April 5, 2011

April 5th, 2011 at 9:11 am by under Deanna's Journey

Today is the day.  In just a few hours my surgeon will remove my breasts.  It’s odd.  I’ve never thought much about my boobs until I faced losing them. 

The last few weeks have been hard.  I wrote in the last post that I was paralyzed by indecision.  I was also paralyzed by fear.  Fears paralyze when they’re unspoken.  Had I written about it, prayed about it, talked about it, I would have sucked the life force from fear – rendering it powerless.  Instead a sat in silence with Fear, allowing him to move in and take residence in my spirit - stealing my faith, draining my joy.

Several weeks ago, during an exam, my oncologist found Fred, the tumor.  You’ll remember months ago there was no palpable sign of Fred.  But on that day, there he was, a marble-sized nodule in my right breast.  I was so sure he was gone.  I believed he was gone.  But there he was.  My oncologist believes he is likely harmless tissue – the body of that malevelent Fred now long dead.  But what if it’s not?  What if Fred survived the onslaught of chemo drugs and lies in wait, having sent his vile progeny to distant sites, ready to strike again in months or years?  
 
That was my fear.  No correction.  That was my Fear.  Fear became one bad boy with a capitol F, silent and sinister, stealthily undermining my faith.  That’s what happens when we don’t talk to God about our fear – when we fail to give Him our cares – when we forget that our Father is so much bigger than our fears.

That’s why I didn’t write for weeks.  I felt I’d failed.  My faith was wavering, and I was a failure.  If this cancer was a test of faith, I flunked – big time.  Then on Sunday, my pastor preached to me.  Jeremiah 18.  It tells the story of that potter who was shaping clay that was marred in his hands.  So the potter shaped it into another pot – a beautiful pot without flaws. ”Like clay, in the hands of the potter, so are you in my hand,” God tells us in the 6th verse.

Wow.  Ain’t that great stuff?!  I am flawed.  I did fail.  But God ain’t through with me yet.  And He continues to bless us even in our failure, our weakness, our fear.  I asked God to forgive me for my fear, and then finally, I forgave myself.  I’m crying again.  I do a lot of that lately.  But these are tears of relief.  Forgiveness of others and forgiveness of self is a gift to the soul. 

And so.. that brings me back to surgery reconstruction.  Part of the reason I had such a difficult time with the decision is because I was afraid of making the wrong choice.  And then I went to see a plastic surgeon.  I stood before this guy in nothing but a pair of panties.  Geez.  It’s humbling.   In this place and space, he was the potter, and I was the imperfect, marred pot.  He needed to see where I had viable fat to build new boobies.  I’ve dropped 15 pounds since I started chemo.  He felt my tummy.  Not enough fat there.  So he felt my thighs.  Nope not there.  “Turn around,” he said.  “Yep, they could probably take enough from there.”  I was elated.  ”But Deanna, your butt will likely look pretty different,” he said bursting my bubble – literally.  He explained that my bubble butt - as my mother always called it when I was a child - would likely be considerably flatter after surgery because there wouldn’t be nearly as much fat left.

That did it.  I’ve always had junk in my trunk, as do all the women on my father’s side of the family.  It’s who I am.  It seemed counterproductive somehow to change something with which I’m comfortable to change something with which I’m not. 
 
So later today, I’ll have expanders placed beneath the pectoral muscles.  Doctors will add saline to the expanders to stretch the skin over time.  In three to six months, my new breasts will be big enough for implants.  The mastectomy and expander placement will take 4 to 6 hours.  And we could find out by surgery’s end whether Fred is truly dead.

And so it is.  I’m at peace.  My faith is not in the hands of the surgeons, but my faith lies in the fact that their hands are guided by One who is greater, a Potter molding mind, body, and spirit into the vessel He wants me to be.  Please pray for me today.

25 Responses to “April 5, 2011”

  1. Amber says:

    Deanna, bless you! I’ll be praying for you today and the coming days and weeks. You are a pillar of hope and strength. I love your faith and devotion to our Lord and your family. I hope you always have peace. :)

  2. Kelly says:

    Prayers and peace be with you, Beautiful Woman.

  3. Judy says:

    Prayers going up for you, Deanna!

  4. Hilary Coffman says:

    Sending prayers your way.

  5. Rita Royal says:

    Deanna please know that God will take care of you. He is the Great Physician. I have read your posts all along and have been praying for you. It’s not a fluke that message was preached that day, it was God’s message to you when you needed it. Just yesterday my 84 yr old father was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and I am his caretaker. He is also a believer and I am grateful we serve a great God. Trust Him and He will get you through anything.

