Week One…pain

Saturday, May 12, 2012

This week has been filled with new challenges and new sensations.

My arm hurts. The numbness continues throughout my left side and underside of my upper arm. I can’t lift it higher than about 30% off my body. I try to stretch and work it, but it is painful.

My drains are uncomfortable. I have two tubes coming out of my body. It seems like something from the movies. It’s not a pretty sight to see when visitors stop by. It’s a little gross to empty, measure and chart, then clean and set for the next drain collection.

My sleep is restless. I sleep, but never move, so I awake stiff and sore. I need to roll to my side, but am prevented by the drain and the pain.

My body screams for showers, but showers are so exhausting. My sister helped me shower. As tears ran down my face, ashamed of needing help while so grateful for her love, I cleaned myself. It felt so good to have water running down at least 80% of my body. My left side can’t get wet, so sponge bath for that side. My hair needs to be washed in a sink. I never thought of my long brunette hair, that my husband loves, as beautiful, but when you are facing losing it all, you seem to really appreciate it. I realized that my hair has not been above my shoulders since I was in 8th grade and the thought of what I will look like is very humbling. My husband watches as my niece washes my hair, for he is so nervous about hurting me and doing everything right. My second shower I am helped by my husband, it is even better than my first shower. Kevin puts in the stool/chair that was sold with the shower last year (that we have never used). God’s plan preparing for this moment. It makes everything easier. There is a place to set my drains, I can sit and shave my legs, I can relax and feel the water release the tension from my body. This shower takes an hour from the start of removing my bandages to putting on clean bandages and my pajamas. But it is wonderful.

My chest itches. The surgical tape will fall off on its own, but not until it drives me crazy. My daughter lovingly tells me I officially have the largest scar in our whole family.
Should I cry over that or embrace it and be proud of what I have overcome. But I have not overcome anything yet. I am still traveling through the darkness. But look ahead, can you see the light that I see? I keep myself focused on the light!

I am humbled.
By the outreach of family and friends – through calls, text, emails and cards.
By the meals that are brought to us out of love.
By the visit and hugs that I am receiving daily.
By the laughter of great stories that keep my uplifted.
By my sister and niece flying to my side to help, when help was needed and the precious gift of beautiful Gianna, my 7 week old grand-niece who brought pure joy into my week of suffering by her smile, first giggle and first roll over.
By the friends and family that are walking tomorrow in the YME walks in Chicago and Denver.
By the friends and family in Arizona that don’t have a YME walk in the area, so they are getting up in the morning and walking 3 miles in my honor.
I am humbled by YOU.

Grace Embraced: The Lord showers me with love through all the suffering, just as he does you in your life. Remember to see the light in the darkness and always stay focused with me.

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5 thoughts on “Week One…pain

  1. Such moving words. It made me cry. I’m so glad you are so strong and my heart goes out to you. Sending lots of prayers and love!

    • Thanks Brandon, I feel your prayers and love and stay focused on seeing your beautiful family again to get hugs and kisses from Nic and Gi soon.

  2. Spending week one at your home with you was a blessing to us. We were so glad we had the chance to be there. But mostly we felt helpless – wanting to take away your pain and not knowing how to do that. Sometimes we did forget why we were there – it just felt like sister/aunt time. Gianna did help us feel that way. We both hated to leave and can’t wait to see you again. You will be closer to being cancer-free the next time we see you. Love, prayers and hugs from Colorado, Diane and Michelle

  3. You all were invaluable to me. I am truly blessed to be loved by you. Kiss Gianna for me and treasure every breath she takes. Life is precious and never take anything for granted. I feel your love, prayers and hugs and they will lift me up until we are together again. I wear the bracelets everyday and feel your presence with me. Love you all, J

  4. Janet, You are an incredible writer. We are fortunate to have you documenting what is an amazing journey medically and spiritually for you. You know we are all here for you to lean on. Call me if you need any more funny Matt stories. 🙂

Your thoughts warm my heart and strengthen my path, thanks for commenting on my journey,

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