SERENITY

January 11, 2020

TODAY’S ORIGINAL BLOG

In the original version of this blog I would have told you my chest pain is so bad I wanted to scream. I would have told you I want to fall asleep and wake up and see this cancer was just a bad dream. .

MY PREVIOUS BLOG

Before I started to write this blog, I read the comments from my previous blog. That blog had scripture in it. That blog encouraged and inspired people. That blog was a good one. Today, I am going to look at the Serenity Prayer.

THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE

I cannot change, my past failures, my daughters’ rejections of me, my inability to see my grandchildren, and my cancer diagnosis.

THE THINGS I CAN CHANGE

I can change my thoughts, attitudes and responses to the challenges in my life. I can look for the positive things in every situation. I can change how I spend my time. I spend my mornings in the Word of God and in prayer instead of spending the entire morning on FaceBook. I can also reduce my spending and help my husband pay these medical bills.

THE WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

The Bible says if we lack wisdom, we should ask God for wisdom. God generously gives wisdom to His children, when we ask for it.

LIVING ONE DAY AT A TIME, ENJOYING ONE MOMENT AT A TIME

I need to sit and taste that cup of coffee, relax and listen to the sounds around me, light a candle, add cinnamon to a pan of water and let it simmer, or go outside, feel the cool air on my face and see the beauty all around me.

ACCEPTING HARDSHIP AS AS A PATHWAY TO PEACE

It is not the hardship that leads to peace. It is the acceptance. I need to realize that we all face hardships in our lives and when there is nothing we can do about it, we need to accept it. Acceptance does not mean I like the circumstances; it means I stop obsessing over things I cannot change.

TAKING AS JESUS DID, THIS SINFUL WORLD AS IT IS AND NOT AS I WOULD HAVE IT.

I need to love people, forgive people, and accept people just the way we are. If I truly look at myself through the mirror of God’s Word I see my own sinfulness. How can I refuse to forgive and accept others when God has accepted and forgiven me?

TRUSTING THAT YOU WILL MAKE ALL THINGS RIGHT

If I surrender to your will. When I surrender to the will of God, He can make great things happen even during the worst of times. I have had so much love poured out over me since my cancer diagnosis. My diagnosis strengthens my faith, teaches me to rely on God and helps me to be grateful for each day of life.

SO I MAY BE REASONABLY HAPPY IN THIS LIFE

I am actually much happier since my diagnosis. God is teaching me to trust Him, to enjoy the moments of my day, and to look for positive things in life.

AND SUPREMELY HAPPY WITH YOU

Forever in the next. I am born again. I confessed my sin to Jesus, asked Him to forgive me, trusted in his virgin birth, death, burial, resurrection and His seat on the throne of God. I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. He has given me eternal life and a home in heaven. He has forgiven all of my sin: past, present and future. He has made me a child of God.

FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY SON SO THAT WHOEVER BELIEVES IN Him (Jesus) SHALL NOT PERSH BUT HAVE EYERNAL LIFE.” John 3:16

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WhenYou Are Hurting

February 7, 2020 4:30 am

MY PAIN

Ouch! I am in in pain! My chest hurts! It feels like I still have breasts, and it feels like they hurt! Yes, I took a 500 milligram Tylenol pill and yes I will use ice packs. I have emotional pain as I see my poor kitty suffering and I have more emotional pain as I argue and fight with someone I dearly love. I hurt!

WHAT WE DO WHEN IN PAIN

So when we are in pain what do we do? Some people keep the pain bottled up inside, some people cry out to a loved one, some people cry out to God, and some people write a FaceBook post, or a blog.

WHAT I DO WHEN IN PAIN

I do usually do not keep it bottled up inside me, but I definitely do the latter three. I get some sympathy from friends and family ( who have their own hurts), a little sympathy from readers (who may or may not read my post or blog), but when I turn to God, and cry out to Him, I get an answer. I receive an ocean of love, compassion and sympathy, especially when I read His Word, the Bible. I turn to the book of Psalms, and to Isaiah 53, and to Romans 8… God is so good, loving compassionate and merciful.

IF YOU ARE IN PAIN

If you are hurting today, cry out to Jesus for He truly loves you. Read Isiah 53. This prophecy was written thousands of years before Jesus was born, yet it is a full and accurate description about his life on earth and his death on the cross.

