Psalm 139:14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.
I have struggled to get started with this this blog entry. This last week has been a very busy one! On top of all the cancer stuff that has us constantly on our toes, it was also homecoming week for my son’s high school. Which has kept me so wrapped up in day to day activities. I haven’t sat down and fully processed all that has happened in the last 7 days. Sitting down to write and update everyone is also helping me to reflect and process some of the big changes we have made.
After being released from the hospital last Sunday I had a visiting nurse start coming to the house on Monday. She went over how to administer antibiotics once a day for two weeks through a picc line that has been placed in my right arm. Then she will be out every few days to check my blood and clean the line. This picc line has been a source of anxiety and stress throughout the week. I am naturally squeamish when it comes to medical stuff. Needles, blood, IV’s, etc. those things gross me out! So, having something sticking out of my arm on top of having to learn how to give myself my medications through this line was a growing experience to say the least. Then of course all the risk factors involved with a picc line such as infection or blood clots filled me with fear. I was put on a 20 lb. weight limit which was very difficult to maintain with young children! Thankfully I will go in to see the blood/infection doctor this week and hopefully I will get the picc line will be removed. Which I will be overjoyed for that to happen not gonna lie! I am so thankful for those that have prayed for this area when fear raised its nasty head throughout this ordeal! And for the close family and friends that stayed with me through the day to help with all the activities I could not do myself! An amazing moment during this time was when someone who was praying over me specifically over the Picc gave me the verse Isaiah 41:13 over the phone. She did not know it was in my right arm or the impact of this verse would have on me. I find it such a God thing that this verse would talk about my ‘right hand’ reminding me so lovingly not to fear and that He is right there helping me! It is in these moments that I fall more in love with my Lord Jesus. He has been such a staple in this journey and all the challenges it has brought.
Another large milestone that was hit this week was the hair. At the beginning of this journey I discussed with my doctor, knew what was coming, became almost in denial, and then when it began happening I dreaded the moment I would have to shave my head. It seems almost trivial when you compare to a life or death situation and after last weekend it did not seem like that big of a deal. But if I am being honest when it came down to the moment it was very difficult. While I was in the hospital I started losing hair it came out on my pillow when I was in the shower or brushing it. When I was released I immediately contacted my hairstylist to make an appointment Saturday to have it shaved. Unfortunately, by Wednesday morning it was falling out at an alarming rate a large chunk had matted in the night and fell leaving a gaping spot in the back of my head. I called Tim at work and let him know it would have to be shaved tonight when he got home. My stomach was in knots the whole day as I anticipated what was to come. In my mind I completely understand… yes hair grows back, yes, it is better to be getting healthy than having your hair. And yes, I also understand that my hair isn’t what makes me who I am. But in all honestly, I am sure most woman can identify with the thought of shaving your head being traumatic. Thankfully, I have an amazing supportive husband. He came home with flowers and a note lovingly describing his adoration for me has nothing to do with my hair. We prepared everything put on some soothing worship music, prayed together cried and then shaved my head. It was a surreal experience. I cried the entire time. When I reached up to touch my head I began shaking and cried even harder. Just feeling my bald head made everything real. Not that it was just my hair, but a constant reminder that I am indeed a cancer patient and no matter where I go everyone will know. Tim held me for a long time. We washed my head to get all the remnant hair off. I could not look at myself in the mirror for the first half hour. Even though this was a tough moment it ended up being a very intimate moment with my husband. Seeing and feeling the love and support from my spouse was one of the biggest blessings I have had through this journey. I honestly did not want him to be the one to shave my head but in the end, it ended up being a moment I will always cherish! Then with another step towards showing me support Tim decided to shave his head so we could be baldies together. I actually made it very clear that he didn’t have to do this, but Friday afternoon he called me into the kitchen and just as I walked in I caught our 8-year-old with the clippers. She took a huge chunk out the back of his head before I could stop her!!! I was dying laughing and stated’ Well there’s no going back now.’ Even though I did not expect Tim to do this I felt better having a bald-headed partner I even included a picture we took together. It is the first picture I took without a hat. I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made hair or no hair (Though my preference is hair and praying this time around it comes in thicker 😊.)
Reflecting on these moments though this hasn’t always been a fun or easy situation. I thank the Lord for all the joy and closeness he has brought our family through this! I am overwhelmed on a daily basis of the people in my small-town community, my church family, my friends that go out of their way to make these hard moments easier! I know my trust in the Lord has grown more each and every day. And as I gear up for round two of chemo later this week I know no matter what circumstances may arise. I expect only good things, because ultimately, He is my healer and I am safe in His hands!