Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Did God Forget Me? Coping with Cancer.

Well, my oncologist called me with the latest good news. Based on the recent biopsies, there is now no choice. Mastectomy. Not only were any hopes of a lumpectomy dashed, but he was not done with his cheery new developments. He also said it is pretty likely I will need chemo AND radiation. Deep sigh. (FYI- the deep sigh was from me, not Dr. White.)  Tentative surgery is set for April 20, but it still depends on one other doctor's schedule before they can confirm. (The plastic surgeon will come in at the end of the operation to insert the 'expander' which makes instant bust-line. Well, not instant...takes about 2 or so months.)

Dr. White also said that even if the breast gene test returns positive, he would only do a single mastectomy now, rather than double. He says they must deal with the cancer and worry about healing the known problem first. The second breast may have to go the way of the dodo bird one day if I do have the cancer gene, but he says the risk goes up if I whack it off immediately. Because there is always risk of infection or other issues with surgery, he can't take a chance that the non-cancerous breast would cause issues if operated on, decreasing my recovery from the necessary mastectomy.

So, chemo and radiation. I guess I will be getting a wig after all. And I was finally getting used to my really short pixie haircut. Now it will all just fall out. However, there is a bright side. I will look twenty years younger in my blond wig. And I will wear the baseball cap wig with the long blond hair to exercise in. No telling what kind of fun that will bring! There are always pockets of joy.

Is it strange that I am looking on the hospital stay with some excitement, happy that someone will be making all my meals, and taking care of me? Sort of like a stay-on-land cruise? I think it's weird. I hope I'm not losing touch with reality...

I called my "nurse navigator" to tell her the latest news and ask about whether someone will tell me how to "look normal" while the reconstruction is going on. The slow expansion of the breast tissue takes a couple of months or so, and thus far, I have no idea how people go about their life without looking lopsided. I am sorry to admit this vanity, but I don't want to look lopsided. I just don't.

The nurse was very kind. She explained that some people stuff tube socks in their camisole...and there are also inserts made for that purpose. She was pretty sure she could snag me some and if I drop by on my way to see my plastic surgeon Thursday, she could give me some and explain their use.

Stop laughing. I know it is NOT rocket science, people, but cut me some slack here. Unless you want to trade places. Anyway, the nurse also offered to show me the tubes that will be hanging out of me for two weeks, and how one deals with that.

"Oh thank you!" I said, "The idea of that part of the whole thing is really scary to me!"

Speaking of scary, there is a really strange line in Genesis 8. The whole earth has just been flooded, and all life has been wiped out. All the humans, all the birds, all the land animals...all washed away. Except Noah and his family and the animals on the ark.

With this in mind, listen to Genesis 8:1--
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Does this strike anyone else as strange? God remembered Noah? I mean given that the entire creation on Earth except for Noah and the ark animals were wiped out, did God really forget they were still floating about on a worldwide sea? 

See, that's how it feels sometimes. Did God forget about me?

I did a little word study of the word 'remembered' from Genesis 8. It is the same word used in Psalm 136:23
He remembered us in low estate, and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.

In fact, that same word, 'remember', is used countless times in the Bible, not in the sense of bringing to mind something that was forgotten, but in showing special focus or attention. God remembers His people such as Abraham (Genesis 19:29), Rachel (Genesis 30:22), and Hannah (1 Samuel 1:19). He also "remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and with Jacob" (Exodus 2:24).

In fact, in Isaiah 49: 14-16, the Bible also says, 
But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me,
         And the Lord has forgotten me.”

“Can a woman forget her nursing child
         And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
         Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.

“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
         Your walls are continually before Me.

God cannot forget us! He will not forget us! We are inscribed on the palms of His hands! He "remembered" Noah, and the waters receded. The flood retreated. Mountains appeared as the waters drew back, and a whole fresh earth with flood-rich soil dried out, prepared just for him! A new life opened before Noah. God redeemed what had been lost.

Genesis 8:1 is a verse of hope. God remembers us. He has not forgotten you or me.

Psalm 107:25-30 

For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. ...

1 comment:

  1. Oh Vicky you are not weird. We Must see good in all things. There's a purpose in everything which we will one day see. And the tubes! I forgot the drainage tubes. You'll get used to them. I had a set of fabric bags made from some lovely volunteer that went around my neck like a sling purse. the balls on the end of the tubes sat in them. They were quite pretty. It feels strange at first but I quickly got used to them. I never had breast expanders but I'm sure you will carry that off with your usual good grace. You are in inspiration to us all!!! Praying for you!!!