"For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made

in the secret place, when I was woven together

in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my

unformed body; all the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be."

Psalm 139: 13-16

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fighting words

I'm home. I am happy to be back in my own bed, surrounded by the sounds of sweet little voices. Duke (the dog) and I are recovering together. On Monday I woke up to a hurting puppy. After several vet trips and a couple ultrasounds, they found a tumor on his spleen which had ruptured and was bleeding in to his abdomen. He underwent surgery Tuesday to remove the spleen, and now we are waiting on the pathology to tell us if it was a benign tumor, or something worse. If the dog and I have cancer at the same time....well, he is just taking his canine empathy a little too far!

My surgery went as well as it could have. The first few hours after were really rough- I was pretty sick from the anesthesia, but once that wore off I have felt ok. Unfortunately they did find cancer in my lymph nodes, meaning it has spread at least a little bit. They took all the lymph nodes under my left arm and we are waiting on the pathologist to tell us how many nodes total were positive. Because my surgeon had to take so many, she also intentionally cut a nerve branch which has left me with some numbness to my left arm. I also have 2 surgical drains in place which should come out in a week or so. Once they are out, I will have some additional testing to see if they can identify whether or not the cancer spread to any other organs or to my bones. Chemo is a definite now, and radiation is highly likely as well. Reality has definitely set in.

I spent a little time yesterday struggling with all of this. For the first time since the diagnosis I am scared. My body is different now, and the knowledge that chemo isn't just a precaution because of my age- that's it's a necessity- well I am just sad, and scared, and shocked. But, I refuse to give in to any sadness. I refuse to wallow in the anxiety of what "may be". For the first time I feel I am ready to fight, knowing that this is about not only surviving through cancer, but thriving in the midst of it. This is an absolutely impossible feat without God. He allowed this to happen to me, but he also promises that he will never leave me or forsake me (Deut. 31:6),  he goes before me (Isaiah 45:2), and he will fight for me (Exodus 14:14). There is assurance from every angle that he is walking with me through this trial. And there is assurance of his love. We are promised suffering in this life, but we are also promised hope because of his perfect love.

"There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear" 
1 John 4:18

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
John 16:33

Resting in His promises today.

And the promise of a good shampoo. It's the little things:)

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