My Crazy Christmas Break



It’s been a while—I know. I apologize for my absence from my blog. As advertised my Christmas break was not only the usual Christmas fun. I had two surgeries in two weeks. The second is taking longer to recover from, but I am improving every day.

The first surgery was to create wider margins on my shoulder where a melanoma was removed and to make sure there were no lurking cells. Mission accomplished! All labs came back normal. But that wasn’t good enough for my docs.

They wanted to make sure cancer wasn’t hiding elsewhere. So a second surgery was scheduled to remove a couple of lymph nodes and biopsy them. First a radioactive dye was injected into my shoulder (go ahead and say, ouch!). Its job was to lead the way to any other cancer cells in my lymph nodes via x-rays. Next the x-ray machine was placed within a few inches of my face for a ten-minute x-ray—twice. I’m a tad claustrophobic so this was a tough one for me.

I shut my eyes and prayed. I reminded God that He had me and I told Him that I was resting in Him. He took me to a place of peace and calm like nothing I’ve every experienced.

This surgery was a tough one for me. Recovery has been slower and more painful than I anticipated. I’ve learned some things I can’t rush. The lymph node labs came back clean as well! I am cancer free.

Through these past four weeks I’ve been blessed over and over.

  • So many wonderful, caring medical professionals who not only gave me professional care, but took the time to comfort and encourage me.
  • Gene, the girls, and their young men have all stepped up to do whatever needed to be done atround the house and for meals.
  • Our friends have brought food, prayed, emailed, and even sat with me in my groggy state.
  • Food, food, and more food. It’s always needed.

I’ve learned that the small things make a huge difference–a loaf of zucchini bread, a frozen casserole, a bag of special coffee, washing the dishes, a squeeze of my hand because my shoulder and arm are too sore for a warm hug.

So that’s what I’ve been up to—lots of visits to hospitals and doctors. I’m getting back into life gradually. I won’t be taking a class until the second eight weeks because it’s difficult to type with my left arm for any length of time.

Thanks so much for all your prayers and words of encouragement. I’ve used part of my time recuperating talking to God about what changes He has for my life, what He wants me to learn, and how He wants me to grow in relationship with Him. I look forward to journeying with you as we grow deeper in relationship with God in 2015.

I’d love to hear what was out of the ordinary for you this Christmas season.

Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.

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