Saint John Paul II, pray for us!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
(a post written last Thursday)
I love my parents. (I need to start and end always with that love because sometimes what falls in between can be quite challenging.)
The phone rang shortly after 7 this morning. It was my mother. I am on a board of directors for a local business and my father is on the same board. Mom's first words this morning: "Dad wants you to cancel the meeting..."
In my half-awake (and only recently medicated) state, I felt only peace. (Thank you for that, Lord, as You know how stressful family relations can sometimes be.)
Sharing my sleepiness with Mom, I asked if she would mind calling another board member and asking them to make any changes.
As I hung up, I realized something... My parents have never learned to rest.
If the past year has done no other good in my life, it has taught me how to rest. Especially now.
If you look at me, all you see is a patch that covers the right side of my face. You might think, "Well, the cancer is gone. She's all patched up. What more time does she need?" My answer... Time to heal. The body is very focused right now (as it should be) on healing my forehead and especially my eye.
Thank You, Lord, for teaching me how to rest.
Praised be Jesus Christ!!
If you've ever had MOHs micrographic surgery, then you may remember what it was like when you learned that the surgeon needed to remove another layer of skin because cancer cells were still present there. Do you remember the map??
For those of you who are not familiar with MOHs, the surgeon actually maps the area where the cancer is removed and the lab verifies whether or not they "got it all" by checking the peripheries of the sample for the presence of cancer cells. If cancer cells are found, the surgeon will go back in to remove another layer, but only from the side(s)/area(s) where cancer cells remain. This (very precise) procedure spares the most healthy tissue, thereby improving healing and minimizing post-op scarring. It really is amazing!
I can't speak for every surgeon, but mine mapped the cancer in red. Wow... That red ink seemed to jump off that black & white page as the nurse described where the cancer cells were found. As they positioned me for the second procedure, the nurse layed that map on my stomach, oriented to match the area near my eye.
The amount of tissue removed meant they could not close the area near my eye whith the remaining skin, so the reconstruction surgeon (referred to by the MOHs surgeon as a "Leonardo di Vinci") took skin from above my eyelid and grafted it over the surgery site.
Today, my eye patch comes off and we will learn whether or not the skin graft has taken and begun to heal.
I am SO thankful to no longer be "seeing red" and, while I know that I have a 50% chance of developing skin cancer again in the next 5 years, I tend toward optimism. Jesus, I trust in You!
Here's to no longer seeing red!
Praised be Jesus Christ!!
O MY GOD
When I look into the future, I am frightened,
But why plunge into the future?
Only the present moment is precious to me,
As the future may never enter my soul at all.
It is no longer in my power,
To change, correct or add to the past;
For neither sages nor prophets could do that.
And so, what the past has embraced I must entrust
O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire.
I desire to use you as best I can.
And although I am weak and small,
You grant me the grace of Your omnipotence.
And so, trusting in Your mercy,
I walk through life like a little child,
Offering you each day this heart
Burning with love for Your greater glory.
St. M. Faustina Kowalska
The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce too heavy for you. He has blessed it with His Holy Name, anointed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God.
~St. Francis de Sales