Surgery Tomorrow

Today is the last full day of my life that I will have my right leg. It’s weird to think of it like that. Not knowing anything else, it is hard to imagine what it will be like when it is gone. It’s also a unique experience to be able to point to a day in the near future and definitively say, “On this day my life will be changed forever.” It is not something that I have ever had before. The day you have your first child might be a similar epiphany, but I wouldn’t know about that yet.

It’s funny to me when we talk about the things I will and won’t be able to do from now on. I’ve been finding it funny because I think this is actually going to free me up to do more than I have been able to do in a long time. My calf hurts on a pretty constant basis and has for a while. The tumor presses the nerve bundle out of its way in my leg, causing a good amount of pain. Sometimes it is from activity, but it is just as likely to start hurting when I am lying down and not doing anything. There doesn’t really seem to be any rhyme or reason to what causes the pain sometimes. Whenever we discuss things that we aren’t sure if I will be able do or not, it is almost always an activity that I can not currently do because of my calf. It’s a bit ironic, but it almost helps going into this because it’s not like there are all sorts of things I am currently doing that are now going to have to be stopped, but rather the other way around. A lot of the things that I had to stop doing are now going to have a chance to reenter my life. And on top of that, we are completely removing the part of my body affected by the cancer. We continually pray that there are not any cancer cells that have spread anywhere else, and I will be doing 2 more rounds of chemo after the surgery for (as Dr. Rosen puts it) good luck. We want to make sure that we have done everything in our power to keep it from spreading, and while I’m definitely not looking forward to any more chemo, I’m not going to slack off now that we are down to the short strokes!

After the surgery I will be in the hospital for 2-4 days for pain management, and will then be released to come home to the apartment. I’ll be on crutches for 2 months while the swelling goes down and will then be fitted for a prosthesis back in Atlanta. I currently drive a stick shift car, so I’ll probably be car shopping around that time too. I’ll have to get a car that has the gas pedal flipped to the left side, so I will use my left foot to drive from now on. As Ashley has pointed out, it’s fortunate that I have always driven stick shifts because I am used to using my left foot when I drive and it shouldn’t be nearly as much of a transition as a result. I think she is right.

In the meantime, we have been taking full advantage of the active days I have left before the surgery. On Saturday one of my dad’s friends had tickets to go see John Mellencamp at Radio City Music Hall. Unfortunately they were unable to make it, but he was incredibly kind and offered the tickets to Ashley and me! We were probably some of the youngest people in there, but we had a great time and it is a beautiful theatre. I took a video of the short segment he did of Cherry Bomb. Click HERE to see it.

On Sunday we went to Fifth Avenue Presbyterian and spoke with Scott Black Johnston after the service. It is fun seeing him and speaking to him after the services. I used to do the same thing in Atlanta with my Granddad when he was the pastor at Trinity Presbyterian. Always nice to have some familiar faces around. He has been incredibly gracious and kind during all of this, and keeps us in his prayers as well. My brother Jack arrived while we were at church and joined us for brunch at Park Avenue Winter. It is a really cool restaurant that changes its decor based on the season. The food was incredible and we all had a great time.

On Monday we went to the American Museum of Natural History. We haven’t been there since we were kids and lived in Connecticut. It was nice getting to see it all again. Everything there is incredibly well done. I’m glad we got to see it before I am laid up for a few weeks. This is the life sized blue whale in the ocean exhibit.

Yesterday we went to the theatre and saw Million Dollar Quartet. It is a play about Sun Records and a night in 1956 that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins all came together for a jam session. All the music is performed live and they did a great job. It was a fun play.

Thank you to everyone who is praying for us during all of this, and please pray for my doctors tomorrow!

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28 Responses to Surgery Tomorrow

  1. Bob and Paula Parris says:

    We are praying for you even as we post this comment. May God guide your doctor’s hands in the surgery and may His power and love be near you and your family during your time of recovery.

  2. Jessica says:

    Praying for you Rob…your courage through all of this is astounding. I know that this decision is one that will both bless and change your life forever, but how exciting to be cancer free in a matter of hours! i’m praying for a quick recovery and a smooth transition into this new phase of life! Blessings to you, Ashley and your family.
    much love–

  3. Dustin Lauderdale says:


    Wow, reading through your blog for the first time has humbled me. You have become an incredible man. I just heard today about everything you have been going through and came here to read about it. My wife and I are praying for you now, and will be praying for you tomorrow as well! Just through what I’ve seen you have touched many people with your life and will only help more through this with your faith and absolute trust in God.

