surgery

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Final Reconstructive Surgery

Hiking Jan 2009-46295:30 will come early tomorrow morning. That’s what time we are scheduled to be back at the hospital for the final surgical step in the cancer recovery process.

This final surgery has been hard to decide to go forward with. It’s hard to decide to inflect Holly’s body with more scars when the last ones are just now healing. It’s hard to choose to have a surgery that’s not technically necessary, that just finishes the reconstructive process.

That said — we have peace this is what God has for us. I would have thought this surgery would have been easier, that this would be routine by now.

The truth is it’s never easy to step into pain. We are hard-wired to avoid it, and yet Jesus says things like,

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Mt 5:3-5)

I keep looking for the verse that says, “Blessed are those that push through,” or “Blessed are those that pretend it doesn’t hurt,” but I can’t find it.  Somehow it is blessed to have our spirits be poor, to mourn and be meek.

These last months we’ve been learning that these places of blessing are not things that happen to us, they are things we choose.  We have to choose to step into — feel — the pain of life and let it crush us a little bit.

It’s in that crushed place where Jesus meets us in new and fresh ways.  It’s there He blesses us with healing from pain, current and old pains all the same.

God has been so very good to us in the pain of cancer and recovery.  He has faithfully met us, healed us, and blessed us.  Please pray we will continue to let the pain break us to continue in the blessing.

How’s Holly Doing?

Don’t you hate it when people ask you to pray for them and then they never update you on what’s going on?  Me too!

I hope we haven’t been those people too bad, but frankly most times someone asks me, “How’s Holly doing?” I have no idea how to answer.

Well she’s making some significant progress worth sharing, so I would take the almost-four-week-anniversary-of-her-surgery to update you…

Progress:

  • She’s much less tired (went last few days without naps)
  • She’s almost completely off medication (just occasional over the counter pain medicine or muscle relaxer )
  • She is got her last drain out today! Wahoo!

Still issues:

  • She is still under a doctor-imposed ban of lifting more than 8 pounds. (A challenge when taking care of kids that weigh more than 8 pounds)
  • She is still tired and “runs out of gas” pretty easily.

We’re about to send Holly’s mom home for the first time since the surgery, so we will have a good idea of how well she really is doing pretty quickly.  She has been a tremendous blessing, and I seriously don’t know what we would have done without help from her and my mom.

So, there’s a quick update for you!  Thanks for all the prayers!

Surgery Scheduled

Is it strange to say we’re excited to have a surgery day?  After so much waiting and so many decisions, it’s good to have this big step on the schedule.  We’re also glad that we got in earlier that we might have had to wait.

Friday, September 18 is the big day.

We did decide on a reconstruction option, the DIEP Flap.   You can read the details of this surgery, and the truly brave of heart can watch a 1 hour video with play-by-play of it being done (warning: parts are hard to watch).

It will take 8-10 hours at Baylor Regional Medical Center of Plano.  Then she will spend 4-5 days in the hospital.

There’s not a lot to do before then, but Holly is working out hard to do her best to get her body ready for surgery.  School has started and life is busy with welcome distractions from cancer-world for now.

Jamie will be leaving for Uganda Monday and getting back the day before her surgery.  More about that later though…