Thursday, October 6, 2011

A-Head of it all

This past summer my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily the doctors caught it early. My Aunt, my Mom's sister, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and had a double mastectomy. Needless to say, my Sister and I are now frightfully aware that we may have breast cancer in our lifetime.

I'm getting ahead of myself.

She was getting a routine mammogram ... well, should have been routine.  The tech saw something in one of the x-rays and took a few more pictures ... then there was something in the other breast ... again more pictures.  When all was done the normal 4 pictures turned into 13.

Then she was called back for an ultrasound and a biopsy. 

I am unsure if any of you had had a biopsy, but let's just say that they hurt!  They use a huge needle ... huge I mean in circumfrance, not length ... so they can suck the tissue right out of you.  Tissue that should be left alone under normal circumstances. 

It's funny how God answers prayers ...

I had prayed the night before that God would give me my Mom's pain.  It was a short quick, fleeting-of-the-moment, mindless type prayer ... but I do remember asking.  My Mom never felt a thing!  The doctor had a few biopsies to do because both breasts had questionable spots.  The needle went in, cells came out, and my Mom felt nothing.

I, on the other hand, had a major headache that day.  It was cloudy, work was a bit stressful, so I took some tylenol and thought nothing of it.

She decided to get a double mastectomy.  In fact they were not going to be used any longer ... we were all weaned and on solid foods now. (yes, you can laugh).  As the doctors made preparations for the surgery and additional doctor's appointments, my headaches grew worse and were happening daily. 

I had made some doctors appointments but nothing was working.  I do not get migraines, so I knew that was out.  But every test that was taken, everything came back normal - even the CT scan.   But I did not put 2-and-2 together.

My Mom had the surgery ... the doctor's said everything went really well.  She had staples from one side of her chest to the other, two drains, one on each side, and lots of bandages. 

My headaches had gotten worse to the point that I could barely think.  I couldn't concentrate and just keeping my eyes open was painful.  Imagine Uncle Fester putting your head in a vice and tightening it then grabbing a sledge hammer and hitting the back of your head with it ... my headaches were worse than that!

The next day my Mom and her Sister were in the hospital room ... my Mom felt no pain whatsoever!  She has traintracks running across her ... she just had major surgery ... and she felt no pain!  Nothing!  In fact, she was up and walking around (not far, mind you) that day.  The hospital, however, in their infinite wisdom, put her in a room with a patient who had massive infections (doctors were overheard talking about major antibiotics to attack the infection).  Needless to say, my Mom was NOT going to stay there any longer than she had to, in fact, she asked her doctor to discharge her that day so she could recouperate at home.  Because she was feeling well and the drains were working properly, the doctor did discharge her.

For the next 2 weeks, I had major headaches ... nothing was working ... even major pain pills.  They would knock me out, but when I would awaken, the pain was back.  My doctor's scheduled an MRI.  I had to now wait for the radiology department to call so we could schedule it ... 3 weeks later was the earliest I could get in.

It wasn't until my Mom and I were talking that we were able to connect the dots.  God allowed me to take her pain ... He gave me that gift, and what an awesome gift it was!  As I was in pain, I would offer up my pain, ask that it would be combined with Jesus' suffering, for anyone who needed prayers.  I am just amazed at God's infinite wisdom and kindness.

When the staples and the drains were taken out, she felt nothing! 

As she recouperated, my headaches lessened.  The day of the MRI, I had no headaches at all. Well, not like they were.  I would have a twinge here or there, but it was more of an annoyance than actual pain.  The MRI came back normal - everything that should be in there is in there and nothing that should be in there was not.

I now have no headaches at all.  They have completely disappeared.  And my Mom? Well, she's been a swell patient.  She made sure (as did we) that she did not pick up anything too heavy, lift anything above her head, and was able to rest as much as she needed.  She's now back to doing her exercises.  

Would I do it again?  Absolutely!
God gave me a gift ... a gift of faith.  He allowed me to get a snippit of the pain Jesus felt in his suffering. 

My Mom, on the other hand, yells at me when I tell her I would do it again ...

Another gift from God ... an answered prayer.

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