Big News [from Erin]

Update from January 27, 2021

So, for a while now, I’ve been experiencing some hearing loss in my left ear. But last fall, it seemed to get worse. So, after procrastinating for a few months, I went to the doctor to see what was going on. An MRI revealed I have an Acoustic Neuroma, which is a non-cancerous tumor on my brain. Yep. You read that right. I have a brain tumor. Because, why not, right??

It’s a rare kind of tumor that affects 1 in 100,000 people so I’m tempted to play the lottery sometime soon. After all, I’m expecting an increase in medical expenses this year 😉

But seriously, the good news is that it sounds like it’s the best kind of brain tumor you could have. It’s not cancerous. It’s slow growing. And it doesn’t typically spread to other places in the body.

But, still, it is a tumor in my brain. And I’m assuming it will need to come out at some point. And in case you didn’t know, I am afraid of all medical things.

I don’t really know why, but for as long as I can remember I have always been afraid of medical things. It’s why I haven’t gotten my wisdom teeth out, even though I was supposed to do it 20 years ago. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’m terrified.

Fear is what’s making this news of a brain tumor so overwhelming. I don’t know yet what the treatment plan will be, but whatever it is, already feels so scary. I know things could be so much worse. This isn’t life threatening. But it feels so scary.

I don’t think of myself as someone who runs away from things that are hard. I don’t think I avoid things that are challenging…except maybe medical things.

But how can I say I trust God if I don’t trust Him with this?

I feel like this is one of those moments in life when my faith is real or it isn’t. When God is big enough or He isn’t. When I’m all in or I’m not.

More than anything else in the world, I want to leave my kids a picture of what it looks like to trust God fully…even when it’s hard…even when it doesn’t make sense to anyone else…even when things are uncertain…even when I’m unsure…and especially when I’m afraid.

It matters how I do this next chapter. Maybe more than anything else I do this year.

So, I’m writing it all down. I’ve decided to write about this whole experience for a few different reasons:

  1. I think it will be therapeutic to write it all out. I’m an external processor, so writing helps me to work out my feelings and thoughts about things.
  2. It can serve as an easy way to update people. There are so many people I love and want to keep updated, but don’t want to interrupt with lengthy phone calls every few days. So, this way, anybody can check back here to find the most recent update.
  3. As the days, weeks, months pass, this page will begin to be filled with things God is teaching me, the ways He is working in me and how He is at work around me. I want to be able to come back often to read, remember and celebrate God’s love and provision.

Here’s how you can pray:

  1. I’m trying to get an appointment with a specialist at Vanderbilt in Nashville, TN but keep running into administrative issues. Please pray with me that I can get an appointment soon! (Update – we saw Dr Bennett on Monday, Feb 1 and really liked him and his suggested approach for surgery. Now we’re trying to get a second opinion from Dr. Friedman at UCSD)
  2. I’ve started meeting with my counselor again, specifically to try to understand why I have so much fear and to start to learn to work through it and trust God in a more practical way. Pray that I have the courage to do the work and overcome this fear!
  3. This past week since I’ve found out has felt heavy, sad, and kind-of lonely. Please pray that those feelings will pass and that I can live with this disappointing news, but also be able to live in joy and trust in God.

9 thoughts on “Big News [from Erin]

  1. My dear friends, I get it. Having served the Lord since I was a very young child… and experiencing many miracles and direct messages from God… I still suffer from a reoccurring fear. I have traced the source of several of my fears to childhood experiences, but that doesn’t really help when a certain fear raises its ugly head. It is panic inducing and I have to face it head on. Over the years, the one thing that I’ve learned to lean on in those moments is the presence of Christ in my life. The sense of facing my worst fear ‘alone’… is almost unbearable. But when I turn to His ‘presence’ and remind myself that He will never leave of forsake me, I find the comfort and strength to get through the moment. And… even if the worst (in the natural sense) were to happen… His love and the promise of His eternal presence will sustain me. With Job I can boldly proclaim “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”. We love you and will be walking this path with you in prayer and fellowship. May the Lord bless and keep you… Bob & Sandy

  2. Erin. We love you, and will be praying for you and your family. You know that Our God works in many ways, and through it all, our Faith and Trust is in Him alone, to guide our hearts, the surgeons, and our daily steps.

  3. Prayer is such a comfort, Erin. I had a knee replacement on Tuesday and even though I’ve had multiple surgeries (gallbladder, hysterectomy, bunion, kidney stones, and others) this one gave me so much anxiety. The original surgery was scheduled a year ago, but Covid came and I cancelled it. The arthritis pain became so intense that I realized I had to go through with it and the surgery was scheduled for Jan 5. The dr had a family medical emergency so the surgery had to be rescheduled to Feb 5. That’s when the high anxiety began. It was like I was ‘nesting’…I purged and purged and purged. I’m sure the trash pickup guy thought I’d never finish! I asked for prayer, which I don’t normally do, and by the time I got to the surgery prep room all of my anxiety was lifted…I felt the prayers and knew that God had this. I mean I absolutely knew! I realize that a brain tumor is scarier than a knee replacement but I’m totally convinced that God has this! He has used you in so many ways to be a shining example of his love and healing. He’s got this Erin, and so do you.
    Love you and miss you❤️

  4. Hey friend I believe in the miracle power of God lean on my faith as I am praying for u total healings. A test is just for a testimony. Ask and it will be given unto you. Father I bind fear and loose faith. U will live and not die I decree it in Jesus name by faith. John 14:1

  5. If you can double the number of offspring you have and almost die while doing so … but live to be the awesome mom to your four kiddos that you are …. then I KNOW you got this!

    I hate fear! … the older I get I feel I am becoming more and more afraid …

    flying … the dentist … riding in a car with my husband (well that last one is understandable)…

    So praying for you and looking forward to updates … 😘

  6. Erin, praying for your strength during this difficult time. All of us, especially older folks like me, have experienced a time in our lives when we question WHY our Lord has given us such a challenge to overcome?? I have always just continued to pray and trust in our Lord to get us through the crisis we are now encountering. Fear NOT, for the Lord is with you always. Many blessings to you and your family.

  7. I’ve come across your blog because I was also surprised with news of having an acoustic neuroma about a month ago! I haven’t been able to be in to see an ENT surgeon yet, but am feeling encouraged by its small size. I hope you are doing well right now! It’s a very overwhelming situation, for sure.

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