Sunday, April 22, 2012

Mercies In Disguise

So as I lay here in bed - bandaged and recovering from surgery - let me share a little of what's going on with me.

 I've been in pain for awhile now. In January, I decided to make a visit to the doctor after a personal training session left me with extreme discomfort and pain in my lower abdomen (the pain was not the personal trainer's fault). After several sonograms, the conclusion was that I had a cyst in my lower abdomen, and it was not going away. Surgery was going to be necessary. During this time, I also hurt my back (I was sitting down, reached over to get a pencil, and felt a "twinge" in my back).

I opted to keep what was happening in my world to a very small circle mainly because I didn't know what the outcome would be. With the exception of one person, I seemed to only run into women with cysts in the same area where mine was located, and it turned out to be cancerous. I wasn't sure if that was God preparing me in advance or what. Regardless, I didn't want to needlessly worry others or have rumors spread about what was happening to me, so I kept things very quiet so that I could also try to process what was happening. The past three months have been nothing short of a physical and emotional roller coaster, and it was finally time to hop off the roller coaster.

I went into St. Agnes early Thursday morning to have the cyst removed, and I was ready to go. No fear! The team at St. Agnes was fantastic and made me feel so comfortable. Knowing that many of the people who took care of me are listeners especially put me at ease - it made me feel like I was with friends. The surgery went off without a hitch, and a softball sized, non-cancerous, cyst was removed laparoscopically from my lower abdomen. Amazingly, within a few short hours, I was at home.


Sleep has been a welcome relief from the pain. I have five holes across my stomach, and I look like I'm 6 months pregnant, thanks to the swelling and the bandages. My throat is still a bit sore from being intubated. The swelling and bruising on my hand from the where they put in the IV is starting to go down. I still need help getting up, but I'm needing less and less help. I'm tired though. Really tired. It also hurts to laugh...and you know that I like to laugh. Laughter is how my family handles problems. We turn everything into a joke. I've had to kick my parents and my brother out of my room multiple times for making me laugh. My mother insisted on giving me a bell to ring for when I needed help. Except we don't have a bell that I can ring. A wild look appeared in my father's eyes, he dug around on a shelf, and pulled out... a rubber chicken that squawks when you squeeze its belly. Yes. My bell is a rubber chicken. Every time I squeeze the chicken for help, I laugh. Painful, but so funny! What's even weirder...I'm growing attached to the rubber chicken. I woke up from a nap cuddling it like it was a stuffed animal. This is a sign that I am returning to normal.

As I've been laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, with plenty of time with my thoughts, the lyric from Laura Story's song, "Blessings," keeps floating through my head: "What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?" This entire "trial" has really been God's mercy in disguise. Without the struggle of trying to get in shape, I wouldn't have known as soon as I did that I had a cyst. Without the back pain, I would have continued to exercise with the cyst, unaware that the cyst had attached itself to other organs in the general locale - the back pain kept me immobile and from further damaging myself. Right now, I have no back pain. Amazing, isn't it? I'm sure even more mercies will come out of this. Maybe an added mercy is that I get to share what I went through with you. If things don't feel right, go to the doctor. Don't wait around. You may have to go to a few doctors to find the right one who will listen to you - I sure did when I was being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. But please, pay attention to the warning signals your body is giving you!

So, as I'm sure you can expect, I'm going to be out for a little while. I'd greatly appreciate your prayers for a fast recovery. Hopefully, I will return next week. Until then, I'm very grateful to Jack for towing the line and being patient with me as surgery day approached, and to Tiffanie from our promotions department who will be filling in for me while I'm out. I'm sure you'll enjoy her - she's bright, fun, and bubbly. Thanks in advance for your prayers. See you next week, Lord willing!


 Erin

28 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear everything went well. God Bless you with a speedy, uncomplicated recovery. I look forward to hearing you again soon!

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  2. Hey Girl!

    So sorry to hear that you've been sick. I don't know if you knew but this past winter, I had a similar situation. My was non cancerous. Anyway, you know I love your heart. We'll be praying for you ( the rest of the Branham bunch)
    We'll be praying for your "speedy recovery" And Erin, don't abuse that poor chicken. love ya bunches, Monica

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  3. Hi Erin,

    I will keep you in prayer for a healthy recovery! I ask God to reduce and remove your pain while you heal. I will miss hearing you on the radio while you are away!

    Scott

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  4. Goodness, I don't remember signing off for you to have adventures like this! I'm so delighted and relieved that you are:

    1) out of back pain for the most part
    2) not facing cancer on top of everything else
    3) have a rubber chicken to cuddle
    4) have such amazing and close family to make sure that you don't over do!

    How good is Yahweh Roi, our Good Shepherd. I will pray that He carry you (you carry your rubber chicken) on His shoulders while you recover!

    Soldier on, sistah.

    Love,

    Michelle

    P.S. I hope you have your leopard print snuggie at hand, leopard print snuggies make everything better!

