I have had quite the day! I met with my plastic surgeon today who gave me great news! He has taken me from four draining tubes down to two. What an enormous gift this is as the draining tubes are uncomfortable, to say the least. Tomorrow morning I will have an appointment with the breast cancer surgeon and the lymphedema specialist. After that, I will enjoy Christmas with my children and family, and look forward to the visit with the oncologist December 26th. Then, there is my 44th birthday on December 27th! I know you’re wondering how I could possibly be in my mid-fortys, but…I am! I think it’s the colored socks that just seem to be in my color wheel and, well…the words on the “notes to self ” socks just make me feel younger.
Secondly, I have been so excited to share my news about one of the greatest gifts a woman diagnosed with breast cancer could receive! As you know, I was in surgery last Monday, December 10th, to have a bilateral mastectomy. What you don’t know is that during the week leading up to the surgery, I was gifted by a charity called “The Healing Chair.” How this came about is truly a “God moment,” and I give the glory to Him. A week before my surgery, I had many questions and concerns on my mind, as anyone facing cancer might. The one that seemed to fill me with the most anxiety was the need for sleep. I am not someone who can survive on little sleep.
Survivors, who had been through a bilateral mastectomy, shared with me what I might say, were some worst case possible scenarios of sleep deprivation. You know, the honest truth you really don’t want to hear, but need to! I was told “your life will never be the same again”, “you can’t sleep on either side or your stomach”, “you will have four draining tubes”, “you will find yourself crying yourself to sleep because you can’t get comfortable because the propped up pillows are hard to work with and move around constantly.” Needless to say, I expressed concern to my college friend, Kim, because this was causing me so much anxiety.
The “God” moment took place after I left my usual weekly adoration hour at St. Michael’s the Monday after my diagnosis. At that hour of adoration, I prayed to God, shared my concerns, and even cried out loud; I was surrendering to Him. I also followed it up with the fact that I trusted in His plan.
Once I got to my car to leave, I noticed a text from my friend Kim. The text read, “Game Changer! Check out The Healing Chair!”
I can’t say I was very anxious to read another text and search a website since I was feeling so peaceful coming out of adoration, but I did.
To my astonishment, and with watering eyes, I read the entire story about The Healing Chair. I shared the exciting news with my friends that once I had a surgery date, I would be able to request a chair. I was overjoyed that God answered my prayer! I didn’t ask for this diagnosis, but I know He has never left me and He, once again, worked through a friend who shared the message about this amazing ministry of women who started The Healing Chair.
The Healing Chair mission is to “embrace and support breast cancer patients during the healing process.” They do this by providing an electric lift chair to a breast cancer patient to use after her surgery. The Healing Chair has helped me so much with comfort and mobility while I am recovering. They delivered the chair a few days before my surgery and it will be picked up about 4 or 5 weeks after the surgery. This is a FREE loaner and is accompanied by a journal that tells the stories of other patients who have sat in this same chair. I will add my story to the journal and it will travel with the chair to all the women who will get to use it after me. The chair was delivered to me by another survivor and her husband. I hugged her and was brought to tears. We didn’t know each other, but we shared something others don’t and that was the power of what God wants for all of us, which is to love your neighbor as yourself. She delivered this chair knowing the joy it would bring to me, and I can’t wait to deliver the chair to the woman who will have it after me!
My chair is called Monarch and was donated by Monarch Plastic Surgery. It sits in my living room next to my Christmas tree and nativity scene. I was also given The Healing Chair blanket that comforts me every time I sit in it and will be a treasure I get to keep. I want everyone to know there are so many resources out there for friends, family, or maybe even you, who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. God shows us the way to live abundantly, but we have to surrender to Him.
Christa Dubill, at 41 Action News, did a story on my journey and The Healing Chair. It aired tonight on the 6:00 news, and there is a link below to the 41 Action News website if you want to see the story. I hope it will help spread the word about this amazing organization that is paying it forward to help so many women deal with a life changing diagnosis.
I am also including the link to the Facebook page of the local Healing Chair organization. My story is featured on their December 10th post. Please pass this information on to anyone you know that could benefit from a healing chair of their own.