I try to stay strong. I try to stay positive. But this week nearly broke me, as I did one of the hardest things I've ever done.
It started on Monday when LadyBug went in for surgery. She was on the table for over six hours, which is quite a bit longer than the doctors told us would happen, worrying us (our youngest daughter was waiting with me). First we had to go in for an X-ray. LadyBug had to fast, so I took our daughter to the cafeteria for breakfast. After, we had a couple of hours to get a haircut and find out that Wally World pharmacy wanted to charge us over THREE TIMES what should have been our cost for one of our medications.
We got back in time for LadyBug to get injected with radioactive dye (I asked if she would now turn green when she gets angry...you wouldn't like her when she's angry). After this we went to the prep room. About 1:00 pm they took her to the O.R. where Doctor Wonderfulsurgeon scrubbed up within minutes. Three hours later, she came to talk to us while Dr. Plastics started reconstruction. She told us that the operation went as well as could be expected--better in some aspects.
She told us, however that the lymph nodes tested positive for cancer. This means that LadyBug will have some recuperation time from this surgery, then around the start of the year, she will start Chemo-therapy. Those can be done right here in our town! Depending on what the Oncologist recommends, this will entail bi-weekly visits for either 6 or 8 treatments. Immediately following completion, she will start radiation, which will go five days a week for four weeks or so, and must be done up north.
We still have a lot to learn about which combination of chemicals will be used, what stage the cancer was in, etc., but we are focusing on getting better.
My daughter and I, in the mean time, had both lunch and dinner, before LadyBug was brought to the room. She was quite groggy from the anesthesia, and was still in quite a bit of pain. Our daughter has never seen her mom in this sort if setting, so really had a hard time with it, but we stayed as positive as possible for her and LadyBug.
And then, after several mg's of morphine, I did one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. I left her in the hospital and went home. I've missed so many days of school already, and expect to miss more, so I couldn't afford to stay, though it tore me up to leave. With her missing at least two weeks of work right now, and with more dr. visits coming up, we need every dollar my paycheck brings. Logic explains it, but didn't make me feel like less of a cad. It was so late when we left as it was that I had to have my daughter drive part of the way home.
That was yesterday. Today, LadyBug was released. She will spend a day or so with her sisters family, who will bring her home for Thanksgiving. That means she won't have to be in the hospital, but we still don't get to see her yet. I know we still have a ways to go, but we can see the end now. By summer, LadyBug will be done with all her treatments. And because of Dr. Plastics, she will come home with almost the same cup size she started out with! And within weeks, she can decide just how much more she would like to have. She doesn't want to go very big, and it doesn't really matter to me (no, really!). I keep telling her she should at least go up one cup size, just because she's always complained about being too small....
I wish we knew more. People keep asking how they can help. I just have to answer that we've never done this before, so don't know what we need. Cooking and cleaning can be handled. We will need some help getting her to some of these appointments, and several friends have already volunteered. We know before this is done, we'll end up owing twice as much to the medical treatments as we originally thought. We've met our deductible this year, but treatments start in the new year. So we'll get our deductible met for next year before January is up, I am sure!
The one thing we know has helped us is all the fasting, faith, and prayers on our behalf. I've always believed that the Lord answers prayers. I've also always believed that he doesn't always answer them in the way we expect or necessarily want. Sometimes, what we think we need is not what is best for us in the long run. This experience has already changed us, and continues to do so. And in the long run, perhaps we will eventually become the people the Lord wants us to be.
I just finished reading Stone Tables, by Orson Scott Card, which is a fictionalized retelling of the story of Moses. The main theme of this book was that Moses, Aaron, Miriam, and Joshua expected their lives to go one way. They prayed for their lives to go another way, but the Lord had other plans. Moses in particular had to lose everything in order to be in the situation where he could be the Lord's prophet. He certainly didn't think it was a good thing at the time, but realized later that it was necessary.