    Praying for your speedy recovery,
    Dustin Lauderdale

  4. Zona Trahan says:

    Hi Rob, I actually woke up at 4:4o this morning because you were on my mind. I was thinking what a surreal experience it must be to know at a precise moment that your life will be different. I appreciate you trying to explain it here but I can’t begin to imagine how you are feeling today. I’m glad that, in what I have come to know as “the Rob way,” you have chosen to find the happy in this. You will be able to get back to normal life, even if it is your new normal. I will miss reading about great food places I need to check out while in New York!!

    Rob, I have started praying for your surgeon today. I’m hoping he and his entire team have a wonderful Wednesday, get a great night sleep and arrive at your bedside on Thursday with their very best of skills available!!!

    I’m sending a hug Rob. While I appreciate your amazing attitude and outlook on life, I know that hugs go a long way in helping with any anxiety. Can’t wait until you feel well enough to give us an update.

  5. Julie Janak says:

    Once again, I can’t tell you enough how humbled I am to see you find the positive in this situation and yet I continue to be so grumbly about stupid little things! I’ll definitely make it a point to be praying for you tomorrow- and for patience afterward. I know it won’t be easy adjust to life on crutches for a while- but if anyone can do it, it is your patient, resilient spirit. “You can do eeet!” haha-and I’m sure you’re excited to say bye bye to your “lil’ friend!” :-D

  6. Maria Garza-Lennon says:

    Hi, Rob. Just a quick note to wish you and your surgeons all the best and to share a short affirmation. Repeat this to yourself and feel the blessings of a God who has put you in the care of a talented medical team who will make you healthy again.


    God bless you, and I look forward to hearing about a successful surgery.

  7. Peggy Guthrie says:

    You got it, Rob. Prayers, love, thoughts, and gratitude for YOU!
    Peggy G.

  8. janie redfearn morris says:

    Rob. We’ll definitely be praying. Have been all along. I had not realized that your leg was hurting you so much. Like you said, from now on, it should really be a much better way to live for you after all that this tumor has put you through! We’ll certainly be praying for your doctors as well. I’m so glad that you have had the chances to do some fun things these past few days, too. That’s GREAT that Ashley and Jack and Lee Anne are there with you as well. Marcus had mentioned the possibility of maybe me flying up to be there with Roslyn and you and the family, but from the sounds of it, with Joan and your grandmother coming too, you will have plenty of nurses and great company! Our whole family will certainly be there with you in spirit! You take care now. Always know how much we love you. GOD’s blessings to you always. Janie

  9. Julie, John, and Jackson says:

    Best of luck, Rob. You have a wonderful support system of family and friends and we know you are in good hands. We will say extra prayers for you.
    Julie, John & Jackson

  10. Roy Trimble says:

    We’ll be thinking about you just a little more tomorrow, Rob. Do great.

  11. Linda Pirkle says:

    God’s arms around you. God’s hand and infinite knowledge guiding your surgeons.

  12. Mike O'Malley says:

    Rob.. thoughts and prayers are with you tomorrow. You are an incredibly strong person. You are an inspiration to so many of us out here. Will be thinking and praying for you in the Morning. Cheers Bud.

  13. Lori Gerber says:

    You don’t know me, but I work in your father’s organization. Just like your dad, you are a very inspiring person! Your attitude, faith and openess in your communication is bound to help so many others! I wish you luck tomorrow on your surgery, and the next chapter of your life. It sounds like you are going to take advantage of the positive, and conquer this illness with stride. I truly am in awe of your courage!
    With admiration to you and your family,

  14. Heather Stancil says:

    Rest assured….there are a lot of people in NC thinking of and praying for you and your family.

  15. Joan Gregory says:

    Mother and I love you so much. We will anxiously be awaiting the news that the cancer is gone and that you are doing great! I have been emailing my friends and our cousins to pray for you. Mom and I look forward to seeing you Saturday.

