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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Survival Files: Heavy Hearted Pondering

I am grieving a little bit today. You don't have to read if you don't want to but it is part of the process for me and so just getting it down and out of my head makes it real and more manageable. I stood in front of my bathroom mirror for a little extra time this morning. I think back on all it took to get the cancer out and me looking "normal enough". Six months ago if I would be writing this with no vision of what the future holds, I could tell you very easily all the things that bug me about my new reconstructed body.

But today? Today is the day before they have to go in and take it away, maybe my whole right side. The side that took three surgeries to get. Three surgeries, miles of  packing and a stint with the wound vac. I remember all of that and now...looking in the mirror, it was worth it...worth it enough to make me stand in front of my mirror and wish I could just keep this scar laden, tattooed right breast. Sigh.

It isn't about the cosmetic part of it anymore. Now, it is about once again being able to claim cancer-free status, no matter what I look like underneath my clothes. I will get used to my new normal and the new body but I can't help sitting here wondering "if they are going to stretch my skin to cover the part they will remove, does that mean my new tattooed nipple will end up in my cleavage?" It is these things that make me go hmmmm. I have to admit...thinking about it does make me giggle a little because if I don't, I will just end up a crying puddle on the floor.

I am left with my thoughts again on that. Until I wake up after surgery I won't know what will be left. Hopefully, many more healthy years with my awesome family and friends. Starting tomorrow afternoon when surgery is over, I will begin to heal, and slowly get used to what will be. For now my mind wanders and wonders about what they will do while I am sleeping and the aftermath of what I see the next time I get out of my shower and face the bathroom mirror.

David McCullough is keeping my mind
busy as I read his book 1776
Relaxing in the infusion room

Yesterday went well. I met with the doctor who will be putting my port in tomorrow and got my second iron infusion which went pretty well. I was a lot more tired afterward than I was last week. Then I realized how much the adrenaline from having to get home and getting us all out to camp really helped keep me from crashing. I didn't have that rush this week though. I felt like coming home and taking a nap.

The last stop yesterday was cardiology where they did an echo cardiogram. They want one of those before starting chemo and so they were on the ball and scheduled it before my surgery so that there wouldn't be the pressure on my chest after the surgery. I am glad someone knows to think of these things.

Specific prayer requests for today (and the next couple of days):

  • Prayers for wisdom and guidance for the doctor's hands who will have a part of this surgery tomorrow. (There will be three doctors involved)
  • Fun distraction for the kids
  • Successful removal of all areas affected by the cancer
  • Peace for me in the morning and for David throughout the day as he waits for updates
  • No complications arise during, immediately after or overnight as I stay for observation
  • Peace when I wake up and find out what they have to report when it is all done
Thank you family and friends near and far! It has been a great year and a half since my last surgery. I am a little rusty at "the night before surgery jitters" I am blessed beyond measure by all of the words of love and encouragement from you all! Thank you! Thank you!

"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Psalm 55:22

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