Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Peace Like a River - A Surprising Calm in the Storm of Cancer

An uneventful day yesterday! No emergencies or new trips to a medical facility!  Sister Amy and I spent the day cataloguing my new batch of art from the attic. This will be the last batch. About 30 pieces. This one, at the top of the blog is called Peace Like a River. 

Strangely, in the midst of my cancer journey, this one speaks to me. I have not had a whole lot of fun dealing with all the ickiness of a mastectomy and then blood clots, but I have largely felt peace. I don't know why God feels I must walk this path, but if He deems it necessary, I will walk it.

Frankly, I have no choice. What is the alternative?

Speaking of walking, sister Amy and I did two slow walks totaling about three miles yesterday. My calf bothered me very little, so I bet those clots are already being absorbed.


Meanwhile, all kinds of milestones are being slowly achieved. I can lift my arm higher, get in and out of bed without hurling my legs over the side and hoping the momentum will land me on my feet without too much pain, and the drainage seems to be much less today from the yucky drainage tube.

I can even put a loose shirt on over my head. This is no small feat with a 12-inch raw scar stretching from under my arm to my mid-chest. Trust me on this one. This is something I would strongly NOT recommend going through to prove me wrong.

Just so you know, I am not answering most texts, calls, and certainly no visits. Please don't be offended. I am doing really well, but I am not able to handle all the wonderful kind inquiries. My fatigue hits me like a ton of bricks when it hits, and talking for any length of time is very draining. Just know, I appreciate all of you, all your prayers, and kind concern. Bless you all.

As the lovely day came to a close, my doctor called me. I had begged her to find a safer alternative to the blood thinner I was on. Should I begin to bleed, there is no antidote to this blood thinner. As a post-operative patient with two more surgeries in my future, this does NOT bring me peace like a river.

My doctor had conferred with all the docs who did my surgery, and the ultrasound radiologist that found the clots in my leg. Then she did her own research. They agreed that the clots were superficial enough that in many cases, people are not treated at all...just closely monitored. She asked if I would like to take that conservative approach, and do a repeat ultrasound Friday to ensure the clots were not going deeper or moving.

I agreed instantly! This is such wonderful news. The leg is feeling much better, and that was even before the blood thinner was started.

I showered this morning and for the first time since the operation, stood in front of the mirror and forced myself to look. I will not lie. It was not an easy sight to gaze upon. I could not look very long. I took a deep breath and remembered breast reconstruction is a six-month process, and each step of the way, I will feel more normal.

I thought about how hard it is to force myself to look in the mirror, to see myself as I really am. I am not alone in this. I think if we are honest, none of us like examining the ugly, maimed, perverted, broken parts of our souls with full disclosure. Yet God demands this of us. He doesn't ask it of us all at once, or we would be destroyed by our own shame and guilt. Our works are "filthy rags" and "the heart is deceitful above all things" and "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."  The sooner we understand that, the sooner we can be confront our ugliness, and be reconstructed in the image of God. But self-examination with the lens of how God views our sin is crucial in restoration of relationship with Him.

I kept the light low as I looked for the first full glance at the aftermath of my mastectomy. Then I got dressed, reaching my arm with the huge scar in its pit a little higher than I'd been able to yesterday.

A little victory. Smiles. Sighs.

This has been a roller coaster past few months, but one thing has remained constant. God has been right beside me, His hand around my shoulder, His peace flowing through me like a river.

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As a gift to all you wonderful friends, my first fiction book is on sale for only 99 cents Here (You save a whopping $3.) This is a book that one reader told me she picked up, instead of a purposeful overdose of sleeping pills...and it literally saved her life. That was a review that made my day!

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1 Corinthians 13:12 

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

1 Corinthians 15:49 

Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

1 Peter 5:10 

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 comment:

  1. Vicky, it would take more than a 12-inch scar to dim the beauty that is you. Your writing, your amazing art, and your heart for the unborn and for our Savior are the real you. And you're some kind of wonderful. Praying for your continued healing, in Jesus' name.

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