“…for He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, a root out of dry ground: and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows…”Isaiah 53:2-3,

Dear Jesus,

Whether my pain is physical, mental, emotional or even spiritual you understand. When I cry out to you, you hear me. You hear my spoken and unspoken prayers. You hear the prayers of many people who are praying for me. You are my Rock, my Fortress, My Shepherd, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Shelter in the time of storm. Please forgive me for those I have hurt- my husband, my children, my sister, my friends. Help me to be a blessing and not a burden to others. May my writing bring glory to you and be pleasing in your sight. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

UPDATE: I just hurt my chest. My dogs were ready to chase after my neighbor’s children and dogs and I tightened my chest and called them and told them sternly to get in the back yard. They actually listened!

I prayed the prayer above and asked God to forgive me for others. I need to pray that I can get along with others. Okay I just prayed that prayer. I am so fully convinced that I am right and the other person is wrong and to me, what I am arguing about IS a big issue. I really struggle with this. Am I alone here? Do any of you struggle with this with your spouse or with a friend or a family member?

My husband and I had a heart to heart talk this morning. Together we decided and we agreed that the usually the cat’s labored breathing and wheezing is only bad after playing ( exertion) and meals ( more exertion). We are waiting for the vet to call us back. Today is day three. She hasn’t called. We agreed to wait a few more days and call her on Monday if she does not call us. I wanted to call the vet today but I gave in, in order to have peace and serenity with God and with my husband. The stress also makes my chest hurt terribly. I am feeling so much better mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I can live with the physical pain.

Concerning the physical pain: I cannot reach any of the food or dishes in my kitchen cabinet ( yes reaching up uses chest muscles) and I am debating whether or not to ask mom to stay for a second week. I asked the doctor if I should be trying to reach up or carry heavy things and he said not yet. I have to heal a little more.

In conclusion, at 8:30 am I feel much better mentally, emotionally and spiritually than I was at 4:30 am. A little more sleep, a cup of hot coffee and reading and OBEYING the Word of God help tremendously. Have a blessed day.

SECOND UPDATE 9:00 am

Chuck called. The vet told him that Cricket was was not on the steroids the first time for a long enough time. They are going to try the steroids again, this time for a longer time. Chuck and I will pick up the medicine tomorrow at the vet before we go on our date – going grocery shopping. Have a blessed day. Hopefully, this is my final update.

❤️ Terri

BEING GRATEFUL

TODAY

Today a team of 30 oncologists will meet to discuss my future. Ultimately, my future is in God’s hands, but I will follow the recommendation of my oncologist. I trust God, and I trust the people in my life who take care of me. I am grateful for their wisdom, experience, guidance and expertise.

IN THE FUTURE

The expected outcome is that over the next 4-8 weeks I will heal from my mastectomy and then I will begin to have chemotherapy. I lost my breasts and I will lose the hair on my head, my eyelashes, my eyebrows and the remaining hair on my body. I may be sick to my stomach, my food may taste awful ( metallic) and I may be unable to eat very much. In the future, however, after all of my treatments, I will no longer need mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies and chemotherapy. I am so grateful for that.

MY HUSBAND

God placed Chuck in my life. What a great husband he is. We are not perfect. The stress of cancer, the treatments, a beloved, sick cat who may be dying, the medical bills, has been great and we have certainly had our arguments. I know however, that my husband dearly loves me and he tries very hard to make me happy. No, you cannot make another person happy but he does so much for me and with me. We are happy together most of the time. He will stand by me through this cancer journey. I have Jesus have a great husband. For that I am grateful.

MY FRIENDS & FAMILY

I am also thankful for friends, family, my church family and my in- laws. God has placed wonderful people in my life. The meals, cards, gifts, visits, rides and the prayers mean so much to me. My mother-in-law has been here since Sunday night. ( Today is Thursday. ) I cannot reach the high shelves in the kitchen to put the clean dishes away, get my box of cereal, my dishes or many other items. Mom has been my arms for the week. It has been wonderful to have a companion here every day to watch tv with, play scrabble with and take our dogs and cat out for fresh air. For my friends, family, church family and in- laws I am truly grateful.

