Monday, February 27, 2012

Never Once

Toward the beginning of my journey I had a few friends send me a song by Matt Redman called Never Once.  I listened to it then and was brought to tears, of course. This weekend I listened to it again and was brought to tears again but I was also incredibly inspired.  It made me think back on my entire journey thus far and the one overall message that my journey has taught me.  If someone were to read all of my journals, I hope the following would come through loud and clear.  We were not made for this world, which means that life is not guaranteed to be easy.  And when God allows hard stuff in our lives ("the Lands Between", "the Bends in the Road", "Disruptive Moments"), He is there to hold our hand through it and our relationship with Him is bound to never be the same.

I am preparing for the second phase of reconstruction this Wednesday morning.  As I mentioned, this is the procedure in which the expanders will be replaced with implants.  The pectoralis muscles and skin have been stretched over the last 6 months in preparation to hold these long-awaited implants.  Although I am quite excited for this big step, I am also struggling with having to put my trust in the plastic surgeon's hands to determine how my body will look from here on out.  Fortunately, I know the Lord also has a hand in how things turn out.  I definitely appreciate your prayers for this surgery on Wednesday and the next few weeks of my recovery. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Making My Way Through "Normal"

Well life as "normal" has resumed.  Although my hours are short, I have really enjoyed the last two weeks of working again. I have found my way back to the gym and am feeling the burn of some good workouts. Work and exercise have also helped me get back to sleeping without the help of medication.  I look forward to maintaining this routine for two more weeks until I have my next surgery on February 29th. This will be the procedure in which the plastic surgeon replaces the expanders with silicone gel implants (we decided to go with silicone).  He says my recovery will be much easier than my last surgery. I will only be under anaesthesia for one hour, he will cut through the same incisions that were used during the last procedure, and I shouldn't need drains. No lifting anything for 2 weeks and no running for 6 weeks were the post-op instructions given to me so far.  One thing is for sure, I will not be sad to see these expanders go.  

Blake and I met with my Oncologist, Dr. Garg this week.  I got my congratulatory high five for finishing chemo.  It was great to be talking with him with chemo now in the rearview mirror.  He re-iterated that I would not need radiation since I had the mastectomy and my tumors were not greater than 4 cm and no lymph nodes were involved. In that moment of hearing him say that again, I was so grateful to the Lord for His protection against those things being true. We also discussed Tamoxifen and all of its wonderful side effects. He agreed that I could wait until after my surgery to start taking it.  Again he mentioned the main side effects as being hot flashes (which I already have from chemo) and mood swings.  I can deal with these if I could just be spared any nausea/vomiting. 

Since getting back into the swing of things, I have also noticed the worries of life creeping up on me.  I am determined not to let myself get back to the place I was before all of this started.  Blake and I are working on some practical steps we can take to keep this experience fresh in our hearts, and we appreciate your prayers in this area.  

I read this quote in When Your World Fall Apart :  
"We know not what the future holds 
But take each day as it unfolds 
The bitter with the sweet God blends
We wisely take what 'ere He sends
His dealings are in wisdom made, 
The warming sun or chilling shade.
On mountain top in the dell
Our Father doeth all things well."
-David B. Stewart