Monday, August 17, 2015

Details do matter

Today the calendar said only 3 days until surgery. I didn't feel panicked because of the surgery itself but rather I had a problem. It was kinda small in size but rather large to me and it has been bothering me for quite some time. I have tried to fix the problem myself but have failed each time and the clock was ticking, each calendar day that I mark off getting closer to surgery meant that I needed to have this problem fixed and I didn't know what I was going to do about it. I had taken care of all the others but the most special one to me was left.

A few weeks ago when the surgery date was nearly finalized I knew I had to get all my rings off but with the medications I've been on I have gained a lot of weight and my hands are puffy. I used some soap to take my thumb ring off and my 2 other rings that I wear but my wedding ring would not come off. I tried lotion, oil, cold water, etc and it would not budge over my puffy knuckle. So today I took it to the Provider of all my needs. I knew this wasn't just a mere desire to have my ring off my finger but I needed it off my finger and I had actually set today as the very last day to try to get it off myself. I had actually planned to make a few phone calls if needed to find out if I could go to the jewelers to have it cut off. I really cringed inside thinking about cutting my wedding ring and then having to have it repaired and possibly re-sized in order to wear it again but I knew something had to be done. So while I was showering I prayed. I brought it before God and it seemed kinda trivial to ask but I had asked prior to this but I don't think I really gave it to God. Do you ever do that? Pray about something but you kinda hang on to it yourself. As if you know better or think maybe it's too small to ask, or maybe you think it's far too much to ask for.  Well God cares. And today I really just handed it completely to God and said, I don't want to have it cut off. I think it unwise to spend money on having my ring cut off and then fixed and I don't want to burden the family finances even more than this medical junk already does. Lord, I need for this to come off and I just don't see how it's going to happen. And then it clicked. Something inside of me (the Holy Spirit) said, "I walk by faith and not by sight!"
So I said it a few times, "I walk by faith and not by sight, I walk by faith and not by sight. Lord, I know that you will take care of this for me." I began to turn the water temperature down colder and colder and ran the cold water over my whole arm, not just my hand like I had all the other times before.
 I called my daughter in and had her give me some lotion to smear all over my ring & my finger and I continued to pray. I prayed in my heavenly language and expected my prayer to be answered because it was a need and God's word says that if we ask, we will receive. And it says to pray expecting. I can't say that it slipped off easily but it did come off and I began to cry with thanksgiving. I was overwhelmed with joy that the God of the Universe, the God who created the sun, moon, stars, water, land, and even me had delighted in giving me what I needed.  My kids were really happy to hear that with God's help I was able to get my wedding ring off. He truly hears our cries and he provides what we need....things that are large as well as things that seem ridiculously small. Thank you Lord for caring about me and even the smallest needs that I have. Thank you for being in the big things as well. You never cease to amaze me! God sure is in the details.

Matthew 6:25-30New International Version (NIV)

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

Friday, August 7, 2015

PET Scan #3 Results

I have to keep this really, REALLY short today. Well, I want to because the kids went to stay with my parents yesterday after I was done with the PET scan and dr appointment. Soooo that means that I am home by myself and I have a few things that I'd like to be working on before they come back home. Shhh, don't tell them that we are changing their rooms around. They had suggested that Braly take the girls smaller room and that the girls go into his room. I think they did it on a whim thinking I'd say no and then when I said yes, Gabby started to change her mind. She doesn't like a lot of change but Adam & I think it might work out nicely for everyone and it will be a good change. So he helped me move their clothes last night.

I have never had a MRI done so I can't compare it to that machine but I'd say that it is probably similar. It is a tube that has a very small table that you lay on and it moves through the tube to take pictures for about 20 or more minutes. The first 2 I had done, it was very quiet but yesterday they told me that I could listen to a cd of music that they had. They inherited them from the MRI department because they got hooked up to Sirius Radio or some equivalent. Next time I'm bringing my own CD with. But it was nice to be able to kinda know how long I had left by counting the number of songs and averaging them like 3 mins a song.

There is prep for this scan. The day before the scan I am supposed to eat either low carbs (the last paper said this) or NO carbs (the newest instructions said this) all day long, high proteins and then after midnight I am supposed to fast but drink water so I'm not dehydrated. The day of the scan, I am not allowed to eat or chew gum which was annoying because that's how I've been keeping my mouth moist so I don't have problems getting sores from the chemo. And I am to wear clothing with no metal. So when I go in to have this scan done I am taken into a room, the technician either puts an iv into my arm to put the dye in or if I have them access my port, they have to call a nurse down to do it. This time I opted for the iv so it would be quicker. Then I lay on a bed for 1 hour in the quiet and dark and I'm not supposed to move much. The reason this happens is if you don't have a lot of movement, the radioactive sugar dye that is injected, will go to the sites where the cancer cells are active. I forgot to say that once they have the iv in, they take my blood sugar as well. After the cat nap for an hour, I am asked to use the bathroom and then walk into the room where the PET scan machine is. I am to lay on a very narrow platform thing, where they put a special pillow behind my knees to try to help me be comfortable and I am to hold my arms above me the entire time. They usually start falling asleep but I have to hold very still. Yesterday my left leg and hip started to tingle like they were sleeping before my arms did and I knew I was so close to finishing that I just kept quoting scripture to encourage myself that I could finish without interruption so I could be done. Because honestly, I don't know what happens, like how much it would lengthen the scan if I asked them to stop for a minute. I just wanted it finished and knew I could make it so I did with God's help.

After the scan is done, they move the platform back out of the machine and lower it and then un-tuck me from the warm blanket mess and help me sit up. There is nothing to push off of so I always let them help me. Besides, with my arms starting to fall asleep, I need help to sit up. Then the scan is done and I usually go find something to eat with Adam and then we go back for the results with the doctor.

Yesterday we saw the comparison of April's scan with yesterday's scan and though I was really hoping for nothing to show up, it was good enough results.  Yes, I'm aiming for something extraordinary in my expectations and that's ok. The 3 spots that were present in April are still there but they are much less lit up on the scan than before. A LOT lighter, which means that the chemo is working. The great news is that there are NO new spots so when Ann Arbor gets the results, they should be okay with continuing with the plan for radical modified mastectomy on August 20th like we have scheduled. Sometime today, I will have to make some phone calls to see if the scan was sent to Ann Arbor as I requested or if I have to send the copy that I received before I left yesterday.

Depending on what the pathology finds out when the surgery is performed and everything is looked at, I will know whether I am advised to have radiation on any sites as well as whether I am advised to have 3 more chemo treatments. I was not expecting to hear the doctor say that yesterday but at least I have an idea of what he's considering so I have time to process it and know how to pray. Next step, surgery and recovery.

Time for me to get breakfast and start getting some things taken care of around here while I'm only responsible for myself. I miss my kids and they are such great helpers but having a little quiet and no responsibilities is kinda nice for the day.