(Previously published July 27, 2010)
Here's some quick updates from the last two days....I say quick, but if you've followed along with me so far, you know I'm not a lady of few words....sorry! I really try to edit, but not one of my gifts. See...there I go again. I like details. If you sit with me over a cup of coffee and listen to me tell a story, well, you get the details and sometimes too many. I like to see the whole picture. I like to hear descriptions. I like to visualize the event......I'll stop now, you get the picture. :)
Quick snip-its from a day in the new breast cancer life: Mon & Tues:
Thank you for your prayers. God continues to sustain, but for some reason wants me awake at night and a bit uncomfortable. Last night, meds at 2:00AM due to pain and then up at 6:00...but had sweet quiet time with God on my front porch in the early morning hours. He spoke to my heart and really what more can a girl ask for? :)
I'm not looking forward to going to bed tonight, but will take 2 Percocet and a full Valium (trying so hard to wean and cut my dosages down.. Have success during the day, but not yet at night.) Praying for restful sleep.
Mother-in-law (Janet) is here for the week and has been such a blessing: cleaning, doing laundry (which BTW never ends around here with 7 people changing clothes each day). I think she's probably done more laundry this week than she has in the last 3 months as an empty nester....but she's a trooper and I am so grateful.
Delicious meals continue to come to my door every night for which I am so humbled, appreciative and overcome with your generosity. I can't wait to be able to do things again (cook and clean) with my right arm, and lift, reach, cut, saute, and put a meal on the table, but for now will graciously accept from the loving hands of those around me.
All 5 of our children went to friend's today and are spending the night there. The house was quiet for the day. I miss their laughter and noise, but have been so tired, that it was a welcomed quietness. Thank you precious friends for loving my children and blessing us this way.
My friend, Beth came over this morning to help set up a website for those of you offering to come and clean and just take care of the running of my house. Again, in awe of each of you. Words cannot begin to express. Thanks to Beth, website up and running. But wore me out and I didn't even do any of the work!
Crawled into bed around 2:30 and slept until 5:ooish.
My younger sister, Tasha (in California) has felt so far removed from being intimately involved in this new trial and journey. She has three under 5, recently moved to Cali due to hubby's law office opening new office and the miles are hard to travel with hubby's schedule and three small babes. 8 years ago, when we had our precious son, Joshua, Tash walked with me hand in hand for so much of his short life. I think she lived with us for almost 3 weeks during that time. It is hard to have so many miles separate us now. Thank God for technology, as we talk almost daily. Well, we were talking about my surgery the other day and she asked what "it" (let's call them Betty) look like? I asked her if she wanted me to take a picture and email it to her....thinking "could I really do that???" She cautiously said yes, she would like to see the Betties. Funny how the Betties were always something that were covered up and held up.....now seem to be open for public viewing. Dont' worry, these pictures won't be shared here. But they now are a hot topic of discussion and viewing. Oh how the private becomes public. Like I said....I'm an open book. My husband took the picture this evening and said it is a hard one to take. But I say, God tells us in Isaiah that He takes ashes and makes them beautiful. I am holding onto that one. :)
Tash is also going to help me with thank you cards, as she is a card and fine paper connoisseur. Together we are picking out the perfect cards (or she might make them...she is a creative genius and just as ambitious as the Browning crew comes.) We spent some time talking through this and figuring out how to make them personal. I am thrilled to have her help with these and she is thrilled that she can help this way while staying tucked in her Cali abode with her little ones, which is where she needs to be.
Tomorrow morning, (Wednesday) 8:3o AM, 2nd post op visit with Plastic surgeon, Dr. Singer. Lord willing, my last two drains will be removed and I will be free! I think my Betties are getting their first fill up. A little anxious about that. More pain? What will that feel like? Again, the unexpected. But we walk. How bad can it really be, right??
11:00AM, Wig salon appointment. This actually will be my third appointment. I've been to two other salons and this will be the last. Whole new world, this cancer thing. I'm still praying that chemo will not be a part of my protocol, as God can do anything, but trying to be prepared if in fact at this time next month, my head has no real hair. I will say little on this right now, as this has been a bit of a struggle for me. I've been asked by many, "will you wear scarves, a hat, stay bald, wear a wig?" I just don't know. One day at a time, but exploring my options.
