Monday, February 9, 2009

Health Update

This has been a very strange weekend. I have spent most of it trying to keep my anxiety to a minimum. For some reason, I am extremely nervous about my upcoming surgery. It's not like I've never had a major surgery before....let's see...

1. all 4 wisdom teeth surgically removed under anesthesia
2. 4 surgical D&C's after miscarriages
3. had my gallbladder removed laproscopically
4. 3 C-Sections
5. Mastectomy (unilateral)
6. Port placement

All of these procedures required general anesthesia (except for the C-Sections....I had two epidurals and one spinal). Anesthesia has different effects on different people, but for me....I get horribly nauseous. For most people, this isn't a big deal....however, when you have surgery that requires you to have stitches in your abdominal area.....throwing up becomes an issue all on it's own. With the gallbladder removal and the Csections....just taking a deep breath can bring excruciating pain to your abdomen! Sneezing, coughing or laughing can bring the same pain. Can you imagine having to throw up....and the pain that can cause!???
Another concern is that I won't be able to drive for 2 weeks! This is definitely an inconvenience. This will be more stressful for Dan and we will have to rely on friends and extended family to help us through this time.

I guess it's all about surrendering control. I have always been under this false assumption that I somehow have control over things in my life. I don't. Lack of control creates fear for me. Because of the cancer, I feel as though decisions are being made for me. I realize that these decisions that I'm forced to make (or, rather, agree to) are for my own good. Hopefully, they will allow me to be a mom and wife for many years to come.

Most days, I don't think about the realities of having cancer. I just live it. But when you take a close look, you realize that in some ways, I've become a robot. I go here for an appointment, I go do that, I take this pill, I have that scan, I have this surgery...blah, blah, blah. My oncologist is my new boss. I now understand why those in a more advanced stage of the disease sometimes just put a halt to everything! They say NO MORE! I don't blame them. My prayer is that I never get to that point. Sigh.

Anyway, I have my pre op workup tomorrow. Then, I have a whole week to sit and contemplate what life will be like without a uterus.


Therese said...

praying for peace for you, dear friend!

Ambrose said...

Praying here, too, for you

Sarah (JOT) said...

Prayerfully, with my prayers added, you will never get to "that point". Hang in there - and I know that sounds pat, but I am rooting for you!! I feel for you, as I had a D&C after a miscarriage, three c-sections, five eartube (one of those having a benign cyst and bone reconstruction done - right ear) surgeries . . . plus, wisdom teeth removal . . .I so get the throwing up and nausea you're talking about. I'll definitey pray about this for you.

scmom (Barbara) said...

This is all about surrendering control and you will not be happy with the outcome until you do. I am a total control freak, but I made it through my hysterectomy and pelvic reconstruction last summer only by surrendering. It is just too difficult to recover while you maintain control of the household. Ask for help. People are happy to help -- just let them.

PS See what your doctor says (he will probably defer to anesthesiology) about having your surgery under light sedation with an epidural. I had two hernia repairs under light sedation only (I don't remember a thing), and my hysterectomy was done with anesthesia but with an epidural so I wouldn't have to be put under so far. It might help with your nausea issues.

Tracy said...

Nancy, I'm praying for you.
I want to share that I have huge control issues, I think I remember them starting really bad about my freshman year in high school. I know we are supposed to surrender control, but I find it the hardest thing in the world to do, so I totally get what your saying.. and reading your post and putting myself in your shoes.. oh my.. I literally have a panic attack... for me.. I have to offer it up all the time.. once is just never enough ( I try to sneak the control back.. ha.. like God doesn't know what I'm doing:) so, each time I realize I'm taking control back... I have to say it out loud to myself.. No, you will not take this back Tracy... Lord, I surrender my control yet again to you today" and I do this sometimes once a day.. sometimes 20 times a day.. but it does give me a sense of calm and peace when I let God be in control.. even if it takes me a time or two to give it up:)
Your always in my prayers... blessings:)

Anonymous said...

I am praying for you Nancy. When I was going through treatment, I learned that cancer isn't so much a disease as a lifestyle. It changes everything! Keep your chin up. I know what the nausea is like after surgery. I've only had it once, but it was not fun.

Aussie Therese said...

praying for you too Nancy.

aspiring... said...

A couple thoughts, Nancy.

This concerns me. "... in some ways, I've become a robot. I go here for____, I go do ____, I take this____, I have that____, I have this ____..."

Each of us can fill in each blank with some tedious or unwelcome or fearful thing or another. The thing is, thank God for those things, for all of your crosses, and for His insight to you in relation to them, and for His designs and His help.
He'll help you with gratitude itself if you're willing to be grateful.

Gratitude is the only way to peace. And it's the only way to breathe real life, and joy, into anything. It's the only way to open your 'eyes.' So! Be grateful! ! And see! And enjoy! And live!

AIso, be not afraid, Nancy. Sound familiar? :)

Go back to what this meant to you when you named your blog. Apply those ideas and ideals to just a couple of the things going on today.

I hope this makes sense and I don't offend. (I'm sleepy.) I am so with you in prayer.

aspiring... said...

Nancy, hi,

I reread my comment this morning and it's missing something. The point and the rationale, is that gratitude is not a matter of courtesy or sentimentality or silly oblivion to trial. Regardless of the issue, gratitude is a powerful personal and spiritual dynamic - with a natural range of consequences to be realized within you and effected around you. (Likewise, lack of gratitude is a dynamic just as powerful - with another range of natural consequences, and, by the way, we know who wants you to give up in despair.) This is true, the dynamic of and life in gratitude, period, across the board. But it's profoundly true when your gratitude is in companionship and counsel with Jesus. Take just a single cross with you to prayer and let Jesus know you accept it gratefully, or that you want to. You'll come to know the ability and relief of abandonment or letting go of your hold and preoccupation. 'Coming to know' and the peace that can follow, won't be of you. You can't get there on your own. It will be of your Lord.

Also, by the way, control is not something you want or are equipped for. "Don't go there," as the saying goes! :)

Some things are easy to be thankful for. "Thank you God, I'm grateful, for the availability of this appointment or this surgery to me." You can easily see the benefit of those things on your own. It's going there, making a pit stop there - at gratitude - that brings truth to the forefront of your mind.

Other things are not easy or are impossible to be thankful for. Acceptance is essential. Maybe gratitude will come. You need Jesus' counsel especially then.

A little maxim I keep coming back to and assessing and reshaping and rewording, and drawing from, says: be thankful for blessings you recognize, and for blessings that you don't recognize as such yet!

Peace is possible, and contentment, no matter what. And it is this perspective I would help with more than anything else.
Ever with you in prayer. +

Michele said...

I'll be praying for you Nancy! I struggle with control and fear also but God is breaking those shackles off my feet. He is so very good, all the time!