My prayer is that through reading this entry that you too would see God in ALL His SPLENDOR! In ALL His POWER! In ALL His MAGESTY! This is not about a brain tumor, but rather about our LIVING God who is anxious to reveal Himself to a people that He loves more than words could ever express.
As I type this, rivers of living water are flowing through every fibre of my being. I am filled to overflowing with a love so deep, so wide, so long through having been swept into the very presence of God through the prayers of His people. The glory of God rests as a crown upon my head and from the depths of my being....as I bask in His wonderful, glorious, and majestic presence I can taste heaven. What a beautiful place that will be. GOD IS ALIVE! Jesus touched me in a very powerful and real way as God's hand was moved to reveal to His people that He is there for each and every one of them, no matter where you find yourself today. HE IS THE DIFFERENCE!
On Thursday, September 17th, 2009, the MIGHTY HAND OF GOD was moved. The miracles are so many and I will document them here for you now in the hope that you can partake in the goodness of our loving Father and experience Him in the same way, where ever you are. The prayers of His people moved His hand. As hundreds of people began to pray for me throughout the day and from start to finish of the surgery throughout the nation of Canada, GOD REVEALED HIMSELF and HIS HAND WAS MOVED!
The surgery being performed was a craniotomy and orbital osteotomy with reconstruction to remove a brain tumor located behind my right eye and tumor entwined within the orbit muscles behind my eye. Radiation was to follow to remove what could not be removed. In short, one quadrant of my face was to be removed and built up again as all of the bone surrounding the right eye had become tumorous as well. Surgery would involve removal of the tumorous bone behind my eye causing my head to cave in at the right temple area of my head. All areas would need reconstruction to build up that part of my head again. Going into surgery, I was not anxious for anything and I had a peace that went beyond all understanding.....even knowing the risk factors that were before me. Jesus had already shown me that He had made me whole in the vision that He had given me [see "I Saw Jesus"]. For those of you not aware of the risks involved [a 5% chance], I will list them as they were explained to me back in December 2008 by Dr. Akagami, the Cranial Base Microvascular Neurosurgeon. Please note that these risks pertain to both tumors.
- stroke from blood vessel injury, leading to paralysis on the left side of my body or possibly death;
- loss of feeling and sensation on my face (cranial nerve 5) or total paralysis of my face;
- loss of the ability to swallow (cranial nerve 9, 10 and 11). I would have to be fed through a feeding tube if this happened until the nerves regrow in about one to two years;
- brain fluid leaking out of my nose or into the back of my throat requiring a shunt in my spinal cord to allow for proper drainage;
- My eyes not being able to close and having to tape them shut at night and further surgery putting weights in my eyelids to allow them to close;
- vision loss in my right eye;
- hearing loss in my left ear;
- nerve injury to my face and losing the ability to speak or smile;
- reconstructive surgery to replace all of the bone in my eye socket and right temple and part of my forehead;
- loss of lateral eye-movement (cranial nerve 6) or uneven eyes which would require surgery to balance them at a later date;
- loss of taste;
- infection immediately following surgery. Types of infections would be meningitis (as surgery for the meningioma is in the mengines) and pneumonia. The infections could become fatal very quickly; and
- chronic headaches, chronic dizziness, and constant ringing/buzzing in my ear, etc.
DAY OF SURGERY (THURSDAY, SEPT 17'09)
- Surgery length is normally 9 hours, although I was only scheduled for 7-1/2 hours....with the understanding that it could increase in length one to two hours longer depending on complications. I went into the operating room at about 7:45 am with surgery beginning at approximately 8:15 am. I was wheeled out of the operating room at 2:30 pm. SURGERY WAS DONE OVER AN HOUR EARLY!
- The affects of the anesthetic for surgeries over a longer period of time can be quite difficult to deal with. Many people experience hallucinations and are knocked out with exhaustion over the weeks that follow surgery. We asked people to pray specifically in this area and I WAS FULLY AWAKE 15 minutes following surgery and was TALKING TO RECOVERY STAFF before they could even check my vital signs. THEY DIDN'T NEED TO WAKE ME UP! I WAS FULLY COHERENT, LUCID, AND MY MIND WORKED PERFECTLY!