  6. Kathy Brezette Wilson says:

    Deanna, Best wishes today and always!

  7. Toyce Cord says:

    Sending lots of prayers to you and your family. I just went through the same thing almost a month ago.

  8. Deanne Spalding says:

    Many thoughts and prayers are with you today…

  9. Blake Skiles says:

    Deanna, you a very strong and beautiful woman

  10. April says:

    Praying for you today and every day Deanna. Your spirit is what makes you a beautiful person.

  11. Jaree says:

    My Prayers are with you and your family during this time Deanna, You are a powerful woman of God! You are a blessing.

  12. Adele Taylor says:

    Deanna you have my prayers along with millions going your way!! You have the GREATEST POTTER (GOD) guiding the surgeons hands on this day. May God continue to give you the strength you need to continue your journey.

    May God Bless you and your family♥

  13. Mary says:

    You are brave and smart and lively, and above all a gifted story teller. We need you. Thank you for sharing so much with all of us. Blessings!

  14. Jill says:

    Deanna you are such an amazing person. I am praying for you today! If I was within reach of you, I would give you a big hug and tell you that everything will work out. Keep strong!

  15. Doris says:

    Deanna,

    Thank you for being such a brave and strong woman. Thank you for sharing you story with us. You are such an inspiration to women all over. I pray that God will continue to watch over you and bless you and your family. I hope your surgery and recovery goes well. My family and I will continue to pray for you. May God bless you!

  16. Donna Winsted says:

    Bless you for sharing, Deanna!!! Good luck and God bless you!!

  17. Peggy Rode says:

    You are probably in surgery even as I read this. I’m praying for the surgeon’s skill, for all to go well, and for God’s hand of protection and healing to be upon you. ‘The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.’ Deuteronomy 31:8

  18. Bev Guffey says:

    Praying for a speedy recovery!

  19. lori stear says:

    My prayers are with you. God bless you for sharing your story.

  20. Dawn says:

    Deanna: First of all, let me say, I AM PRAYING FOR YOU and your family! I am a survivor myself. I’ve read parts of your blog. I so understand the Fear that grips your very being. My “Fred” was so large it looked like I had a 3rd breast. It went from the size of a BB to as large as my boob….and I have big boobs….in less than 5 weeks! I had a very aggressive form of cancer. I love HUMOR! and, for me, humor helped me survive and not focus on the fear as much….plus it helped my family deal with all this as well. When I had my surgery, I had my daughter write on my right breast “Flopsy stays” and “Mopsy goes” on the left….I wanted them to take the correct one of, after all! BTW, my boobs names were Bob and Tom till I had my kid and started tripping over them, so I changed their names to Flopsy and Mopsy! I would like to show you my FB group in hopes it will make you laugh…if even for a moment! It’s about my struggle with BC and how through humor I survived. It’s called “The Misadventures of Miss Mopsy” and here is the link http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=107202049331601 You can also go to discussions and read “you know you’ve had a mastectomy when…..” You are fortunate in that you can have reconstruction….I cannot and that bad news caused me to plummet into clinical depression. I pray your reconstruction goes well too. Best wishes, prayers and hugs to you and yours, Dawn ( . ) —-, Miss Mopsy ( . ), Miss Fancy ( . ) and Miss Chi Chi ( . )

  21. Deborah says:

    Deanna, God will bless you as you’re blessing others with your continued courage and faith. May God continue to shine on you and give you strength to fulfill his purpose for your life. Thank you Deanna.

  22. Kim Wise says:

    I have said this before and will now again…I feel so blessed to know you! I am amazed by your strength and the way you allow God to work through you to touch the lives of others. Please know that I have prayed for you many times today and will continue to do so as you recover!

  23. Paula Devi says:

    Deanna, I will pray for you today and every other day too. You are remarkable and we are all sister sisters. You will be well and I am grateful to you for sharing your journey.

  24. Phillip Vandivier says:

    Deanna,
    I’m so sorry that you had to go through your surgery. I am a friend of Sandy S, who you know. Thanks to her, the Rosary group at the Finance Center is praying for you. (You are on our Prayer Request spreadsheet that is distributed to approximately 50 people.) Keep the faith; God is good. You are in His loving arms….

  25. cynthia smoker says:

    Gosh, I don’t know what to say-some of these posts are so elegant, and others so knowledgable in scripture. I will say that I am humbled by your courage and in awe of your ability to share your inner most fears and hopes. I hope Fred is still dead and that surgery has gone well. I will continue to pray for your recovery.