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I’ve been thinking a lot about this healing process and I feel maybe one gift I can give is to let you see into the heart of a patient. This patient.

I have had such a happy heart in this. I really didn’t know how much I hurt inside about all that had happened to my body as I tried to overcome the feeling by rising above it. When you started fixing the broken parts it was like being released from bondage. My energy, spirit and excitement were so powerful that I saw how far down I had been.  I’m a person who copes by adapting and suddenly the freedom is intoxicating as I see my vision beginning to come forth.  Having the chance to regain my body makes me feel a responsible confidence towards the future. That I will one day be able to share myself without the shame I felt for all the hurtful changes after cancer.

So in this rebirthing journey of my body, I also face my soul. Rebuilding my body is giving me a hope and a future. I have clung to two verses, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” And Joel 2:24-26…” threshing floors will be full of grain, And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil. Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.…”

It would be a travesty of the truth for me to bounce in excitement over my beautiful new bottom, and miss the real meaning of the journey of healing on all levels. I prayed so hard that there would be a doctor who could see me. A healer who would become an instrument of God’s hands and I will never forget when you said “I’m doing this. You don’t have to do anything for me. I’m doing this”. It was your heart I heard, and the wonder for me was that God knew my innermost being and would care so much to bless me with your friendship. As people we are sojourners on an often rocky road of life and, to me, to share our stories with complete vulnerability is like pouring sustenance into each other’s soul. You never know how it can strengthen one, so know my words here are power bars for your backpack as you climb. You may use them one day when you’re tired 🙂

You are a deeply good doctor and deeply good man. I have thought about the strength of personality and the depth of care it takes for you to make good decisions for me. I know I’m happy, bouncing, and wanting to go out and play, and you have quickly put your foot down when you should.

I sometimes need clear directions. When you say “don’t do too much” I do all I listed above thinking I’m listening because it’s so much less than I would normally do. I’m not trying to get it wrong, I just can’t find the boundaries. When you said “I want you on your tummy and not doing anything” it was clear and I have done exactly that since I walked in the door yesterday after seeing you. I’m still laying on my tummy, drank coffee out of a straw and only got up to pee STANDING UP! Lord, that “Go Girl” thing! (This is actually a very valuable device for butt aug patients)

Thank you for your kind of strength. Thats one of your gifts as a man and physician—taking over when you should. You are a firm leader, but a gentle one. You say a lot with few words, and the change in your tone speaks volumes. If someone’s listening, I think you probably stay in that style but there’s a very firm, no nonsense, part of you that speaks clearly that you will stand as hard as you have to when you believe you’re right.

I want you to keep your heart. I know you get disappointed in patients who miss the real meaning of the healers role and the true opportunities that fulfilling a new physical vision can mean for the soul. You deserve great respect for your place of leadership in the process of rebuilding lives because that’s what you are doing.  I know doctors have been criticized in ugly ways for “playing God” and the horrible thing about that is it misses a great truth.  As a physician, especially a surgeon, you are in a holy place. A place as close to the act of creation as any of us will get. Yet, you remain preciously human, and I can only imagine how God must love your heart and efforts as he watches from such a full vantage point.

I can see both your love for humanity as you seek to honor your role, and your disappointment in the oft shallow nature of patients and their unseeing responses to the wonder of the whole experience.  Thus the plight of man. I think it’s that, as a people, souls are just lost and it reflects in shallow interpretations of life. That’s why I share a lot of my story with people, because we all long for depth and meaning, just many have forgotten how to find it. God is real, and present and ever faithful, and it’s important to help each other see his hand. We all need the daily reminder that we are not alone in our deeply personal journeys.

Thank you for all you are and for believing in me.

– T.F.

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