I am an overcomer and so are you.
True confession time. I run to the gym each morning, which in technical terms, means I run/jog/walk uphill to the gym, do all my sit ups, pull ups, all other reps, etc. then jog back downhill to my house (not even a two-mile round trip). But…I am moving, right? Great. That, unfortunately, is not my confession. My confession is that when I am driving along, heading out to do errands, etc, and I see someone walking slowly along the same path I traverse, I find myself judgmental at times. You know the snarky remarks “They could pick up the pace a bit and get in better shape” or others like that. I am not proud of any of those remarks I make, outloud or to myself. But sometimes God gives us exactly the situation we need to “Seek first to understand then to be understood.” Enter my double mastectomy that I just had less than two weeks ago. Since the surgery, I have tried to walk every morning, except maybe the first morning that followed a night of throwing up every hour or so getting rid of that evil anesthesia. Despite the fact that I am walking every morning, in some pretty intense Tucson heat, you might make comments as you pass by me in your car (or lap me while running), “I wonder if she knows that snails are passing her”. I admit, I am slow.
But I am moving. I am fighting the good fight.
Before I had my surgery, I made a playlist for my recovery. It has everything from Pharrell’s “Happy” to Mandisa’s “Overcomer”, which has become my anthem, I think. The words say,
“You're an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You're not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it's hopeless
That's when He reminds You
That you're an overcomer
You're an overcomer”
Here’s what I know. I may not be working out the same way I was before my surgery, but I am staying in this fight ‘til the final round. I might even be trying to overachieve just a tad (does this surprise anyone who knows me well?). Case in point: I had four drainage tubes that were put in during the surgery to drain the fluid from the breast area after the expanders were put in behind the chest wall (don’t ask anymore if you are faint of heart—it’s not pretty). Three times a day, the tubes have to be drained, measured and the color recorded. Yick. Thank you, dear Dave, Robin, and Michelle and soon to be Kelly, who have been the “nurses” who have been doing this very glamorous task. Last Tuesday, I went in to the plastic surgeon, hoping to have the tubes removed. They warned me---“Take extra pain medicine. It is a bit painful having the tubes come out.” This word of warning from Captain Understatement. First of all, the doc said, “Only two can come out today as the other two are producing too much fluid, still.” Well, just make it stop, is what I want to say. No dice. As the sweet nurse removed the suture that holds in the tube, I thought she was already removing the tube and I said, “Well, that isn’t so bad.” Then she said, “Ummm…take a deep breath, as I am about to remove the left tube.” Well crumb. Deep breath, then a scream that I luckily kept inside. I looked at Dave’s face and he had a serious look of pity on his face. I looked at the doc and asked, “Why, oh why, does this hurt so much?” He explained that the eight inches of tubing that is inside my chest wall (8 inches!!!) has to be drug through raw tissue and muscle. He made me feel a little bit better by saying, “Most people say it hurts even worse than you did.” I laughed and said, “I just don’t use that kind of language outloud but I promise I am thinking it.” We finished the visit by him saying I could come back on Friday and hopefully have the other two tubes removed. Stubborn tubes that they are, however, they just keep producing, so now I will have them a few days longer.
This song “Overcomer” makes me realize I have no more or no less pain (physical, emotional, whatever) than any other person on this earth. I just have to make a daily choice to allow Him to remind me that I am an overcomer. I will say that I could not do any of this without the help of Dave and my dear friends who have not once thrown up with any of the tasks I’ve had to ask them to do. Glenn and Callista bring dinner, Angie calls to check in medically on what they are asking me to do, my sister checks in continually, and all you other friends are there for the sending of cards, flowers, fruit baskets, treats, and well wishes and most importantly, prayers.
Just for today, I hope you remember you are an overcomer because I believe it and you should too!!