Friday, July 20, 2012

We're home! Well, sort of.

Yes, we are home and radiation is over. I am so, so thankful. My mom came in for my last treatment and we had a great time celebrating with the Stanfills. When I woke up the morning of my last treatment, I walked out of our bedroom to full-out celebration decor by Erin, Ms. Tammy, and my mom. They stayed up the night before and decorated everything for my last treatment. Even the outside of their house was completely decorate for me. We miss them so much already! We ate with the Stanfills after my last treatment and, as always had a wonderful visit. There is no way to repay them for all they have done for us!

 Josh, my mom, and Erin came with me for my last treatment and it was great. Just like normal and then got to bring them all in to ring the bell. My radiation team was so sweet and one of them, Sally,wasn't even working on my last day, but came in to see me ring the bell. She brought her beautiful daughter, Natalia, with her and she was so sweet. I couldn't have asked for a better group taking care of me! When I expect myself to have emotion, I typically don't. I thought when I was done with treatment I would burst into tears, and I didn't. I guess when it's expected, it doesn't feel genuine to me. Then I will cry randomly in a doctor's office for a check-up! I just am sometimes surprised at my emotions:)

 My skin from radiation is doing ok. When Dr. Storm saw me the last time, he said that my skin was at the peak of my response. The radiation did more to my skin than what he really wanted, but killing skin cells that deep means in theory killing any lingering cancer cells, which aren't even there in Jesus' name. All of my skin is beginning to peel which isn't the prettiest picture, but it is encouraging to see what skin lies beneath the ugliness- pretty, white, soft skin:) I'm feeling much better and I am still hopeful for healthy skin and tissue. It has been a great week back home as we are trying to adjust back to somewhat normal life. It has been weird, and then there are days where it has felt great. We are trying to somewhat "lay low" and seek God of how he wants us to do life now that we are here. He is revealing much to us, and we are thankful. We still need much prayer though. Thank you for the prayers--for both Josh and I.

The reason I wrote that we are home (sort of) is because we headed to Houston late on Wednesday night. I noticed a dry spot on my right breast, which is the side that wasn't radiated, and a scab came of a couple of days ago. I completely thought it was just dry skin. I showed it to Josh and he suggested I contact my doctor about it. Well, that led to emailing a picture, and them wanting me to come in and take a look. So, we got in Wednesday night around 1am to be there first thing this morning at 8. Yes, we are a little tired! Well, they looked at me Thursday morning and were concerned that my skin was under a lot of stress from the expander, which can sometimes lead to skin dying. If this becomes worrisome enough, it can lead to a removal of the expander, or a need to do an immediate back flap procedure. They are hopeful that it was either just a scratch or just a signal that my skin was under too much stress. They took out 100 cc's and wrote me prescription for a special cream that should help with the healing. I will be back next week for them to start expanding the left side and they can re-evaluate how it is looking then. We are praying and believing that I will heal up just fine, but still a little frustrating to be back in Houston so soon. I know God knows what He is doing! Trusting Him at all times. We cried some on Thursday just talking about how when life starts to feel a little normal, we have a hiccup. God has brought us through so much and we know He has us in his hands. Even though we are dealing with this issue, it isn't cancer-related, and for that I am grateful. I think it is harder on Josh because he just hates to see me have anything that is termed a "problem." I have to remember this is cosmetic and I know my beauty and worth is found in the Lord. I don't know if I have ever really grasped that or known what it meant until my body has been "deformed" after surgery and losing all of my hair on chemo. That can make you feel ugly if anything can! Until we find our beauty and worth in the Lord, we will never be satisfied with our beauty and bodies. These reconstruction issues will just be another hurdle we will have victory over!

 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

 Please continue to pray for us though. Sometimes I can really feel like a broken record, because I feel like I am always asking you guys to pray for something. I can feel redundant, and I wonder if those reading this, especially non-Christians are thinking, "Here she goes again, blah, blah, blah..." But I won't stop. This is what I have done since the beginning and we have seen the fruit of so many prayers. And, it's what God tells us to do. Please pray that we do not have to take my right expander out. Dr. Villa jokingly said that it would be a "reconstructive failure" if we had to do that and of course we don't want that. Please pray for my skin on the left side (radiated skin) that it will heal and be healthy. You all know I don't want to have to do the "back flap" procedure, so please pray I don't need to. Above all, pray that the reconstruction is the best it can be for me long term, even if that is the back flap. To look as closely to my old self, and above all healthy skin, with no complications- whatever procedure will need to be done. Please pray for Josh and I as we are figuring out our "new normal" and for my life-long healing! Praise the One from whom all blessings flow! I love the song ,"Bless the Lord, O my Soul"...especially the line that says "For your goodness I will keep on singing, 10,000 reasons for my heart to find." His goodness and blessings are all around me. I will not focus on the things that aren't good, but the things that are. And I know even the "bad" is not meant to harm me, but eventually for my good! I have so many reasons to sing and be glad!!

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Romans 8:28 

I will update next week after my Thursday doctor's appointment. Love you! Here are some pictures from my last and final treatment!!!!!! Praise Jesus!!!

This was sweet Erin hanging decorations for me to wake up to on the last radiation day!

All of us after I rang the bell:)

With my awesome radiation team: Andrew, Sally and Natalia, and Huma


 Just one of the many outside decorations on my last day:)!


Anonymous said...

You are so beautiful and inspiring! You continue in my prayers! -WHITNEY Fugler

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since I commented, and I wanted to let you know that I'm still praying for you. Don't feel bad at all about asking for prayer, and I would greatly appreciate it if you would please pray for me, too. I had a unilateral mastectomy and lymph node removal in April. I'm scheduled to have the other side done in December (no cancer found in that side, but I'm at risk for re-occurrence).

I completely relate to your description of your emotions. I haven't cried at times that really seemed "more appropriate" and "expected". Yet, the tears have come when I really wished they didn't. I, too, believe that God's purposes are being worked out for His glory. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. -Denise