Jumping right in. Kate asks us to: reflect.
I’ve got the biggest scar of them all.
Tomorrow marks one year since I became my own Discovery Channel. The surgeon sliced me open and stuck a jack underneath my ribs. Yes, you read that right. A jack. Cranked the whole set up and out of the way so he could spend five hours carefully cutting out the golf ball-sized tumor that was pressed against my diaphragm, making every breath tedious and painful. At least I thought the tumor made breathing painful.
Janky ribs? Way worse.
Certain sections of my scar still hurt sometimes. I think its affected by barometric pressure. Someday I might be able to tell you when rain is coming. Other sections, and the surrounding area, I can’t feel. The nerves are dead and may never come back. Incredibly weird sensation. (Or rather, lack thereof).
The little round scar, I call that my bullet hole. That’s where the drain was. Cripe o’Friday, having that thing removed hurt like a son of something unholy. The surgeon actually braced himself before he pulled. And had the nerve to tell me, “Oh, this won’t be so bad.”
There are other marks, but only I notice them anymore. One on my back, where the fabulous spinal block kept me from feeling the first and most intense pain. One on my neck, where they plunged a central line straight into the jugular vein.
The journey isn’t over for me. Just this week I’ve been going rounds with headaches, dizziness and nausea. Don’t mess with the liver, man. Just don’t. It will slap your face. Dark circles rim my eyes from lack of sleep. I don’t have much of an appetite yet am as bloated as if I’ve eaten far too much. I could happily glare at and say something snarky to the size six girls who “feel fat.” Probably wouldn’t even feel the slightest guilt about it.
I don’t have perfect skin. I don’t have a flat belly.
You know what else I don’t have?
There are not words enough in the dictionary for me to express my deep gratitude to the Lord for seeing me through this valley. He has been faithful when I have cried and raged and sulked and slipped into despair. He has spoken words of tender encouragement. Smacked me upside the head when necessary. This road seems endless and full of far too many twists. It is bearable because of Him. His goodness, His grace.
I praise Him. I love Him.
And I thank Him for giving me a sense of humor when I saw a few too many man butts as I lapped around the surgical floor, outpaced by slugs as I dragged poles and walkers in my wake.