Today is the day; surgery will be at 3:30 at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.
My in-laws are coming up to take care of the kids for us the next two days. We are so grateful for their willingness to love on them while we are away. I will get to come home sometime tomorrow and I already can’t wait!
We had not really gone into detail with the kids about exactly what will take place during surgery, but were advised that we should prepare them, so we had that conversation this week. Maddie was quiet, as usual. She’s not one to respond with many words and needs time to process information. She seemed completely okay once I assured her that it was all good and I would heal quickly. She has been such a trooper throughout this entire ordeal. We can see the increased maturity and empathy that she has developed over these last nine months and we couldn’t be more proud of her. God is doing a great work in her heart and I am so thankful to already see good come from this trial.
When we told Creed, he immediately asked how long it would take for them to grow back. Since reconstruction is scheduled for next year, I told him it would take about a year. 🙂 He seemed satisfied with that and went on his way. I guess he thought since my hair would grow back, so would everything else. Makes sense to me. Wonder how much therapy the kid will need as an adult because of this? 🙂
The surgery was originally scheduled for April 27th at MD Anderson, but the week before, we felt very strongly that it would be best for me to have the procedure closer to home. The additional time between the originally scheduled date and today have been such a gift! I have been able to complete several projects around the house, which was nice because I haven’t had the strength to do that since I started chemo. Most importantly, I have been able to spend extra time with the kids and Patrick (while feeling good) and that has been a special blessing for all of us. This week has been so therapeutic for me. I’ve felt almost normal, and normal is a wonderful thing!
I have been at complete peace since we decided to change the location of the surgery and I continue to walk in that peace, even today. There hasn’t been one moment that I have feared anything about this day. I’m relieved chemo is behind me, and surgery is the next step to my healing, so I’m more than ready to move forward and get it done!
Phase three of my treatment, which is radiation, will take place in about five weeks. Not nervous about that either. God has been so good to me. He has been so very real and present every step of the way. He hasn’t brought me this far to leave me now and I’m confident He’ll give me just what I need to get me through the rest of it.
Patrick and I have been asked many times how we have managed to maintain such peace in the midst of this unexpected journey. I want to make it very clear that we have not just sailed through these past months without some worry, exhaustion, and questions. When God is with you in the middle of a storm, that is not a guarantee that it will be easy. There have been some bumps along the way. However, He has supplied us with a calm assurance that He will carry us through, and by His grace, we have rested in that promise. This battle isn’t over yet, but we will continue to cling to Him and trust that He will provide everything we need to sustain us.
There is an old hymn written by Annie J. Flint that I just love. This hymn, He Giveth More Grace, describes exactly how God has carried us through these tumultuous months.
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
I want you to know this; God will meet you at your place of need. He will give you everything you need to get you through any situation you find yourself in right now. He doesn’t love me more than He loves you. If He can give me peace in the midst of all I have battled, and what I face today, He will do the same for you.
“Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision.” He’ll take care of you if you’ll let Him. It may not be easy, but if you will run to Him, He will provide the strength, endurance, and peace you’ll need to come out on the other side.
Thank you for praying for me. My heart is so full today.
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.