Actually, it's been 154 days. (I'll warn you now this is going to be a long post. But probably the most important one I write this year.)
154 days ago, I went in for a simple mammogram. 8 days later, my niece went into the hospital. 2 days later, I went in for a second mammogram. 3 days later, I was told by a not very smart concerned nurse, that I was being scheduled for breast surgery. 3 days later, I had a biopsy instead. And all during this time, I'd had a different medical issue I was having tests for and preparing for a simple, routine surgery. That had to be postponed while we awaited the news of did I, or didn't I, have cancer.
The past year had been pretty tough for us. We'd taken on two children with a lot of issues. No problem. We have to deal with the state. No problem. My husband lost his job. No problem. But then…I started with that feeling…you know, the kind that just doesn't go away? Maybe it was the kids. Maybe it was the hospitals. Maybe it was that I had cancer. I didn't know, but I do remember finally talking to my hubby and telling him, "I know that something big is about to happen that is going to change our lives. I don't know what it is, but I know God has been preparing us this past year for what is about to happen."
A week later, I found out I did NOT have cancer! My surgery was re-scheduled and the *something* had not happened.
129 days ago, I went in for a simple surgery that would take 6 weeks recovery. Not as simple as we thought; it took 2 1/2 hours instead of the routine 45 minutes. One procedure had to be done the *old fashioned way* instead of the new way, but it was done and I looked forward to recovering and having a bladder and bowel that worked the way it was supposed to!
24 hours after my surgery, I came down with an infection. It was just a little white blood count, the insurance said, give her a antibiotics and send her home. So they did.
36 hours after my surgery, I woke up feeling funny. I had two of my children in the room with me, just being with me while I dozed off and on. And then, my head started to really hurt. The lights were really bothering me and the window had to be shut. Soon, I could barely open my eyes. I started to care less about even trying to get up or the fact that I couldn't seem to function. I started to shake and become slightly alarmed. Something was wrong; I had enough sense to know that whether I wanted to move or not, my kids could not see me like this. Alarmed, I called the doctor. An hour later, I received a call back. Was I running a fever? Yes. I was told to get to the ER immediately. Only, by now, I couldn't move. I was shaking so badly, I could not hold myself up. My brain seemed to stop functioning and I felt really sick.
Hubby and B-boo managed to get me in a robe and down the stairs. I vaguely remember our neighbor helping to get me in the van. I remember being in excruciating pain as hubby rushed me to ER. I remember sobbing, because I was so miserable, and then vomiting continuously all over the van, hubby and myself.
And that is how we landed in the ER that Monday afternoon. One look at us, and they knew it was serious. The next 24 hours were a rush of tests, IV's, and medication. I was admitted because I had an abscess at the surgery site. In the wee hours of the morning, I remember having to change gowns because I was a higher level patient. An Infectious Disease doctor was called in. I was told I was septic. I remember not caring, but called hubby to let him know what I'd been told. All I wanted was sleep, no pain, and complete darkness.
The next few days were a blur of visitors, sleep, medication, and more tests. I was lucky to be alive, I was told. But I hurt so bad. Sometimes I'd shake so bad, I thought I'd shake myself right off the table. But there was always someone there to take care of me. I don't think I was ever left alone.
Meanwhile, at the home front, meals were being brought in, kids were being taken where they needed to be and God made sure that everything was taken care of.
I made it home and cried. I'd never hurt so bad and I had such a hard time sleeping. I could barely move. The home health nurse came out and explained to us how to give me medication through the picc line. Hubby and B-boo became my nurses. I cried when my dear friend who'd flown out to help had to leave. God has seen us through some tough times, but He's always seen fit to bring us together when it is needed.
20 days after my surgery, I discovered why I continued to hurt so bad. By then, my parents had come out to help. Mom was so worried for not having been out sooner, but again, in God's perfect timing, they came out when I needed them. My niece went back into the hospital, and Dad spent time running me around to the several different doctors I had to see. I had a pretty nasty wound that wasn't going to heal anytime soon. After a fight with the insurance, I was finally approved to start seeing a wound doctor. (Who knew of such a thing?) I cried that first day, miserable, shaky, and in so much pain. He said the average wound took 14 to 16 weeks to heal, but I was young and healthy, so he was hoping for 8 weeks.
Week after week, I continued to go in, and he'd encourage me and tell me he hoped the next time he saw me it would be better.
And I did, slowly, but surely. I finally was able to shower by myself. I was able to attend church by Easter. I was able to drive after a few more weeks. It was long, and slow, but steadfast.
Week after week, month after month. Some days were good, some were bad, but…
Today,18 weeks and 3 days after my surgery, I was finally told my wound has healed. There is still pain, and I have a long way to go to get my energy back. But, the wound is healed. I don't know what I expected. I think maybe to jump for joy. Instead, I cried. I just cried and cried. More from relief, probably. The tears just came and wouldn't stop. And that was before I got home, and told hubby, and started crying again.
So, what I have learned from all of this?
I've learned to appreciate my family a whole lot more. We are definitely closer these days.
I've learned just how amazing our friends are; and how much our church family loves us. When mom would worry, I could tell her, "It's ok, we are being taken care of; just take care of yourself."
I've learned that sometimes, you just have to stop. And that is ok. I don't have to be supermom; really.
I've been to the lion's den while God was there with me. He has His hand on everything.
At one of the visits with my surgeon, he told me that had he done the surgery the way he planned instead of the *old fashioned way,* it would have killed me.
God is good. He knew. He knows. And He has a plan for me.
I was once asked, how do you get through it all? By faith, I replied. I have to have faith. And hope.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 12: 1b-2
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus,
the author and finisher of our faith
Therefore, since we have
been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, through
whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now
stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and
character, hope. And hope
does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our
hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Rejoice in the hope of the glory of
I hope that you all will rejoice with me today, and offer up prayers of thanks, because God is good, and He never fails us. We could not have made it through the past several months without each and every one of you. Thank you so much!