I Wish I Didn’t Personally Know What an Axillary Contracture Feels Like!


Image result for breast cancer cartoon

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


5 thoughts on “I Wish I Didn’t Personally Know What an Axillary Contracture Feels Like!

  1. Good Morning Paula,
    Such a tough, tough road to walk. I truly wish it was not so for you. But I wait in expectation on your behalf–I wait to see how God will redeem this situation and He will. I know from my own disastrous accident last year that it is so very hard when going through it, but God has a plan that we can’t possibly know or understand. He’ll bring your forth like gold and the plan won’t be anything that you ever expected.
    I am praying and ever thinking of you. Stay strong, stay focused. It’s the only way this makes any sense at all.
    Love you lots-
    Carol I


  2. I ached with you as you described your condition — so very sorry you have to go through this. And then, anticipating chemo, etc. My heart goes out to you. Your words about suffering are so right on — at the end of ourselves, we find out what it means to trust Jesus. Know my thoughts and prayers are with you!


  3. Dear, dear Paula! My heart SO aches for you as you go thru this valley. It IS SOOOO hard and seems so unending. But the Lord knows and has His arms around you. He is drying your tears and understands how hard this is for you. Yet at this point it is a necessary part of your treatment and although we all hate that things are this hard for you we just KNOW God IS using it to rid your body of this terrible cancer! This is a battle and we know you win in the end! Keep crying in his arms. He doesn’t mind and loves you SO much. We keep praying and we know He hears our prayers and is answering them! We send you our love!


  4. SOOOOOOOOOOO sorry. You much just feel awful.
    Thanks for reminding us of Paul’s words…’We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.’
    He was wrestling for people’s souls…
    I’m so glad you are safe in the arms of Jesus…your earthly situation stinks, but we sure have a good future to look forward to :-)….


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