The Chapter You Don't Want To Write
WOW. I just realized it has been nearly two months since I have written a blog post. Mid-August was my last post and I can't believe my computer calendar is saying it is October 11th. Where did the past few months go? We have experienced a major life halt here recently that no one ever wants to experience. The dreaded "c" word... cancer. No one wants this to be a chapter in their book but it happens to people every single day.
So here I am brushing the dust off of my keyboard to give a life update in case you don't follow along with me on social media. A little over a month ago, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. It was a complete shock to us and we still feel shocked that it is a chapter in our story.
My husband went to a doctor's appointment at the beginning of September and then a few short days later they were wheeling him back to the operating room to do surgery to remove cancer. It was the craziest and most stressful week of our lives as we had zero time to prepare ourselves. About a week after his surgery, we got the pathology report that confirmed the cancer diagnosis and also found out it was stage 1 cancer. We spent a few days going to appointments and getting opinions on our next step as far as treatment was concerned.
We decided after much prayer and research to go with one cycle of Chemotherapy. We are currently two treatments away from him finishing up the cycle and I can't even believe I am typing that. This week was spent driving back and forth to treatment appointments and praying that God would continue giving us peace over it all. Due to COVID, I couldn't sit with him inside for the duration of the treatments and that was tough. Many tears were shed every morning as I drove the short drive back home to watch the clock and count the hours until I got to pick him up. More than anything, I wish I could have sat with him just as moral support but I know I am not the only person this year that has had to deal with this.
However, he made it through this long week of four-hour infusions and is doing well this weekend.
My amazing mother-in-law has been here for a week cooking, cleaning, and taking care of my kiddos. I was able to be hands-free and take care of Mason 24/7 which I appreciate so much. She is a wonderful mother-in-law and I am so glad I have a great relationship with her. as I know a lot of people are not blessed to have a wonderful mother-in-law. We will all be sad when she heads home tomorrow but we are also thankful that this week went so well considering the circumstances.
Mason has felt really zapped energy-wise and has battled some nausea on and off this week. Chemotherapy is rough on your body and I didn't realize how rough it was on a person until we started walking this road. We are really big on educating ourselves on everything under the sun so we have spent a lot of time lately reading the information the doctor gave us. Chemo comes with so many side effects that we never even thought about and that has been difficult to educate ourselves on and even scary to read about. I have a fresh perspective on cancer and I can clearly see how hard it is on families now.
Thankfully, he has a short infusion tomorrow and then one last infusion next Monday to finish up the cycle. We are ready to get him over this hump and back to feeling like himself soon. The doctor recommended that we stay home for 2-3 weeks post-treatment until Mason's counts go up. He has zero immunity as we speak so any infection would be really hard on his body. We are gladly staying in and enjoying our time at home together.
Through all of this God has been so good to us. A verse that has come to life for us is Phillipians 4:7 that says, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
His peace has been abundant in this season.
A few other God winks I want to share...
When I arrive at the oncology center I always park beside the windows. The patients sit along those windows while being treated and Mason always sits against that wall. I can't see him unless I climb the landscaping and peek inside the windows... which I did... once... or a few times. Don't judge me. ;)
Bird feeders are positioned here and there along the length of the building and were right beside the parking spaces. I pulled into my usual spot a few days ago and this little brown bird was sitting on the feeder. He was cheerfully throwing the birdseed everywhere and having a great time. His day was going great. I thought it might be a sparrow but a quick Google search confirmed my suspicion. Low and behold it was a sparrow and immediately I felt my heart skip a beat. "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me..." God sent me a reminder that He was with me through that sparrow.
Another blessing was fall break for local students. We zipped to appointments quickly and did not have to fight morning or afternoon school traffic. We live near a high school and traffic is horrendous when school ends. That was such a small blessing in the grand scheme of things but a big blessing to us as we had to be prompt for appointments.
The weather was perfect all week until Friday (his last four-hour infusion day). I know God gave us beautiful weather for the week. The windows Mason sat beside were full of bright sunshine and perfect blue-sky days. I was so thankful to God for good weather so he would have plenty of bright light as opposed to rainy, gloomy days.
There are so many God wink moments that I will eventually put into words but right now that is all I have the mental energy to note.
This has been the hardest season of our lives so far and the only reason we are making it is because of Jesus. He has graciously walked with us through this and surrounded us with wonderful friends and family. So many cards, gifts, meals, and prayers have been sent our way and we will never be able to express how thankful we are for everything. We are thankful that we have a great prognosis and that this should take care of any extra cancer-cells that might be lurking.
I am aware of the fact that this could be much worse. We could have been looking at a stage four scenario with multiple rounds of chemotherapy. I thank God multiple times a day that we caught this early on. In no way do we feel sorry for ourselves either... God has been good to us even in this season. I share our story to glorify Him and Him alone. We were never promised an easy life as we live in a fallen world. It rains on both the just and unjust (Matthew 5:45).
God will continue to see us through this season. Thank you for all of the prayers as we have felt them falling over us.