Encounters with the scalpel


Operations are always meant to be tedious and requires a lot of patience especially for the surgeons manning the field. I never thought I’d experience the longest operation of my life as an intern assisting in one of the cases I encountered during my rotations in Surgery. I stood for eight whole hours without food and water and I have never felt tired and beat afterwards. The surprising wonder of it all is God’s way of making me reflect upon it: That I don’t have the right to complain. Let me tell you why. The patient is diagnosed to have breast cancer about 3 years before this current operation and she has undergone L breast mastectomy. But just the last 3 months, a new mass grew on her right cheek and turned out to be cancer of another kind, that is of the parotid gland. Not only that, small tumor recurrences from her previous condition has also appeared on her chest and abdomen. The operation took so long because of the tedious work of isolating the crucial facial nerve and its branches in order to preserve muscle motor and sensory function as well as asymmetry of her face. I could go on about how unfortunate this patient is. It is a wonder she remained calm even after the procedure and went home quite well. I wouldn’t know how much time she has left and I could not even begin to think what it would be like to be in her shoes. Help me pray for Her.
Psalm 50:1 and 8 says “Offer to God a sacrifice of praise”. This is my sacrifice of praise. A sacrifice of enduring the long standing hours in service of one of your daughters afflicted with pain. And my praise for revealing to me Your wisdom and my purpose through it all.
This is my sacrifice of praise. That God be glorified in everything that I do.

16 Feb 09 Mon


Prayers for your patient, Claire. :gopray:

I guess we never know just what we are capable of enduring… until it happens in our own lives. But Jesus surely knows. And in His great Mercy, He grants or permits only what we are capable of coping with.

God bless you for being so caring and compassionate. You are an example for anyone who ministers to others, in medicine. St. Gianna Molla… pray for us.


May God bless you in your chosen profession for helping others. Also pray for the many nurses, techs and other support staff who were in the operating room and will be helping her in the time ahead.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.