• Engage

    Trusting God on the Other Side of Bizarre

    In my last blog post, “Trusting God in the Bizarre,” I shared how a diagnosis of tongue cancer had blown up my world and how I was wrestling with my fear—again—of pain and suffering. It has now been 11 weeks since a surgeon removed a third of my tongue. I am still healing, both my tongue and my neck, from which he removed 20 lymph nodes—which were cancer free. I still thank the Lord for that graciousness. My speech is no longer impaired although it is affected. I sound like I have a cough drop in my mouth when I talk, and the “s” sound is still a challenge. Let…

  • bizarre tongue cancer

    Trusting God in the Bizarre

    I have tongue cancer. Bizarre, right? I’m not male, nor do I engage in the particularly bad combination of both smoking and drinking, which are the big markers for this nasty invasion. In two weeks I am scheduled for surgery to remove the cancer by cutting out a big chunk of my tongue—which is a particular challenge and sadness for a professional speaker. One of the things I have discovered is that, even without any drugs, the weight of this diagnosis and the upcoming difficult surgery and recovery has consumed a lot of my mental and emotional energy. Everything in my life has taken a back seat to this crisis.…

  • Ray getting his PICC line

    Back Infections and Heart Infections

    My husband Ray knew something was wrong as soon as he got out of bed. His lower back, where he’d had back surgery six weeks before, was wet. His t-shirt was wet. The sheet was wet. His fingers glistening with a strange wetness from reaching back to investigate, he asked me to check what was going on. I saw a rivulet of fluid pouring out of the top of his surgical incision. Something was really, really wrong. As I gently pressed the skin around the incision, pus kept flowing out. He had a serious infection under the incision. It had been hidden, but it literally rose to the surface of…

  • crying woman

    From Fears to Tears

    In a previous blog post, I’m Scared, Lord, I wrote about my apprehensions concerning my upcoming hip replacement surgery. My doctor was cheerfully confident that I would not experience the post-operative pain I was afraid of, but I was all-too-aware of my potential complications. As a polio survivor, I’m twice as sensitive to pain as those whose brains were not infected by the poliovirus. On top of that, I was extremely aware of the fact that my severely arthritic hips had become basically frozen, leaving me with a limited range of motion. I knew that the surgeon and her team would be moving my legs in all kinds of unnatural…

  • Fearful woman

    I’m Scared, Lord

    My daughter-in-love recently sent me a video of my son introducing their new Golden Retriever puppy to a swimming pool in which he coaxes little Judah, “Don’t be scared! Bohlins don’t get scared!” . . . While I’ve been working on this blog post about being scared. Well yeah, sometimes we do. For four years I’ve been living with the pain of severe arthritis and the late effects of polio (muscle weakness, pain, and fatigue). In a few weeks, Lord willing, I will have hip replacement surgery. When my husband had his hip replaced, he was in excellent physical condition and his experience was as close to perfect as you…