Monday, December 02, 2013

To God be the Glory - Part 3

It's out. That ding dang port is out of my body. To God be the Glory, indeed!

Dr. Turk was chatty and funny, informative and inquisitive while he put on his gloves, prepared his instruments, and then injected the anesthesia into my upper chest. He asked what I do for a living, where I went to college, did I like small town life in Williamstown (this is gonna hurt a little and then it will burn), what was my major (scalpel, incision, snip, snip), where I live here in Charlotte, do my children also speak Spanish (pressure, pull, stitch), and he told me about how some people don't get through surgery well (more stitches) and about how fortunate I am to have been eligible to receive herceptin treatments (this is like crazy glue to keep the incision covered. It will peel off in a week or two) because it has been an effective drug for people who used to not have a great prognosis.

I thought - "Okay, wait a minute, doc. You're not the first medical professional to tell me that about herceptin. I mean, I'm glad that it works well with the kind of kanswer I had, but what you all are saying is that I had a bad kind of kanswer, the kind that used to kill people. Yikes."

Then I thought - To God be the glory. If I had to have kanswer, then I want it to be the kind that is treatable. I want it to be the kind that responds well to this new protocol. And I want to be treated by two of the best doctors in Charlotte. I mean, if I have a choice, I will pick the best this town has to offer by way of doctors, surgeons, nurses, and medications.

A friend asked me if I hugged him after the port was removed like I hugged my oncologist two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I didn't get to hug the gentle and soft-spoken surgeon. The "crazy glue" closure was still wet and sticky on my chest and I was still on the treatment table when he scooted out of the room.

I remember his first words when I met him a little over a year ago - "I'm sorry you're here." I said, "That makes two of us." Later that evening, my son said, "Two of you? That makes about 7,000 of us. (Have I mentioned lately how much I adore my children and their wide open, loving hearts?) The surgeon's last words to me today were - "I'm glad this is behind you. See you in a year for a check-up."

I am soooooooooo happy to have the port gone.
There will be scars on my chest for a long time, I suspect,
but I consider these scars to be
evidence of a miracle,
evidence of healing,
evidence of strength,
evidence of survival,
evidence of victory,
evidence of hope and a future.
Thanks be to God that this chapter of my story is complete.

Here's another unexpected realization I came to this past weekend: Even though I am now boobless, wombless, and mostly hairless, except for the duration of the two pregnancies that produced my dearly beloved children, I have never loved my body more than I do now. Flat chest, empty pelvis, stretch marks, scars and all. This body has been a tremendous gift to me for the past 47 years and 50 weeks, strong and resilient, reliable and dependable. It has carried me every step of my life's journey and endured the worst that I could subject it to. It didn't reject the port, cause me undue discomfort, or fail me at any point during my times of greatest pain, suffering, and sorrow. I hate the fact that it took a grueling year of kanswer treatment before I came to this place of loving my body so much, but I'm glad for this outcome. Better late than never, right?

To God be the glory!!!

PS. Kanswer sucks. It always has and it always will.


Maya Stein said...

Tears. Heart. Soul. Surrender. Gratitude. Faith. Courage. Presence. Truth. And so much love. Always, so much love.

Joyce said...

Yes indeed! To God be the Glory! Thank you for sharing it all.

sheila Person-scott said...

God must be so happy that you continue to give Him the Glory and I am happy that I had the experience to witness his work through you.


Linda Kirkwood said...

I always look forward to reading your posts. They always speak to me in some form or fashion and remind me of how we're all in this together, or ideally, we should be. We could be. If we would all come together. (Catchy title for a song, huh!). Your faith and strength have lifted me up so many times and reminded me to be grateful IN ALL THINGS. Merry Christmas to you.

Monee said...

Gail! So happy that this chapter is complete. God bless you dear friend. Big hug.