Trading my “Out Withs” with my “In Withs”

Image result for medical cartoons

Yesterday in the early evening I got a call letting me know that my surgery date is set now.  On Tuesday, September 27th I am scheduled for a sentinel node biopsy, a modified radical mastectomy of my right breast, and a port placement inserted under the skin of my then breast-less chest for administration of chemotherapy and a year of IV Herceptin. I’ve wrestled back and forth whether to do reconstruction at the same time and have decided to hold off for the time being.  I can choose to do it on both sides at a later date if I desire.  Maybe I will, maybe I won’t but for now that’s one less thing on my plate and I feel the most peace about this route.  I’m glad that there is no “right or wrong” and that we, who face mastectomies, get to decide for ourselves if we will replace them with fake, reconstructed ones or not and the timing of all that.  It’s a lot to wrap one’s mind around.
I woke up crying in the middle of the night last night.  I wish this big mess was just a bad dream but cancer is a wide-awake nightmare that is real. Honestly I hate cancer and the treatment of cancer.  I wish I could eradicate this naturally by detoxing and building up my immune system .  It’s contra-intuitive for me, a natural health minded person, to fight this with surgery then taking  toxic drugs that kill both the good cells along with the bad. Last time I also had 30 rounds of radiation. I gave the natural approach all I had in 2011  and the cancer grew like wildfire before I went  on to conventional cancer treatment . I’m glad that I did give the natural approach a try and don’t regret that, but alternative therapy did not work for me last time and it’s still not a viable option this time though I really, really, REALLY wish it was.  I’m glad that I did not stay aboard a sinking ship but got off and went to Plan B even though it looked like a pirate ship was what was awaiting to rescue me when Plan A didn’t work. I gotta let that all go and even though I don’t like what I need to do AT ALL , I will move forward using weapons and tools that were very effective last time to fight this same beast who has returned.
How I wish I could  get to the cause of the cancer and pluck out that root so the cancer would be permanently gone and would not rear it’s ugly head again and would not  be able to pop out somewhere else after we’ve chopped it out and poisoned it with chemo. I sure wish I could fix the underlying problem of whatever makes me an unwilling culture medium for cancer in the first place.
I feel sad inside.  I’ve been grieving over the impending loss of my second breast, emotionally preparing myself to be a bilateral breast amputee. What an awful way to put it, huh? That’s what it feels like to me but I can part with my breasts because it is necessary and warranted and I figure I am trading my breasts for a longer, heallthier life which makes it totally worth it to me.   It still hurts though.
I am also trying to get my mind in a good place and able to view chemo, not as the toxic poison directly injected into my bloodstream , capable of causing other kinds of cancer and a myriad of other horrible, bad things, (which is true but I don’t need to dwell on that part) but instead, as a way to eradicate these malignant cells that are multiplying so that I can heal and get well again,.I am asking God to change my perspective and to help me view all this with courage and in His strength and grace.
I do an “out- with/in-with trade” in my mind sometimes:
Out with self pity
Our with poor me
Out with fear and trepidation
Out with mulling over grim realities and what-ifs
Out with dread and anxiety
Out with feeling really bummed out about what is happening
Out with all the negativity, the stress, the sense of being overwhelmed
In with God’s peace that passes understanding
In with His hope
In with the marvelous strength He is continually giving me
In with the plans He has to make something beautiful out of the ashes
In with seeking Him and seeing evidence of His Fingerprints everywhere through this difficult time
In with contentment, even in this.
Continuing my 1000 Gift  gratefulness List:
20. “I am strong for all things in the One who constantly infuses strength in me.” –translation of Phil 4:13 from the late Greek Schlor Kenneth West
“At all times, in all circumstances, Christ is able and willing to provide the strength we need to be content.  Contentment occurs when Christ’s strength is infused into my weak body, soul, and spirit.  To infuse means to pour, fill, soak, or extract. Every morning when I dip my herbal tea bag into boiling water, I witness infusion.
How does God enable us to be content?  He infuses contentment into us through His Word.  As it seeps into our minds, it transforms us.  Just as a cup of tea gets stronger when we give it time to steep, so we become more content when we spend time in God’s Word and allow it to seep into our lives, transforming us to be like Him.”
–From “Calm my Anxious Heart”  by Linda Dillow
(Thanks again for this book you gave me years ago, Sonia.  I’ve re-read it multiple times)
I am going to think about this analogy of herb tea as I drink it.  I am blessed with an infusion of God’s Word, steeping into my mind and transforming it as I read it,  memorize it, meditate on it, and apply it.  That’s what I need and want: for God to transform my mind through Scripture and give me His perspective in living the rest of my life the way He wants me to.
Philippians 4:13Amplified Bible (AMP)

13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]


21. Cheery butterflies in the mail from Betsy for me to iron on, sew on, or glue on and beautify something


22. Fresh fruit every day: such a yummy,  sweet provision from God to nourish my body


23. “Trust His Heart” song:

 I’m glad God understands when we are sad and grieving over losses or worried about scary things.  He is taking me in His Arms and letting me cry, then wiping away my tears as He draws me in closer to His wonderful Self. He is teaching me to snuggle up in His love and rest and trust.  I have so many things to be grateful for.  My cup overflows with His blessings.
Thank you for praying for me and my precious family.  We really need it and appreciate it.
Gratefully His,


10 thoughts on “Trading my “Out Withs” with my “In Withs”

  1. Dear Paula, It makes me cry just reading your post. I feel sad too – it seems so final. But it’s not. These bodies are just temporary, and I love you as you are and as you will be. God loves us even more. Thanks for being my dear wife. I’m proud of you and thankful for you.

    Love, John 🙂


  2. In with positivity…..Out with sickness……. In with freedom …….. Out with sadness. Out with malignancy……. in with peace.
    It’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to sit in your feelings. We embrace you ….we love you….. More importantly HE is with you.
    Just be held. xoxo


  3. I also have been lifted up so many times by the song “Trust His Heart”. God is way too big to understand and He is too wise to doubt. It makes me cry to see you hurt yet I must trust you to His loving care and His healing hand.


  4. So sorry for the sadness and sickness…it’s a sad old world we live in, and mostly filled with trouble…So glad for the future we have, though. The future God paid a really high price for…


  5. Thank you for sharing your heart, dear Paula. God is honored when you trust His heart of love for you. None of your pain and loss will be wasted…it will be used for good and for the glory of His kingdom, in which you will share!!


  6. Philippians 4:6-7
    Be anxious for nothing , but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. AND the Peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension , will guard your heats and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    Colossians 3:15
    Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in orebody and be thankful.

    Boy, do I need to be reminded.
    Put on the Full Armor of God, Paula. Quote scriptures back to the evil one that wants to place negative thoughts in our mind!

    Love you,


  7. It’s a blessing to read your posts, Dear Paula, and your sweet trust in God’s will for you. Your inspiring words are helping me to face my own struggles and issues. May God’s grace fill you and give you His peace. Love, Sonia


  8. Thank you for sharing your journey freely. I cried through your post and I praised God for your testimony. I’m sure it takes all the mental discipline you can muster to trade the out with with the in with – but it is the best prescription you can use!! Believing and choosing God’s truths and mentally programming your brain to line up with them. Not necessarily easy but will make all the difference in your journey. We will be continuing to uphold you in prayer.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s