Wednesday, December 15, Lucia had her final surgery for her cancer. This procedure was for reconstruction. She is doing well today (Saturday). Her first shower and a little “walkabout” is the perfect medicine.
Since Wednesday, she was loopy, as well as sleeping nearly all of that time. It is amazing at what sleep can do post-surgery.
It will take her another two weeks to get through the main part of the “surgery woods,” and a couple of months of stretching, light lifting, and somewhat regular duties to heal.
One, Two, Three
Her first surgery was the mastectomy, which happened in April. This past summer was the “expander” to stretch the skin for the future implant, which was Wednesday’s surgery. The past few months she met with the doc to inflate the expander incrementally.
This surgery was not as “bad” as the first one as far as the “fear factor,” not knowing the outcome, and the physical loss. This time around it was about “surgery weariness.” Three operations in nine months wear on you. Lucia did not expect that kind of anxiety, but it was real. Her hope is to put all this behind her, and we’re all on the same page with her.
To reconstruct the breast, the doctor had to cut her in five places: inside each thigh, outside each thigh, and on the belly. Lucia was pleased about the doc’s perplexity because he could not find enough fat. I volunteered my fat because I’m a servant, but he said her body would reject my fat. (His words hurt my feelings, but I don’t want to make this all about me.)
The doctor had to insert fluid to break up the fat so he could suck it out. Lucia said the liposuction was the most painful part, post-surgery. She wondered, out loud, why any Hollywood star would subject themselves to that kind of pain if they did not have to do it.
The physician used the fat for the reconstruction. It’s more complicated than that, but you get the idea. A lot of marking of the body, many cuts, a whole bunch of reconstruction, tubes inserted for drainage, wraps around her thighs, and loopiness.
Let’s just say that it was rough on her. We hope there is healing, and cancer will not return.
Lucia will recuperate for the next two months, and then we’ll start our travel schedule, speaking in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Mexico, and Canada. We both are looking forward to getting away, serving others, rather than spending our weeks in bed.
It has been an unusual year with four surgeries (my back surgery), but the perfect thing for us, in that we have experienced the Lord in refreshing ways.
His mercy is humbling. His grace is life-giving. And His presence is assuring.
We are encouraged. As Paul said, “the old person is wasting away, but the new person experiences renewal day by day.”
Paul was correct.
Tonight, we’ll trot her out to a Christmas party, but she’ll lay low; don’t worry. She wants to get out, and I don’t blame her. Low and slow is how we’ll go.
P.S. The reason we have not shared about this upcoming (now past) surgery is because it’s too much of a distraction.
Lucia is weary from this year, and the more flutter we can reduce, the better it is on her soul. We do have a handful of family and other friends who know.
Thank you for understanding.