This has been the hardest season of my life. I thought losing baby after baby was the hardest season of inner turmoil, but I was wrong. This, this has been it. I sit here with my throat constricting, fighting back the flow of tears that threaten to break through. Strangely, I can’t say exactly why my emotions are so chaotic. I feel like I stood strong through storm after storm this year. I continually lifted my eyes to Jesus for strength. But this surgery has taken me down. Not to sound melodramatic, but I had no idea it would affect me so. Fears have tormented me in my dreams. Frustration has closed in and reminded me of old self-condemning thoughts that rise like great dark shadows around me. My expectations of post surgery were a little far fetched and my doubts of timing have nagged at me. Fear of not getting back to normal and fears of a physical therapist who resembles Hitler have filled me with dread. i know you’re probably reading this and rolling your eyes at my rambling, but the struggle is real. The constant pain is real. My sweet husband is dealing with chemo and cancer and I’m over here whining about knee surgery! How pathetic! And yet, I still hold out for a fresh touch from the Lord, reminding me who I am in Him. Reminding me that He is with me. Reminding me He is in control. Reminding me to rest in Him. Reminding me to stop thinking so much and to just breathe in and breathe out. To sit. To sleep. To enjoy time with Lynn. To accept the help of friends who love me and want to help. So I’ll hold tight to His hand with everything that is in me. I’ll make it….I think.
So the Armstrong saga continues. Today I sit here in our recliner, right leg propped up and iced down while watching Alabama beat Ole Miss. Yes, I am recovering from partial knee replacement…..and just so you know, it’s no joke. I had unrealistic expectations of walking unassisted and already returning to my regular routine. No. The bandage is off, I can see the approximate four inch incision with pieces of tape on each end mocking me. The knee is still pretty stiff and I haven’t achieved a 90 degree knee bend yet. My right hip is complaining, so while I ice down the knee, I heating pad the hip😳😭.
I have discovered a few things about myself: I am not a patient patient. Not necessarily with others, but with my own progress. I really expected to be moving more freely at this point (9 days in). I do not handle pain meds very well. I tend to get weepy and depressed. Not a good combo with my lack of patience with myself. And I have an amazing family who takes care of me and puts up with my issues (I hope), and great friends who sacrifice in their own lives to help us out! Shout out to Keith Bradley and his mad a/c skills and servant heart. And a special shout out to my dear friend of 37 years, Dottie Hartley, who stayed with me the night before surgery and got up at 3:45am to get ready to get me to surgery by 5:00am because Lynn was already in Springhill taking chemo. Speaking of Lynn, I love this man. Even though he’s in the first week after chemo, he’s been taking care of me, amazing. I do so much better when he’s babying me and holding my hand.Our lives are crazy, but the love of our family and friends is stronger!! I’ve said this repeatedly over the last few months, and I still shout it loudly, God is sovereign, God is faithful and He will walk us through this season.
Today. Today is the day we find out if this cancer journey is coming to an end. We are waiting patiently in a room filled with other cancer patients who are in various stages of treatment. They joke with each other about whether they are doing good or not….as Lynn said to the elderly man next to him “Well, I guess I’m not doing too great if I’m here, right!”. The older man laughed a deep and crackly laugh. Blood pressure has been taken, more blood samples taken and now waiting for the doctor and the verdict. Fingers crossed and prayers flying up. It’s been a long three and a half months. If the subject had come up a year ago of where we would be in a year…THIS would never have been even been on the radar! But I will say this, this experience has given us first hand experience with the love and concern of God’s people and of God’s provision. We have re-evaluated our future and are choosing to simplify life as much as possible, to gather with friends more, to enjoy every time we are together with family and to reach out and love on others who may be experiencing the same unexpected illness.
This year has been probably the most difficult beginning with December of 2017. …
So the verdict is in. The mass has shrunk from 9.8cm down to 6.4cm. Yay! However,not enough to only have 2 more treatments. Lynn will have 4 more including the one starting today. We are a bit discouraged….we were hoping to be nearly done with this cancer journey. So dear sisters and brothers, don’t stop encouraging my big guy….he’s a bit weary and is trying to keep a positive front. But I know he was hoping. Hoping for a miraculous “it’s all gone” result. He’s been so strong and positive, but it’s been nearly 4 months of tests and needles and chemo and stays in the hospital and losing his hair and now his signature eyebrows 😁. He wants to move forward. We know God has a purpose in this, we know He is with us, we know He is sovereign. We don’t like this journey, this season, but we’ll walk it clinging to faith. Not faith in our own strength, but in His.