Tuesday, May 28, 2013

from the other side....
It has been six weeks and five days since the rib tumors surgery. And it has been a year and ten days since the xray in my chiropractor’s office that began this journey of survival. What a year it has been! Full of anxiety at first but then as the Lord drew me near to him, a year of a wondrous spiritual transformation ( more about that later ) –– to Him be the glory!

So the question that is asked the most through emails and texts is “how r u doing?” So this post has to be an update on that very thing. It has been a difficult six weeks but maybe not as bad as I had anticipated. I did have a complication in the hospital that made my pain management an issue. I was severally allergic to some surgical tape and the epidural that was given to me had to be removed within the first 12 hours. I had the epidural and a morphine drip to manage the pain to allow me to breathe. When that was discontinued, I was given Perocet ( a narcotic ) only –– not able to use morphine with this drug. Needless to say it was not doing a very good job and breathing did become difficult. As a result I had fluid in my lungs and chest cavity and have had a couple of procedures to have the fluid drained. 

The benign tumors removed were larger than I had thought. One was the size of a baseball and one the size of a softball. Both were growing to the inside of the chest wall on ribs. Four ribs were removed and replaced with synthetic material. Oh, how I praise God these were not cancer!!!!

After home from the hospital I continued on the Percocet for about four weeks. Pain by this time was well controlled. As I had to go off the narcotic ( tapering off ) the pain was an issue again for about a week. Tylenol was my only pain relief. Things got better then and it was now time to go off my oxygen. I had been on oxygen for 5 weeks and as I tapered off that I had numerous problems with dizziness for a little more than a week. 

As of last Monday I was beginning to feel like myself, just a little soreness, an occasional dizzy spell and an energy level from 60% to 75%, depending on the day. I take frequent rests during the day. So all should be good, right? Kenn got sick with sore throat, headache and congestion last Thursday and Sunday I came down with the same thing. We went to church on Wednesday night and picked it up from someone sick. I’m feeling better today and hopefully will be back to a great recovery in the next day or two. So, all is pretty much behind me, the worst being over. I do have two to three more surgeries later this year to finish up my other mastectomy and finalize reconstruction. Those hopefully will be a breeze compared to what I’ve been through thus far. 

It is time for us to finally begin rebuilding our lives. Kenn and I have been through much loss as far as lively hood, home and identity. This year of loss, moving ( the most difficult move we’ve ever made ) and just being on hold has left us now with a desire to rebuild and see what our future holds. God has moved us to this place and we are looking forward to his guidance. It is daunting if we try to lean on our own strength but he will lead the way. Please continue to pray for us as we seek his will. 

Thanks again for all your love, prayers and support. We are so blessed with wonderful friends and family!


  1. Marilyn! I am just catching up with your story! I had been following your art blog and since no new paintings would come up, I only thought it was because you were busy working, moving, etc.. I am amazed by what you have gone through! I'm so sorry and I hope the worst is over at this point, you are in my prayers!! God Bless you... Big! With good health from now on... and when the timing is right for you, time to enjoy your painting again!

  2. Wow, Mary. What can I say?

    First, I'm amazed at your courage and optimism. Second, I'm glad you have your faith to help you through as well. I couldn't imagine dealing with the things you are going through.

    I've been struggling with finding a job. I resigned mine in January 2012 to help my dad with his life ending journey with stage four pancreatic cancer. It was my first experience at seeing people and medicine at work to try and help those with needs like that.

    I'm glad your tumors were benign.

    More than that, I am amazed at your story. I have been fighting a spiritual war because I've been praying to God so hard and for so long for a job. I'm just about completely financially ruined. I could recover from it...with a job.

    Anyways, what you are going though makes me feel like a weakling.

    I do not understand why a loving Father would put his children through things like what you are going through. At least my situation was partly my choice to begin.

    I'm glad to see a story like yours where you maintain your hope your courage and your faith.

    It's uplifting.

    I hope you are truly through the worst and may find yourself at somepoint soon creating some art again and living life more fully.

    God bless you and thanks for the update.