My Brain is Bored, But My Body is Tired

If you’ve ever been through a surgery and recovery process, you know what I mean when I say “one step forward, two steps back”.

Waking up: I feel amazing! I don’t even need any Tylenol or Motrin to start the day. I am getting out of this house today! Yes!!!

Shower and get ready: Geeeezzzzssss, I don’t remember shaving taking quite that much energy. I think I’ll lie down for a minute.

Prepare to leave house & do whatever I had planned: You can do this! You don’t have to stay long. Just come back home when you are ready to rest.

At the destination: Roaming aimlessly, unsure exactly why I’m there and what was so urgent. <Look at watch>. Well, I think it’s about time to go home & rest. 🤣

Next day: Rinse & repeat.

There you have the cycle of healing when you’re trying to balance a determined, optimistic brain with a body that just needs you to rest and heal.

Today, I will remind myself: 🎵One day at a time, sweet Jesus. 🎶.

Oh, and I’m NOT leaving the house…for today, anyway! 🙏🏻

Wishing you all a blessed and healing day that’s peaceful ahead. 🏝🏖

Insta: peacefulahead

E-mail: staceyfade@peacefulahead.blog

💙🤝The Healing Gifts of Friendship, Food, and Fellowship 🥗🥘💙

For the past two weeks, I’ve had one job…heal. After having an extensive breast reconstruction surgery, I’ve spent 90% of every day wearing extremely tight binding garments to reduce post-surgery swelling and allow my body the time it needs to rest and prepare for the rehabilitation process ahead. To say that the restrictions on movement and necessity of wearing compression garments 24/7 has challenged my nerves would be an understatement. DEEP BREATHS…This, too, shall pass!

While I’ve been home and still unable to drive, I have been beyond blessed by the kindness of family and friends who have helped me through each step of this process. My dear husband has kept up with laundry and helped me stay on schedule with medication, my Mom cleaned our house, and both of them have pitched in to help my teenage daughter carry on without missing out on any part of her life. Several friends showed up with delicious home-cooked food, ready to spend time visiting. Each part of this journey over the past five years has included time when I was unable to leave the house, and my family has been stretched thin trying to keep the household running. I am constantly amazed at the blessing we receive when someone takes the time to deliver nourishing food, but most importantly, when they pause to spend time visiting. To me, there is no greater representation of what Jesus expects from us than to spend time with those who are secluded, whether it be for physical or mental health reasons, or aging.

This experience has reinforced my desire to find a way to give back or pay it forward more frequently. I feel that I, like so many, have good intentions, yet fail to follow through with actions so many times because we are stretched thin by so many other life demands. I would love to create a program that would simplify the process locally to connect people who wish to give with those who have needs.

While I’m not sure exactly what is needed to make that happen, I have faith the God will make it clear when I keep His love and light at the forefront of my efforts. Here’s to finding a way to coordinate goodness and help more people to enjoy a life that’s peaceful ahead.

🌸Reclaiming Femininity With Reconstruction; Hope and Healing in Sight🌸

Yesterday was finally the day. I arrived at the hospital for DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction. For this procedure, fat is taken from the belly and used to make breast mounds. It took about 4 hours, thanks to my awesome doctor who works with a partner. Many of these procedures take 10-12 hours as the doctor chooses to work alone. When I had a mastectomy for breast cancer 5 years ago, my surgeon was able to keep my existing implants, which allowed me to take my time healing after treatment before deciding to have reconstruction. After surgery yesterday, I found out that one of those had bursted, therefore causing a very uneven set of “foobs” (term for fake boobs in the bc community). When I woke up, I could not wait to see the results. The first thing I noticed was that my chemo port was gone. I’d had to leave it in for this long “just in case the aggressive cancer returned”. For the past 4 years, I’ve had to return to the Cancer center once every six weeks to have it flushed. Talk about a constant reminder. I’m so very thankful that thing is gone! While I’ll never forget the experience of having breast cancer, I am now able to appreciate the changes that it has made in me, and move forward, using the strength and faith I’ve gained along this journey.

The next thing I noticed when I looked down was that I have CLEAVAGE! Then, further down, I saw a COMPLETELY FLAT BELLY! Wow!!! I am so very grateful to overcome this final hurdle. I can’t even begin to fathom what it will be like to go shopping for clothes after spending the past 4 years trying to cover up in oversized, flowy tops!