OUR BABIES

Speaking of our dogs and cat, we love them so much. Our doxie Bentley is obnoxious to most people, with his incessant barking, but he curls up beside me on the couch and is my little armrest. He follows me from room because he adores me, and because he is hoping I will drop some morsel off food for him. Willow, our chocolate Labrador is very big and when she barks she sounds like a killer. Willow is really as gentle as a lamb. Cricket, our cat has been here the longest, about 13 years. He is beautiful and tolerates the rest of us. For my first year of dating Chuck and our first year of marriage, he stayed under the bed. For the next few years he allowed me to feed and pet him but continued to spend most of his time under the bed. His favorite spots are curled up in my furry robe, beside the toilet, under the bed or perched on our living room stereo cabinet, in front of the windows. He loves to watch the birds in our feeder. He has become more social, and even allows friends and family to see him and pet him. For my adoring animals, I am grateful.

JESUS

I have been asking God to help me to be upbeat, positive and grateful. I am normally none of those things. God has been working in my life. God has poured out his love to me through preaching, teaching, his Word, FaceBook posts, blogs but mostly from my husband, friends and family. Jesus poured out m his love out on me when He died on the cross and paid for all of my sins. When He gave me faith to believe, I repented of my sins and trusted in His virgin birth, death, burial and resurrection He adopted me into His family, forgave all my sins and gave me eternal life. For that, I am truly grateful.

“In everything give thanks for this is the will of God concerning you.” 1Thessalonians 5:18

BUT GOD COMMENDED HIS LOVE TOWARD US IN THAT, WHILR WE WERE YET SINNERS, CHRIST DIED FOR US. “ Romans 6:8

Dear Jesus,

I ask that you would work in my life, and keep me humble, positive and grateful. Help me to see the good in every person and in every situation. I thank you that all things are working together for my good, because I love you. I thank you Lord for your mercy, love and compassion. I thank you for your showers of blessings. May all that I say, do and write glorify you. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

My very best friend/ husband Chuck
MOM: My toughest opponent
My beautiful sister Mary
My friend Rebekah
My friend Lisa
My friends Kelly, Left and Theresa, right
Cricket
Bentley, left, Willow, Right

Post Mastectomy Check Up

January 5, 2020

WHAT I TOLD MY SURGEON

I saw my surgeon today. I told him how much I hate my scars. I have looked at mastectomy scars on Google Images but those scars were all faded or gone. My scars are fresh black scars. I hate to have to wait several weeks to look “normal” or as normal as one can look after a mastectomy.

WHAT MY NURSE SAID

My nurse made me feel much better. The purple/ gray skin is actually glue and will come off. The ugly black spot is blood that will heal after a scab forms and falls off. In about three weeks my doctor will remove the drainage tubes that drain fluids from my breasts. In 4 weeks, after my tubes have been removed I can wear a regular size C bra with soft and comfy knitted knockers made by a good friend. In 4 to 8 weeks I can be fitted with a prosthesis. A prosthesis after a mastectomy is a bra with pouches in it and rubber boobs. Unless we are talking hot weather, I will probably stick with my knitted knickers.

CHANGING MY THINKING

I need to redefine my view of what a beautiful woman looks like. I need to stop thinking a beautiful woman must have breasts. I opted not to have reconstructive surgery because of the cost and the pain involved. Yes, I have insurance but no, it does not cover everything. Reconstructive surgery for an older woman requires skin to be taken off my belly or bottom and made into breasts.

AFTER MY MASTECTOMY

After I heal from my mastectomy I will start chemotherapy and loose all of my hair- the hair on top of my head, eyelashes eyebrows. My insurance covers 80% of expensive scarves, hats and wigs. I have breast cancer caps and wide brimmed straw hats. Last time I had a wig given to me was itchy and so tight that it hurt my head and gave me headaches. I looked kind of cute with my little pink cap with the breast cancer ribbon on it. My son Andrew and my daughter Tiffany each put a cap on and had their photo taken with me. My husband says I still have pretty eyes and a beautiful smile.

ON A POSITIVE NOTE

There is a positive side to all of this. After all of this I will probably not need more mammograms, ultrasounds, biopsies, chemotherapy and radiation. My treatment does not guarantee that I will never get cancer again but it greatly reduce the chances.

