5 Course Meal Celebration

Last Friday I took my wife Janet out on the town! A five-course dinner date! I know! Right!?

But we live in the oldest town in Texas, and there’s not a great deal of five star restaurants in Nacogdoches, Texas. So we created our own “fine dining” experience in a mobile, drive around way.

I wrote down twenty restaurants and fast food joints up and down our hometown main drag. Each place was cut to its own little strip, and I put them all in a styrofoam cup that had all 5 courses scribbled on the outside. Janet blindly reached in the cup and pulled the first slip for the first course.

It was Subway. Janet objected. She said Subway had the most expensive drinks in town, so she wanted to go somewhere else. Eventually, she acquiesced, and we ordered one large half and half tea, two straws.

The second course was Bottle Cap Alley for appetizers. A quarter mile drive and we were there, but they didn’t have many choices. Basically, we settled for fried onion rings. Besides, the next course was vegetables, so we could get something healthy then.

The third course drawn, however, was another fast food place, Taco Bueno! My five-course meal deal idea was falling apart.

We had to be creative, but guacamole with fried chips was as close as we could get to vegetables.

The fourth draw for the main course drew a groan from both of us, and then the laughter. Dominos Pizza!

While they made the extra thin crust vegetable pizza, we munched on the chips, guacamole and onion rings. After that, the pizza tasted like saltine crackers with onions and tomato sauce on it.

There’s a bloated, clog up your arteries with grease feeling that was kicking in, but we were committed to a 5 course meal…

Dessert! Should’ve started there! A quick draw from the cup and it was Whataburger, the Texas standard for fast food burgers. It was a no brainer choice!

But ice cream and milkshakes don’t mix with lactose intolerance, and the scrumptious home style cinnamon rolls were 580 calories a piece! We settled on apple pies that were only 200 calories each. Did I mention they were fried?

It was fun though, and totally random! We’ll do it again, but not tonight.

Tonight Janet will be in the hospital.

We’re in Houston. At this very moment, Janet is in surgery to remove cancer from a kidney. She was diagnosed three weeks ago.

I’m scribbling to redirect my emotions, blind my thoughts, dull the heightened awareness that the future has changed.

How much, and to what extent it’s changed, we won’t know until the pathology report comes in next week.

If all goes well, this will be a one and done surgery.

If it goes really, really well, next Friday we’ll be celebrating the 15% chance that the cancer is benign.

That’ll be worth a five course meal for sure!


61 thoughts on “5 Course Meal Celebration”

  1. You and Janet just got bumped up to the top of my prayer list Jeff. Please keep us posted. The idea about the five course meal was great, application . . . Can I get back to you on that one? Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jeff, prayers sent for Janet, you and the family. I know that’s terribly frightening and the waiting is awful. God bless and God speed a great surgery, recovery and results!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Praying for Janet, and for your family Jeff. I’m glad the doctor was able to give you some positive news for now, and will continue to pray for complete healing for Janet. I love your idea for a 5-course dinner. I think Hubby and I might have to plan one, though I think we’ll just choose each place instead of leaving it to the luck of the draw…. Blessings to you and your family, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You have been on my thoughts – I was wondering and hoping everything was going well for you and yours. I love the five course meal – that sounds like fun! I will be praying for you and Janet. That is one and done and that the cancer is benign. Big prayers for you during this time!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Praise God! Good news. Praying Janet continues to recover quickly. Also praying for you and your family; it’s tough on a family. I want to use your 5-course dinner adventure in one of my romance novels. How Fun!! God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I will put you and Janet on my prayer wheel tonight. I had cancer surgery to remove a rectal tumor that had grown into a couple of other working parts. Surgery was 7 hours. And I AM STILL HERE 20 YEARS LATER! This can happen so I shall pray for the best possible outcome for Janet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Praying 🙏🏼 everything went well for Janet today, that the pathology report comes back negative, and that you both would know and feel God’s presence and comfort. I also pray for rapid healing and a quick recovery.
    It’s probably a totally different scenario, but I knew someone who had a tumor on their kidney, and when she had surgery, the surgeon found it was a 2lb fatty tumor. She had no symptoms or pain as that thing was growing inside her and I always found that amazing.
    I’ve read that kidney tumors are slow growing and have a high curability rate when caught early. If you don’t mind me asking, what were Janet’s signs and symptoms that helped them find her tumor?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Mia, thank you. The surgery was successful, so that is a huge blessing! Pathology report will come end of next week.

      Janet thought she had kidney stones a few weeks ago. An urgent care facility gave her meds for kidney stones but she followed up with a urologist who ordered a cat scan. No stones at all, but that’s how they found the cancer. The doctor removed the tumor and saved 70% or so of her kidney. And yes, protocol does not require chemo or radiation.

      On the other hand Mia, Janet’s walked this road with her first husband who died of cancer seven years after having his kidney removed. Experience can sometimes work against you!


  8. Oh, 😬 I’m sorry to hear she’s already had a not-so-good experience with kidney cancer with her late husband.

    I’ll be praying that experience doesn’t diminish your faith now, though. After all, God’s Word tells us in Phil 4:6 “Don’t worry about anything. Instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done.”

    I know that not worrying is often easier said than done, but remember our faith determines our outcome. Matt 9:29 tells us “Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith, let it be done for you.’“ And Mark 11:24 says “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”

    I’ll be asking and believing with you for complete freedom from cancer and a long and healthy life 🙏🏼. God has shown himself faithful in this respect in two different scenarios lately — one being a coworker with a spinal tumor wrapped around his aorta, and the other involving getting consent for my hip replacement surgery.

    “Believe you have received it, and it will be yours.” Unwavering, rock-solid belief in the One who is in control of everything and is able to “accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”


    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this 5-course meal idea – so very creative! The meal may not have been the best but I’m sure the time spent together was priceless and lots of fun. I see that your wife’s surgery went well and it looks like you’ve probably received the pathology report by now, too. I just wanted you to know that I’m praying right along with you and all these other prayer warriors who have committed to lift up your wife in prayer. You and your wife are not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

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