If the couple we saw last week was us 1 month ago…I can only pray that the couple I saw today will be us sometime this year. I followed a man and woman out of the hospital today who were walking arm in arm and the woman had obvious post chemo hair. I assumed she must have recently finished a treatment for something and her hair was just starting to come back. All of a sudden she lets go of him, crouches down, does a giant leap with her arms to the sky and yells “Waaaahhhhoooo!!” Whatever it was, they obviously just got good news. I needed to see that today. I needed to see someone who has walked the road and was walking out the other side a survivor…of whatever she was fighting.
Today was a hard day and I am choosing to share my thoughts and experiences because I have been encouraged and inspired by other brave women who have opened themselves up to the internet during their process.
1. One of the major side effects I am experiencing after the mastectomy is a lot of swelling. The nurses are able to remove the fluid but it is kind of like a large water balloon that keeps getting inflated and deflated. I must add that it is a very odd and often uncomfortable feeling. I was planning on getting it “deflated” today but at 3 am I woke up soaking wet. My brain was still in the “I just woke up fog” and I couldn’t quite get my mind around what was happening. Oh crap. I sprung a leak!! Sure enough a small hole had opened up in my incision and was causing fluid to go…EVERYWHERE…soaking the sheets, blankets and pillows. Jonathan went to grab some towels while I try in vain to contain it. What a mess! Fortunately, the fluid is easy to clean because it is relatively clear and odorless…it just added a giant pile of laundry to an already emotional day. Side note: after I wrote all this out I am totally laughing because it was pretty comical. But I must admit it is much easier to laugh when the clean sheets/blankets are already on the bed. 🙂
2. I had 3 more diagnostic tests today – just to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread to my bones, liver and lungs. So far my experience with diagnostic testing is 0 for 1. I came in a month ago “just to make sure” nothing was really wrong…and there was no good reason why it would be wrong…and then my world turned upside down. So it was extremely hard to keep my mind from entertaining the “What if?” questions. What if they are positive? What if the cancer is global? The liver ultrasound felt an awful lot like the ultrasound that was used to check my breast. The technician would stop every few minutes to take a photo and make some measurements. What if she sees something? I wanted to ask every technician to give me their quick opinion to put my mind at ease. Last Thursday after we got our pathology results it was easier to visualize the next 6 months and draw a box around the specific type of cancer I am fighting. It gave me targeted information. What if that wasn’t complete? The box could now be bigger. Honestly, they probably will be negative but the questions will be there until I know for sure on Thursday.
I needed to see that woman jumping and yelling to turn my useless worry back into hope.
Thank you Jesus for showing me a woman celebrating a victory to help me let go of my questions…you knew I needed a positive end to this day…I trust you will continue to provide in big and small ways during this journey.