The thing that has been foremost in my mind these last few days has been the loss of my cousin’s husband to Esophageal Cancer.  Only 62, Dale Witmer was a man that will be acutely missed in so many ways.  His wife, Jeanne, is the oldest of the “Wert Cousins” and I always thought that she and her sister, Janice, were almost perfect.  I remember when Jeanne and Dale were getting married, and I was incredibly impressed with how devoted they were to each other.  Over the years, their obvious affection for each other,their four gifted sons, and now grandchildren has been a joy to behold.  The last several years, as Dale’s health has been precarious, then he was laid off from his life job, and their once comfortable lifestyle turned into stretching the resources and making do, his optimism and her determination were something that was admirable.  Sunday we plan to attend a celebration of life in Manheim, and I look forward to hearing the words, seeing the faces, and remembering this life well-lived.  A really precious tribute to Dale was posted by a daughter in law on her blog site.  It was written as a way of telling her little girlie about what a wonderful grandfather she had.  If you want to access that site, here is the link:

It is uncommonly hard on my Sweet Mama.  Just this week she marked five years of being cancer free.  She had the same cancer as Dale, and it is easy to wonder all the  “What if’s?”  and “If Only’s” and “Do you suppose’s”.

I wish so much that he could have lived.    We all do.  He was a kind, generous and good man.

In other news — 

I just got in from my pre-op visit with my primary care physician.  It was pretty simple, and I think that (at least as far as he’s concerned) I’m ready for surgery.

I’ve been thinking alot about being “ready” for surgery.  It would be nice if this was like child birth in that I could know that it was coming sometime, and I needed to be prepared ahead of time, but didn’t know exactly “when” it was going to happen.  I think I do better that way.  I know that I never wanted to have an induced labor.  One of my friends who, because of precipitous births, ended up with induced labors told me once about sitting in the parking lot of the hospital the morning she was to be induced.  “It’s like taking yourself to the guillotine,” she said grimly.  “To think that you are actually going to go in there and make this happen!”

That’s kind how I feel about this surgery.  It is hard to believe that I am going to go in there and let them replace the other knee.  But it is wonderful to think about the fact that the second knee will be replaced and then the knees will be finished for now.  Over.  Done.  WOW!!!  What a blessing that will be. 

I would be lying to say that I am without trepidation.  It has been far better than I thought it would be with my first knee replacement.  An awful lot of hard work.  Lots and lots of pain.  Blood.  Toil.  Tears.  Sweat.  And I’m not kidding.  But worth it.  And I don’t know if I thought that I would go crazy from pain, or if I would be in tears most of the time, but it was just not quite as bad as I thought.  And that new knee is doing so well.  I am three months post op with it, and it is just plain unbelievable to me how I can walk with NO FUNCTIONAL PAIN.  I’m so grateful to my Heavenly Father.  I’m grateful to Dr. Choy, too, and to his team.  But I’ve said it before, and I will say it again:  Even good doctors have bad days, and bad doctors have good days.  This is SO in the hands of the Father.  “Except the LORD heal the knee, the surgeon operates in vain.”  

So we begin the countdown.  Beginning tomorrow, no more ibuprofen, no more anti-inflamatory meds, and then lab work, EKG, and then, finally, (Lord Willing) March 11th:  A NEW KNEE. 

I am so anxious to have this behind us.



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2 responses to “

  1. I wanted to call you yesterday when I saw Dale’s obituary at Lancaster Online (Lancaster Newspaper’s website). But other things crowded out the time to do it. I had a co-worker from his church who would keep me informed of his ups and downs, but now that I’ve been away from school, I had heard nothing for a long time. I was SO VERY SAD when I saw his name and face on that website. I’ve known them all my life. In fact, I think he’s a distant cousin of mine. So you’ll be in Manheim? Amazing. This will not be our weekend in Lancaster County. We were just down last weekend.

  2. you know we are behind you for this second one too!!!with our tears and prayers…

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