Saturday, September 29, 2012

"dog sick and out of toilet paper".......
After yesterday's mail my life has been a country song.

*Humana letter arrived denying rib tumor claims, official now ( this was not a surprise )
*Expect that Nov 6 surgery be postponed until after March when it will be past the 12 months since policy began, no longer pre-existing and Humana will cover it.
*Hospital bills pouring in.
*Letter from Northside Hospital stating that my assistance application approved but finding out that it will not cover half of what I thought it would.
*$24 in bank account, $4 cash, 1/8 tank of gas, and eating beans, beans, and more beans.
*one roll of toilet paper left and my dog is sick.

With the dawn of this Saturday morn and overcast skies with a pounding headache I had lost my "peace" of mind. My "first thing in the morning" times with the Lord have not been consistent this week and I felt it. I hungrily met Him in my "place" with emotions intense and tears ready to spill. I never ask the question "where are You?" but more often "why do my plans have to be changed?".  Lord, I want to have things my way and everything run smoothly––please, no more surprises!

It shames me that money issues and provisions not apparent throw me more than facing death that I experienced three months ago. God has allowed us to be without money for a few days ( just a few days! ) to show me my heart and see that I still have a long way to go in completely trusting Him to provide and to fully yield to his timing and plans for me. I am comforted by this verse today:
Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, "declares the LORD", plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Today has developed much better––my dear brother deposited funds to cover some immediate needs, my dog is not sick after all, my headache is gone, I found some spaghetti sauce and made a carrot salad, I'm sorting bills and feeling better about the totals and found a box of kleenex just in case the last roll of toilet paper runs out.

I'm yielded to the "plan" and changes and trusting again that my Heavenly Father has my back and knows what is best in the long run. Peace has returned. Thank you, Lord for never forsaking those you own. 

Hebrews 13: 5-6 " Let your conduct be without covetousness, and be content with such things that you have, for he has said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you," so that we may boldly say, "The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me. "

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

brief bits..........
The breast cancer is now being covered by Humana and some of the rib tumor claims also. Why some and not all? Ask Humana.

The rib tumors surgery is scheduled for voting day, NOV 6 at 8:30. It will go as planned unless the surgeon coordinator gets a "NO coverage" from Humana. Then I guess it will be after March next year when it would no longer be considered a "pre-existing condition". I don’t expect that to happen but the last 90 days has been chock full of surprises.

I’m feeling very good after the first mastectomy surgery. I’m still not lifting my arm or over 5 lbs––not because it hurts but in order to heal properly. Tomorrow I go to have the first injection of saline into the tissue expander. The drain will not be removed yet. ( the other bit of news about the mastectomy is that I had confirmation that removal of the breast was the right thing––the pathology from the removed tissue showed more cancer was in the breast ).

This last Saturday we had 7 helpers to pack and move lots of our "stuff" into a storage unit.  Huge thanks to all and to Cindi for providing us lunch! We feel very encouraged about the good start on the move that will be completed by the end of October. We are moving to my folks’ place in Marietta for the recovery if you have not already heard in a previous post.

Two fund raisers are in the works. These have been initiated by those who love and support us and are an extension of God’s provision. And we have been given gifts from a few our clients from our cleaning business, several who have continued to pay us for a few months through this ordeal, even though their homes remain just filthy, I’m sure! lol

With no current income and no more reserves we have been dependent on others for bills and out-of-pocket medical expenses. God has met our needs in various ways as I have mentioned above. Our landlord has also contributed to our need in allowing our initial deposit to pay for our last month October’s rent. Thanks Steve!

