No more drains connected to me. Good riddance! Got my drains taken out today!!! I feel like Pinnochio, joyfully singing, “I’ve got no strings on me!”
And I’m just so thankful for this because after 2 major surgeries I have felt the burden of being stuck in the trenches, waiting in agony and needing some sort of reminder that I’m moving forward. As you can imagine, I am stir crazy considering I am a mom who never sits down, used to being active, preferably outdoors. Even during the worst days of chemo I still had the ups and downs where the symptoms would lessen, giving some sort of a break. But this is the biggest stretch for me out of all the phases I’ve gone through. We have a saying in running, “never make any decisions on a hill” (thank you Emily for reminding me of this!) So, even though this has been my least favorite part of battling cancer, (everything is hard from getting myself dressed to driving a car) and I feel like throwing a first rate pity party, I cannot. No, this is not the time for quitting. You don’t make any decisions when it’s hard. You steel yourself, remind yourself of your mantra, don’t look down but instead keep your chin up. You look forward and fix your gaze at the top of that hill. I actually have found it easier to get over hills this way. Seriously, try it. The next time you’re experiencing the suck of a hill, whether running, walking, hiking or whatever, point each step toward the top of the hill and concentrate on your knees and hands pointing with each step towards the top. Instead of taking wide steps, this will streamline you to the top. It will help you run lighter on your feet. And for those of you not interested in running, maybe the visual can help you in a different capacity. Running has so many life applications and we all have hills to conquer!
During tomorrow’s doctor appointment (or today for that matter since it’s past midnight already!) I will get results back from pathology on my breast tissue that they removed during surgery. Please join me in praying for a clear result. No microscopic cancer particles is the goal! We will also discuss whether or not I will need radiation treatments.
I was very extremely ready to say goodbye to those dangly drains today. They made it impossible to lay down comfortably in bed for a good night’s rest. I have not been able to sleep very well because I have had to sleep sitting upright (I have never possessed the skill of being able to sleep on a plane, train or automobile-I just have to sleep flat.) Although I’m grateful for the pain to have lessened over the past few days to allow me some comfort, I have still felt like a zombie, partially brain dead from so many sleepless nights. Plus it’s just been gross to have those things hanging around. They are just no fun.
These last 2 weeks have seen many changes, ones that have brought on pain, fevers, unstoppable shaking fits, difficulty with breathing, my body in shock, and through it all, weariness. But I continually remind myself that I can do difficult things. I need to remember that I have overcome hard things and I will again. I know a great God that has been there for me and will continue to be. He is faithful. It’s these hardest times that create a deeper sense of gratitude. And a tangible reminder in God’s ability to get me through anything, even when it means doing absolutely nothing (just being!)
God has provided and He will continue to. I am a lucky girl to have had this much help (to a new humbling degree because of surgery causing me to be unable to do absolutely anything for a period of time) Really and truly, I am blown away. I am so grateful for such a wonderful network of friends and family. Thank you everyone for playing your part. Prayers, cards, meals, phone calls…thank you for never letting me get lonely in this time. It is beautiful to see so many gifts come shining out of so many people who know how to love in so many unique ways.
My Dad flew in from California for 2 weeks and helped me in countless ways. Thank you Dad! It was a very special time of having him here for me, but also so he could be with the kids.
The difficult reality is that the doctor says I have a minimum of 2 additional weeks with very conservative, difficult restrictions. No lifting anything over 10 pounds. I scoff at such a small amount of weight. Surely an Ironman triathlete doesn’t have to adhere to those limits right? Wrong. From what I have learned, the inner pocket (and I’m sure I’ll butcher the medical explanation on this) from which my breast tissue has been removed, essentially needs to crust over, to heal on the inside. I could cause little micro tears to happen and then infection and then more necessary surgeries, all of which I do not want. This means that it really doesn’t matter that such a small amount of weight feels easy to my arm strength or how I mentally know that I can do a lot more than what the doctor says I should (which might be like duh to most, but not to me!) Now, my new discipline is to limit myself instead of pushing myself. This restraint is a very difficult mental battle, one that does not come naturally to me. But delegation is my friend. Or at least I’m gently trying to embrace that concept.
Note to self: sit still. Wait a minute….
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10
Hmm…Maybe that will be my mantra to get over this hill.