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  5. Oh Erin....Praise the Lord it wasn't cancerous. I had a similar experience in 2000 and I was 20 weeks pregnant when my cyst wouldn't stop growing. It grew to the size of a football and it had to be removed. Even with the word "cancer" floating around, all I cared about what my unborn child. Praise God, mine wasn't cancer either and my beautiful Belle is now 12 years old! All that to say, blessings do come in all shapes (baseball or football-haha!) and sizes! Oh how I've grown in the Lord since then and the faith you HAD to have throughout your ordeal WILL make you a stronger Christian. I love the Lord Jesus....what an awesome SAVIOR!
    Trish Hurlburt

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  6. Erin, praying for a quick recovery but also for more blessings from God as you take the time necessary to heal. Praise Him for His faithfulness in taking care of you. Love you! Deb Ciresi

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  7. They say laughter is the best medicine; or is that pain pills? Praying for a speedy recovery!

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  8. Heidi Lippy SprinkleApril 22, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Aw Erin! So glad you are recovering and had great results! Laura Story's "Blessings" was my theme song when Becca was hurt last year and we spent our weeks at the amazing Hotel Hopkins! Enjoy whatever the Lord has in store...and as you remain quiet (aka: not laughing)...perhaps He will whisper His sweet words in your ears...Love to you and prayers for speedy and complete recovery... - Heidi Lippy Sprinkle :)

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  9. Erin - thank you for sharing this personal part of your life with us. It is a privilege to be able to share your burdens and pray for you. So thankful it was not cancerous!! God bless you as you recover. Sue and Savannah in Delaware

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  10. Praying for your recovery. You are such a positive person - but keep that laughing to a minimum for now!

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  11. Love and prayers for a speedy and cancer free recovery! So hilarious ... Rubber chicken...hahaha! Get some rest and we'll "see" you again soon.

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  12. Sending prayers your way!!!! We miss hearing you on the radio. Hayley asked how are you doing all the time. Well take care hope to see you soon

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  13. Erin,

    I'm glad you're getting better. I miss hearing your voice on the air with Jack. I will keep you in my prayers, I'm thanking God for your full recovery! Hugs!! Linda

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  14. See? Everybody has a story. Thanks for letting us know yours, Erin. "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." (Unknown)

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  15. I'm so happy ur getting praise the Lord!!!! I listen to u almost everyday with Jack and I'm.praying u have a fast recovery God Bless :)

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  16. Hi Erin!

    I am a friend of Tracey's who used to live in Baltimore and who loved listening to your station. (I still call in from time to time on her show and listen online when I remember to do so.) I just want to say that I've had similar surgeries, and I know what you must be feeling. God always took care of me, and I am so thankful that He has taken such great care of you! (I loved the part about your mom wanting you to ring a bell. My mom did the SAME thing with me, only we HAD a bell! I'm thinking a rubber chicken is way cooler than my bell, haha.)

    So glad all is well and that you are on the mend! God is so faithful!!! Blessings!!!

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  17. Praise God it was not cancerous. take care of yourself and get the rest your are in need of, will be looking forward too your return listen too your show every day it my way of getting my girls intuned with God.

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  18. God's blessings always, and, a speedy recovery!

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  19. Praise the Lord that the cyst was discovered, removed without a problem, and determined not to be cancerous! What an awesome God we serve! I will keep you in prayer that you will be blessed with a speedy and complete recovery!

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  20. Thank you for sharing, Erin! I work at St. Agnes and have had surgery there myself. I love the staff and if you walk around the 1st floor you will see references to being a healing ministry. Many folks in the surrounding communities call it "their" hospital - even though there are several major teaching hospitals nearby. I really believe God is at work in that place!

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  21. I'm sorry to hear all that you are going through at this time Erin, I've been in the hospital this past week myself. I had a surgical procedure to diagnose the seizures that I've been having and my doctor is now telling me that he wants to operate because the seizures can't be controlled. I will keep you in my prayers and continue to pray for a quick and successful recovery. God Bless You!!!

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  22. Thank you Erin for sharing.I'm praying for you to have a speedy recovery and that you will be up and about in no time !!!! God is so good to us!! :)

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  23. Erin,
    I knew you were out but didn't realize it was for this surgery. So blessed to know that all is well and you are on your way to a full recovery. As you know, I LOVE "Blessings" and am certain that it is a definite reminder to always look for the blessings (no matter what size) in the midst of our trials. God is good!, of this I am confident. Looking forward to hearing your laughter again soon on the radio. Be blessed! Debbie Topp/Annapolis

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  24. Erin,
    Praying for a fast recovery. Praising the Lord that it wasn't cancerous & that the surgery went well. Holding a pillow over the stomach when laughing work wonders. Miss you. Hugs!
    Your purple sister!

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  25. Hi, Erin.

    So pleased to hear your cyst was benign. :) Would love to hear more about how your faith has grown even closer to Him through this journey. Praying for a quick recovery!

    Hugs,
    Becky

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  26. I was wondering where you were, Erin. But I must say Tiffanie sounds an awful lot like you! I was over 20 minutes into my commute until I realized it wasn't you :) Praying for you.

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  27. I am glad that your surgery went well. Praise God! And I can't stop smiling thinking about your bell.

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Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts - we love it when you do!

~ Jack & Erin

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