Two days ago was the one year mark for the day that changed my life. I remember that day like it was yesterday. My church family was having a baby shower for our sweet Paisley. She wasn't even a month old yet!! It had been an amazing few weeks. I think cried everyday I was so happy to have this new joy in my life. There was just one think that was off and in my heart I knew something was very wrong.
I had this ridiculous back pain that was just not going away and it was getting worse by the day. I had been to my chiropractor (bawling my eyes out), had massages, x-rays and ultra sounds but "nothing was wrong". I was a big baby really.....I know some people thought I was being ridiculous. Even some told me going to the ER wasn't really necessary but thank God I listened to my friends at the baby shower and did that very thing. My aunt Debbie went to the ER with me. (I just so happened to have some family in town) It was really funny because up to this point I had never been in the hospital outside of having Paisley just a few weeks before. I had never had any surgeries and I had never had any major pain killers outside of an IBUprofen. I would take that only on RARE occasions when my head ache was nearing what felt like a migraine. They tried to give me 2 Percocet for my back pain and I was terrified and refused. Looking back on that cracks me up because little did I know that morphine was about to become my best friend in the upcoming days ;) I wish I was joking but I am kind of serious. HeHe
So after being at the ER a few hours they decided to do an MRI. I lay there wondering what was ahead and God just told me I was going to be ok and He filled me with a complete peace. I am not going to lie and say that peace wasn't shook a little when they told me I had a gigantic tumor on my spine. They didn't use those words but I think that is what I heard them say. I remember.....it was like my heart stopped for a second. I looked at my aunt and saw the fear in her face. I looked around that little curtained room and everything just seemed to stop. I could see the Dr. talking but couldn't hear anything anyone was saying. It all seems like a nightmare as I relive it really. I think its harder to talk about it now than living it out somehow.
I had an emergency admittance into the hospital and an emergency surgery scheduled as well as being put on bed rest. That is where the morphine came in ;) Man, It felt so good not to hurt anymore and honestly just knowing what the problem was made me feel better. (The unknown is NOT FUN!) My nurse was awesome and that is a whole different God story. She was super sweet and took really good care of me. Love you for that Michelle!!! Some of you know that story but in short while I was her patient she found out her husband had a lymphoma as well. He later went on to do chemo and is doing great!!! I think she thought I was crazy because I wasn't scared. Honestly I really wasn't that scared. I knew at that point that I had a huge tumor on my spine, I had to have a crazy dangerous surgery and that I might have cancer and STILL I had such a ridiculous peace. ( A Peace that trespasses ALL understanding) I am telling you it seems crazy even to me how good I was doing. THANK YOU LORD!
My surgery was on VALENTINES DAY!!! YAY! Last year at 4:28pm I was still in the surgery room and Greg was waiting for me in the lobby. What a day!!!!! Needless to say Valentines Day will always remind me of this little journey. Surgery went great and I was tumor free so yay to that! My surgeon was incredible and even had very high hopes that the tumor was not cancerous however in 2 days I found out otherwise.
Greg just happened to be there when that Dr came to visit. All I remember is "You have Hodgkins Lymphoma, its very treatable, you will need to do chemo, your hair will fall out and you may want to consider freezing your eggs because children may not be a possibility in your future. (deep breath) WOW, that's a lot to take in when you basically told yourself you were fine!!!! I was still fine though and I knew I would make it. I didn't even cry. The hardest part was telling everyone the bad news. UUGHHH It took me a day and a half to finally call my Mom. That was the worst!!!!! Imagine.."Hey Mom, I was diagnosed with cancer" UUUGHHH Now that I have had a year with Paisley I can't even imagine how hard that was for her to hear. I just told her that I was going to be okay and not to worry about me. HAHA what a joke. A daughter telling her Mom not to worry. Is that even possible???? Mom, You did well!!!!! I don't know how you did it!
I started chemo the first week of March and ended the first week of September with a lot of straight up craziness in between. Amongst all the chaos though there was a lot of beauty. I felt so loved and cared for and I had a beautiful daughter who helped get me through each day as well as a husband who worked so hard doing EVERYTHING and never ever complained. You all have been incredible and I couldn't have done this year with out you! God is good and He gets the Glory because as I write this I AM HEALED and I claim that for my life FOREVER!!!!!! Now I just have to continue to work on always being grateful no matter the circumstances. If I could keep one thing with me forever it would be the way I felt about life when I was in the chaos. That is one thing I want to keep with me even though the circumstances are gone. Those bad cells taught me a lot about life. Some people like to say Cancer was their "life Guru". I won't be saying that...its a little too modern and "new agey" for my taste. However, I did learn a lot from the experience. I learned how to love more, live more, be thankful for more and I learned how fragile life is. "Life is but a vapor..." May we remember that as a truth. Thank you STUPID CANCER for reminding me what matters in life and for reminding me how important it is to take care of myself!!!!! I will now live a much happier and fuller life because of you!!!!(Mostly because of God, but you know what I mean) Thanks again to all of you for sharing this journey with me. Your amazing!!!! Be blessed, stay thankful and oh yeah.....Happy Valentines Day! ;)