- Normally the nursing recovery staff gently try and awaken patients after surgery, but I could hear the nurses talking before they even had a chance to talk to me, and they were expressing the need for an Endocrinologist to help regulate my sugar levels [I am diabetic]. They were going to give me steroids to prevent brain swelling and steroids make sugar levels jump sky high. While they had their backs turned to me I told them to call my own Endocrinologist, gave them his name, and the room number of his office at Vancouver General Hospital. With their backs still turned, they matter of factly replied that it would have to be whomever was on call that day. When they turned around and realized that it was the patient talking, THEY WERE AMAZED!
- Guess who God put on call that day. As my Endocrinologist, Dr. Marshall Dahl, walked past the foot of my bed about ten minutes later looking for me, with 5 students in tow, I waved my hand high in the air and called out to him. He immediately turned and came over. GOD POSITIONS THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN THE RIGHT PLACES AND THE RIGHT TIME. Dr. Dahl is one of the best in His field...I think he is the best...and he took control of everything right away. I have known Dr. Dahl for 12 years and he visited me regularly throughout the weekend to make sure that my sugar levels were kept in the most optimal of conditions. GOD MOVED HIM! He seemed touched by my positive attitude, joy, and clear mental faculties. GOD GIVES A PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING, A JOY THAT FILLS OUR SOUL, AND A CLARITY OF MIND WHEN HE FILLS US WITH HIS PRESENCE! HE IS THE BREATHE OF LIFE! HE FILLS US WITH RIVERS OF LIVING WATER! HIS WORD IS LIFE!
- I was told there were about 7 - 10 surgeons present during surgery and following surgery. The head surgeon, Dr. R. Akagami told my husband that everything went smooth and without a hitch. He said they were all so pleased with the ease of the operation. Throughout the operation my vital signs never wavered and remained absolutely steady. He said it couldn't have gone better! The second surgeon, Dr. Jack Rootman, had expressed during surgery how everything was going "textbook" and that he was so pleased with how he was able to pick everything clean from the entwined muscles of the orbit area. [This tumor attaches itself like a "jelly-like leech" to the muscles and has to be scraped off - but Dr. Rootman was able to "pick it clean" Before surgery, Dr. Rootman had already let us know that he would not be aggressive in this area and leave that portion to radiation]. GOD LEAVES NO STONE UNTURNED WHEN HE CHOOSES WHOM HE WISHES TO USE TO GET HIS WILL ACCOMPLISHED IN THE LIVES OF HIS PEOPLE. Dr. Rootman is the developer of this surgery and has been doing it since the 1970's. He has written many textbooks and is the foremost consultant in America and Europe for this surgery. You know that when he says that surgery went textbook, it couldn't have gone any better! GOD IS THE ULTIMATE PHYSICIAN!
- After surgery, I was moved up to the Neuro ICU Ward where I was to remain for the next 3 days. Here the staff was preparing me for the evening and wanted to remove two leg massager that had been placed on my legs during surgery in order to keep the circulation going. I immediately told them that, "This is my spa experience portion....please leave them on!" Those things were wonderful...we should all have a pair of them. I remember the staff laughing and later telling my husband and kids that I was showing a sense of humor. WITH GOD THERE IS NO ANXIOUSNESS! HE HAS US SAFELY IN THE PALM OF HIS HAND! GOD'S PRESENCE NEVER LEFT MY SIDE! I FELT HIS PRESENCE IN AN AMAZINGLY PEACEFUL WAY! [The power of prayer!]
- I believe God sent an angel when He sent the nurse that was to look after me throughout the night. Despite the fact that I was thirsty from the anesthetic and was only allowed to have a water-filled sponge dipped to my lips..and to suck on...this nurse hand fed me ice cubes throughout the night. Every hour she came and checked on me, did her normal routine, and then before she left she spoon-fed me a mouthful of ice cubes. I remember thinking that she must be an angel sent from God. I was kept so comfortable right through the entire night. I honestly don't know what I would have done if this precious nurse, sent from above, did not feed me those ice cubes. GOD NEVER LEAVES ANY DETAILS OUT! HE KNOWS THE DESIRES OF OUR HEARTS LONG BEFORE WE HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THEM OURSELVES AND LONG BEFORE WE HAVE EVEN SPOKEN THEM! WE CAN TRUST HIM FULLY! WE CAN PLACE OUR FAITH IN HIM 100%!
