is to trust You. And thank You that Your Word also shows us how to do this. I pray that as we study trust, Your Holy Spirit would guide each of us to trust You more completely and deeply, and that He would guide us into all truth. Amen!

Linda Steppenbacker
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2 Comments on “My Story Continues”

  1. Linda, it is so good to reconnect with you!
    Thank you for sharing your story, your faith and love for Jesus shines so bright.
    Please know I am praying for you, your husband and your sweet family as you walk this journey.
    Praying for healing and God’s strength for each day.
    Much love to you
    Faith Zebulske

    1. Thank you, Faith! God is good, and He is walking us through the fire. It has been, in a lot of ways, really amazing. We’ve come to such a deeper place with Him. And we know He has good things in store for us. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers! ❤️

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