It has been over a week since I have been home from the hospital, but I have to be honest and let you know that my recovery has been slow at best.
Fatigue and weakness have been my primary issues, and my shortness of breath and accompanying cough have kept me from being able to do much exercise in my recovery. The shortness of breath is primarily the result of fluid which continues to build up around my lungs. I have a chest drain on one side which Ellie and I drain at home every 2-3 days. I go to the hospital every Friday to have the other side drained in a procedure known as thoracentesis.
I’m also having to learn how to live with external kidney drains which I will very likely have for the rest of my life. To top it all off, I have just begun a new chemotherapy which is more toxic and causes more nausea and fatigue. Our hope, however, is that after a few rounds of this new chemo I may be able to internalize my kidney drains and not have to deal with the external drains anymore. That’s the hope!
In the meantime, there are bright spots in the midst of my physical issues. I continue to be overwhelmed by the level of medical care I am receiving. I’m so grateful for the insurance you provide to all your full time staff through the PC(USA) Board of Pensions. It has been invaluable.
I hate to single out particular people, but I will say that the professional care as well as the personal attention I have received at Georgia Cancer Specialists as well as Northside Radiology at Northside Hospital has been incredible. I have no doubt that I am surrounded by a team of competent, caring medical personnel.
On top of that, I’m grateful for the continued support and prayers I receive from each of you. The cards, the emails, the texts are all confirmation that I am not facing the battle alone. That means more than you can begin to know!
My family has been wonderful through this, and I’m so grateful for their support and encouragement. But most of all, I want to make sure you know how amazing Ellie has been. She is an outstanding nurse… irrigating my kidney drains daily, draining my lung fluid several times a week; checking and redoing bandages regularly; driving me to far too many doctor’s appointments. Caring for me is more than a part time job for her!
But even more, she has been my greatest support throughout this journey. She is there when my tears flow, and she is there when I need an encouraging word. She continues to be my rock, and for that I am eternally grateful.
I am absolutely confident that God is at work in all of these ways…. Through the medical staff, through each of you, through my family, and through the incredible care Ellie gives to me.
Cancer is brutal, but I’m not finished fighting it. This current setback is just that… a setback. It’s taking longer than I had wanted, but I am confident that I will regain my strength, and I will be back to some semblance of normalcy in my life.
In the meantime, thanks for allowing me to be honest with you! We’re family, and we share the celebrations as well as the challenges. I’m facing one of those life challenges right now, but with God’s help there will soon be a time of celebration.
I remind myself every day, and I hope you remember as well, that God is with us every step of the way!