5 September 2006
Thank you for praying for me. Surgery on Thursday morning (31 Aug) was smooth. They did a level 3 clearance of the lymph nodes. That means that they took out all the lymph nodes in that armpit area. I was nauseous when I woke up from the GA that day but I was fine the next day. I was discharged on Friday, 1 Sep.
How am I doing? I came home with the inside of my right arm feeling numb. It was not a good feeling, after all that is my dominant arm. I was told to exercise the arm, use it as normally as possible but not to overstrain it. I also have to take care of it, especially when there are cuts or bites to make sure there’s no infection as the drainage of fluids within that arm will not be as efficient as before. Even when I sleep I have to raise up my right arm. That first night when I was in bed, my tears couldn’t hold themselves. Perhaps in a sense I was blaming God and asking Him why. Rationally I know He’s sovereign and He’s in control but emotionally I feel I’m in the pits. I have adjustments to make but it’s more trying this time as Chee Meng will not be taking any leave this week and he’s on reservist from 9-30 Sep. I’m prepared for him not to be around for 7 days a week, or perhaps he may be home late at night and going off early the next morning. I find myself having to make the changes quickly and I’m not quite ready. Perhaps I was hoping for God to heal me so I don’t have to go for surgery. But God has his own schedule and yes, rationally, I won’t want to restrict Him. My mom comes by everyday to help me with the children. While my dad can help with the meals, it will tax him quite a bit as he is slower now and needs more rest due to his stroke last year. Over the weekend my head almost burst just thinking about all these. Finally I refused to think about it because I know God will provide. I just need to ask Him.
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
In spite of me avoiding God, He is certainly in control. I want to give thanks for His goodness:
1. God sent many visitors, be it during the hospital stay or during the weekend at home. I’m physically fine to receive visitors and I know how each want to know my condition and want to pray for me. So while I hope to hibernate at home, I find it hard to say ‘no’. Everyone who came, including my in-laws, parents and brother shows me of the love they have for me, how much they yearn for me to be well, how much they are praying for me. Oh how much more would God want me to be well and healed! Yes I’ve been reminded time and again it’s His will to heal. In spite of my emotions, I WILL praise Him, I WILL seek His kingdom and His righteousness and I WILL wait upon Him. I must look beyond my situation to Him.
2. My mom has been very patient with me and would do all she can to help with chores or with the children. I’m so thankful that the children take to their grandma very well. I find my mom holding up better than me. You know, I’ve never felt so closed to my mom before. I notice every time I go to the doctor’s, she would tell me that God will bless me. I thank God every time I hear that. I can feel that she’s so close to salvation. Two Sundays ago, she and my dad came by to my church. I was pleasantly surprised. The sermon happened to be ‘Is Christianity The Only True Religion?’. I thought that was rather timely. I recall many years ago when I was praying for my parents’ salvation, I told the Lord that I’ll give whatever it takes for my parents to come to know Jesus as Lord and Saviour. Perhaps it is soon? I’m claiming Acts 16:31
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
3. Chee Meng has been very loving, understanding and patient. He tries to give me more space and rest by bringing the children out when he’s able. He even cooked on Sunday. He’s also helping me to stock up on things at home in preparation of his reservist. Thank you dear 🙂
4. While I rest to recover from surgery, my mom hopes that my meals will be home-cooked. I understand and respect that. But not wanting to tax my parents too much at this stage, I’ve asked a couple of moms to help me to coordinate who can help me with some of the meals, at least for the month of Sep when Chee Meng is not around. I hope to ease my mom into my home routine and familiarise her with my kitchen so she’ll be more comfortable cooking some simple meals at my place. I’m thankful for their willingness to help. I’m not sure how things will turn out but I just want to leave it in the hands of my Lord. Those who know me will know that I’ll usually see to all things myself but this time I really want to take it easy and eat my way back to health, as a friend put it. I know that my immune system must be up as I prep myself for chemotherapy later on.
5. Li-Ann has no school for 2 consecutive Fridays and will not go to school for one of the Fridays in Sep as they are celebrating Children’s Day. That reduces the number of times my mom has to bring Li-Ann to school in Sep to 2 times. I’m so thankful she is not missing so much of school this month. Li-Ann is doing very well. No, she’s not walking yet. However she is cruising and crawling much faster now. The PT feels perhaps it’s her personality; we realise that anything that requires extra effort or energy will not be done. That’s my baby Li-Ann 😉 But she is feeding herself now. We discovered it by chance when her teacher in school was trying to let her feed herself using a suction bowl and a normal metal teaspoon. Everything went into her mouth with rather high accuracy!! And the teacher thought I gave her plenty of practice at home. Nope, not my credit. So from then on, which is about 2 weeks now, she has been feeding herself for 3 meals a day. God really answered my prayer. When I was still expecting her, I thought since she’s a girl and she’s #3, it’s likely that she’ll feed herself early. WOW!! She’s also babbling more now, picking up flying kiss and hi-5, laughing out LOUD…she’s very cute 🙂
6. Friends and church members who are very very kind and generous and who are consistently praying for me. Thank you so much.
7. John and Rebecca have also been very helpful. My mom finally realises these two little helpers can help to ease her burdens.
A few prayer requests:
1. Good health for my parents as they help me out. My mom told me she’ll keep up with her exercise regime so that her immunity is up. Pray that she won’t burn out.
2. God will give assurance to my in-laws that He will provide for all my needs. As they don’t see me so often, they may be worried about how we are coping.
3. My wound is recovering well. It’s dry but still raw. I came home with another new bottle to drain off fluids. My next review is on 8 Sep afternoon. I’m thankful that on 4 Sep, a friend came by to ferry me to the hospital for the review. I will see the doctor on 13 Sep morning on the results of the check on the lymph nodes. Pray for speedy recovery.
4. Protection for Chee Meng as he goes for his reservist. Pray that God will give him peace so that he’ll not be concerned about arrangements at home when he’s away. Pray that it’ll not be too taxing on him and that he’ll be able to come home often.
5. I’ll put on some weight and the nutrients will go to the right cells at the right parts of the body. My immunity will be strong.
6. For me to ONLY look to Him for EVERYTHING and to let Him be in TOTAL control. I’m sure being in this valley is preparation for that which is ahead. Please remind me to ALWAYS give thanks.
Appreciate all your love for me 🙂