I need another shower so badly, but just can't do it. Again, praying tomorrow I'm drain free and the showering will be a bit easier. Tonight, it is me and a washcloth and that will have to suffice.
Thursday and Friday, more appointments. First radiation oncology appointment Friday and then post-op with breast surgeon, Dr. Chang, on Friday.
Next week, 4 more docs in 5 days. By Friday 8/6, hope to have some sort of treatment plan. Praying that all 3 opinions are the same and God makes the decisions clear. That Barclay and I have unity. That He lights His mighty light on the next step.
I'll leave you with this.
I am a woman who loves words and their definitions. Especially when I study to teach God's Word. I love to stop at words as they jump out at me from the Bible and look them up, not only in the dictionary, but in the original Greek or Hebrew language. I love to dig deeper into meanings and not miss a glimpse of what a word stands for or why it was chosen.
My friend, Adrianne, gave me an early birthday present (in early May), right after I found the lump in my breast. It was this precious devotional written by Pastor Bob Coy (Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale). I have treasured it. She knows how much I love words. You see I have pages marked and if you opened it, you would see yet more underlining, markings and stars at places God has spoken to my heart. I'm not a big devotional kinda girl, as I like to just open God's Word and let Him speak to me from His divinely inspired words on the pages of the Bible. But this little book has been the beginning of my quiet times each morning since my cancer journey began, as a way to settle my heart, focus in on God before prayer and opening my Bible. If you look at the small print, it says, "Devotionary, A devotional with meaning." Each page is adorned with a heading and under the heading is Noah Webster's 1828 definition of that word. Love it!!
Here is the passage I want to leave you with that I meditated on just the other day. Oh how God knows our needs, our hearts, our fears, our cries, our pain, our faith.....our times for refreshment.
"The act of refreshing; new strength or vigor received after fatigue; relief after suffering."
Here is the verse that was shared: "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." Acts 3:19
Here is a part of the commentary:
If you think about it, summer for children represents the beginning of a new year. They have just completed their grade in school and are looking forward to an exciting interval of fun and recuperation. Summer is their time to shift gears, relax, experience new strength and vigor, and allow their minds and hearts to be refreshed in preparation for the new year ahead.
We might, along with the kids, take time to relax this summer. The Lord knows that we are in need of times of refreshing, and He gives us great insight into how we might best renew our body, soul and spirit. Don't let the words "repent" and "converted" in Acts 3:19 scare you away. They simply mean that we should turn away from our own plans to a plan that was designed for us before the foundations of the world.
"For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
Bob Coy goes on to tell the story of Elijah. I urge you to go read it in 1 Kings 18 and 19. After a great demonstration of God's faithfulness and Elijah's trust in God, Elijah runs for his life at the hand of the woman Jezebel who then wants to take his life.
And here is the picture of our loving God:
"Then as he (Elijah) lay and slept under a broom tree, suddenly and angel touched him, and said to him, "Arise and eat." Then he looked, and there by his head was a cake baked on coals, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank, and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came back the second time, and touched him, and said, "Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you." So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God. 1 Kings 19:5-9
God gives His children rest, nourishment, and protection. The Lord knows when you have reached the end of your rope. If you are in need of refreshing, let God feed you from His Word and provide shelter for your soul in prayer while you rest in the comfort of His care under the broom tree.
Oh how I feel like I am undertaking a "new year" in my walk with the Lord. This summer is not at all what I thought it would be. But it is what God knew I needed and what God is walking me through. He is sending down the angel of the Lord to give me food, for the journey is great. He is hiding me under His mighty and strong arms. He is giving me refreshment though the temperature is hot and the feet are weary. And though this refreshment might not be how I would have defined it back in early April as I longed for "my summer", as I am fatigued from this journey, I am finding nourishment from His Word, as I am suffering, He continues to bring relief. And in the end, I know that you and me, we are "His masterpieces." He is the potter and I am the clay. Mold me and make me Your Way!
Much love, (and prayers for sweet sleep for us all)
Again.....sorry.....a woman of too many words. This post was suppose to be short and sweet! :)