We have a date for my brain surgery:
Thursday, February 11, 2016.

Right now, the place marker time for surgery is 5:30 a.m., but they will call me with the actual time the night before. I am fairly certain it will be in the morning, though. I will let you know the exact time when I find out on the 10th – please watch this spot for details!

Please continue to hold me and my medical team in your prayers.

The only way through this for me is grace – to let myself be carried, completely, by others. It is extraordinarily comforting to know that I cannot, should not, and do not have to do this myself. Thank you for that. It’s a huge gift.

I would especially welcome prayers at the time of my actual surgery for me and my family.

Anyone who wants to come to the hospital to pray is welcome, although I am sure Marshall and Hannah and my Mom and Dad will need to hole up and have their privacy as they wait. Still, on location prayers sound very appealing to me, if anyone is up for dropping in to pray over coffee in the UVA cafeteria. I know I won’t be alone, no matter where you are that day.

My job now is to learn how to fully allow myself to be carried by the grace, love, skills, and support of others.

This week I will be working to get a lot of things done in preparation for my surgery. But my primary goal will be preparing myself to let go completely and in full trust; to know with certainty that I will be taken care of and loved, as I have always been taken care of and loved.  It is that stunningly brave prayer of Mary: go ahead, Universe, God, “let it be done unto me according to your will.” Perhaps, counter-intuitively, dependence and letting go is really the ultimate form of human “empowerment.” When all hangs in the balance, Grace rushes in to fill the void.  Maybe, confronting this void is part of what we have to do in order to become fully human.  Maybe, rushing into the void is the fundamental nature of Love.  All I know is that if I am to truly, fully LIVE in this moment that is mine right now, I must allow myself to undergo the transformation that is set before me.

I’ve got a good feeling about this. And I know you’ll help me get there – whatever that journey winds up looking like.

The full schedule:

Friday 2/5 9:15-12:15 :Functional MRI.
UVA Hospital, Radiology.
They’ll be mapping my brain (scary for them).

Tuesday 2/9 12-4pm: Meet with surgeon, history, physical, pre-anesthesia and labs.
UVA Hospital, Couric Center.
I’ll learn more about what to expect during and after my surgery.

Thursday 2/11 5:30 a.m. (real time TBD the night prior): Surgery to remove my brain tumor.
UVA Hospital.
I’ll be awake during at least part of the surgery – this will not only help my doctors perform the surgery, it will also be pretty interesting.  I’ve asked my surgeons if they’ll help me be the first person to blog from my own brain surgery.  It will give me something to do while they’re working.  Will keep you posted.

Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.

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17 Comments on "My Surgery Date is Set"

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Cindy Stegmeier

We are holding you in our hearts, and prayers. Thanks for keeping us up to date on the surgery. .and your process so far. I’m trusting things will go well tomorrow. You are amazing! Sending love, Cindy and Kristina

Sharon D. Sunderland

Continuing to pray for you and your family. May your surgery go well and know that you are on our prayer list at Christ United Methodist Church in Rowlesburg. You sound strong and focused as can be expected, keep your faith and trust in the Lord.

You have been and will continue to be in our prayers, especially during the surgery. It is beautiful to see your refreshing approach to this entire ordeal. I totally empathize with your MRI experience and the claustrophobia business, as well as the fainting at the IV sticking. I also warn them that I may faint, and end telling them “OK, there I go” and pass out, every time! As for the MRI, I tried once to close my eyes and do all that you said, but ended asking them to take me out, thankfully, before they started, and it was… Read more »
Thessa Churillo

Hi Fran,
I don’t know if you remember me. My husband (Frank) and I did a movie night together with Frank Squillace and Jane Dittmar.
I came across your blog through Facebook via Liz Spivey, Anne Bear and Steve Foster. You are in our prayers. February 11 (your surgery date) is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes where a lot of healing prayers are answered. I will offer a novena for you……. http://en.lourdes-france.org/praying/placing-a-petition-at-the-grotto-of-lourdes
Frank and I will continue to follow your blog and see ways we can help in addition to prayers. Take care.
Best, Thessa Churillo

Ann Michel

So proud of you, Fran. You have all of your friends and loved ones praying like crazy!!!

Joan Brown

Fran, I agree with Pat Laurenz, you are amazing and you are helping yourself in the best way possible thru your faith, your friends, and your humility in asking for help. I will be with you in prayer during your surgery and in your recovery. You may not remember me, but with you, I helped to sponsor Heidi for her Cursillo. Blessings as you recover. Joan Brown

Pat Laurenz

Fran, you are amazing. Your faith and willingness to let go and let God is inspiring. I’m so proud to call you my friend. And I’ll be praying especially hard on surgery day. Know you are so loved and cared for. Pat

Carolyn Lacy
Fran, I am one of the participants in last April’s Women’s Cursillo and came away from it changed, of course, but also incredibly touched by you– by your beautiful talk, by your kind personality, by your smokin’ air guitar (ha!), just by you. There was something special about you even among all those fabulous women on the team and I remember thinking that I would like to get to know you better and hoped our paths would cross sometime at Cursillo meetings. When I heard about your health issue, I knew I had to reach out to you even though… Read more »

You and your family will be in my thoughts. Surgery will be a snap. You will feel so much better after! My advice is to load your iPad etc with best healing uplifting music you can find. Music can do wonders! Love

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