I was at the top of the lifeguard chair looking over the moonlit lake. We weren’t supposed to be there. But we were and I had a great idea. Someone tossed the life saver ring buoy into the water about 8 feet out. I sprung from the stand into a dive, hands aimed toward the ring. It was a perfect shot.
I didn’t realize I would go as deep into the ring as I did, up to my elbows. My arms were pressed now against my head and the ring buoy was wedged firmly on. As I came up I had no arms to swim with and my only floatation was above my head. I kicked up to say help but my friends were laughing so hard they couldn’t hear me. I kept going under, my arms useless and the ring stuck. Finally someone realized I was really in trouble, reached down to grab my arms which were stuck straight up and pulled me to safety and pried the buoy off of my head. It was the closest I have ever been to drowning.
Once drained, the lymphatic fluid re-accumulates over a period of about three weeks and compresses everything inside of her. When she lays down it hurts up under her ribs. When she stands up it presses down on something that causes her leg to swell. The pocket that was drained a few weeks ago was the infected one, a little higher in her abdomen and smaller. Once the infection was treated it quit producing fluid. But this lower one keeps going.
It is not the cancer causing the fluid. In fact it is likely not related to the cancer. It is from the surgery, where the lymph nodes were removed. It could take months or years for it to stop. We hope months.
Tara’s jump was not intentional like mine was, but the ring buoy is still firmly stuck around her head and sometimes it is a helpless feeling. For days she is above water feeling good, and then she goes back under. Then the cycle repeats.
But up or down she is grateful for life and knows that God is good and is in control of the situation. That is better than I can say for myself somedays. The grind goes on. The summer schedule begins. It is an exciting time and a busy one. When we make it, we will look back and know that God sustained us through this summer. He will have reached down and grabbed our flailing hands, pulled us to safety and pried the buoy off of our heads, like he has done before. And it will be good.