"There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forgets the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert of expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary - we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit." Romans 5:3-5 The Message
Ever since I have left the hospital God has been working on developing in me this passionate patience. I am trying to be joyful for the things God has done for me these past few years and not allow self-pity to set in. I am working hard to keep trusting God and asking him to keep my joy full and abounding, even in these prison walls. I know in the midst of this storm, God is purifying and cultivating endurance in me. I am going to need this endurance as it will take sometime to completely heal. After all I have been through, I have definitely found the reasons for trials in life and the difference it can make to maintain our joy despite our suffering.
This past week, God has slowly started to reveal to me his plan and the miracles that have taken place since the day we started planning this surgery. It took over a year for me to convince the surgeons to do this surgery and for them to feel comfortable moving forward. I have learned that this wait was imperative to the success of the surgery. For when the surgery took place, it had been two years of being cancer free. A huge milestone for my type of cancer...for it is rare for this cancer to return after two years. My surgeons then felt it was safe to move forward. I too recently learned this was a huge step of faith for them to take. The risks were high and they were not confident it was going to work. They struggled for many months on whether or not it was a risk they were willing to make. On Monday, I had a follow up appointment with the surgeon who made my diagnosis and was on the surgical team. Without him I would not be here today. He is a very calm and collected man, yet warm and compassionate. Rarely have I seen him show any emotion over these past three years. At the appointment, completely out of character my surgeon raised his hands above his head and gave a cheer...he had reason to celebrate as the surgery was a success. This success was a miracle as the odds were not in my favor. God has used this man in more ways than one. My surgeon has shared with me multiple times how he second guessed the decisions he made during my surgeries causing him to go back at the last minute and make revisions. If he had not second guessed himself, I would most likely still have cancer and this last surgery would have failed. I know in my heart it was God nudging him and leading him to what needed to be done. God has been there all along during each phase of my surgery. Everything took place when it needed to happen and with surgeons that were among the best in their field. At times I would get frustrated and ask God where he was in the midst of it all. I did not see his plan at the time. Now, I am enjoying watching God's plan unfold and it gives me the strength to keep looking ahead and patience while healing takes place. It is encouraging for me to know God has had his hand in this all along and because of this, I know the end will be AMAZING!
God has perfect timing; never early, never late. It takes a little patient and faith, but it's worth the wait.
Today, with God's help, I feel at peace. I am starting to see signs of healing taking place. The swelling is slowly starting to go away. The skin graft is starting to blend in with the rest of my skin. My eye no longer droops down and my eyelid can close. I do struggle with double vision which should correct itself over time. I will begin Physical Therapy next week to help rebuild the strength in my shoulder as muscle and bone were removed to rebuild my face. Every day tasks can be difficult for me as my shoulder is very tight. Only time will tell whether or not further revision will be needed. As of now, things are going as they should and the surgeons are very pleased with the outcome.
I am so thankful for all of the meals being delivered to our home to keep my family fed and to give me time to rest and heal. Thank you all for your prayers and continued support. Those prayers kept me safe during the 18 hour surgery and are now helping me through my time of healing.