Friday, May 20, 2016

Good News and Bad News -- God is in Charge of it All

You want to do something really scary? Start adding the bills for battling cancer. One of my books better become a NY Times Bestseller, or some famous movie maker decide he needs to pay me a few million to make a movie based on them.

Or my artwork suddenly becomes the hot new item  for the hipster crowd. You can beat the rush by going here to look at my album. If interested in purchasing one, or thirty, email me at

The disease is bad enough. The expense of the disease increases the struggle ten-fold. But it's not all bad news. I am recovering well, and the first phase of breast reconstruction is probably done. It is fully "pumped up" now. The next stage is a second operation to even out the lumps and replace the metal 'expander' with the permanent prosthesis, probably in late July. The pain is rapidly diminishing, and the hypersensitivity much lessened. Yes, the expander is shifted a little far towards my underarm causing some irritation and pain with every arm swing, but the second operation will fix that issue.

The plastic surgeon is pleased with how I am doing. I was so grateful for his skill in making me a new breast, that I gave him one of my paintings last week. He told me that he was very impressed, and that it reminded him of his own father's art work. In fact, he held it up to his kids and asked what it reminded them of. Grandpa's art!

That made me happy. I wonder if he would consider more art in lieu of the the tens of thousands we will owe him? He told me because my skin is 'thin', he thought he ought to do some liposuction to help with the overall final appearance. He checked my stomach and said, "Probably not enough there...maybe from your thighs..." 

Now THIS I like. I always wanted streamlined thighs. Finding a medical necessity for plastic surgery on my thighs is like Christmas in July. Which is when I get that gift... If I understand correctly, he takes some of the fat from my inner thigh and squeezes it into my reconstructed breast. I don't know why, nor do I care. Sounds like win/win to me.

Probably an expensive win/win however...

Back to the good news. I am cleared to kayak. The doctor said pain should be my guide, and he recommends going very slowly and a little at a time. Right now, it has turned cold here, and honestly, I hurt too much to kayak just yet, but I am excited to know I have doctor's approval to do so when ready.

"By the way, I will be horseback riding June that ok?" I asked him.
He scowled a little and said, "Well, as long as you have already planned it..."

I am taking my daughter and her new hubby to a lovely cabin retreat along the New River, and we are going horseback riding on the New River Trail. I have always wanted to do that, and Asherel shares my love of horses. It will be my last hurrah before cancer treatment begins...whatever that will be. I don't find that out till June 1.

I have been reading 1 Samuel 2-4. These are the chapters where the young Samuel is in the temple with the priest Eli. Samuel is sleeping when he hears his name called. He runs to Eli and asks what Eli needs. But Eli did not call him. This happens two more times, and Eli realizes that it is God Himself calling Samuel. He counsels Samuel to lie down, and when he hears the voice again, to say, "Speak Lord, I'm listening." Samuel does so, and God speaks to Samuel. Wow. Unfortunately, much of what God had to say is a prophesy of judgement against God's wayward people. It was not a hip-hip-hooray kind of speech. But Samuel listens, reports God's word exactly as he was told, and the Bible says "the Lord was with Samuel."

Speak Lord, I'm listening. Not everything God has to say will be comforting. Some of what He asks of us is very hard. Most of us tend to close our ears to those messages. But if we can trust God with the good, surely we can trust Him with the bad.

I don't quite know how we are going to manage when all the bills are due. However, I didn't know how I would bear a mastectomy either. And I certainly could not envision a fake breast looking so good...and it's not done yet! Each day, God reveals new plans I cannot even imagine, and His mercies are new every morning. My ears are open. Speak Lord, I'm listening.
(All the pictures in this blog are available for purchase. What a gold mine, right???)
1 Samuel 3: 8-21
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[f] and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

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