Monday, May 14, 2012

Expansions and Drains, Expansions and Drains!!

Yes, my life is revolving around expansions and drains! We will head to Houston this afternoon for an appointment tomorrow morning. I should get expanded again, and possibly some drains out, although from my measurements, it may be a while more on these drains. The good news is that I got out 2 drains last week! One of my drains stopped working and another was draining the required amount, so I got out 2! I now just have 2 drains left- One on the right and one on the left. Although, I have gotten more used to them now, I am ready for them to be out! They pull and aggravate my skin, and of course concealing them under clothing is near to impossible. But, I assume they will be out by next week! That is what I am praying and hoping for.

Last Thursday, I also got expanded another 75 cc's. This time really hurt after I got expanded...it literally feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest. My back hurt extremely bad after the expansion, although it is much, much better. Please pray for my chest and back to be as free from pain as possible! Tomorrow, I will get expanded again and am praying that my back and chest do not hurt as bad as last week. Thank goodness for prayer, heating pads, and advil!:)

My mom is taking me down to Houston today and took me down last week, so that Josh could stay and get some work done. Please pray that God will continue to provide for us and help us as we transition back into "normal" life. We have tried our best to keep our lives as normal as possible, but it is an adjustment to try to go back to "normal", even though life will never be quite "normal" again. We are seeking God for guidance in our work and school and that he would give us the strength and endurance we need to do what he would have us do. We know He has great plans for us. We want to be good stewards of all He has done for us.

We had a great mother's day yesterday with our moms. We have both been blessed with wonderful mothers and God was so good to me yesterday. He gave me reminders all day long that I will one day be a mother. I truly have no doubt. I will share of these amazing reminders he showed me down the road...it is truly amazing what He is doing in me. I am in awe...



This is a verse that Josh has held on to and I have believed as well:

Psalm 128:3 "Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, flourishing within your home. And look at all those children! There they sit around your table as vigorous and healthy as young olive trees."

2 weeks from this Wednesday, I will be starting my 6 weeks of radiation! Until then, I need to get fully expanded and be able to lift my left arm over my head. It is still very tight and not quite there, so please pray that I can get fully expanded by then and that my arm can move over my head. Also, please pray that I will never get lymphedema. Lymphedema is something that happens to women who have had a lymph node dissection (like I did), which means that all of your lymph nodes were removed under one or both of your arms. Your lymph nodes contain fluid, and once those lymph nodes are taken out, many times women will develop lymphedema, in which the fluid has no where to go, so it collects in their arms. They can become very swollen and painful. There is no medical "cure" for lymphedema, other than managing the pain and swelling. I have had no sign of lymphedema, and I believe that I never will, but it of course is a concern. Many people develop it by picking up heavy things, so needless to say, my husband (aka Sergeant Josh) has been picking up everything for me that is over about 2 pounds and scolding me when he sees me trying to pick up and clean:). I am trying to see the good side of this, in that I am not having to do much work, but it has been hard feeling like I can't help as much around the house or pick up things or kids like I used to. I know there is a healthy balance of picking things up and I will educate myself on all of this, but this is just another specific thing we can all pray for.

Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful."

Also, I just want to thank the people from my church that brought me food after my surgery. Our church is amazing. As I have shared on here, I am eating very healthy, so to have fresh, healthy food brought to my house for 2 weeks- simply amazing. I didn't have to think about it and got to see so many sweet faces and eat some great, healthy food... I love you all so much.

Oh, and we are still waiting on the P-53 genetic test results, so please continue praying that these results will be negative. I am so sure that they will be. I will let you know as soon as we get those back.

Some pictures are posted below..please don't look if you have a weak stomach. Josh took a picture of some of my drains. I wasn't so sure about posting some of these, but Josh thought it would be helpful to give you all an idea of the drains and how they work. Hopefully this will help you all get a better picture of what I have been carrying ...


This is when I had 4 drains. This is one less than what I started with.

Modeling my four drains...so attractive




Here you can see where the drains go in. Yes, this is a picture of my stomach that I am putting for the world to see..ugh, but wanted to give you an idea of where the drains were on the sides of my stomach. This was just last week...only 2 drains left- one on the left side and one on the right. The drains go in on the upper sides of my stomach.





Here is the one that is still in on the right side of my ribs. You can see next to it where the other drain used to be. On my right side, I had 3 of these. Crazy, right?!


Here's to expansions, more drains taken out, and less pain! Thank you Jesus!

6 comments:

Michael and Christi Fox said...

Praying for negative results on genetic test, drains to be removed promptly, and for that elephant to remove himself from your chest in Jesus' name!!! Try to enjoy him taking wonderful care of you,t though I know it is hard because you are a doer. We love you, Aly! And we love you, too, Josh! See you guys soon soon!

Renee Holman said...

Thank you so much for all the details of your journey that you are sharing. I think it's incredible that you are willing to do this. It helps so much in understanding everything and knowing how to pray. I am not medical at all and have been know to faint in hospitals and when getting a shot (Yes, I know I'm a whimp.). But I am glad you put up the pics of the drains. And I don't think you need to try and cover them with clothes. I am a college friend of Josh's parents. I am a French teacher in TX. A student told me the other day about his sister who is younger than you and has been through much that you have. I hesitate to mention her because she isn't doing so well at the moment, but I know that if anyone can pray for her with understanding, you can. Her name is Shawna. I pray for you daily, and although I have never met you, I love you! You are a real hero of the faith!

Aly Taylor said...

I love you Christi! I am just now figuring out how to comment:) can't wait to hug you... Thank you for being such a faithful friend!!

Aly Taylor said...

Praying for shawna now. Thank you for being so considerate of me... And yes, Ms. Renea told me who you are! Thank you for making me feel better about posting pictures. We knew that many of you didn't really know what the drains were, so I figured I would show them. Thank you for your encouragement to me. Thank you for your prayers... It means so much when people I don't even know are praying... I love the body of Christ and I love you too!

Aly Taylor said...

I love you Christi! I am just now figuring out how to comment:) can't wait to hug you... Thank you for being such a faithful friend!!

rhelda nolan said...

You are such a blessing to share so much . I love to read the scriptures that you include. God is great!!! thinking and praying for you. hugs rhelda