In addition, I have developed closer relationships with God, my husband, my family, my old dear friends, my new friends on FaceBook and my church family. It has humbled me and stripped me of my vanity. It has made me so much more compassionate to others who are sick with a long term illness, especially with those who have cancer. It has given me the opportunity to share God’s love and my faith with my surgeon, nurses, a social worker and in the future, with my oncologist and chemo nurses.

IN CONCLUSION

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” No, that is not a Bible verse, however the Bible talks a lot about beauty. In God’s eyes, a beautiful woman is meek, gentle, patient, caring, humble and kind to others. The Bible says a virtuous woman is worth more than rubies. I could be wrong, but I think most husbands would rather be married to someone who is beautiful inside, than someone with a perfect body, beautiful hair and a pretty face. I do think men and woman should do their best with cleanliness, good hygiene, and nice clothes but over time beauty often fades with youth. In a good marriage a husband and wife will still love each other long after the bloom of youth is gone, with all the wrinkles, the belly fat, the baldness and the the gray hair.

MY PRAYER

Dear Father in heaven,

I thank you that in your eyes, in Chuck’s eyes, in the eyes of friends, family, my church family and my readers I am beautiful. The world looks at the outward appearance, but you look at my heart. Please help me to look at myself through your eyes. Help me to love myself. Help me to see beauty in the people around me. Thank you for all the love you have poured out on me since I was diagnosed on January 3, 2020. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Terri D

UGLY TERRI

February 3, 5:35 am…

LAST NIGHT

Last night I took the bandages off my chest. In the post surgery notes my husband read you are supposed to take the bandages off two days after the surgery. My surgery was Tuesday so I should have taken them off on Thursday. Yesterday was Saturday.

I REFUSED

I absolutely refused to take my bandages off. I knew I was not ready to see myself. I told him my surgeon could take them off when we see him on Friday, February 7. My husband was worried I might get an infection. I thought about it, and thought maybe my bandages are soaked in blood and I really could get an infection.

I DID IT

So at 10:00 pm I took my bandages off. What a hideous, disgusting, ugly sight!!!!! It was 1,000 times worse than I had expected!!!!! It was much worse then the photos I had seen of other women’s chests after a mastectomy!!! It was awful!!!!!

MY HORRIBLE UGLY CHEST

My chest was not flat, as I expected, but it was caved in. There were two black lines horizontally across my chest with vertical stitches/ lines intersecting them. They looked like freaking railroad tracks!!!! I would like to say I had black and blue marks but it was worse than that. I had black spots- pools of blood!

WHAT NOW?

So now, to me, I look like the beast in beauty and the beast what will I do? I am wearing the pretty navy blue pajama top, which I will wear every night when I go to bed. My husband will never see my bare chest again. I will wear pretty or baggy clothing to hide my ugliness. I will email 25 of my closest female friends and say everything I just said right here in this blog. They will write me back and say something- anything- that will make me feel better…

MY POOR HUSBAND

My poor husband is so consumed with me dying of cancer. He loves me more than anyone, he needs me and he would be totally devastated if I died of cancer. So even though he knows this is very hard for me, he is glad I did it because it means I will probably live a little longer and hopefully grow old with him. He is very careful not to say anything that will hurt my feelings or make me feel bad. He tells me I had surgery, it is supposed to look this way and it is not that bad. He really does not know what to say. I know he loves me no matter how I look. In his eyes, I am beautiful.

IN CONCLUSION

5:51 am- I will edit my blog, go back to bed and wear a pretty dress when I go tomorrow. Nobody will see my tubing and my two pouches with the bulb in them. They will only see a flat chest and a bulging belly. I will look like I am five months pregnant.

A BIBLE VERSE AND A PRAYER

I know I try to end my blogs with a Bible verse and a prayer but I can not think of a single Bible verse or a word of prayer. I am sorry. 6:00 am… THE END

Sadly,

Ugly Terri

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I CHOOSE LIFE

January 31, 2020

Life is precious. We take life for granted. On January 3, I was told I had breast cancer. This was not the way I wanted to start the new year. I had breast cancer in 2006. I went through surgery, chemo and radiation before. It was awful! I did not want to go through that a second time.