FIRST DAY POST OP (FRIDAY, SEPT 18'09)
- I awoke early Friday morning without pain, without numbness to my cheek [from my jaw muscle having been cut and reattached during surgery], without big swelling [a little around the right eye], and with an alert and clear mind. There was no grogginess from the anesthesia. I did not feel tired, as is normal after brain surgery. I felt great! By 7:30 am, it was decided to move me off the Neuro ICU Ward [where I should have stayed 3 days] and arrangements were made to move me to the Neuro Sciences Regular Ward. WHEN JESUS SAYS THAT "HE HAS MADE ME WHOLE" HE MEANS IT. WE CAN ABSOLUTELY TRUST AND PUT OUR FAITH IN HIM. AGAIN, EVERYTHING WAS GOING BETTER THAN EXPECTED. WHY? GOD IS IN CONTROL! The promises of God become our own personal possession when we pray and trust His Word.
- I felt so great once I arrived on the regular ward. I had some breakfast and met with the Physiotherapist shortly thereafter. With the help of my I.V. stand to prop me up, she asked me to carefully try and stand up to see if I could take a step. I held the I.V. stand in one hand and the Physiotherapist in the other and took my first step slowly. I soon discovered that I could walk at a normal gait and picked up my pace and walked to the other end of the hospital ward. The Physiotherapist cautioned me to SLOW DOWN! She said she couldn't keep up with me. She was visibly shocked that I was able to walk normally, without depth perception problems, balance problems, weakness to the legs, etc. She smiled so big and said that her job with me was finished! PRAISE GOD. ISN'T IT WONDERFUL WHEN HE IS THE GREAT PHYSICIAN. EVERYTHING WORKS PERFECT...AS PER HIS PLAN!
- Patients are usually assigned a patient care team which can consist of a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Language Pathologist and Dietician. After my time with the Physiotherapist, I was not seen by anyone else. WHEN GOD DOES A WORK IN AND THROUGH US, HE DOES IT COMPLETE. THERE IS NOTHING LACKING!
- Dr. Rootman came and visited me that first morning after surgery. You could tell that he was extremely pleased with the outcome of the surgery. He advised that there would be no need for radiation as he was very satisfied with the outcome of the surgery and tumour removal. He advised that, although I looked very good that first day post op, that I would have discomfort the following two days as I would begin to swell quite a bit.
- All I.V. lines were removed...I did not even have a line to keep the fluids up! WOW! GOD JUST DOESN'T MISS A THING!
SECOND DAY POST OP (SATURDAY, SEPT 19'2009)
- Dr. Akagami, the Head Cranial Base Micro vascular Neurosurgeon, came in to visit me early Saturday morning. I jumped up into a sitting position and greeted him warmly. I told him how wonderful I felt and asked him if I could have a picture with him. After he agreed, I don't think he expected me to jump out of my bed so quickly and over to the closet to retrieve my camera. I threw on my Japanese housecoat and stood beside him in no time to have the picture taken. You could see that Dr. Akagami was stunned. Smiling, he just stared at me in disbelief, then he tilted his head and asked whether I would like to go home. I agreed and at 7:30 am on Saturday morning, he proceeded to prepare the discharge papers for Sunday morning. AFTER ONLY ONE FULL DAY IN HOSPITAL, I WAS BEING PREPARED FOR DISCHARGE! The average length of stay in hospital following brain surgery is 5 to 6 days. WHAT A MIRACLE!
- The increased swelling that was supposed to make me uncomfortable never came. The little swelling that I did have seemed to decrease as a matter of fact!
THIRD DAY POST OP (SUNDAY, SEPT 20'09)
- Isn't it fitting that I was released on a Sunday....God's Day! It was almost like His stamp on the whole affair! I was discharged from hospital at around 10:30 am in time to go to church. I decided against it as I had to wear a blue surgical hat to cover all of the staples in my skull and going down the side of my face by my ear. I can tell you one thing though, I could have gone and preached the sermon myself! GOD IS SO GOOD, SO FAITHFUL, SO ALL ENCOMPASSING! IN HIM, I HAVE ALL THAT I NEED. HE HAS MADE ME WHOLE! HE HAS MADE ME COMPLETE! PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME! I WILL REST IN HIM.
