Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path.
I am beginning to lose my faith in doctors! Our experience has been so wishy washy it has had a profound impact on us and our families. Yesterday we checked into Iowa City had my first biopsy a little scary, but the staff was amazing! They calmed me down I was able to have a quick procedure completed. You know me, and needles are NOT friends. One if the doctor started up a conversation that was quite interesting he explained he had 7 children with an eighth on the way all seven were boys! We instantly bonded as parents of big families. This kept me pretty occupied while they worked on my neck! After that we were sent to the cancer ward to wait to speak to a doctor about our results. This too went very smoothly. He went over what they were looking for the past results that brought us here. Then he mentioned the fact he really believed we had been brought in early and that the biopsy I had just done was as a precaution. We instructed to wait in town until the next morning to be sure. So, we reserved a hotel room went to lunch and enjoyed a night without children napping and watching movies all in all I felt a pretty good trade for being stuck in the neck six more times! This morning we woke to a phone call from the doctor’s assistant saying the preliminary labs had come in and NO cancer we could go home and follow up in six weeks to monitor my thyroid which was being diagnosed as thyritis and would be treated with sythriod once a day until then! Our doctor would call this afternoon to confirm when the final pathology report was completed! We were thrilled!!! We did a little celebrating if you can imagine what parents of five kids alone in a hotel room might do to celebrate 😉 Then we called our parents to share the news. We choose to hold off telling everyone else until final report was confirmed. Well we returned home picked up the kiddos and got home in time to prepare for backpack night. About an hour before heading out the door to meet and greet the kids teachers for this year the doctor called….. I knew instantly it was not good I put him on speaker for Tim and I to both hear whatever news was coming. I think you can probably guess where this is going. He apologized profusely in the final pathology reports they looked at the cells differently and more in depth and in these samples the did indeed find lymphoma. He was sorry because the last call was such better news and he was not happy having to relay this information. We were informed we would need to come back to the hospital they had a meeting with the best lymphoma doctor at the university at 8am. This time the devastation hit like a five-ton boulder had crushed me! The freedom we had felt, the joy, like a second chance to look at life through new eyes by narrowing escaping that dreaded word. I despised the idea of once again calling family to change what we had already told them! This time I was completely numb the shock of being cleared to you need to come in to start your cancer treatment was a lot to take in in one day. Tonight, as I go to bed I am holding on to the verse ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart!’ That is all I have at this moment. I do not understand the why and may never, but that is okay I don’t have too! I only have to trust in him and I can do that!
Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Today started off the hardest of all days so far. Reality of the situation sunk in as Tim and I entered the Lymphoma Cancer Center. It took everything inside of me to hold back tears as I checked in at the front desk. As soon as we sat down, I looked around it was very apparent that I was the youngest patient being seen at this time. I saw women with no hair and everyone was wearing masks to protect themselves after the toll chemo has taken on them and their immune systems. I began to feel very sick, I knew I would burst any moment. I bolted to bathroom practically hyperventilating, tears streaming down my face. Crumbling to the floor sobbing I let it all sink in. This is real its happening and there is nothing I can do to stop what the immediate future holds. As I grasp this truth I pulled myself together I gripped the sink looked in the bathroom mirror and said Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Over and over again as I gained peace back over my circumstance. Though I was not completely calm I ended my pep talk with Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Now I was ready to go out and face what was ahead of me knowing even though it may be an emotional time, God has still got this, and I am NOT alone nor without hope! Soon after we were called back to meet with the Lymphoma doctor. It was a very somber mood that settled in the room. Discussing the inevitable; cancer, and my age, having a new born with four other children at home brought sadness to the table. The doctor apologized for the raw deal but was very direct in everything and I felt good talking to him. With the ups and downs we have faced last week and half I feel we need a doctor who is upfront and not sugar coating anything. We talked about treatment. This was all new to me. I was taken aback with the news that chemo will usually take your hair after first treatment. I naively thought maybe if I only had a few treatments that wouldn’t happen. We talked about different stages and that the pet scan would determine if there were cancer cells anywhere else in my body the amount and locations would ultimately determine what stage I am in! I would be scheduled to do this in one week. Then after the doctor reviewed these he would decide how many chemotherapy treatments I will have. He expressed three at the minimum and six at the maximum with possible radiation to my neck. I would begin these August 29 and have one every three weeks until I finished the amount deemed necessary. I left the office feeling very down! Tim and did not speak much on the way home we just held hands listening to worship music each of us once again processing in our own ways. I began contacting close friends and family that did not already know what was going on to ensure they heard the news from me personally. It was very difficult conversations to keep having, and so this afternoon I was so emotionally drained I took a long nap while Tim went to get the kids. We have decided to hold off telling them for a bit just, so we can process everything a little more ourselves.
As the evening continued with a normal routine not much had seemed to change besides the lingering memory that plagued my mind of earlier that today. After the older kids went to bed I decided I desperately needed some quiet time with the Lord. I turned on Kari Jobe Pandora and sat on the floor next to Kendrick in the living room. I began worshiping My Savior and Creator knowing this situation did not surprise him. That He is walking beside me. I am 100 percent positive I am going to see him work in mighty ways throughout this new season of life. As my head was bowed I felt my amazing loving husband coming to sit down beside me and join with me in praise. One by one each girl came out and joined us (I am sure some of it may have had to do with getting out of bedtime) but was still very sweet. At this point Kaden had already gone to bed upstairs and could not hear us. As we were praising I had a request ‘Lord if you would only bring Kaden down here it would mean so much to me?’ Not even kidding less than 5 minutes later a light came on upstairs. Kaden poked his head down the stairs to ask what we were doing. He came down and laid beside me without even asking (If you have ever raised a teenager you know how asking for family quality time is normally a knock out full on fight sometimes not even worth the trouble.) But here he was right next to me and I was so grateful God answered such a small prayer request. Gazing at my beautiful family all curled up on the floor together praising God. I realized how truly blessed I am and how happy and thankful I was to just be in the moment with all them! And so, with that one of the hardest days I have experienced so far ended so preciously.
Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.
In my current situation I have been reflecting much more than I have in the past. Realizing how truly blessed I am and have been throughout my life. First and foremost, God has given me the most caring supportive spouse on this planet. Our connection was instantaneous. I love being around him, the way he loves Jesus, me, our family, and the humor he can bring to almost any situation. I know that God has teamed us together for many reasons and right now he has been my rock. My beautiful children. Honestly, there have been times I have struggled with the idea of having five children. That was not the original plan I had for my life, but as look at each of them I love them so much and see God’s plan and purpose blooming in these little people I get to call mine!!!! More recently I have been surrounded with love by our close family and friends. It is an amazing feeling to know you have been given a strong support system. Even the timing of this cancer appearing a few days before delivery. Most likely if it would’ve come at a different time it would’ve taken me awhile to get into a doctor (because we all know as mommas we just don’t have time to take for ourselves) And this process would be occurring much later and could be a lot worse. Knowing the impact chemotherapy can have on your ability to have children it was another blessing knowing we had already decided our family was complete! Finally, one of the greatest blessing I have had on this journey so far is my Savior. The closeness and oneness I have felt with him in times of desperation are almost indescribable. The sweetness of his voice when he whispers encouragement and reminders of his promises at times of hopelessness. I know that his love most certainly endures forever, and I am so blessed to be in His hands!