I told my husband I would like to die naturally and not go through with surgery and chemo. My husband cried. He is a strong man. He never cries. He told me he didn’t want me to die. I felt awful for making my husband cry. Taking our own life and throwing it away is a selfish thing to do. So many people, and my animals would be heartbroken if I died now.

Pastor Willis preached a sermon on life and death. Paul the apostle wrestled with wanting to die and go to heaven or staying and being used by God. Pastor said some people want to check out of life early, before their time. God still has a purpose and a plan for my life. There are people here in earth who love me and need me.

So, I choose life. I had a total mastectomy three days ago and it hurts, but I will heal. After I am healed I will have chemotherapy once a week- I don’t know for how long. It might not be as terrible as it was in 2006- I am told there are better medicines for nausea. Of course I will lose all the hair on my head, my eyebrows and my eyelashes but I can wear scarves, caps and a wig. Chemo does not last forever either.

Don’t throw your life away. Choose life. Let God use you to spread His love and share your faith with others. Life is precious. Enjoy each and every day of your life. Thank God for waking you up every morning, and giving you life.

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GOODBYE FOR A LITTLE WHILE…

POSSIBLY MY LAST BLOG FOR A WHILE

I may write one of my middle of the night blogs tonight, but in case I do not get a chance to do that I want to thank you all for reading my blogs, for making comments, for your prayers, your friendship and your support.

A VERY BUSY DAY

One thing after another has gone wrong today with my presurgery and surgery stuff. I have been on the phone with numerous different medical people. I was so busy today, that I had no time for worry, sadness or fear.

A BIG THANK YOU

Thank you to Theresa Caires for leading our group at Women At Risk International in a prayer for my healing. Everyone put their hands on me and we all prayed in agreement with Theresa. It was wonderful and I hugged each one. It has been many years since I have had so much love poured out over me. Since I received my cancer diagnosis on January 3, 2020 my God, my husband, my friends, family, readers and church family have been my showers of blessing. ( I was also greatly loved and supported by my family and my friends at LifePoint Church when I had breast cancer in 2006).

RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES

At the hospital today they gave me a needle in my cancerous breast. It had radioactive isotopes in it. The isotopes go to the very first lymph node under my arm and get stuck there. That shows the surgeon where my very first cancer cells will attack my lymph nodes. The results were inconclusive today so I am having them look at my results tomorrow. The first lymph node(s) the isotopes go to will be the precise lymph nodes the surgeon will do a biopsy on at the beginning of my surgery. We are praying that there is no cancer in my lymph nodes.

MY SURGERY

There are two quick surgeries before mine. I need to arrive at the hospital at 5:30 am, have my isotope test and be ready for surgery at 7:00 am. My surgery is scheduled for 11:30 am or a little earlier. ( The hardest part will be having no food or COFFEE in the morning and and leaving the house at 5:00 am. ) The surgery should take two hours and if all goes well and if I am alert and able to go to the bathroom, I will leave to come home at 3:00-4:00ish. I don’t want to be at the hospital; I want to be at home. If something goes wrong I will just return to the hospital and be taken care of. My surgeon is only a phone call away.

TA TA FOR NOW

I will probably be in a lot of pain for a week or two and unable to write my blog, send emails or post things on FaceBook. I will have two tiny drainage tubes coming out of my chest – not very pretty- so I will probably not go anywhere publicly for the next three to four weeks. I am really going to miss going to church. I will be back blogging, posting and going to church as soon as I possibly can. I would love to have visitors at our home over the next few weeks- I imagine I will be lonely, bored and claustrophobic.

AN EXTRA SPECIAL THANK YOU

A special thank you to my friends Kelly and Bev and my sister Mary who are coming over in the mornings this week to care for me. A special thank you to my mother-in-law Arline DeLange for staying with me next week. Thank you to the Ladies st Maplelawn Church who are cooking this week, and sending over meals for me and my husband. I am the most grateful for a husband who is by my side and a really great husband most of the time. He took the day off from work and will be with me all day tomorrow, before, during and after my surgery. Of course I am thankful for Jesus, my Sovereign Lord and Savior. He will watch over me tomorrow and in the days ahead.

❤️Terri

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