- Leaving the hospital that day I thought about how through God's grace I did not have memory loss as expected, nor did I have headaches, nor balance problems, nor numbness in my face and I was not depressed as expected. A JOY FILLED MY SOUL! MY FEET WERE ON SOLID FOOTING! EVERYTHING was in His hands! EVERYTHING was made complete!
Before I began to write this entry on my web page, I spent time in prayer seeking God's will as to what He wanted to say through this. Through His Holy Spirit, He revealed this to me. Prayer. Prayer. PRAYER. God is looking for a praying people in His church to touch a nation. A people who will come to Him and make their requests known before Him. He wants us to know that it is only when we pray the things through that He has laid upon our hearts, then we unlock the door for God to begin to move in our circumstances.
God also showed me how the church corporately is being equipped through the power of prayer to apply His promises revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. As we enter the season which is upon us, he has revealed His desire for us to unite in prayer as a nation bringing into agreement God's plans for His church in order to bring them into being. Once we have learned how to pray these things out corporately as a church, then God will begin to bring the unsaved to our doorsteps and we will begin to see His Mighty Hand at work in a way we have never known before.
In my case, emails went forth from my sister to a about twenty people, who in turn forwarded those emails on to another 20 people and so forth. In no time, updates were sent out to many, many people. As well, there were hundreds of people praying in at least 14 churches across Canada of all denominations. It was a ripple affect that went out across the nation and God heard the cries of a people and His Mighty Hand was moved! What God did in my life is a MIRACLE! He is ALIVE! He is RELEVANT! He is PERSONAL! He is REAL! He is the ALPHA AND OMEGA! Trust Him. Place your faith in Him. ALLOW JESUS TO TOUCH YOU TOO! When you ask, He will come!
Through all of this I can tell you that I have grown into a much deeper relationship with My Heavenly Father. He has filled me with a greater love for His Word, for His presence and for others. Over the past two years, the Holy Spirit has nudged me to go to Bible School. I took this step of obedience by mailing out my application forms, knowing that I would go into surgery within a week. I left the details up to Him as to how it would all work out. I am pleased to say that I was accepted into Bible School at Global University on Monday, September 21'09. As we are obedient to God, He takes us on that next step of our journey so that He can position us in the strategic place of authority in order that we can fulfill the assignment that He has for us. God knows how to put all the puzzle pieces together. I have a clear mind to study and ample of time at home to get through my courses. God's timing is always right! I count it all joy and am excited about the things that God will do next in my life.
EMAILS AND RESPONSES
Date: Thursday, September 17, 2009 9:30PM
Hi to everyone on Sylvia's "List"...my name is Monica and I'm Sylvia's younger sister. She asked me to contact you all with the news of her surgery. I just spoke with Neil (Sylvia's husband) at 9:00 pm this evening. I took down some notes so I will share them with you now.
- First let me start out with saying the surgery went excellent!
- Neil said that they arrived at the hospital early this morning (not sure of the time). He said the surgeons told Neil and Sylvia that there is a 95% chance that Sylvia and Neil will be very happy with the outcome of the surgery.
- Sylvia was wheeled into surgery at 7:30AM and was wheeled out into a recovery room at 2:45PM (a full hour earlier than expected).
- Her surgeon spoke with Neil following the surgery and said the surgery went "excellent and without any hiccups". The surgeon said they were able to remove 98% of the tumor.
- Neil saw Sylvia for the first time following surgery at 7:50PM. He said her eye looks better following the surgery than it had this morning prior to the surgery. She had a turban type bandage around her head. Both her eyes and eyebrows are visible and look great.
- Sylvia is in pain/discomfort but is on morphine.
- Sylvia was coherent when Neil saw her and she asked him to rearrange her pillow. She also complained of a dry mouth...to which Neil could only give her a "wet sponge sucker". No water yet.
- The nurses are amazed at how alert and coherent Sylvia is. The nurses aren't sure but they think that she is showing a sense of humor already.
Neil is going home for the night. The kids are tired. But he will be returning to the hospital again tomorrow. He will call me with updates and as he calls me, I will update you all with the news.
Sylvia has requested that we pray for a quick recovery from the anesthetic. I will email you soon. Let's all take time to thank God for the wonderful hand He had in Sylvia's surgery.
