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Showing posts from April, 2012

Stuff You Learn After Breast Cancer Surgery

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You can talk to women who are breast cancer survivors. You can read all the breast cancer medical websites. You can ask a zillion questions of your breast surgeon. Until you go through breast cancer surgery, however, you cannot be fully prepared for what the experience holds. 

The first few days post-surgery were spent gently and quietly. I was swollen, bruised and achy, and my body was still in shock. Spending the majority of my day resting, I rotated ice packs and took pain relievers. My chest looked like it had been hit by a semi.

Bras became an obsession. I had purchased two therapeutic bras to wear post-surgery. One was a compression model. This bra and I have a love/hate relationship. It gives me great support, but is really uncomfortable. Oh, and I have to wear it 24/7. After the first week of recovery, I have been rotating my bra wardrobe, trying to find the right combination of support and comfort.

The antiseptic wash that they used before my surgery is called chloraprep. I…

Thanks for the Prayers!

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"We got it all." That's what the surgeon told my family on Friday afternoon, after my breast cancer surgery. Since that time, I've been focused on feeling better and resting. Even a minor procedure seems to take a lot out of you. My friends and family have been gathered around to take care of me. I feel blessed and humbled. My body is pretty beat up, as I knew it would be. I am bruised, swollen, and sore. I am also relieved, relaxed and hopeful. It will be a few weeks before I feel one hundred percent healthy again. This is where I need to be patient with myself and take it slow. Work will wait. My daughters and The Hubster have been wonderful to help with housework, shopping, cleaning and meals. My job is to rest, they've said. I feel like a celebrity in a five-star resort, and the best part is I get to sleep in my own comfy bed. A girl could get used to this kind of spoiling! To each one of you who took time out to pray for me, to sen…

Cancer: Battle Cry

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Tomorrow, I have surgery to remove the cancer that has invaded my body. Like a soldier preparing for battle, I strengthened my muscles with exercise, and strengthened my mind and spirit with verses from God's Word. The song, "Blessed Be Your Name," is one of my Aunt Bonnie's favorites, and mine, too. The message is perfect for what I face, cancer surgery and treatment.

Thanks for remembering me in your prayers as I will pray for all of you. Because of you and my Heavenly Father, I am stronger.

Psalm 139:14 (KJV)
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Impossible Silence

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Proverbs 17:28 (KJV)
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

If you know me, you are aware that I like to talk. I come from a long line of talkers. The Hubster jokes, "It's too bad when you and your mom get together, you can't find anything to talk about." We just laugh, and keep talking.

Soon after my breast cancer diagnosis, I was ordered to have an MRI. The night before my appointment, I asked The Hubster what I could expect. He said they put an IV in, you wear earplugs, it's really loud, you have to lie still, and oh, yeah...you have to remain silent for one hour.

Uh, what? Silence for one hour? Not possible! Since it was too late to back out, I started coming up with a strategy. I decided to fill my head with lots of stuff, so I would have plenty to think about while I had the MRI. The next morning, the technician positioned me in the machine, and the test began.

With lots of s…

The Gospel

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John 3:16-17 (KJV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

A simple message, but, oh so profound. I am what I am, but by the grace of God, I'm not what I used to be. I'm holding on to this today.

Insomnia

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The old crooner, Bing Crosby, in the film White Christmas sang a sweet lullaby called, "Counting My Blessings." Yes, it's old fashioned, and a little bit trite...but true, all the same. Instead of worrying about all the things that are wrong, or could go wrong in your life, why not thank God for all the good stuff?

As a young wife and mother, I spent a lot of time late at night, trying to sleep. Seems like as soon as my head hit the pillow, it would spin with thoughts, fears and doubts. The more I gave those things free rein, the faster they would rotate around my noggin. I couldn't contain the negative ideas and images.

Women have their fair share of worries. We are troubled over money, marriage, children, job stress, guilt, household responsibilities, health problems...the list is endless. We can lay there for hours, "what-iffing" ourselves to death, and what good would it do? By our own steam, what can we change? As God said to Job, "Where were you wh…

Steinbeck's Take on Love

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It's no big secret. John Steinbeck has been, and will always be, my favorite writer. His prose is not too sparse, not too gaudy. His plots are surprising and powerful. Since I first read Of Mice and Men in sixth grade, I've been hooked.

Recently, I read a quote from the Nobel Prize-winning Steinbeck in Reader's Digest on the subject of love. He wrote beautiful and complicated love stories, like Cannery Row. The kind of love the great author was talking about here, however, transcends romantic feelings.

"There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you--of kindness and consideration and respect--not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strengt…

Depression: Help for the Hopeless

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Psalm 42:5 (KJV)
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Mom and I spent Saturday at the Women of Faith One Day event, featuring Sheila Walsh, Ken Davis and Scott MacIntyre. We were thrilled to hear great music and great words from great people. There was one surprising fact I found out: two of the three speakers and I have something in common. We have all had depression.

Surely not, you think. They're Christians, and they have great speaking careers and glamorous lives, you think. You think wrong. Depression can happen to anyone, even Christians. If you don't believe it, check out the source. The Bible is full of examples of sad, hopeless people.

The Psalms are filled with David's woes. He was so depressed at one point that he cried out to God, as seen in the Scripture above. Job got so down that he sat on the ground in sackcloth and ashes. In I Samuel 15, King Saul c…