Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Korea After 12 Years

My husband's side of the family lives in Korea. My mother-in-law had come here twice but none of the other family had met my children. Knowing that they would be waiting a very long, time for us to save up enough to make a trip out there, my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law pitched in and sent us the airfare. We were overwhelmed with their generosity!

Since we were going to Korea, I wanted my husband to get a full check up. He had had his gallbladder removed and had been diagnosed with gout after turning 40. In Korea, hospitals and clinics have everything set up so that you just show up, change into hospital pjs, get led from test to test, and are given the results a week later. The best part is that the cost is very minimal (compared to here) and the service is superb. Korean travel agencies even set up these type of "medical" tours for people.

My husband wanted us both to get physicals. We talked about it. Prayed about it. Almost did not get physicals. But God intervened. We were going to go to a large, university hospital but I started to chicken out. I was afraid of being in a huge hospital and being separated from my husband - the translator. At this time my friend, Es the Korean Canadian, connected us to a clinic. It was run by one of her church members. It was close to her, she could watch the kids, and then our families could spend time together. We had the whole day planned.

We arrived in Korea on Wednesday and went for our physicals on Saturday. The clinic was super clean and organized. We were led from test to test. The technicians were quick and precise. I was really amazed at the whole system.

After my mammogram, I waited to get an ultrasound of my organs, breasts, and neck area. We had to wait while they looked at my mammogram (they had these huge computer screens which showed the mammogram images - really high tech).

The doctor found each of my organs and looked to see if there were any irregularities. Everything was fine until he got to my right breast and thyroid glands. He found irregularities almost immediately. That is when my heart started to sink. We were told that I would need to have a biopsy. Luckily, they had a spot open that afternoon. They even gave us tickets to get a free meal at this jjuk (congee) restaurant. That is service!

Biopsies are not fun. Needles. A LOT of jabbing and poking. Efforts to be strong and not cry. But I still cried. Swelling. Bruising. Enough said.

How did I feel during this time? I cried with my husband. I was numb with disbelief. I had to keep it together because I didn't want to be "sick" in front of my in-laws. That night, we were going to have a family gathering with my husband's relatives. What do you do?

The one thing that stood out from all of that confusion was that God loved me and that He wanted to draw me closer to Himself. He was clear and very gentle with me when He spoke to my heart. This is something that words cannot explain. I didn't hear this loud voice talking to me. I didn't get a vision or a dream. I just knew, and He knew that I needed that type of assurance to keep going forward.

1 comment:

  1. Monica, I'm so glad you started this blog! Now I understand how Korea and the doctors there fit into your diagnosis. I was kinda confused about that whole scenario when you sent emails from there about your cancer. I will definitely be keeping up with your blog to see how you are doing. It makes me more in touch with you and I'm certain is a blessing to more people than you will ever know! Your constantly in my prayers dear sister and you know I love you dearly!
    Vicki :o)