Friday, September 18, 2008 7:20AM
Good morning friends and family!
God is great and we have much to be thankful for!! (Oh my, I'm starting to sound like Sylvia :D).
I spoke with Sylvia's nurse this morning. She said that she isn't able to give much if any information over the phone, however, she did say that Sylvia had a good night and is doing well this morning. There are no complications with the surgery.
I've had some of you ask me if Sylvia is able to have visitors...
Sylvia is currently in the Neuro ICU and will be staying in this unit until Monday. The Neuro ICU is a highly specialized area and as such they try to keep visitors to a minimum.
I'll send another update once I've spoken with Neil.
"Thank you so much for the update. This is wonderful news and I praise God for what He has, is and still will be doing in Sylvia's life. Blessings to you." -Annette D.
"This is indeed wonderful news, praise the Lord! Annette D. passed your email on to me as I coordinate the prayer chains at Broadway Church. Many people have been upholding Sylvia throughout today, so I have shared this email with them and know there will be much rejoicing even as we continue to pray for a full and speedy recovery. Sylvia has lived an amazing testimony through the months leading up to this and God has honored that. ....Thank you for sharing the Good News." -Sue L., Care Ministries Broadway Church
"Our God is so great and so is Sylvia......" -Darlene W.
"Thinking of you and praying for you.... Your faith has spured us all into a closer walk with the Lord, just put your hand in His as you walk this special walk together this week. The Lord has promised to hold you in the palm of His hand." - Christiane V.
SYLVIA WAS MOVED OFF THE ICU WARD THIS MORNING!!
Friday, September 18, 2009 1:43PM
Good afternoon everyone!
I am so excited to share this news with all of you I can hardly type the words fast enough.
I just finished talking on the phone with my sister Sylvia and I can tell you she sounds AMAZING!! Can you believe that! I'm overjoyed! So this is what Sylvia told me:
- this morning she was sitting up in bed, and then later she got out of bed and walked up and down the entire hallway outside her room.
- her doctor came in to check on her in the morning and said immediately that she can be moved out of the Neuro ICU Ward and into the regular ward (so that is where she is now).
- she says she came out of the anesthetic fabulously with no side effects and no hallucinations! (Thank you to all you prayer warriors out there! Do you see how good God is? He answered your prayers and my prayers!!) Okay, now I'm crying. It is hard to see through these happy tears...but there is more good news to share.
- Sylvia says she had her last pain killer (morphine) last night. She is on no medications for pain and guess what she has NO PAIN!! (more tears and sniffles)
- Sylvia says she "feels good" and "don't I sound great?" And I can tell you an emphatic YES she does SOUND GREAT!!
- Sylvia still reports having that dry mouth and a little bit of dizziness - which gravol helped cure.
Sylvia is relaxed and using this time in the hospital to get some much needed rest and to thank God for all the wonderful answers to prayer.
Sylvia is scheduled to be discharged on Monday morning somewhere between 9 and 11 am. She says she will be home for lunch! So cute! Here we are all praying for her speedy recovery and she is planning for her first meal at home. At this point she says she can't open her mouth to wide yet (so no Big Mac's), but for those of you who may be planning on taking her over a meal please keep this in mind.
I also spoke with Neil, he is also overjoyed at how well Sylvia is doing. He says the nurses are all talking about how well Sylvia is doing. Neil is tired but so grateful for all your prayers and support...they definately feel it!
So let's spend the afternoon rejoicing and sing a new song unto the Lord! (I don't know where all this is coming from...Ireally do sound like Sylvia!).
"........to let you all know Val and I went to see her this morning, expecting her to be in ICU and she had been moved............... She is looking VERY good and we are so grateful to God! He promised Sylvia she would be okay and His word is true!" - Annette / Val, Cancer Prayer Network
"WOW, thanks for the update, yes, we are all praying for Sylvia and yes, GOD does work in mysterious ways!!! That is great!!!" - Lynne and Greg
"Yes, let's thank God for his goodness and the many blessings. Your prayer warrior..." - Debbie and Flint, Ontario
"Praise God that you are recovering so well. Just don't dance too quickly down those halls.......You have been such a testimony of Our Glorious Lord. Praise God that He has such a faithful daughter." - Dar
"Bruce and I had an exciting visit with Sylvia Friday afternoon. She looks wonderful - feels wonderful - up and walking without pain or pills...." - Sylvia and Bruce W., Care Ministries Broadway Church
"I am amazed at what God can do! ....." - Judy
"This is such good news, unbelievable!!! When I first read the blog, it is so scary. It is good to have lots of good friends and lots of prayers, etc....." -Lynne S.
