Monday, February 23, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 22

I tend to be a straightforward person and am not really good at being vague or mysterious. If I was an ambiguous person, I would tell you that I had "a procedure" this week but since I'm a tell-it-like-it-is kind of person, I will risk over-sharing.

(Men, this is your cue to skip down a paragraph. ;) I had what's called an ovarian transposition done. With three one-inch incisions we, meaning the surgeon, moved my ovaries up and out of what will soon be the radiation field. (Apparently this is not a common surgery because the two residents seemed pretty excited to be involved). Doing this is going to prevent the ovaries from being fried, which in turn will prevent menopause from kicking in when radiation starts. When we were told there was a way around doing the menopause-thing at age 40, in addition to all other stuff we have going on, that sounded like a good idea! We are SO very grateful that we made the decision several years ago that we were done having biological children. I imagine it would be devastating to have cancer make that decision for us.

My cousin Melody and I were out of the house at 4:30 AM. We went to Amy's and she and I drove to the hospital while Melody stayed behind with Amy's kids. We went in the main entrance and the first thing I saw was this big, beautiful reminder.

It was a process to get all checked in and hooked up. I'm learning to embrace the IV...its been three times in a row now that they've gotten it on the first try and its so much less painful than the knitting needle they stick in my port and then the flushing rigmarole. I'm a reformed needle-sissy. :)

We met some super sweet, caring doctors and nurses and had some hangout time in between people in and out of my cubicle. I was pretty relaxed, my only other surgery experience (the port placement) having not been a big deal. Also, I wore my SuperGirl shirt. :)

Avery asked me to send her a picture in my hospital gown because I was telling her that as many gowns as I've had on in the last five months (two dozen plus), I don't think any two have been the same. This paper variety was new. What's that you say? My world is small? I know.

The surgery ended up lasting three hours, where we thought it would be more like an hour. My poor Amy was growing more nervous as time dragged and then was given a good freak-out moment when the doctor called her into a private tell her everything had gone fine!

After two more hours in recovery, I was admitted to a room. The first thing I noticed as they wheeled my bed in was the bright sunshine streaming through the window.

The pain was unexpectedly intense but I did everything in my power to move along the process so the nurse would agree to release me before having to spend the night. I have a new appreciation for women who have had c-sections...its no joke!!

These two ladies were superstars! Amy spent ten hours at the hospital just sitting and waiting and then watching me struggle through pain. And Melody was hiding in small spaces with Renna back at the house while they played hide-n-seek. Then they switched and Amy went home and Melody helped me get dressed and loaded up to go home, doing her best to avoid potholes along the way.

As we left the hospital, I couldn't help being so thankful that I was there for a planned, "elective" surgery. Behind those windows are so many hurting people dealing with major challenges, many of them doing it all alone, without God or community.

When we got home Shaun was waiting for us and he helped me get up two flights of stairs to my bedroom. I got into bed and that's where I stayed until Friday morning. At the hospital I tried to decline the prescriptions the doctor wanted to hand out, but Amy made me take the prescriptions and promise to take them around the clock to help the healing process. I did that until Friday when I finally got out of bed. I knew if I was going to be up and about I needed to feel the pain so I wouldn't try to do too much.

I might sound like a crazy person (and maybe I am going crazy) but I was so happy to have pain instead of the chemo mess. Pain is predictable, known, manageable, straightforward. Even still, it was a miserable couple of days, even with bright spots like a friend delivering lunch to my bedroom (a first!) and Avery bringing me coffee in bed (also a first).

On Friday I was out of bed but moving slow...and doing battle in my head....a place where a lot of this battle happens. I spent much of the day wrestling with God in prayer.

God, show me what I'm supposed to be learning in all of this?

God, do you really think its the best use of my time to be laid up all these weeks, able to do so little?

God, you've promised that you'll use everything for good. What good is coming from this?

Give me patience with the process...its wearing thin.

Give me many times can I get knocked down and get back up again?

I had no resolution that day but the next morning, first thing, I was back seeking God and was reminded of this verse from II Corinthians:

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

When my only option is to continue trusting THE God who created the universe and who formed me, then I know I'm in a pretty good place.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and for sticking by us all these months. I'm so grateful to have people who know and care and love. A shared burden is so much lighter!


Darla said...

My heart goes out to you and your perfectly beautiful family. I pray you will be finished and done and healed and whole in no time and that your greatest blessings await you, in which I'm certain that they do. Sending loving thoughts and prayers.

Lindsay said...

You are such a brave girl!

sara said...

Thank you for that verse...I needed to hear it. And I am so thankful that this procedure went well. Being one in the middle of menopause, I know you certainly DON'T need that right now!! :)

The Bug said...

Well for heaven's sake, I knew I had missed something. I kept trying to figure out what kind of surgery you had - apparently I totally missed this post. I'm so glad you have so much support & that this surgery was an option for you!