The Dance and the Arm Holders

Written Sep 13, 2013 2:05pm by Cindy McMurry

My Mom needs to go home… Kevin reports that Dad only cooks one item at a time… a gallon of potatoes, tomato soup etc.  They eat that till it’s gone, then and only then will he cook something else.  Kevin says he’s “starving to death.”  Poor boy!  lol  Dad hasn’t resorted to salsify soup yet… but he will if Mom doesn’t get home soon.  I’m sure she misses being in her space, with her friends and church and I know they miss her too.  I’ve even heard the rumor that “Dad has Mom’s house a mess.” I choose to believe this is only a rumor.  🙂   I don’t know what we’d have done without her though and she’s staying to take me to my appointment next week.  She’s been amazing… and she coddles John, getting him ice cream etc.  Thank you Mom!

I’ve given a lot of thought to scars lately, and what has brought about the one’s my body bears.

As a teen scars worried me and I mentioned this to Dr. Wiley.  I’m sure he must have thought to himself that I had no clue how hard he was working just to save my fingers, hand and arm from Maffucci Syndrome.  Thankfully, he was sweet and understanding with my vulnerable self esteem.  I can’t even count all of my incision scars now, much less fret over them… I feel certain there are over 75, some reused more than once.

As I’ve gotten older, scars represent much more to me than just a gash on my once smooth skin.  They have become a part of our story.  Most of the people in my life who have tattoos seem to have thought them through and they represent something about their story.  Personally, I do not love tattoos, but I do understand they may tell a story, much like my scars do.

Each time a tumor/hemangioma/lesion has rebelled and gone rogue; swelling, causing pain or in 3 instances become cancer, we had to decide how to respond.  Do we watch and see what happens or do we fight by going into the OR?  It’s a big decision… I’m really tired of surgery.  It’s no fun and while I may have been in pain before surgery, surgery is likely going to make things more intensely painful for a period of time.  And then there is recovery time… PT, adjusting to changes in our lives, modifying our lives once again.

However, I’ve decided that when necessary, going into the OR is the best choice for me.  Deciding and having surgery to remove a tumor or tumors that are challenging our lives and then the recovery process has become to me the Victory Dance.  We’ve decided to take authority over and fight that which is threatening to destroy my life.  The scars serve to simply remind me… “You fought.  You are not defeated.  You have danced the Dance.”

Dancing “The Dance” has come at a cost for all of us… for my husband, my children, my parents, my family, my friends.  Sometimes I cry when I see the scars, they aren’t just physical, they represent an emotional toll as well.  As in any battle, there are always others who are affected.  I grieve over the days I have missed playing with my children and grandchildren, days I cannot get back.  I miss the way my husband and I used to sleep in the bed and may never be able to again.  I miss driving and pray I will be able to again.  I miss cooking for my family and friends.  I miss dressing myself and wonder… Will I ever again?  I wonder if brushing and flossing my teeth will ever be painless again.  Have my husband and I reversed roles… I loved being able to care for him, but will he spend the rest of our days taking care of me?

John said the kindest words to me last night… he was helping me get in bed and covered me up (I cannot pull up the blankets) and he said “I think I could get used to this.  I enjoy helping you get in bed and ready for sleep.”  He’s been so tender and so kind… I am often overwhelmed by my husband’s goodness.

I chose to and continue to choose to fight The Fight… to dance The Dance.  Some days, I admit the dance is exhausting.  It’s a lot of work to do the simplest of tasks.  But fight we will… we will not give up.  We are richly blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who stand with us and who have promised they will help us through the challenges ahead.

We are overwhelmed by the way so many of you are demonstrating your love to us.  Thank you!  We are humbled by your generosity and kindnesses.

The love, support, concern and compassion that John, my family and our friends have shared with me reminds me a lot of one of my favorite Bible stories:

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.  Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”  So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.  As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.  When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.  So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army.  Exodus 17:8-13
May each of you who face “The Dance” (surgery/health/spiritual/emotional/family) have your own Aaron and Hur to hold your arms when you grow weary.  May they prop you up and help to sustain you as you dance “The Dance.”  Praying this for Margaret, Mary and others who are facing cancer and my family and friends who are fighting for their children who have experienced early childhood trauma today.

We love you,
Cindy and John


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