Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lymph Stuff Etc

I forgot to mention a couple things last night:

-First, I did talk to my doctor and he did indicate that it might be lymphedema.
-Second, if it is lymphedema, it’s “part of the process.”
-Third, he did say that palliative surgery to remove the nodes would likely make the situation worse, as would radiation of them.
-Fourth, it might not even be lymphedema.
-Fifth, I found out that lymphedema can most likely be palliated, which is good.
-Sixth, he said this current stuff doesn’t tell him anything about my prognosis. Other things would, but this doesn’t.
-Seventh, if you want to know, it’s in my inguinal nodes, and here’s a link to an easy to look at lymph system diagram.

Today the situation was pretty much the same, with a little less swelling (the swelling is just in the area specific to the inguinal lymph nodes... it's not my whole leg), a little more pain, and some weird uncomfortable sensations of unknown etiology (okay, so I like that word—even though the word would look cooler if the US spelled it aetiology like the UK does...). It was a relief to wake up this morning and find my leg the same size as it was when I went to bed. The swelling was almost gone this morning and increased as the day progressed. It’s not that bad right now though.

I find myself going in two opposite directions with this current drama, sometimes at almost the same time. The first is to realize that the God who breathes stars into existence (see Psalm 33:6), and not twinkly little stars, but huge powerful stars like the sun, is the same God who has promised never to leave me or forsake me, and who has promised that He is coming for me soon, and who has promised that He will take me gently. The second is to speculate about what’s next physically, which is a very, very bad direction for me to let my mind go. For example, I was doing dishes and trying to decide if it would be better to have lymphedema and deal with its horrors, or if I’d rather have a tumor growing in my pelvis causing all kinds of internal chaos... Like that’s a helpful thing to think about....

On a different note, I got pretty mad today when someone made a racist/prejudiced/ignorant racial comment to me. I think it’s going to be hilarious when all of the people who still think God likes white people best get to Heaven and find that white people are the minority and that they’re not any more or less special than every other human being on the planet. I mean, DUH, have we looked around the planet today? The whole planet doesn’t look like our little neighborhoods and social circles. I can imagine Jesus smiling and saying, “I love them as much as I love you. No less, no more.”

This is getting long, but I have to include one more thing. This is my first tattoo. It is my symbol of hope and protection. I got it during an incredibly nerve-wracking time in my life. It’s an ongoing encouragement to me and it’s still my favorite tattoo.

-The circles are a visual representation of John 14:20
“....I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”

-The spikes are from Jeremiah 20: 11
“But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior;
therefore my persecutors will stumble;
they will not overcome me.
They will be greatly shamed,
for they will not succeed.
Their eternal dishonor
will never be forgotten.”

-The tendrils are signs of hope and growth from Isaiah 43:18-19
"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.


  1. not the post I was hoping to pop on here and see. I'm thinking of you M - it was soooo great to see you last weekend. As always, your top on my prayer list.

    Love You!

  2. I love your tattoo design and explanation.

  3. OK- so I may have to get that tattoo. I love it!!!

  4. you're awesome.

    and if you like 'unknown etiology' you might also like 'idiopathic.'


  5. Wow you write beautifully Martha. I'm still praying for you and know that God has you under His wings. I must admit I'm not much for tattoos but since you worded it with scripture, I find it pretty amazing. Take care. Christine Pfister from Waxhaw/JAARS.