"Thank you Monica for all the updates...yes my prayers were answered. Thank the Lord! - Lori. H.
"HALLELU-YAH!!! PRAISE GOD! THANK YOU, OUR LORD! Hurray! Yippee! Hoo-oo! and cheers of delight. God is so good. We will keep praying, with rejoicing!" - Ruth and Brian
"This is such an amazing answer to prayer and we rejoice with you all. ....I am sure God is going to use Sylvia's story in a powerful way and probably is already speaking to the medical personel through this. ....We share in your joy and give glory to God." - Sue
"Wow, you sure have proven God is Great. I don't think you realize how much a testimony you have been to demonstrating the powers of Our God. Praise and thanks to Him. Sooooo (too many to keep adding) many people are happy you are recuperating soooooo quickly......" - Darlene
"We are so grateful you came thru, God bless you for being so brave." - Ed A.
"We were very worried and prayed for you both aloud and silently, you were in both our thoughts constantly. We are more than grateful for God watching over you and your family." - Jeannie A.
"Thank you so much for allowing me the privilege of visiting you in the hospital. It was so amazing to see you up and doing so well in such a short time after surgery. Our God is simply awesome!!" - Janet
"I love the Lord sooo much to see His promises come true over and over again specially for our sister, Sylvia, now that she needed Jesus the most! I share everyone's joy for the way God has answered our prayers.... I share with everyone as we lift and exalt His Great Name!!!" -Maryann H.
"Thank you so much for these good news. Can you believe it, they landed in my Spam folder....But they are no hoax, this is real. God is good! I am in London myself these days, sitting in my hotel at the moment. We have a meeting of all foreign directors of Joyce Meyer Ministries. I am the one for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Please give my warmest greetings to Sylvia and also to Neil. We are so happy." -D. Wessler, cousin from Hamburg
".....what an amazing journey you've been on!! You are definately touched by God..." - Lori H.
"I am so delighted cous. Your story of God's power in your life is so encouraging to me. We serve a REAL saviour who is alive and desires to be involved with his power in every aspect of our lives...." - Gabriela S.
"Sylvia, this truly is a miracle from God!! Prayer is very powerful, I cried when I read about your quick recovery. This is so awesome. Thank you for sharing this with us!" - Conny P.
MESSAGE FROM REV. RON HERMANN
Date: Friday, September 18, 2009 6:53PM
Re: Sylvia's Surgery
To all the saints who prayed so fervently,
I received news this morning that Sylvia is doing very well after her surgery on Thursday morning. It is once again our privilege to see the hand of God move in such a dramatic fashion and to bring Sylvia through this major operation with hardly any post surgery stress. Praise the Lord!!!, Praise the Lord!!! The Lord is good and we thank Him for answering our prayers.
I feel a little like Hezekiah in 2 Kings 19:32-37, 2 Chronicles 32:20-21 as morning came they looked over the city hall to see the hand of the Lord at work with 185,000 of the Assyrians struck down. We prayed and had faith, yet in the morning we all awaited a word from the hospital. Then the word came and the answer that we had believed for came, and God is once again glorified through His Power and His Might.
A couple of days ago I heard this prayer and I believe it applies to the situation. "May all the prayers that have gone up on Sylvia's behalf now be brought to fruition."
MESSAGE FROM SYLVIA'S PARENTS
Date: Sunday, Sep 27'09
Subject: Sylvia's Surgery
TO: ALL FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Hilde and I are very thankful to our great Heavenly Father for showing His love and care in touching our daughter, Sylvia, with His healing hand. We are also very grateful to every one who stood with us in prayer, for her and her family, during these trying times. GOD IS FAITHFUL! We are all most thankful to our Lord Jesus and to all you in times like these. We treasure the family of God. We love you and thank you all.
Your Friends in Christ,
Hilde and Werner Bornau