I was not trying to be difficult - or super woman - or any of the many other egotistical things of which my friends and family accused me. I simply wanted to go to NC Ladies' Conference. Bottom line. I had carefully protected these dates on my calendar all year... a chance to be with my dear NC lady friends AND to hear two of my favorite women in the world... Nona Freeman and Vesta Mangun! So what if the lymph node biopsy was scheduled for Thursday... the first day of the conference. Surely, I could leave the hospital and sleep on the two and a half hour road trip... rest a bit in the hotel and take in as much of the conference as possible. It's only been 24 years since I've had general anesthesia... probably why I forgot that afterwards you pretty much don't know what planet you are on or from! My wise husband suggested (although my bags were packed and ready to roll) that we go home first and see how I felt after a couple of hours rest. Well, long story short - I slept all day and night. I chose not to take the pain meds because they make me loopy and I wanted to be alert on Friday. So we got up Friday morning and drove up to Greensboro... I missed hearing Sis. Cyvonne Davy's wonderful message, but made it in time for Sis. Freeman... went to the room and slept for about five hours then went down to the evening service with Sis. Mangun. What a refreshing! The atmosphere... the presence of God... seeing my friends... having them pray with me... seeing the relief in their eyes when they saw that I was still smiling and healthy... it was wonderful. As an added bonus, God made a way for my big sister (well... she's older - not bigger) Pattie and her girls, Taryn and Tanis, to come up for the conference and then come home with us. They just headed back to SC after lunch, following our morning service. ...Yeah, I'm worn slam out... but its a good tired. If I can make it back to evening service tonight - I'll rest tomorrow! (I've always loved Mondays).
Tanis helped me change my bandage last night and I about flipped out! This is my fourth biopsy in my life and the first one that didn't just have a steri-strip holding it closed. I was shocked to find a 2.5 inch incision with STAPLES hiding under that bandage! YIKES!... if I had seen that gash under my arm and those ugly staples... I probably would have stayed in bed all weekend with all the pain meds I could handle! I'm such a baby when it comes to that kind of thing! But since I thought I had a steri-strip like last time... I was fine. Another lesson learned! Half the misery is all in your head anyways!
I have to add this - it is funny today - but last Wednesday, it was not! I sent an email out to a long list of friends on Tuesday, telling them about the cancer results. I was strong. I was fine! Then on Wednesday... even though I had let everyone know NOT to feel obligated to reply - I opened my email to find this long line of replies. Every email was full of love and encouragement. More love and encouragement than I could handle at one time, actually. (My parents told me that as a child, when I got hurt, if they babied me I would cry all day - but if they left me alone - I was fine in two minutes. Some things never change!) All of this began to make me feel like, "my friends think I'm dying and these are the things they want me to know before I die"... (remember I'm stilll peri-menopausal!) So, I spent the biggest part of the day blowing my nose and crying. I was scheduled to speak at several Ladies Retreats and meetings, and my friends were calling to tell me... please don't feel obligated to come... stay home and take care of your health. I even mentioned to my husband as we got ready for church that I dreaded going to church, because if anyone said something nice to me, I knew I'd burst into tears... I didn't want to be crying in front of our people. I want them to see me strong and full of faith! I can't remember his comment - but I'm sure it wasn't of the "stay home and rest - I'll make excuses for you" variety - because there I was at church two hours later- trying to worship through my emotional roller coaster... its time for my husband to teach the Bible Study. He nods at me to play the piano and as he walks by me he leans in and says "Let's sing 'Address Change Notification'." I'm totally numb as I play the intro. Address Change Notification??? He thinks I'm dying too! This is our "classic" FUNERAL song! What is he thinking? I can barely sing my harmony part - because I am caught somewhere between hysterical weeping and psychotic laughter! He's clueless - does a great job - on the song and on the Bible Study... and now - I can laugh about it all. God does those things just for me - because He knows I find humor in everything eventually.