I was required to stay in bed for the remainder of the day & overnight. Today, I’ll be getting up and walking a few times & sitting in a chair. The only pain I feel so far is some pretty intense burning sensations at the hip-to-hip incision site, and a bit more of the same on my upper incision sites. Hoping that today, pain will be kept to a minimum.

One of the first thoughts I had was “why did I put this off so much longer than necessary?” Then, I was immediately able to reflect on the gratitude I feel for every step of the journey. Because I was able to accept my body, although it was quite disfigured for the past few years, I now have a deeper sense of self-love and compassion than I had ever thought possible. I now realize that the delay was necessary for me to learn to love myself, and confirm that although my body is not the same as it was when we began dating, my dear husband truly loves me for me. What better gift could I have received?

Wishing you all a beautiful day that’s filled with gratitude,acceptance, and the hope of a life that’s peaceful ahead.

🌸Doing it Afraid, and Closing a Chapter➡️

If I said I’m not afraid, I’d be lying.

The fears that were quiet are multiplying.

I’ve felt so good lately it’s hard

To consider letting down my guard.

A barrier of protection I’ve formed,

Against outside noises that swarmed.

I can see life ahead filled with peace,

But before then, I must release.

This hold cancer’s had on my life,

All the fears, the struggles & strife.

I release the dark places of then,

Hoping to never go there again.

My body and mind and my soul,

Have finally been made whole.

So for this next round, I’m prepared.

To go through it, although I may be scared.

This step will help me to turn

All of this time into lessons learned.

My hope is to share all that’s true,

With warriors fighting anew.

I’ve shed tears, broken down, and healed.

And through it all, God’s love’s been revealed.

So if I needed to go where I’ve gone

To help you, it was worth it all along.

💖Pink Does Not Represent Cancer!💜

Most days, I’m able to focus on how grateful I am. Being diagnosed 5 years ago now with breast cancer, successfully completing treatment, and about to embark upon the last leg of this treatment journey by undergoing reconstruction surgery, I am usually able to focus on my blessings. However, because of the challenges I faced while receiving treatment, the empathy for others experiencing a cancer diagnosis and treatment occasionally permeates by being.

Today is one of those days. I picked up my phone this morning and the first thing that popped up was an obituary for and old friend who’d spent the last eight years battling brain cancer. I do not pretend to fathom the pain, discomfort, and struggles he faced throughout that time. But I do know that more than anything, he was fighting with all that he had to make it until his son graduated from high school…that didn’t happen.

I lost a dear friend to cancer over 10 years ago. What started as pain in her arm quickly became a nightmare of chemo attempts, reactions, and complications. She was so full of life and ready to embark on new journeys, but her adventure was cut short, another life ending entirely too soon.

I lost another friend from high school a couple of years ago. Because I’d fought breast cancer, she thought our battles were the same, and that she just needed to stay positive. She was fighting brain cancer that had progressed to the point that she was suffering severe symptoms at diagnosis. Her body was only able to withstand one round of chemo. She only lived a few more months. She was so brave.

My sweet Daddy was diagnosed three years ago with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, with metastasis to the brain. He passed peacefully 11 days later, with the assistance of hospice. Although the physical process was deeply maddening to watch, I never left his side. The beauty of those eleven days with him tops my list of precious spiritual experiences on this earth.

What I went through with breast cancer was not anything I would wish on one more human being. However, there is no comparison to the bravery and grace displayed by each of these precious souls who ultimately lost the battle against the enemy that is cancer.

This is why I reject the term “Survivor”, as it somehow indicates that I did something right or better than those we’ve lost. I was lucky that my body could withstand the toxic treatment. We are all warriors, fighting similar, yet such uniquely different battles.

The fact that we have a Pink month dedicated specifically to breast cancer makes me sick. I would love to see the start of an #antipink movement, and recognize that cancer is the enemy, in every form and at every stage. Regardless of the treatment, side effects, and end result, pieces of our lives are being stolen. After all, statistics dictate that we will all know someone who is affected by this disease at some point in our lifetime. It is our responsibility to hold one another up, walk arm in arm, and love one other through every stage of the process. Hope and peace do not discriminate, neither should we in our support of one another.

🙏🏻💜 peacefulahead.blog