Monday, September 28, 2015

a little hitch...

I've got a new little hitch in my giddy-up...

Wednesday I awoke with my arm, hand, and fingers, nearly double their size.  I've had lymphedema before, just never to this extent.  

I was so fortunate to get in to see Linda, a physical therapist who specializes in lymphedema.  She wrapped me right away.

I have about 7 different layers of differing wraps, from my fingers all the way up to my armpit, which only comes off so I can shower.

Its awkward and uncomfortable and typing/texting are big challenges! 

It makes me clumsy- the wrap, the swelling, the aching in my joints.  

But, underneath all of that?  My energy level has improved.  I feel better overall.  

That silver lining is always within sight when we just open our eyes wide enough to see it...

Plus... look who came to visit? 

This is my Aunt Elizabeth.  My Dad was her older brother.  And Crosby treated her just like family, jumping up and wiggling his way right next to her, somehow knowing she is family.  She came with friends, driving 3 hours each way, just to spend an afternoon with me.  Thank you Elizabeth!

I will continue with PT for 3 weeks in the hopes we can get the swelling down.  

Despite how I look, despite the limited use of my arm and hand,  I'm actively using this "second" wind and bit of stamina to keep moving forward.  

Its a big week with our embracing life breast cancer retreat on Thursday and Friday, along with Moorhead's Homecoming this week.  

I'm leaning in, awkwardly perhaps, but leaning in none the less.

What are you leaning into this week?  


  1. I'm smiling--I just had to tell you. I'm reading this and smiling at beautiful you and your beautiful aunt and your beautifully contagious outlook.

    I'm leaning into imperfection this week! xo

  2. Your wonderful smile is a great way to begin my day!! I am a teensy bit jetlagged but not so bad considering! What a joy to read you are feeling stronger. Thanks be to God. Lord, surround Vicky with your grace and protection as she anticipates the special days ahead. Amen.

    P.S. loved to read about your visitor, what a treat.

  3. i'm leaning into more direction this week, and i'm going to be praying extra for you on Thursday-Saturday!! thanks for persevering through the typing challenge to let us know how we can carry you this week! can't wait to see more of the progress on Rick's new office space...

  4. I'm leaning into trying to always "Choose Joy".
    Missing Sarah and her wisdom. Praying for you Vicky!

  5. I'm leaning in to figure out the best level of care and living situation for my Dad, as I explain to him the reasons for the decisions we make and hope that I am being kind in the telling.

    Hope you have a good, swelling reducing week and increased energy as you move forward!

  6. I'm so happy to hear that you are feeling your strength returning and that you were able to have a nice visit with your aunt. With your busy week and the swelling in your arm, just know that I'll be praying!!!

    Love and hugs, dear friend.

  7. You look cute, always do...... Cant wait to see how cute you look for your presentation!! Love you to the moon and back!!!

  8. Thank you for taking the time and the effort to updating us with how you are. Your strength always amazes me. You are such a beautiful lady (((hugging you softly))) and sending you energy and love, Sweet Friend
    Anyes - Far Away in the Sunshine

  9. Oh sweet soul-sis!
    You... eyes wide open, a champ at looking for the silver lining!
    You...leaning in to experience the retreat and Nolan's Homecoming!
    You...arm wrapped and double its size, still with that contagious smile and darling hat!
    You..."cute as a button", as my Grandma used to say!
    You...typing and sharing and being authentic, no matter how clumsy it feels!
    You...about to share your amazing legacy at the retreat about Embracing Life (and you do just that)!
    You...surrounded and marinated in thousands of prayers!
    You...a day maker and soul restorer! dear and cherished friend, wanting to know what WE are leaning into.
    You...Vicky Held Westra, God's daughter, Rick's wife, and Nolan and Colton's Mama!
    You...just plain amazing!

    Love you forever! Linda

  10. So happy to hear you have some renewed strength. Praying for your swelling to go down and continued energy !

  11. Yay to the energy, boo to the swelling! Hope that resolves soon!

  12. Glad that, in spite of the swelling, you feel better. Always in my prayers.

  13. I am so sorry you are dealing with this! May it resolve soon, Vicky. I do PT next to a gal who comes in for this. I understand it's very uncomfortable and difficult. God love you with everything else you struggle with. May it "come to PASS", sweet friend.

    I leaned into the bed and finally accepted I need rest for my pancreatitis and to accept that I am not God so I cannot fix everything for certain people, and we know who I mean. Love you, wise one.

  14. You all look beautiful.
    Hoping your 'hitch' is attached to a lucky star!

  15. Leaning into the holy whirlwind I just experienced. Trying to let God carry me in my now fatigued and overwhelmed state, trying to NOT drown in those thoughts but continue to stay in the place of awe and grace over what was truly an unforgettable pilgrimage. God be with you sweet friend. You are looking beautiful as always. The smile sparkles. My lean is a bit off kilter too right now so we can be awkward-leaning-in together. :)

  16. Thinking of you, praying for you. I'm leaning into life, faith and health.

  17. Thinking of you, praying for you. I'm leaning into life, faith and health.

  18. Dear sweet friend,
    I am up praying for you this morning since tomorrow your Embrace Life
    Retreat starts. Praying for your energy and strength and stamina as you prepare to share your precious story. Those who are there will be so blessed and encouraged to hear the words of your mind and heart and spirit.

    This morning I am leaning into a miracle baby's heartbeat after a very scary day yesterday.
    Thank you for your prayers, dear Vicky. Please keep praying.

    Love you to the moon and back!

  19. Yup, leaning in here, too. Doing the best I can with the hand I've been dealt, every day.
    Think of you often, dear, sweet girl. Sending you love and vibrations of the courage you give to me.

  20. Hi Vicky,
    Elizabeth sent me your blog site, so I thought I would write a few words. It was our (Glenn, Betty and I) pleasure to bring along with us when we came to visit a cousin in a rehabilitation/nursing home. I also have to say she enjoyed your visit just as much as you did. And I love the picture with the dog. It's great! I also wanted to tell you to "keep on, keeping on". Let God's strength help you when the need arises. Take care of you!

    Peg Reuther

  21. Hi Vicky. Been following your blog irregularly over the years just to check up on you every now and again, from back in the days when Gitzen girl was still alive. I see you are still in the woods.Have you ever researched the Macrobiotic diet? You can check out Meg Wolff a fellow cancer survivor of many years after both breast and bone cancer. I wish you good health, even though you are a total stranger. For my one part I follow the Budwig diet.

  22. Vicky, I posted right after you wrote this..but it froze and wouldn't go...Then I tried a day later and it wouldn't go. Now after reading Linda's post that gave me much pause, I am finally here again! I hope it will post. I love the picture of beautiful you. I will pray the swelling goes down. I love that your Aunt came to visit. Such love! and Crosby...who doesn't love him??!!! I hope homecoming was wonderful and that your retreat filled your soul! will keep this short in hopes it post's. Love you lady!

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