I had another physical therapy appointment today. The good news is that my left arm has not gotten any bigger. That is an answer to prayer. The bad news is that I wasn't doing the lymphatic massage quite correctly. I need to knead the flesh rather than sliding my hand. No harm done. At least I've gotten into a routine with it. Another recommendation the therapist made was to wear the compression sleeve and gauntlet several hours a day. Not only to get used to it, but to make sure my arm doesn't get bigger. If I wait to wear it until my arm gets bigger, I may not be able to get the sleeve on. It is really tight, like tight thick pantyhose . She especially wants me to wear it when I am going through radiation, since that is another risk factor for swelling. I also should take measurements of my hand, wrist and arm a few times a week to monitor any swelling. She said it is common for women to swell in the tricep area and not notice it for a long time, since you can't see your tricep as easily as you can the rest of your arm.
I still have that cording under my left arm. She worked a bit on it, which hurt a little. I just did the deep breathing like I did when I was in labor. At least the cording has not limited my range of motion. I've been very conscientious to stretch my arm and shoulder since my surgery in July. It paid off.
I have been so blessed by everyone praying for me and supporting me. I have gone through a little bit of dry spell in my own devotional life, however. I had not been in the Word as I had before. My prayers were on the run and not really focused. With the kids starting school and needing to be out the door by 7:30 a.m. three days a week, it was easy to let it slide. A few days turned into a week, and I realized that the only time I was opening my Bible was on Sunday at church! It is wonderful to have everyone out there praying for me. But I need to draw close to the Lord myself as well. I feel like a bad kid. Its not that God requires me to do read the Bible or pray to win His favor. He is blessing my socks of whether I do it or not. It's not based upon what I do (or don't do), but that is His nature. It is more of my response to His blessing-I want to feel close to Him, and I had not been doing anything to draw near.
In church yesterday during worship I definitely got a tap on the shoulder from the Lord telling me to "Read My Word." (His Word, the Bible, that is). So this morning before the kids got up I enjoyed some time in the Psalms. Unless the Lord directs me elsewhere, I am just going to go through the Psalms and meditate upon them. Here is one that really spoke to me this morning. The italics are my own application:
1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
I certainly need His mercy and for Him to hear my prayers.
2 How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
3 But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
The fervent prayers of the righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16) I know that the Lord hears my prayers, not because I am so godly and righteous, but because I am covered with Christ's salvation. It is truly amazing that we have the ability to come before the God of creation with our cares and concerns. What is man that You are mindful of him?? It boggles my mind!
4 Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
I happened to be reading and meditating on this verse while still cozy in bed.
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the LORD.
This trial has definitely made me walk the walk when it comes to trusting in the Lord. It is so easy to give it lip service, but when you are faced with something like cancer, it can put your faith to the test.
6 There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I know that my positive attitude is another gift from the Lord. I should be freaking out, but I have a peace that passes understanding.
8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4, New King James Version)
I had just enjoyed the first night of continuous sleep in several days. Another gift!
After having started the day in the Word and in prayer, confessing my sins to the Lord, the day has been great. I had a good power walk with my friends, found a new friend at my kids' school who is a sister in Christ, and just overall have had more patience and love in my heart. I want to start every day the way I did this one.
My prayer requests:
- That I continue to be able to grow in my personal devotional life. That I do not let other concerns or activities get in the way of this special quiet time.
- That the chemo drugs do their job, that my body continue to recover from the last round. That I do not get sick from some other infection.
- That my brother get home safe from Iraq. He is coming home later this month, but we aren't exactly sure when. Travel mercies as he comes from Mosul (which used to be called Nineveh for you Jonah fans out there)