It has been 3 weeks today.
3 weeks since my second surgery. You know the one that left a huge scar across most of my neck.
I feel stronger each day.
Today I actually spent 23 minutes on the elliptical machine; 20 minutes at level 8 and 3 minutes of a cool down. The makers of my elliptical machine should give me more than 3 minutes to cool down. I think I need at least 6.
Level 8 is where I normally go on this machine. But the two times I tried it last week, I could barely do level 7. So today I am feeling a bit accomplished.
I know I will probably pay for it later. I'll probably need a nap in a little while; but I'm OK with that. I'm feeling pretty good considering its only been 3 weeks since my friend Tom ripped open my neck to see if any of this medullary thyroid cancer had spread.
Yes. It still hurts. I get shooting nerve pain at least five times an hour. But Tom says this is a good sign because that means my nerves are healing. I still get swollen. I wonder if someday I might share the photos I've taken weekly to see the progress of my scar.
Seat belts are a killer. In reality, they save lives. But in my case they sit on parts of my incision and it just doesn't feel good. I'm thankful for pain meds. I wish I didn't need them still, but I do. I don't take very many of them but I do still need them; especially in the late afternoon and evenings. And someday I will get to lie on my right side again and not feel pulling and discomfort.
These things are all temporary.
I still am easily moved to tears. As a nurse, I know this is normal after surgery, but as a patient, I want this to stop. I want to be stronger than the tears. I know I am...but still.
Has cancer changed me?
I imagine so but not sure of all the how's just yet.
I just know I am grateful to be alive. I am forever grateful for how the LORD has sustained me and my family.
In this past week, I have heard of two different families that Scud and I love, who are undergoing tremendous struggles and challenges in health issues.
I wonder why.
Why is it that I have lived a fairly long life, only in recent years, have I had any major health issues, that I am OK?
It is not for me to know the answers.
It is not for me to question God.
I wish sometimes that I could take on the cancer issues of some dear friends and let them have my kind.
But I don't get to decide that.
What I have to do is to learn what God wants to teach me through this and how I can use this for His Glory?
So many times I am such a slow learner in the lessons God wants me to know. This is one time I don't want to be. But do I have any choice? Not so sure that I do.
What I do know is that life is precious.
We've all heard it said that you don't know what's coming; that our life could change in a minute.
From the moment I first heard it, I have loved Tim McGraw's song, Live like you were Dying.
What if I lived like that? What if you lived like that?
The petty things that annoy us would seem so insignificant.
The people that bug us would not be a concern.
How we live and love each day is what matters.
Am I doing the best job I can loving the people God has put in my life?
Do I appreciate the giftedness in others and cheer them on? Instead of being jealous?
Do I rejoice when others rejoice? and weep when they weep?
Because that is how Jesus wants me to live.
To think of others as more important than myself.
To care completely and to love deeply.
And to seek God with all that is within me, because HE alone is the ONE who I need to answer to.
I guess I am learning a few things from this thing called cancer.