Hello dear friends and family!
Surgery is now 3 weeks behind me. I am still very swollen but it is going down. I am now sleeping in the bed again at least most of the night. I can't roll over on my side and have to sleep on my back. Usually between 2-5 am I wake up with a terrible back ache and I sleep the rest of the night in the recliner. (I have new appreciation for LaZboys let me tell you). I have lost most of my eyelashes and eyebrows now too but the hair on my head is definately coming back. My arm mobility is improving. I am reaching over my shoulders now and (with some squirming) can usually pull clothes off over my head. I'm back to driving all over town too. These are all very small victories but I will take them. Life is ALMOST back to normal.
The emotional side of things is still taking some getting used to. Lately breast cancer has made me feel like I am half a person. It can make you feel like half a wife. You aren't as beautiful for your spouse as you were before. What's the use of dolling up when you don't have hair, eyebrows or even eyelashes. It can make you feel like half a woman. Not only is my hair missing but my chest too. Sometimes I feel androgynous. Yes it is temporary but it still can be SO depressing. You want to do something about it, but what are you going to do? You can't make your hair come back any sooner. You can't make the surgeries or the radiation visits over with quicker or be any easier. You can't make the scars disappear or make the swelling go away any faster. So you try to be one of those glass half full people. You look for the silver lining. You tell yourself "I'll shop for scarves and hats." Or you think "I'll pick my own bra size!" Goodness knows I have an large bandana collection right now and reconstruction will certainly make me feel more normal in the long run but neither of these things (or any of the other "silver linings" I focus on) will make me feel whole again inside.
SO how do you feel whole again? Well it isn't by anything you can do yourself that's for sure. The only thing that makes me feel whole again is knowing that God is in control and that He is the one who can fill me up inside. No one person and no one thing on Earth can do that...just Him. Everything you have in life, everything you've achieved....your health, your financial stability, your spouse, your children, everything is a blessing on loan from Him. Those things all make you feel wonderful and happy but nothing else can make you feel complete. I have lots of moments when I struggle with the emotional side, but this knowledge is what carries me through. I can't imagine battling this disease with out it. Hope you are feeling whole inside too. Lots of love,
PS: Brooke Estrada emailed me and said the Avon Breast Cancer walk in the Colorodo Rockies was a huge success with lots of answered prayer and Godincidinces. More details to come later!