Libby asked me to write something for her blog about my recent health scare. Usually, I try not to talk about my health, but in this case I thought it necessary because I am so grateful, and I’ll do most anything for my sister, Libby.
November 25th stunned us all. After the Alabama/Auburn rivalry game, I fell asleep not feeling my best. I was awakened by choking sub-sternal chest pain and then extreme nausea. Paul drove us to the ER and within an hour I was in the cardiac catherization lab. Thankfully, all arteries were open except the left circumflex artery on the back side of my heart. The 100% blockage was the cause of my pain. The artery was too narrow for stent placement. I was sent home the next day. We all thought I would be “back to normal” and life would continue undisturbed. Two weeks later we were shocked to get the follow-up echocardiogram results. With a tentative diagnosis of Broken Heart Syndrome, we all stopped and I cried for the first time.
Well, of course my heart is broken for the suffering I have seen over the last year as we all have watched Libby deal with her rare T-cell lymphoma. But, Libby ultimately has done well, even thrived during this toughest of battles. Yes! She has shown us the definition of Warrior. Her battle cry,
“For the Lord has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2Timothy 1:7
Libby’s grit and determination is sure and steady-courageous and Fierce! She knows to whom she belongs and to God be all glory.
After our new news, Paul, my amazing, steadfast husband contacted cousin Ray Stainback, MD. Plans were made and we flew to Houston for a cardiac re-evaluation. Dr Sheila Heinle has suspended the broken heart diagnosis and we continue to seek answers. The heart wall damage in the area of my heart attack could perhaps also be related to long-term side effects from my radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma (1983) and/or chemotherapy for breast cancer (2000). Regardless of the cause, I am hopeful. I am filled with God’s peace knowing I am cared for, blessed beyond measure, and loved. God is a good good God! I’m Alive!
We, as a family, see trials as a time to scoot ever closer to those we love and those who love us back…. Friends, family, pets and church. I am so grateful for this love and fellowship and praise be to God!