Do you ever come through a dark period in your life in which you say, “Boy, I’d never like to relive those days again?” Yep. That basically sums up my view of life post-surgery. I feel as if I’m emerging from a deep, dark tunnel to finally see the light of day again. After awakening from surgery two weeks ago, my body immediately put me on notice of all that had transpired while I slept. 9 lymph nodes had been removed from under my arm and two were cancerous. (Yes, I know I had previously written 20, but I finally got the report sent to me and my oncologist had to decipher it for me.) So, the incision made under my arm, in addition to those performed to remove my breast, seemed to alarm every nerve in my body. Added to that, two drains were inserted into my chest to collect the remaining blood dripping from my chest wall. I was instructed to meticulously measure the blood from each drain each morning, then again at night and record the results. I haven’t done so well with this part. The first two days I did little else than sleep. The rest of the time, it took all the strength I could muster just to do the most elementary of tasks, plus, standing for very long made me dizzy. I wish I had a record of all the times I moved at just the wrong angle, thus provoking searing pain from the needle attached to the drains. I have come to terms with the emotional toll of parting with a treasured part of my body and gained a profound respect for all the brave ladies who have walked this path before me.
The good news is that these drains will come out this week. If you listen carefully, you may actually be able to hear me singing ”O Happy Day”. When this happens this first phase will eventually fade into a marked memory. So……Phase 1 is almost over!
Yesterday, Prit and I met with the oncologist here in Jacksonville. He marked out a treatment plan for me. I am thrilled that we will not have to make trips in heavy traffic to Wilmington in order to accomplish what’s coming up. My protocol includes beginning with four rounds of chemo, then radiation to deal with whatever the chemo may have missed. Afterwards will come the hormone therapy which can be taken by mouth. I had prayed that chemo would be unnecessary after hearing how harsh it is on the body, but I’ve made my peace with it. Of course, in a typical vain fashion, I asked him if I was going to lose my hair to which he replied, ”Yes, but it will grow back.”
So……for all of you who have been SO kind to write and ask for updates, there you have it. I am keenly aware that I am walking in the footprints of so many valiant women who have gone before me. Your example and your encouragement cheering me on is what gives me the encouragement to stick this out instead of throwing up my hands in despair.
I have also learned to ask for help, which is hard for me to do. Oh, I don’t mind asking for hungry children or someone just trying to get an education. But, I finally yielded to a dear friend who said, ”Look, you’re denying me of a blessing if I can’t help you. I will be happy to come do your laundry, clean your house, or whatever.” I have friends who have lovingly prepared their best meals and brought them to us. Have I mentioned that I have an incredible, loving, and supportive husband who makes me feel beautiful in spite of my physical loss and the fact that I lay around in pajamas all day with no makeup on?
In addition to all I’ve mentioned, there is still the work of the ministry. In the moments when I have felt a little more energetic, I would try to get tasks out of the way. Transfers are still going to Haiti to pay salaries and feed children. There’s more and more scrutiny being done on our part as to what can be relinquished into others’ capable hands to make this ministry continue to run like clockwork. This is no small feat!
Thank you everyone for your heartfelt notes, cards, prayers, encouragment, meals, running of errands……and the list goes on! I wish I had time to respond to each of you individually, but time just doesn’t allow it. This will have to do!
Rehoboth Ministries is… Changing Lives and Impacting a Nation
Send Checks to: The Lord’s Table / PO Box 11049 / Goldsboro, NC 27532 / (919) 751-8188 & please earmark your gift for Haiti.
Pritchard: firstname.lastname@example.org/ 910 703 3098 / Haiti: 011 509 4160 4096
Dana: email@example.com / 910 916 7229 / Haiti: 011 509 4037 5341
John: firstname.lastname@example.org / 910 581 0390 / Haiti: 011 509 3253 0595
Pritchard & Dana ADAMS
702 Cattail Court
Jacksonville, NC 28540