Archive for the ‘Full Armor of God’ Category


 

 

The LAST thing you want to hear.  And not only on one side of your neck, both sides.  Just what I needed to hear in the middle of last summer.

I had a lump in my neck for quite a number of years, I always thought it was a gland but it kept growing. It’s short generation hereditary tumor that runs through my family.

Some have it, some don’t. Some have had it removed, others have not.

I’ve prayed on it, I have been prayed upon, I’ve had hands on prayer, anointed with oil and I’ve been still and my time has come to take action.

Difficulty sleeping, pain getting up from laying down, any pressure at all around my neck felt restrictive. I had to loosen every shirt I wore because I felt like I was being choked. Food wasn’t going down the way it usually does. It was tough turning my head, I had to keep my jaw forward constantly to keep pressure off of the tumor, which WAS benign by the way. Thank God.

I run a small trades company so daily stress from that and other things would cause the blood flow at my neck and ultimately the mass in my neck to swell. On the weekends as I relaxed, the pressure and the swelling would usually go down as if it wasn’t even there.

I went in for CTScans, radiation testing and blood work prior to the procedure.

My first procedure was an embolization. They go up through a main artery in your groin and block off some of the blood flow to the tumor. Now, this tumor was the size of a golf ball, about 5cm in diameter, it was wrapped around both carotid arteries and sat right at the carotid basket.
The embolization went smooth. There was a good amount of pressure after they did that but I had to lay down for the rest of the day and wait until the extraction which was the next morning.

Day of the surgery, they wheeled me in, juiced me up and before I know it I’m back into my room again! The anesthesiologists were very communicative and were constantly reassuring their procedures. The room nurses were very helpful and considerate.

Overall, surgery went very well, I’m up and at it one day at a time. I feel great.
Dr. David Campbell at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston did a great job.  He said it was a challenge and that he enjoyed it! It’s not too often he gets to do carotid body paraganglioma extractions and artery reconstructions.
The tumor was so grown into the artery that sections needed to be removed. They prepared my groin artery for a bypass but it wasn’t needed so I have a 5″ incision there.

The tumor was so big, it stretched out my internal artery(which supplies blood to the brain) so much that there was plenty of slack to reconnect it. As you can see in the picture to the right, the big loop at the right side.  My external artery was removed, apparently I don’t need it, It’s like a head of broccoli, snip snip!

 

 

 

So it was a change of scenery for Dr. Campbell to say, and I’m sure glad he did an excellent job. All my nerves and facial expressive functions were unscathed. I’m very grateful.

What’s even better is all the opiates they had me on was like it never even happened.

Either we learn and do or we just say things to make others feel comfortable.

Now I know I’m an idiot sometimes but I sure as heck ain’t stupid.
Six years of being clean under my belt and you bet I have a choice.
I have a choice to continue to be a good father, I have a choice to continue to be a good husband, I have a choice to continue life opiate and addiction free and a choice to keep moving forward.

But I was prepared. Is it my own strength?

I asked many to pray for a quick and speedy recovery, I’m talking strangers, my customers, friends, family and on social media, I also asked a few to pray for my strength during post surgery specifically regarding my Recovery. You know who you are brothers and thank you.
Because I’ll tell you, the devil wants me dead, spiritually and physically.

But this guy went in prepared and came out even stronger.  One week and I’m just about back to my original agenda and strength.

Thank you my Lord for your comfort and your strength. Thank you to my friends and family. Thank you to my friends and family in Recovery. Thank you to my man rock and pastor Jonah Hadley for keeping me strong and aware.
Thank you to my woman rock Ashley wifey who has been by my side every step of the way.

And most importantly thank you to my main Rock Jesus Christ, my fortress, my Way, my Truth and my Life!

 

Thanks to my friends over at http://www.SubstanceForYou.com for the Recovery gear!

One day at a time.  Alone we can’t, Together we can.  Prepare yourself, keep the faith and stay connected!

Become Free, Become the Difference!

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If I was asked to play a game of football with a pro team, I know I wouldn’t just throw on some shoulder pads and jump right in.

Do you think it would be safe with just a helmet? How about just putting on some shin guards? Absolutely not! You wouldn’t last very long. You would be in severe pain and you would have broken bones, especially if a 6 foot 4, 260 lb linebacker, like say Brian Urlacher, just ran you over. Even in Pop Warner games, the kids are fully geared up. So I think it is safe to say being fully geared up for tackle football is a wise idea? Would you want to see what happens if you played without gear?

Every single piece of padding and protection has its purpose. The helmet protects the head. The shoulder pads guard the shoulders, collarbones, chest and back of a player, and so on. Every necessary garment is designed to protect what it is covering. Protective gear is also designed to protect for defensive and offensive purposes. So whether you are tackling someone or getting tackled, you are shielded and protected. From your helmet down to your cleats, which, by the way, give very good traction on the playing field, to maneuver in and out of the traffic of players trying to take you down.

Too bad in this game of life, there aren’t any referees to call us out when we go out of bounds or do something against the rules. And if there were, a five yard penalty would be a walk in the park. However, there is a way to gear up for it. There is a way to protect ourselves from falling. To protect ourselves against a day where we may be tempted to use. A day where we may have a trigger. A day where we are just plain weak, mentally and physically.

We can get protection by putting on the Full Armor of God.
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” Ephesians 6:11-18

We are capable of standing our ground. We are capable of defending ourselves. We are even capable of using our offense, and overcoming. Swords are not for looks. They are for protecting and striking. When we feel like we are being attacked, we should pray and use the Word of God to strike against the devil’s schemes, the powers we can not see. There are many voices that can lead us astray. Many temptations. Addiction attacks from all angles. Addiction has no rules. Addiction cheats. So make sure you are fully equipped to fend off the many ways in which addiction strikes. Most importantly, have faith. With faith we can extinguish ALL the flaming arrows of the evil one!

Addicts: You can get your Full Armor of God for free. Read your bible and learn. Further your education. Surround yourself with others who are trying to better their life. Listen to others who have made it through the storm. Ask questions. Search the Truth. Seek. Listen to others who are no longer slaves to addiction, they will have the best advice!