Posted by: annnorris | January 8, 2014

So many setbacks! How do I put God in charge of this, completely?

Photo on 1-9-14 at 1.59 PM

I just realized that I had not updated this since October! A lot has happened since then. A lot that keeps me wondering, “How do I actually turn my troubles over to God?” I think I am being schooled in that right now. I desperately want to lean fully on God, but how do you do that without worrying? I think I need a bible study in this, so if anyone knows a good study, please send it on my way.

Here’s the medical update. I was finally able to to get a 2nd set of tissue expanders put in. Dr. Love filled them each week, and I reached the limit. It was time to have surgery. In late December, the 27th I think, I went to surgery to have my permanent implants put in. I was so looking forward to this as it signals nearing the end of this breast cancer bout. I came out from surgery with no problems. In fact, I felt so good the next day that I didn’t feel I needed any restrictions. Wrong! Apparently, I was given steroids during the surgery and that is what left me feeling so good. No pain. I was even able to cook meals for the family, wash clothes, go on outings. Well, by Dec. 30 I started feeling like my right side was swelling. I tried to just let it go. We had a little New Year’s Eve party and I acted as if there was nothing wrong. By New Year’s Day, I was regretting my choice to ignore the problem. I resolved to call first thing on Jan. 2.

January 2, 2014, I wake up in a pool of thick blood! No pain, but very scared. It took some time to get it under control long enough to call Dr. Love’s office. Wouldn’t you know it? He was on vacation in Florida. His nurse, Sara, wanted me to come in anyway and let her look at it. During this whole time, the darned incision wouldn’t not stop seeping. Very hard to get to out of the house with this problem, but Mark and I made it. Sara took one look at it and said I needed to be seen by Dr. Love’s on-call physician, Dr. Prince. Sara packed my incision and off we went. Dr. Prince only works out of Big Baptist in Little Rock. We drove to the ER there and were waiting to meet up with Dr. Prince. When she came in, she took a short look at my incision and decided I need to have it surgically explored. It may have a hematoma or a bleeder and she just wanted to check it out. Well, just our luck, Baptist’s OR’s were completely booked up. We would have to just wait until an OR opened up. Well, that was at around noon. I hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink since about 9 pm the previous night. I hadn’t taken any of my regular maintenance meds. And, now, I just had to wait. I was so thirsty my lips were drying out and my throat was closing, but still not allowed to drink. By about 4pm, I was moved into a room and shortly after, I finally got an IV! I have never been so happy to get that liquid flowing needle into my arm! And it helped a lot, as we continued to wait for that OR. I kid you not, it was really that booked up. By about 8 pm I wanted to eat. I was getting upset. I didn’t believe I would have surgery this late, and if that were true, and I would have the surgery in the morning, I WANTED THAT DRINK AND FOOD! But no one was allowing that. Apparently, the nursing staff still believed I would be operated on before midnight. And…about 10:30 pm, two orderlies came in and wheeled me off to the OR! Hallelujah! I was just a few hours away from getting to eat!

Surgery went fine. Dr. Prince said there was a small area that had opened up, but it wasn’t a big deal. There was no hematoma, no infection and the implant still looked good. She repaired me and sent me home….to eat midnight pizza! It was so yummy, and life went on. This time, I have not lifted anything over 2 pounds, no cleaning house, no cooking, nothing to cause any more problems. And, tomorrow, I will have the steri-strips taken off. Next procedure is to reconstruct nipples and get my first tattoo – aureolas.

Now I have to back up just a bit. In early December, my oncologist ordered new scans. She wanted to be sure the cancer was gone. I knew it was. It had to be because I was sick of this whole thing. During my appointment with Dr. Wilder to learn how the scans turned out, she said it looked really good. However….I had a hernia and there was one lymph node that looked suspicious. She wanted me to see Dr. Fant, my surgeon. Upon that appointment, Dr. Fant was not worried about the node at all. She said it was slightly enlarged, but the inside looked like fatty tissue and not cancer. She didn’t think I would need to have it removed, but wanted to talk with Dr. Wilder about it. I had forgotten about it – until this morning. Dr. Fant wants to remove it. I have surgery scheduled for Friday. I think I have actually had surgery every week for three weeks. Unbelievable! Will this bout with breast cancer EVER come to an end? I hope so.

So, with all of that, I ask that you pray for this node to be nothing, and that healing comes easily. The future still holds a hysterectomy and a hernia repair. I have had to put Errands Arkansas to the back burner, but I still plan on having that business I have always wanted. The update on Mark is that he will be seeing a new neurologist at UAMS in February. Hoping that she will be able to bring him back into living the active life he loved.

Again, if you know of a good bible study for me, send it my way!


  1. When I went through losing Drake to Larry I was broken-hearted and confused. I had done nothing wrong at all yet I still lost custody of my son to a man whom I had had a protective order against simply based on the fact that he is “famous” in the small town where the case was heard. The judge was even stunned that the jury sided with Larry. We were over $20,000 in debt and could not go further in court. We didn’t even have enough money for diapers for our babies.

    When we lost David to trisomy 18 I was devastated and believed that God hated me and that I was not supposed to be a mommy. My mind KNEW this wasn’t true by heart felt otherwise. It seemed like the hits never stopped coming. Even while we mourned the loss of David, Larry and his wife, Terry, still caused us pain by denying us visits with Drake, calling us and actively starting arguments, and not showing up with Drake when we had driven over 6 hours to pick him up for visitation. It was like Satan was living in Larry and Terry and hitting us over and over again and we had to keep going to an attorney to get relief (and we made quite a few visits with Mike Haigh to help us deal with all of this).

    I say all of that to say this: there are three books that helped bring me out of the pit of despair and depression when it seemed like this ^&*% was never going to end (I didn’t actually type the bad word but honestly there isn’t a word bad enough to describe the stuff going on other than to use a bad word…..hope that makes sense).

    They aren’t typical bible studies, they are written by people who are focused on God and have personal experience in dealing with seemingly insurmountable life events.

    1. Bible
    2. Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado (has a study guide you buy separately)
    3. Breaking Free by Beth Moore (also has a workbook you can buy separately)

    I read Facing Your Giants three times over and over again and I read Breaking Free three times over and over again. Each time they quoted the bible I referenced the bible to get the full context of what they were talking about.

    I have given my copies away but I highly recommend these books for anyone who feels like they keep getting hit with seemingly insurmountable things over and over again.

    Lifting you up in prayer, my precious friend!

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