One week ago today I had my left breast and 11 lymph nodes removed.
I can well remember the joy, my deep contentment, and the sheer delight I felt many years ago looking into beautiful blue eyes gazing up at me when I got to nurse my sweet baby girls. The Lord blessed me with an abundant milk supply and I loved to watch my little ones being nourished and nurtured at my breasts, milk overflowing from their lips and dribbling down their chubby, lovely faces and round bodies. It’s sort of a picture to me of God’s lavish love: good measure, pressed down, and overflowing. I am so grateful that I got to have that privilege and those memories from that season of my life. Thank You Father, for that gift.
The last two days I have often thought of the title of one of Barbara Johnson’s books because it applies to me: “Pain is inevitable but misery is optional: so stick a geranium in your hat and be happy”.
Aint that the truth?! So much of life boils down to choice. 🙂 Job said, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord”. Amen to that. I will choose to praise and trust my great God Who never makes one single mistake. He has arranged and orchestrated every detail.
So, how am I feeling? Pretty crummy the last couple days honestly. I have had swelling and it constantly feels like a cross between a tourniquet and a partially inflated Blood pressure cuff on my upper left arm. My chest doesn’t hurt but my arm, side, and back are a little puffed up and and painful. It is not that it is so huge on the outside, it’s what it feels like on the inside–like I’m inflated or something.. I feel like wearing a sign “Please don’t touch me on that side!” It’s so hypersensitive on that arm. I saw the surgeon on Monday and thankfully she said it was normal post op swelling after the lymph node removal. It’s a painful but necessary challenge to use the affected arm in activities of daily living and I am proactively working through the pain and making good progress reaching higher on the wall each day, swinging my arms while getting nice walks in the fresh air and sunshine, etc. My latest challenge is the drainage seeping through around the drainage tubes despite them being patent and draining well. It’s pretty irritating to the skin, especially to the drain incision and the accidental nick in an area that was shaved for surgery (I am guessing that is what is happening, I see a little tiny cut there that stings )…another detail for me to leave in His Hands and ask Him to use all these things to conform me to the image of His Son. I see the surgeon tomorrow and probably those drains will be removed next week after the drainage slows down more.
We will also be going through the pathology report with the doctor tomorrow. We got a call about the basics and it is looking like the cancer is more advanced than we thought. It’s stage 3A, not 2 which of course is not good news. The plans for treatment remain the same. I love the words to an old Amy Grant song and have been singing them over: “The Lord has a will and I have a need…to follow that will…to humbly be still…to rest in it, nest in it, fully be blessed in it… Following my Father’s will.” Because I know the character of God is all loving, all good, all wise– in the midst of all this heartache I must and I will CHOOSE to trust Him. Please do continue to pray for me and my dear family.
God’s beloved Paula