We are learning about receiving. It is a difficult lesson to learn as we are used to being on our own but the abundant love poured out to us is so very humbling––I’m in awe. Thank you, Lord Jesus.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

not good enough ....
This could apply to several things as I update. In my last post I thought if I was a good enough  patient––but I'm not––that I would have my drain tube removed on Wednesday this last week. It turns out that I shouldn't lift my left arm as well as not lift anything over 5 lbs. The 5 lbs I heard but somehow I misunderstood that I should be keeping my arm to my side. It didn't hurt so I lifted it away. This lifting my arms causes more drainage to occur and as a result the drainage has not slowed enough so the tube won't be removed until sometime next week.
After the mastectomy the pathology report was not good enough to leave the nipple which had been spared. Not only was there cancer in the nipple but more cancer was found in the breast tissue, cancer not removed from the initial lumpectomy. Finding this cancer was such a huge confirmation of my decision to have the mastectomy instead of opting to have another lumpectomy to get "better margins". All cancer is now gone except the nipple which will be removed during the upcoming rib surgery. No big deal. Because Kenn wanted to avoid using the word "nipple" in his latest update on Facebook ( for my privacy ), the update was a little more alarming than necessary and I apologize.
My insurance is currently not good enough to schedule the next surgery for the ribs. Because of the denial of coverage from Humana, my surgery is being put on temporary hold until my appeal is rejected or accepted. Docs say not to worry and I won't as long as this doesn't go on too long. Humana has a 30 day time limit to respond to my appeal––I hope and pray that the appeal is good enough!
My last info was that the ribs surgery would probably be scheduled for the end of October or beginning of November. I don't pay much attention to dates anymore.
My brain has not been good enough to accomplish much during this week of recovery from surgery. The pain med and muscle relaxer have just made my mind cloudy and foggy much of the time. The sleep is great though. Today I have been tapering off to try to regain some mental capability to get this move on with a plan. Our wonderful group of friends, family and church family are standing by to help and we are not even able to tell anyone when to come to help pack or move stuff! Don't lose interest! We will get our act together this weekend and begin putting a plan together and get rolling sometime next week hopefully putting a lot of you volunteers to work––at least get a calendar of work days established.
I do see a plus in the rib surgery being scheduled later. We plan to be out of our current home by the middle to end of October. If the surgery had been in the beginning of October, I think the move would have been so much more difficult. I'll probably being going home from the next surgery to recover in Marietta instead of remaining here in Tucker. It will be good to have the moving part done already and I'll be able to focus completely on my recovery.
So how is this all going to happen really? I'm not good enough nor is Kenn. But God is blessing us with love and help in every step of the way. His provision, guidance in our decisions, leading our steps, giving us peace in the face of fear is what is good enough. God is so very good––good enough for all our needs. Are we good enough to deserve that kind of love, grace and care from him? No, but He even provided what we need to be worthy of that love.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

first surgery completed.....
The mastectomy of my left breast went well on Thursday. No complications and pain is managed well with the taking  of my meds on time. The most difficult thing is remembering not to use my left arm to lift anything over 5 lbs. I thought is was 10 lbs. but no - 5 lbs. Everything weights more than 5 lbs! I've been resting with the occasional walk to the kitchen or bath. Solitaire, word search puzzles, sleep, reading, radio, sleep, solitaire, tv, sleep is what my day has been like today. Rest is necessary for quick healing but so hard to do. I want to get up and clean the kitchen, etc.

Northside Hospital was wonderful. The nurses are all so caring and sweet, the private room was updated and large with a place for Kenn to sleep. He spent the night and went home a while the next morning before coming back for me later in the day on Friday.  I had two visitors at the hospital, I appreciated it so much but those visits really benefited Kenn as well. The waiting gets to be long and boring.

We were both tired today and rested all day. Kenn slept as much as I did. Food was delivered by friends yesterday and today and I understand more coming tomorrow. We are so well cared for and loved. Thanks again for all the prayers and support that is coming to us in a multitude of ways.

Post-op appointment is Wednesday and I hope to get the drainage tube out then. If I'm good then it should happen. It is important to limit movement to let the pocket created for the expander and implant to heal correctly. It is not uncommon for this to fail and have to be repeated. I'm being a very good patient.