"We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your Name is near."
Today is the 8th day after my surgery. And I feel so much better, and so thankful! Yesterday I had an appointment with my general surgeon (He is so kind! He is actually off this week for spring break, but met me at his clinic to see me anyway.) I got two sets of great news while at his office.
- I got all three of my drains out! All three! I was a happy girl. So, that meant that I got to take my very first shower in a week last night. That was wonderful. It wore me out, and I had to go straight to bed, but it was a wonderful shower.
- I received the results on my lymph nodes, and they were negative--I am cancer free! The surgery completely cured me, and the cancer is all gone and had not spread anywhere! Praise the Lord! However, my cancer was hormone receptive, and my husband and my general surgeon will be discussing with the oncologist to decide if I will need to take the tamoxifen.
"Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." Psalm 136:1
I am off of all pain medication except for tylenol, and I still have to take an occasional Zofran for nausea. I would really like to sleep in my bed at night, but I can only get comfortable in the recliner. As I am typing this, I am actually sitting in the bed beside Sam. This is my first time to sit anywhere besides the recliner. Progress! I really did not believe the doctors when they told me how long my recovery would be. Ha! I thought--weeks of rest, months before I would be running--not me! But I believe them now. It is still a workout to walk around my house!
My mother is still here, and she is doing a super job at keeping my house and watching over the children. She has been my chauffeur, and has really learned her way around Tupelo while driving the children to various activities. She has also taken the children shopping for shoes and craft supplies, and I think they are going to be sewing for the next couple of days.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
I am truly thankful that I have been through and will continue to go through (the long reconstruction process) this trial. I am first of all thankful that it was not worse than it was, but even if I had to endure chemotherapy I would still choose to be thankful. I am thankful for the lessons that I have learned in compassion and empathy and expressing love to others. Previously, I always took a meal to mothers of new babies, I would try to remember to send get well cards and sympathy cards, and I tried to remember to pray for all of those who asked me to pray for them. But I did not do as much as I could have.
But I will never look at sick people the same way again. I know now what to do when people are in need. That is the biggest blessing of my journey. I have truly learned empathy and compassion. I never realized how much a card, a phone call, a promise of prayer, a text, a thoughtful gift, a meal, help with children and just sitting with the person who was scared about her future really meant to someone in need. It has made all the difference in the world to me, and I will spend the rest of my life doing the same for others.
I have learned the antidote to personal stress and anxiety--prayer for others--and I now write down and pray for anyone and everyone who asks for prayers. I bought a Count Your Blessings journal before my surgery, and while I am going to fill it with lists of my blessings, I am also designating pages for prayer requests. I plan to keep this book with my cell phone (which is always at my side) and I record the prayer requests as they come in on Facebook and in emails. I plan to also carry my blessing journal to church and record the prayer requests announced there too.
God's Word is true. We are to be thankful in all circumstances, and He does work all things for good for those who love Him. I am so thankful for the lessons I have learned about caring for others.