It's hard to believe I'm a week away from surgery. I've waited for 33 days and only have 7 left since the day I found out surgery was necessary. I have spent these last 33 days preparing: spiritually, mentally and physically.
To prepare spiritually, I have spent time reading my Bible and focusing on the promises laid out for us in it. A good friend of mine gave me a jar filled with little pieces of paper. Each paper has a promise from the Bible on it. This jar has become my strength. There are many days when I have needed at least a handful to carry on. When I start to feel afraid or overwhelmed I remind myself of these promises: He will always be with me, He will always love me, He's got the whole world in His hands, He goes before me, He has written my days for me before they even happen, He created me and knows me, and so many more. God has shown us that He is preparing the details of June 18. He's brought amazing medical people onto my team in miraculous ways. He's brought friends and family around us to pray with us and uphold us just when we needed it. We feel like He is completely in control of this whole ordeal, which brings peace to me and my family.
To prepare mentally, I've tried to learn as much as I can about ways my life will be different after surgery. I've done reading and research to help prepare me. It's been a long process of considering and starting to accept the changes that will happen to my body through this surgery and keeping in mind that these changes are what I want. These changes mean a longer life to see my girls grow up. One huge blessing that I have been given through this process is a mentor who went through this exact surgery, under the same circumstances 30 years ago. She is a ray of hope for me; she lives a completely normal life and has had very few complications. She encourages me and makes me really feel like I can do this!
I've also spent a lot of hours preparing physically. I walk for an hour to an hour and a half at least 4 times each week. I do a core exercise routine every day, and I go for physio 3 times a week. I consider each bite of food that I take in, and continue to take supplements to help my immune system. I feel like I'm physically strong and ready.
I am really tired of waiting and very glad that surgery date is almost here. I go into the hospital on Monday and have 2 days of prep. We anticipate that I will be in the hospital up to 4 weeks. The first week or so will be difficult. I will be in a lot of pain and on lots of drugs. I will also have a lot to learn and adapt to. During this time, we will be restricting visitations to just family. Both my family and Darryl's family will be taking good care of me during this time. My brother and his wife have kindly agreed to keep the blog updated while I'm in the hospital. They will keep all of you up-to-date on how surgery went and how I am progressing. E-mails, texts, etc are still welcome and a great way to be in touch.
We again have so many people to thank......I won't start to mention names, but you all know who you are. We have been given so much to help make this next stage of our journey a bit easier: parking passes, hotel nights (for Darryl), meals for Darryl, so many taking care of our girls, family staying overnight with me in the hospital and the list goes on.
It's an interesting place to be....knowing you're life is going to change in a week in fairly big ways. Either my body will be changed forever or I will wake up to the realization that my cancer is incurable. Right now I feel optimistic that surgery will be a go. But this changes from day to day and moment to moment. The only thing I am sure of consistently is that God has allowed this and will somehow carry me through it. Knowing this allows for nights of sleep, days of normalcy, joyful moments, and an unexplainable peace.