c.2012 Linda B.

Friday, March 23, 2012 (11:57pm)

Thankful… an update. Part 1

It’s been almost 3 months since my surgery. I’ve sat so many times to write this post and have not been ready. It’s been such an amazing time in so many ways. So many things have happened. I’m still processing the things I experienced, and the things I’ve learned. So this will just be the first installment. I apologize up front for the length.

First a little back story:

On Wednesday, Dec 28th I was admitted into the hospital for surgery.

It had been quite the ride in the month or so leading up to it. There was the Thanksgiving weekend trip to the ER while I was losing a lot of blood with a myriad of tests and doctors with concerned looks on their faces. There was the follow up visit to the gynecologist who did a bunch of other tests and looked concerned. There were the test results and the call from the Dr. In between my music students … “You’ve got Cancer” and then having to go back to teaching right after the phone call. Then there was the realization that I had to tell my husband, who suffers from an anxiety disorder, that I had cancer. It was all such a blur. There were the sleepless nights dealing with the symptoms of the cancer and the side effects of the drugs I was on until I could have surgery and consultations with the surgeon etc. In the mean time I was still working a 60 hour work week and attempting to keep things pretty normalized for my students, and the financial burden of how I was going to pay the huge insurance co-pay for it all.

In the middle of getting ready for the surgery, the Christmas season was going on. It was eerie going to the hospital for the pre-op appointments with hardly anyone there right before Christmas and old tattered Christmas decorations everywhere. It was all so surreal. One day I went out with some of my friends. I was overwhelmed with the financial implications I was facing. Both of them reminded me that God is always faithful to take care of me, but I was just beside myself. I was exhausted and emotionally spent. After lunch I went home and got the mail. There was a Christmas card there for me with a peaceful snow scene with the word peace on the front of card, and an amazing gift, the first of many to come. I am so thankful to all of you who prayed for me and who gave me the greatest Christmas gift ever… life… and peace of mind, knowing that I wouldn’t have to carry the burden alone and that you guys had my back. You loved me in so many ways… providing for me financially, bringing food by, coming and keeping me company, phoning other friends to keep them informed, getting me out of the house while I was healing. The day after I came home there was a knock at the door, and the owners of my favorite Thai place were there with soup that they made just for me. They showed up several other times too. That kind of love and support was so wonderfully overwhelming. I’ll write more about that soon.

Physically the surgery went amazingly well. I’m so thankful for my doctor and her willingness to make sure she was able to do it robotically. I was concerned about waking up after surgery, since that has been a problem with other family members, but that was fine. After a complete hysterectomy, I was able to go home the next day. The surgery was minimally invasive, and I was healed enough to start working again in two weeks, because I couldn’t miss the income. The doctor told me that would be hard, I wouldn’t have all my energy back, but it would be ok… and she was right. I was a pooped puppy. But it worked. My students were great and took it easy on me. Everyone’s helped me muddle through. The follow up visits have been great and the doctor was very happy with everything.

They got the pathology reports back and they can back negative for anything spreading outside of the uterus. There was no cancer in anything else they removed.

It is sobering to remember, as my doctor so aptly said that I am now a cancer “survivor.” and as such I have to be tested every few months to make sure there is no re-occurrence. That will go on for many years. While I was waiting for the surgery I found two things that stuck with me… one was a bracelet with a quote, I think originally from Joseph Kennedy that said “Life is tough, but I am tougher.” The other was a neckless that had this inscription:

What Cancer Cannot Do…

It cannot

invade the soul

suppress memories

kill friendship

destroy peace

conquer the spirit

shatter hope

cripple love

corrode faith

steal eternal life

silence courage

Since I was young and my mother died in her 40’s, I have been aware of how tentative and fragile life is. I’ve always tried to live my life to the fullest. I’m thankful for the extra time I have, however long that is. I’m thankful for such amazing friends that love me and care for me. I’m thankful for my amazing students. I’m thankful for the reminder that life is a beautiful, wonderful, unexpected crazy thing. I’m thankful for each of you who’ve stopped by to read this today.

  1. Beth Wood-Young says:

    This is perfect timing for me to read as my son’s girlfriend is having surgery for a very rare uterine cancer on Monday morning. She will have the robotic procedure too. Yay for your wonderful recovery.

  2. Go Linda!

  3. Viv says:

    Love you Linda! I’m so glad for your recovery!!!!

  4. So glad to hear things are going well. And I love the “what cancer cannot do” statement. Absolutely wonderful!

    • Thanks Alise. It’s good to have more energy now. I’m still working on paying for the rest of it, but I’m so thankful to be here and re-energized to really focus on being in the moment with everyone I encounter. This is all good. 🙂

  5. Isebella says:

    I am thankful for your existence..I love you..

    • I love you too Isebella. I love our time together. It always challenges me to refocus on what’s important and fuels my passion. Thank you for that. 🙂 speaking of which did you write your bio so we can set up your bog??????

  6. Dave Oss says:

    Hi Linda –

    I love how your write, and of course I love more that you are still here with us and that you have clearly seen and felt the Love all around you. God is truly amazing, and takes care of all his children right when we need it!!

    • Hi Dave … thanks for stopping by. And thank you so much for the love and care you and your family show me all the time and for your graciousness in the midst of all the cancer stuff too. I LOVE your family. 🙂

  7. Pam Henesie says:

    Thank you Linda, for such a beautiful well written summary of your “Thankful” update. We all love you so much! Happy your back in the saddle. xoxoxo What a testimony of God’s tender care for us. 🙂

    • Thanks Pam… All this stuff has reminded me of how rich my life has been over the years with so many amazing friends… and that the relationships have lasted through the years. 🙂 It must be time for another get together.

  8. Susanne Widmer says:

    Yes Amen and Amen, so glad to hear the good news, I’m so happy for you. The Lord Blessed you and continues to Bless you. I know your a blessing to your students, family and friends.

  9. Yep Susanne still alive and kicking that’s for sure. It’s never dull or boring in my world, that’s for sure.

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