The knight cuts off the enemy’s arm, but he keeps fighting… “I’ve cut off your arm”…”it’s but a flesh wound”
Sometimes that’s how I feel. Even though I am laughing at the sight of my arm. Physical Therapy…and I keep fighting. Sometimes I wonder if I would have made different choices if they had told me in April everything a breast cancer patient goes through. I think there is a reason the medical professionals want you to take it one step at a time, instead of seeing the mountain all at once. But as a good friend told me when I started on this journey, “remember not to tell God how big your mountain is, but tell your mountain how big your GOD is!” Love it!
So now about Physical therapy…
Physical therapy has been working on releasing the fluid in my arm since mid-August and working on my range of motion of the shoulder which is still limited from my May surgery. Although I was nervous about starting therapy in August, it has been a wonderful experience. I heard horror story about how hard they pushed and how painful physical therapy is for some recovering from injuries. I am happy to report that physical therapy for breast cancer surgery consists of a lot of massages for the lymph node stimulation and massages for the scar tissue breakdown and more massaging to loosen the muscles for range movement. My therapist is wonderful, so kind and understanding. She explains everything, which is great, because I usually have a lot of questions. And the exercises are really helping.
I guess I never thought that I would have to bandage my arm and what the bandaging would look or feel like. The first day Cathy, my OT, bandaged me was a Monday. That evening I had a presentation to about 200 parents. As she was wrapping me, I asked “how long does this need to stay on?” Boy was I surprised when she said “all the time, just take it off for showers”! It’s not an easy thing to hide, but it was effective in keeping fluid from hanging around in the arm. Another advantage is the way it keeps at least that arm warm 🙂
My dear husband, Kevin, quickly took on the role of wrapper, after giggling a little as he watched me try to accomplish it effectively on my own. I can wrap it, but could not get it around snug enough to stay up all day. So began our routine… He reminded me of all the experience he had from wrapping hands and feet…the prep of a high school football player…but the Lord taught him well all those years ago. Even my OT was impressed with how well wrapped I was the next visit.
Just the right pressure, not too tight, not too loose…just another amazing reason why I’m glad I married this man!
Although at times it has felt like it would have been easier to just cut off the arm, like in the Monty Python movie, I’m so glad I persevered. The swelling is down substantially and I now am rock’n a fashion forward compression sleeve and gauntlet that is much easier to work and function in. Although Kevin still has to wrap the bandages at night when the sleeve comes off, it is so much more comfortable during the day.
As Cathy and I share stories during our session, we discovered I know her sister, Julie. Julie was a volunteer for me several years ago, during a period that she lost her husband. It was such a joy to learn how Julie was doing and how her son is growing. I truly believe we are all interconnected. If we spend time with others we can see how we are connected to one another. My OT in LaGrange, who lives in Orland Park, sister lives in Tinley Park, but use to live in Frankfort, where I live. A God moment! As my arm heals I also find comfort in conversations about family and faith with Cathy. God is good!
So I continue with Physical Therapy, strengthening myself physically, knowing that the Lord wants me to grow in grace and love each day through the people He places in my path and the experiences He leads me through.
“your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit” 1 Corinthians 6:19
Grace embraced through the Lord placing Cathy as my therapist to guide me through the rehabilitation and strengthening of my arm and my spirit