    All our love,
    Joan and MeMa

  16. Carol Hoover says:

    We talked about you and prayed for you tonight at Prayer Meeting and at choir practice. We are so glad the big decisions are done with and you are nearing the end of this tough chapter. Your blog today was most eloquent and I can feel your peace. You and your family are so dear to us. We will be holding you all close in our prayers.

  17. john hawkins says:

    Rob, The Hawkins family will be continuing to pray for God to heal you and no surgery be required but we will stand ready to lift you up to our heavenly father that he will direct the hand of the doctors and his team for a successful surgery. We will claim that by his wounds you will be cancer free after the surgery. Rob we are so very proud of how you have handled this adversity in your life with so much Grace and Peace. All our Thoughts and Prayers, The Hawkins, John BJ and Hunter

  18. Jane Brown says:

    Rob..been sending your Mom notes along the way but tonight I want you to know that Ronnie and I are praying for all of you in the morning. We pray that God’s hand will be right there guiding the doctors and nurses in the operating room. You have been such a role model for me as I have read your blogs daily. I know you have an unbelievable faith and that your God will be right there close beside you tomorrow! Love ya and lots of “Plano,Texas” prayers going up to the good Lord tonight for his faithful servant, Rob !

  19. Josiane Noufele says:

    Dear Rob,

    I heard about you, after a special prayer request sent by Scott Black Johnston on Monday.
    I’ve been thinking of you since then. And I decided to check out your blog…and it is just unbelievable how strong you are. You are such an inspiration! I decided to dedicate my prayer time this morning to you ( obviously, will keep you and your family close to my prayers after today).
    And after you get back in shape, please continue to update us on your culinary tours. I love eating too!;).

    May the Light of God surround your doctors today and May the Love of God enfold you,

    FAPC member

  20. Rob

    The Parsons in North Carolina send our prayers for a speedy recovery and for a quick adaption to your new leg. Just think, you will be free of pain and will be able to do all sorts of things! I know a young woman who had an amputation because of sarcoma. She is now snow and water skiing. Knowing you, you will do all this and more. God speed.

  21. Brenae Barrett says:

    I, along with my family and friends, are praying for you and your family and team of Dr’s today and through your recovery. You have a very positive attitude and it is so refreshing to read your blog and hear about the perspective you have. You are inspiring more people than you know and will continue to do that through all of this. I pray for continued reassurance and comfort through all of this that you are still going to be able to do all the many things you dream of and achieve more than you ever realized!

    Thanks for the updates on the blog!

  22. peggy redfern says:

    I’ve started the International Rob Gregory Fan Club. Home office is in Atlanta with
    affiliate offices all over the world!

    Go Rob Go!

    Lots of love, Peggy

  23. Jim and Debbie Welch says:

    Rob, Jim and I read your blog daily. Thank you for allowing us to follow your journey.
    We have the fondest memories of our family’s time in West U. We have been praying for you and will continue to. Your faith is such a testimony to our God! ‘

    Love, Jim and Debbie Welch

  24. Rebecca Cullers says:

    Best of luck. And Ganbatte on your recovery.

  25. Matt Berger says:

    Rob – Thinking about you man. Can’t wait to see you real soon.

  26. Ada Gray says:

    hi rob- just want you to know that i have prayed for you and your family and your doctors many times over the past few months – as i read your blog and moms i’m so encouraged by the strength that i hear in the words that you choose- I will continue to pray

  27. Angie Spence says:

    Rob – You have my prayers. I am completely moved by your strength. I admire you and know that your courage is a direct reflection of your security in Christ. I am humbled by you. You have my prayers.

  28. Lisa Donofrio says:

    My Mother, who is an FAPC Member, and I did Pray for you this morning. I know so well what going into Surgery is like. Trusting you will heal quickly. Because it was Brain Surgery for me beginning in 1986, my life has been a different type of challenge. I wish talking with the Pastor would be as easy for me as it is for you, maybe as your healing takes place you will mention that my mother wrote to you, she will remind him of me, I met him in the Church elevator after one of his first Sermon’s, and my mother asked if she could hold his Bible for a minute and he could push my wheelchair. It was a moment in time that my mother will never forget. Her name is Christina Korteweg, we will both continue to Pray for you and keep you in our thoughts as we begin each day.

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