Preparing my Heart for Surgery Next Week

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Next Tuesday, September 27th at 1 PM  I am scheduled to have my right breast removed.  It’s my second and final remaining breast to lose then I’ll be plum out of breasts for cancer to try and make a home in again. I sure do hate to see my last “Bosom Buddy” go though!
My life is overflowing with gifts from God to be grateful for. Sometimes I forget to count and appreciate my blessings ’til I lose them or am about to lose them.
In our culture breasts are a symbol of sexuality and femininity. I have never considered them as “disposable decorations” on my body but it is nearly time to part ways and I am taking time to grieve and ponder and give thanks for the gifts these have been to me as I release my ownership and the “right” and “privilege’  and “desire” to keep my breast intact and remaining on my body.  Like the left one in 2011 that had to be removed, now the right one is diseased with the same type of aggressive cancer cells whose very nature is to metastasize to the brain, bones, lungs, and liver.  I am so very thankful that there is absolutely no evidence that it has gone outside this breast. I will fight every way I can so those cancer cells are stopped in their tracks and eradicated. This unwelcome malignancy beast has returned and has been given its eviction notice and my surgeon, oncologist, and I are ready to kick cancer to the curb and render it homeless from my body, this time FOR GOOD. This second breast amputation is one of the drastic measures warranted and so I will do what I don’t want to and wish I didn’t have to do.  It’s time to let go of my last breast next week so I can live healthier and longer.  My goal  is for the “Glad to be a Senior Citizen and living a full, happy life Plan” and that is my aim.  I know that it is God who has wisely numbered each of our days.
Thank You Heavenly Father for both breasts that You blessed me with for a time. Thank You that I am just as much a woman inside and out without these parts.  Even though I know this is true, I am still struggling inside and wrestling with the awfulness of this great big cancer mess and the thought makes me cry.  Please help me. Lord to see myself as You do and with Your perspective  as I am stripped of my last remaining breast next week and as I think about getting chemo again.
Thank You, God for the pleasure that you designed breasts to be between a husband and a wife and that there’s still the whole rest of my body, mind, spirit, and soul left for that beautiful blessing and gift.  Thank You for my dear husband John who understands the meaning of true love and commitment that is not based on appearance or circumstances.  How blessed I am that he cherishes, loves, and accepts me no matter what.  Soon I will  have chemo again which can make a person feel pretty gross in itself and then likely all my hair will fall out like last time. Being bald, sick, and breast-less seems like such an ugly thing. Father, these losses hurt.  It was not an easy decision for me not to have fake breasts reconstructed but I think it’s the right decision for me at least for right now anyway.  I might change my mind in the future, I dunno.  Lord, please show me practical ways through all of this  that can help me look and feel my best to be feminine and attractive. Most importantly, please make me beautiful on the inside where it counts the most.
Thank You Lord  for the uterus and ovaries that You gave me that will be surgically removed after I have healed up from chemo.  Hormone blockers to help prevent the recurrence of cancer have caused my womb to grow polyps and dysfunctionally bleed.  I am so thankful for my uterus that was once healthy and strong and, despite four miscarriages, allowed me the joy of conceiving and that it was a nurturing place to carry both my girls full term and then give birth to them. I loved being pregnant.  I am also so very grateful for adoption that allowed our dear son Nicholas to join our family when he was almost three. I love him so much, just as if I had given birth to him as well. I love, love, love being Mom to my precious three children.  It’s a wonderful gift to be a mother and I have been abundantly blessed beyond measure.
My two healthy breasts allowed me to nurse my girls as babies. What a blessing that was to me and to them.  What an awesome arrangement to be able to bond in such a special way while giving one’s baby optimal nourishment.  I treasure the remembrance of my little sweethearts snuggled close, big blue, adoring eyes gazing with sheer bliss into mine as my abundant, overflowing supply of milk dripped down their sweet, round faces.  Thank You Lord.  Breastfeeding was a priceless gift for Joy, Hannah, and I that cancer can never take away from us. Thank You Lord for designing such a plan that binds together a mama’s heart and her babe, right from the start of life together.  As I bid farewell to this last breast, I still have the memory of nursing my babies long ago to treasure in my heart.
So many things in life boil down to choice. I choose thankfulness in the midst of grieving.  I choose God’s peace which passes understanding.  I choose joy and grace and hope.  I can’t pretend that I don’t have a scaredy-cat heart because I do.  I choose to give that trembling heart over to God and ask Him to help me to snuggle up in His love and rest and trust.
Gratefully His,

Paula

7 thoughts on “Preparing my Heart for Surgery Next Week

  1. Paula,

    My heart hurts a bit as I read through your posts, but I so appreciate your honesty and openness. I wish that there was anything I could do to take your unease away, to give you complete comfort in your decision, to guarantee your future. Then, I realize that these are all things that our Father has already done for you. He loves you and these small Earthly challenges have afforded you the opportunity to take your relationship, your faith, your trust to Him at an elevated level. The example you are setting, and have set every day for your children is your greatest gift. I am so proud to call you my friend. I still hurt for you and the difficult time that you are facing, but know you will be fine.

    A very wise woman who has had a huge impact on me called today. She asked how I was doing, and I said, “I’m getting by.” She told me, “Mama, the next time I ask how you are doing, you should tell me that you are some kind of wonderful. If you say it, it will come true, and it will make the person who asked feel better also.” She also told me that she wakes up each morning, and the first thing she says to herself is, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Paula, I pray that through this, when I call to check on you, you are able to tell me that you are “some kind of wonderful.” You’re a child of God and he will care for you!

    Love and blessings,

    Jacque

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  2. Paula, you amaze me! I love your prayer and positive outlook. I truly don’t know how I would feel/ express my feelings. I have loved who you are/ were the first time I met you! You are an encouragement to many. I will be praying for you and you are on our church Prayer List. We have some awesome prayer warriors! I love you my friend. Prayers for your family also.

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  3. Paula,
    You ARE a beautiful woman both outside and inside and your daughters and son are incredibly blessed to have such a beautiful woman as an example of what motherhood and womanhood means.
    You are special and unique, the picture of a loving child of God, created in His image and likeness to love and be loved.
    I will be praying for you each day leading up to your surgery and for the doctors and your family. The road ahead won’t be easy, but together we’ll get through.
    I count you as one of my gifts!!

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  4. Paula you are in my prayers and thoughts, you are such a strong , beautiful woman and a woman of great faith and I know God will be guiding the hands of these doctors as they operate on you. I would be just falling apart right now, if I were in the same situation and I hope that I wont be but I think it is evident at some point and time. God Bless you and I will continue to pray for you. I hope you will have a speedy recovery my friend.

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  5. Paula, you are processing so well. I’m glad you are a writer at heart, and that it gives you an outlet. I love your humor and your candor. As you know, I have cancer in my blood/bones – something that cannot be removed, so I can celebrate with you that you have it in something that can be removed! Just another thing to be thankful for!

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  6. I love you Mom and am praying for you! Thank you for always being there. I couldn’t ask for a more caring person to call my mother and am so grateful God made you mine.

    “Cast all of your cares upon Him for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

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