Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another Bump in the Road

Well today was yet another bump in this rather long road I've been on the past 19 or 20 months. Today was tissue expansion day...or as I like to call it "pump up day." When my sweet nurse called my name to come back, I just had a lot on my mind and of course she could tell because usually I am just as happy and perky as can be. We chatted for a second and then Dr Oslin came in. I told him that I was really worried about the left side not looking right but that the right side was perfect. I totally expected him to encourage me and tell me to just be patient because radiated skin takes a while to work with, but instead he told me that he was concerned as well. And then, the tears started to well up, the heart started to speed up, and my voice got shaky. We talked about what my options were which I will share in a moment, but I left that office today just really really down, discouraged, and questioning everything.

So here are the options that I have right now concerning the reconstruction:
1. keep getting the weekly injections into the expanders until I just can't take the pain anymore or we see that it's just NOT going to stretch anymore
2. go back in for another surgery and break up some scar tissue and try to stretch me all at once making the "pocket" for the eventual implant as big as we can get it (all I want is a B - I don't need my boobs to be my GPS and lead me everywhere)
3. go back into surgery and take out the expander on that side and do a latissimus flap where they take skin/fat from the side and back and build a boob from that
4. forget the entire reconstruction process all together

See now why I left there discouraged?!? This was supposed to be the happy part of breast cancer. And now it may not work the way it should?!? So, I had a good chat with God on my way home from the doctor today. I pretty much just laid it all out there and told him that I know that in the grand scheme of things, stretching my skin for me probably wasn't the most major need, but that since I cared about it, I knew He did too so I just asked him to please allow my skin to start cooperating and to please stretch it the way it should. I told him that I just wanted to be "normal" again. I just want to look like a woman in a bathing suit when I take my little ones swimming, to be able to wear cute tops that have a V-neck or dresses that are empire waisted. And then He clearly said to me that my identity is NOT in my body, but is in Him. But the way He said it to me was so lovingly...not at all scolding for seeming to be vain. It was true peace that flowed over me. At this point, I feel like I am supposed to keep doing what I am doing and am going to trust that God will stretch my skin. I sort of have a plan for when to stop the stretching and move on to something else, but am going to just let the Lord of my life lead me in that decision.
When I got home and told my husband about the appointment, he extremely lovingly hugged me and reassured me that he would always support and love me regardless of the outcome. I know this, but it is always nice to hear him tell me this fact.
So I am once again going to ask for my prayer warriors to join my family in praying that my skin and muscles would stretch the way that they should on that radiated side so that I will not need 2 more surgeries instead of just the 1 more.
Love to each of you and again, I thank you all for taking my burdens to the feet of Jesus with me.

Psalm 71:20-21: "You have allowed me to suffer much hardship but you will RESTORE me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will RESTORE me to even greater honor and comfort me once again."