Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Post-Surgery Update

Wow. I am amazed to think that anyone would choose to do plastic surgery voluntarily. While I know I will be so grateful for the results, the process is quickly wearing me down and it's only been 2 weeks since my surgery.

After surgery, I spent 1 night in the hospital and then they sent me home...even with a fever. Go figure. I came home with 3 drain tubes and a numbing pump hanging out of my sides. I am covered in bruises where they tried to stick i.v's that did not want to go. The pressure in my chest and the swelling under my arms makes it difficult to do much of anything. I can't drive, I have to sleep in the recliner, I'm not supposed to do any lifting, and the natural tendency to hold my arms stiffly at my side has caused a lot of pain in my neck and shoulders. Fun times! To top off the last 2 weeks, my mother has pulled her back out trying to help me with the kids and the housework, the 2 girls have colds, and the 2 boys have tested positive for the flu!

So, what comes next? I will be seeing the doctor each week for the next couple of months for injections of fluid to fill my expanders. At my next visit, I hope to get the remaining two drains out which will make a huge difference I think. My second surgery should take place around the end of May or the beginning of June. In May, I have my 6th echocardiogram to see if my heart is returning back to it's normal function rate after being weakened by the Hercepton. Despite all this, there is an end in site and I am grateful for several things...
  1. The test results on the tissue from my second mastectomy were normal!
  2. My husband's boss has been incredible, letting him take off whenever he needed to help me!
  3. I have gotten to spend a couple of weeks with my mother!
  4. I should be done with everything by the end of June and get to enjoy part of the summer with my kiddos!
  5. I have some wonderful friends and family who are looking after me!
I am truly blessed!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thankful "L"

LAUGHTER - One of my very favorite things in the whole world is hearing my children laugh! When they get tickled by something or someone and let out that uncontrollable belly laugh, I cannot help but smile! It is the greatest sound ever!

I LOVE LUCY - My mom brought me the very first season of "I Love Lucy" on DVD to watch while I am laid up for a while. They say that laughter is the best medicine, and we have had so much fun sitting in the living room watching Lucy and laughing hysterically every night before hitting the hay!

LIME-ADES - There is nothing quite like a Lime-ade Chiller from Sonic! I love cherry lime-ades, but when summer comes around and I am irresistibly drawn in for the cranberry or lime lime-ade chillers! I cannot describe the tangy sweetness to you, but I highly recommend you try one. You will never go back to just a plain milkshake again!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Time...

Well, it's time. Today is the day of my reconstructive surgery. There are going to be 3 surgeons in the room following each other and 3 different procedures. I am all about having to be put to sleep as few times as possible! They are estimating that the surgery is going to take about 4 hours. First, my breast surgeon will remove my port and do a mastectomy on my left side. Second, my plastic surgeon will insert the expanders in both sides to begin stretching the skin. This process can be painful and will take about 2-3 months to complete. Third, my general surgeon will then go into my belly button and fix my umbilical hernia that has developed complications from when I was pregnant with my son. Needless to say, I am not looking forward to how I am going to feel tomorrow! :) I found out last week that my heart is not functioning at full capacity, thanks to my cancer treatment. The doctors think it is still ok to proceed with surgery, so here we go.

I am told that it is going to be a long 3 months of emptying drains, weekly visits to the doctor, sleeping in the recliner, etc. And number 2. Since I have no control of any of the above, I am going to say a quick prayer of thanks...

"Heavenly Father, I thank you that I am cancer free! I thank you for allowing my parents to be able to come and stay with my kids during my surgery. I thank you for finding me the best doctors in town. I thank you for my family and friends who are praying for me today and have shown me so much love! You are incredibly gracious to me! With all my heart! Candice"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"I Refuse"

This week I heard a new song, sung by the artist who wrote it. It was very powerful and spoke to my heart in a place where God has speaking for a while now. God's message has been about leaving my comfort zone to step out and actively pursue helping those who are less fortunate around the world. We have taken steps as a family over the last couple of years to follow God's command in this area, but I know there is more we can do.

I got to hear Josh Wilson sing the song "I Refuse" off his album "See You," and it was great! It has the same message as some of the books I have read lately, like "Radical," by David Platt, "Global Soccer Mom," by Shayne Moore, and "The Hole in Our Gospel," by Richard Stearns. The lyrics are:
Sometimes I,
I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright
When I know they're not.
This world needs God
But it's easier to stand and watch.
I could pray a prayer and just move on
Like nothing's wrong.

But I refuse.

'Cause I don't want to live like I don't care.
I don't want to say another empty prayer.
Oh, I refuse to
Sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself.
Oh, I could choose
Not to move but I refuse.

I can hear the least of these
Crying out so desperately,
And I know we are the hands and feet
Of You, oh God.
So, if you say move,
Then it's time for me to follow through,
And do what I was made to do.
Show them who you are.

I pray that I will always be ready to spread God's love to others around me and across the world!