Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our Own Roller Coaster Ride

Seriously.  I feel like we are on a bit of a ride right now.  These past few weeks have been crazy times at our house.  I had a hole in my breast that required surgery.  I had surgery, which brought on lifting restrictions.  A week later, the incision on the same, left radiated breast opened up again.  This time, I could actually see my muscle.  It was a BIG hole.  So, I saw my doctor the next day (Friday of last week) and he stitched me back up, using stronger stitching.  However, I am also on a strong antibiotic to try to keep infections at bay, since my wound was open for a while. We are hoping and praying that the incision won't open back up, but since it has opened up several times since radiation ended, we are thinking that the skin is having difficulty healing.  So, I have also been referred to a wound care clinic and was instructed by my physician to not use my left arm.  As a mother caring for two small children, how do you not use one arm that is always there?  I mean, it doesn't hurt and it isn't in a cast, so I forget often and go ahead and use it.  So, I have had to employ some creative solutions so that I do not use my left arm.  Like this one....

This was my first attempt at stopping myself from using my left arm. 
I didn't like the stick-the-arm-inside-the-shirt solution.  It got really warm in that shirt and wasn't comfortable.  It was the most effective solution though.  Except when my hand began creeping out the bottom of the shirt and tried to help my right arm out with tasks.  Nonetheless, I moved on from that rather quickly and searched for Luke's old sling from when he broke his arm.  I have been using that, but it still gives me hand access, so I find myself still using my left arm.  Also, it probably isn't good that it is a bit too small and bumps up against my left breast--the one I am trying to heal.  So, the past couple of days I haven't used anything to keep myself from using my left arm.  I probably just need to wrap it up against my side with an ace bandage.

As all of this is going on, we have other things adding to our ride.  I tried to drive myself to an appointment last week and Drew's car wouldn't start.  So, we have had that in and out of the shop a couple of times.  The great news is that it now works.  Hooray--praise the Lord!

I had my first visit to a wound care clinic yesterday.  Unfortunately, the clinic didn't have the hyperbaric treatment ability that my physician requested I get.  So, I have an appointment at a new wound care center next Wednesday.  Hopefully, that isn't too far out.  The good news is that I learned a lot about caring for my wound until then by the specialist that I saw yesterday afternoon.  Also, she said that it didn't look infected.  Overall, I feel much better and more informed since my visit with her yesterday. Another Praise!

But, when I returned home from my appointment, Drew informed me that our large patio cover was falling down.  So, there's that to deal with as well.  But thankfully, the contractor that built it in 2010 gave us a 5 year warranty that we had him put in writing back then.  We are also thankful that he responded to our email to him, requesting him to come take a look.  He says he is coming over tomorrow afternoon to take a look, so we are praying that he keeps his word.

You can see here how the patio cover is actually siding down the house.  It is a HUGE cover, so we are hoping it doesn't crash down before it can be repaired.

There are many other things adding to our ride as well, but this post is getting long and I want to get on with the point.  Do I feel stressed at all?  Actually, I don't.  I think dealing with cancer has taught me that a lot of stuff is out of our control, but God is sovereign and has a perfect plan.  He is my strength when I am weak.  This gives me so much peace.   But, I can only speak for myself as far as the stress level.  Drew is also dealing with work stress.  He loves his job, it's just that there is too much to do and not enough time.  He works all day and night, with the exception of the hours from 6-8pm.   So, there really isn't much time to think about these added things.  (At the same time, we are SO thankful for his job though!)  But also, we're a team and we're not doing this alone.   We had friends from our community group bring us meals following my surgery.  Also, one of our friends watched the kids while I went to my first post-op appointment (and even put a meal into our crockpot so it would be ready for dinner--how thoughtful and awesome is that?).  This allowed Drew to continue working while I attended my appointment.  Not only that, but both sets of our parents have sacrificed and loved and served us.  My parents were with us during and following my surgery.  This was a sacrifice of love for them, as they had to close down their business for a few days to be here with us.

I was behind Drew, who was taking the picture, making the kids laugh.   You can tell they are looking at me since I am shorter than Drew--oops.  :-) 
Drew's parents helped us out for several days last week.  Drew's mom (Mimi) recently had surgery to repair three broken bones in her ankle which she injured on vacation.  So, she had a boot on her foot and used a walker.  I could only use one arm with my restrictions and can't lift more than 10 lbs.  One day when Drew's dad (Papa) took Luke somewhere special, we decided that between the two of us, we had three good arms and three good legs and could watch Abbey just fine.  :-)  We did just fine, but it was pretty comical and a video of us caring for Abbey would have been pretty funny.  Drew's parents sacrificed their time even though they were going through a lot right now with Mimi's broken foot.  They even gave us a date night out, which we REALLY enjoyed!  We truly feel the love from our friends and family!

Luke and Papa looking for buried treasure.
Did you notice that in each of the trials I mentioned above that God has allowed, there were praises.  God truly doesn't give us more than we can handle.  He always provides and is always good!  But lastly, it is really difficult to feel any stress when I get to be around these beautiful children that are SO full of joy every day!  They smother me with their love, kisses and hugs all day long.  They make me laugh.  They make me smile.  So, I will end this post with probably way too many photos of them.

During lunchtime today,  as a rare lunchtime treat (the morning time is usually when we have our tv time) I turned the tv on so that I could clean up the kitchen and fold the laundry (and so the kids would stay at the table and finish their meals).   Abbey even decided to watch a little bit since it was her favorite show, Little Einsteins.
Eating like a big girl at the table where Luke likes to eat.  
For fun, I shot through the supports of our blue Ikea kids' chair.  It created a pretty cool, natural blue vignette.  
Busy girl likes to get into all of our cabinets, including the entertainment center.
I have a confession.  Abbey's bangs were annoying me, because she had a lot of hair strands that were down to her eyebrows, yet most were much shorter.  I have been wanting to even it up for a while, but was concerned her bangs would be too short if I did so.  I finally decided that really short bangs would still look better than the jagged bangs that she was sporting.  So, I had her sit in a chair while I trimmed her hair.  It was going well.....until she moved.   Let's just say that you will probably see her in bows in most of the photos that I capture of her for a while.  At least they sort of cover up my flawed cut.  Oh.....and Drew has revoked my haircutting priveleges.  But, I am fine with that.

But, she is still my cutie pie.  Even with her new short bangs.
As I have learned, it's only hair and it will grow out.  :-)

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