Despite the post-op exercises I have been doing and attempt to use my right arm as much as I can to proactively reach up over my head, etc, I have formed an axilary contracture. There is a shortening and tightening of my muscles which has become quite painful, is restricting my range of motion, and has caused cording. This in turn seems to be contributing to a build up of trapped fluid (lymphedema) in my trunk. The surgeon did an excellent job with my incision and now that has distorted into a new vertical line as well with indentations of my chest area because of trapped tissue and fluid build up. I HATE this kind of stuff! I wish I could have kept my old chest and lymph nodes intact minus all cancer but alas, that was not an option. In November I start weekly chemo for 12 weeks and IV Herceptin every three weeks for a year. Next week I start therapy to address the lymphedema to decrease the swelling, mobilize the restrictions I have in the scar and other areas, stretch back out the muscles, see what we can do about the cording, and improve the range of motion I have in my arm.
The below excerpt is copied and pasted directly from a thought provoking article : http://natepyle.com/confronting-the-lie-god-wont-give-you-more-than-you-can-handle/ (Thank you, Teresa). This latest setback has been disheartening. It feels like a real, genuine 100% bummer honestly. The article I linked and shared a quote from below was a comfort to me as the many aspects of cancer that snowball do feel overwhelming at times and it sure seems like more than I can handle. BUT the truth is, cancer brings me to the end of myself and running straight into the arms of my loving Heavenly Father because sometimes, He DOES give us/allow more than we can handle so that we do just that. I am weak but He is strong. I am asking the Lord to give me a good attitude and a perspective that reflects His as I to learn how to make healthy, sweet lemonade with these sour, bitter, dreadful lemons that I am being handed. I find myself crying out to God over and over as I walk through Cancerland, ” Help me Father, I can’t do this, BUT YOU CAN”.
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor 1:8,9
“…Later, Paul will write it is when he is weak that the strength of Christ is seen. In other words, when we can’t do it any longer. When we are fed up. When it has become too much. When we have nothing left. When we are empty. When it is beyond our capability to deal with it. Then, in that moment, the strength of the God of resurrection will be seen. Until we get to that point, we rely on ourselves thinking we can handle it and take care of the problem.
Don’t hear me saying I am rejoicing because of the last couple of weeks. I am not. Not once have I danced around our house shouting, “Yeah suffering!” Instead, in the midst of pain and hurt, I am actively expecting God to do something. I don’t know what. I don’t know when. But I am expecting the God of resurrection to heal us. I am expecting God to restore us. I am expecting him to redeem this situation. I am expecting him to do this and so I will be actively looking and waiting for him to do something. I believe expectant waiting can only happen when we exchange our feeble platitudes for an authentic faith that engages God with the full brunt of our emotion and pain. Only then can salvation been seen.
But that exchange takes courage.”—Nate Pyle
I really appreciate your prayers, friends, Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
God’s beloved Paula