No Stomach – Day 1

This is Chesney’s dad- she wanted me to post an update for everyone.

ChesRecoverySurgery went well. It was long, though. Six hours instead of the planned four. Nothing unusual, but our doctor did a lot of looking and had the pathology team in the OR looking too. He took out her stomach,  all the lymph nodes around it, and gall bladder.  The good news is that the stomach and lymph nodes gave no visible signs of tumors or cancer. This indicates that any cancer they do find is probably very similar to the biopsy – early Stage 1.

Her gall bladder was a little scarred and inflamed, but it did not look cancerous. This may have been the root cause of other issues she has been having.

Right now she is in a lot of pain. I mean, a lot. She has never experienced this level of pain before and it’s not something you can prepare for. The drugs are working, but the pain comes in waves that at times seem to be unbearable. In her words last night “…morphine is my friend.”

They will have her sitting and possibly standing by the end of the day. Sometime in the next 24 hours they will do a test to ensure there are no leaks in all her new plumbing.  They are telling us to expect 5-7 days in the hospital, it just depends on how well she can become mobile and swallow food and water (small amounts).

Chesney did want me to thank everyone for your prayers -they are deeply appreciated. Our prayers for today are (1) pain management and (2) strength as she begins her recovery and (3) that no lymph nodes will have cancer.  We experienced the power of prayer and God’s grace yesterday as family and friends came to support us and stood by our sides during our vigil in the hospital waiting room.  Please continue to lift Chesney up.

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Video diary 1  

 I’m generally a pretty happy person. But sometimes it’s important to remember that I am human and that it’s ok to be sad about the little things.  

One Week

It is getting more and more real. Today especially.

Yesterday I spoke with the founder of No Stomach for Cancer, Karen Schreiber, for about 45 minutes. It was great talking to someone who’s been through the surgery who knows what to expect. That is probably what I’ve been most nervous about. Just not knowing…

I know it may sound silly, but not knowing what is going to happen is my biggest fear and the cause of most of my anxiety. No one knows everything. But we have to trust in God that he knows everything and what he puts us through will always make us better – even if it seems otherwise in the moment. But still – it is terrifying not knowing what is next. For example – not knowing how long your stay at the hospital will be… how much will it hurt… how long will I be inactive… how long will my recovery take… will I need chemo…?

I desperately don’t want chemo. At first it was for vanity’s sake. But now I realize that was silly of me and the real reason I’m terrified of having chemo is because I don’t want to be looked at and immediately people think, “she has cancer…” or “oh, she’s sick” or the worst of all… “she is limited.”

Know this… I am not limited. I never have been – I never will be.

Cancer will not get the best of me and I refuse to let anyone ever think that I have given up. If I have to have chemo – fine. But it will not change me. I may not feel well some days but I will always choose joy over misery. I will always choose to persevere over defeat and you can bet I will always choose to love my Jesus over doubting his mercy and grace. My faith will be challenged but I’m ready. The devil can shoot me down and throw my family in every which way and he can make life near unbearable for us but I know without a doubt we will stand tall.

So yes – I am scared. But I’m ready. Life will be very different from now on but I know we will be “ok.”

And that, my dear friends, is a quote from Jesus, himself.