For those that are following my blog, but are not on Facebook, here are some things I posted there and will catch you up on the latest.
Written Sunday night:
Kind of feel like I was run over by a truck today. My drainage tube stopped draining this afternoon. I could see where the blockage was - just above the connection where I could change the tubing. In other words, the 2nd half of it that went into the pump - the part that I could change - was perfectly OK. The upper end that went to my head was occluded. RATS! I called the company, and the man I got on the phone was no help at all. I had already run all the troubleshooting that I knew to do. I simply couldn't make him understand where the blockage was. I almost got rude and hung up on him, but I DIDN'T. After he said to call the home health nurse, which I figured I'd have to do, I did hang up. I called the home health office and got a recording. Someone called me to say she was calling the nurse on call. She finally called and walked me through the things I'd already done. She said she was on her way, but lived 45 minutes away. I figured it was probably just a small clot that was too big to go through the hole of the tiny part where the two tubes connected. There has been very little drainage, so it wasn't like anything was backing up into the wound, but there was an area of about 6" that was not moving on the distal end.
She arrived just before I got the chicken ready to stick in the oven. (Guy had to finish supper.) We tried everything. I asked if she couldn't just stick a syringe onto the plugged part and pull a little on the plunger to dislodge it. She said no, she couldn't do that. (If I'd had a sterile syringe of my I own, I would have already done it!) She finally called the doctor. He told her to go ahead and change the taped area and remove the old tube and replace it with a new one. Just don't remove that large black sponge that is stapled to my head! The necessary package to do that was in the box I had here that the pump came in. I did not know that this drain was just held in place with a big piece of tape - really sticky tape!! I thought it was probably sutured to my head. She said, "this is going to really pull some hair." I said OK, until she started to pull it!! I said, "How about you just take some scissors and cut a big hole in this tape, leaving the edges firming attached? Then replace the drain (which looked kind of like a saucer shaped piece about the size of a 50 cent piece attached to the tubing), and tape that all down firming attaching the tape to my scalp and to the outer rim that is left (stuck to my hair)." She thought that was a fine idea. So she did. After it was al attached and we turned the pump on, we got an "air leak" signal. ARGH! So she added some more tape...and more tape. Still got the air leak signal. I don't know how many layers of tape she put on it - I think this happened about 4 times, and she finally found the area where it was not down firmly. All this taping meant a lot of "firm pressing" on this wound and surrounding area. At first I told her don't worry, it's pretty much all numb, but then I found out that there were some areas that were NOT all numb - really tender. She finally found the area that was the source of the leakage and taped it securely - again, and I got no more error messages from the pump. The pump pressure was correct, and I could hear the "tea kettle' noise coming from the back of my head once again.
It probably took about an hour of taping, and when she left, I thought I might have to take a pain pill - haven't had one for days. But I ate supper, and felt a little better. I'm thinking I may take one when I go to bed. The 1st two nights after getting home I had to get up in the night to take one, but none since. Might sleep a little better if I take one tonight.
I've got this neck pillow and sleep thing pretty well figured out except i wake up with my good ear asleep and hurting terribly. Gotta work on that part tonight.
OK, that's enough update for one day. Good night.
Still in His hands.....
This one was written fairly early on Monday morning:
MY LYMPH NODES ARE CLEAR!!!!!!!!!!! Do you hear me???? I'm standing on this rooftop shouting "MY . LYMPH . NODES . ARE . CLEAR!!!!!!!
THANK YOU, JESUS!!!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!
Just got the call this morning from Dr. M's PA. We are doing happy dances all over the house!! I can handle anything now!! (God and I, that is).
Y'all prayed them CLEAR! I know you did!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!
Then later Monday morning:
Y’all have been so kind to respond to all my looong posts with prayers and encouraging words, and I simply can’t thank you enough. I know I’m not the only one to have ever had cancer. Many of you have had it, or are living with it now – or had someone dear to you have it. I remember James Spann (Birmingham’s famous meteorologist) responding to why they cut into regular programing when there is a tornado in the area somewhere. He said, “Even if it is only an F1 tornado - somewhere - if it comes down YOUR street, it is YOUR 9-11.”
When you’ve been living a healthy life, just going along, loving what you’re doing, having parents that both lived into their 90s, and just out of the blue – wham – you’re told you have cancer – it’s a jolt!
I recall just before coming to Kansas City, I went into the church office there in Little River to talk to Pastor Ted Weis. He said something that has stuck with me, “Don’t waste your cancer.” When he said that to me, he sat there for a bit and then said, “Do you know what that means?” I sat there.... thinking about it, and then I said, “Well…..perhaps it means be sure God gets the glory out of all this.”
I’ve tried to live most of my life so it would be pleasing to God. I’m sure I’ve failed Him many times along the way, but in my recent low moments, I had to ask God, “Why me? Have I not been good enough? Have I not done enough for others? Have I failed you in some way?” I’ve known some WONDERFUL Christians that have suffered terribly, so I know the rain falls on the just and the unjust. I cannot question God’s motives. All I can do is trust Him and his ways and reason for things. Romans 8:28 was my mom’s favorite verse: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Here’s the bottom line. This is all not about me. It’s not about, “I don’t know how she does this.” Or “Poor Sheryl, she is going through so much!” This is about a Holy God getting the glory. In sharing my faith, having a personal relationship with Jesus as my Savior, through all of this, perhaps, if just ONE person begins to think about God and where they will spend eternity, and accepts Jesus as his/her Savior, then it will have been worth it all. If someone who Is walking away from God, and has chosen another path, realizes it is not worth the risk, and returns to Him, it will be worth all I’ve gone through. That is MY prayer.
And finally, the hospital called later in the day to say that my surgery was scheduled as Dr. P’s first case, so I need to be at the hospital at 5:30 am in the morning. Yikes! But that is far better than the first surgery which was in the middle of the afternoon.
Since the doctor said I would be there a week and in ICU, I won’t be blogging for a while. Guy will be keeping those on Facebook updated, and I’ll update when I can.
Again, I just can’t thank y’all enough for your prayers, thoughts, and words of encouragement! They have meant more to me than I can possible express. I love all of you!! God bless you!!
Still in His hands....