I don’t know if we’ll ever fully grasp that we have a child with cancer. I read someone’s recent update of Charlie (super kind and accurate) and my head read it as if itwas another family’s story. And I know when I read stories of kids with cancer or any hard thing, my heart drops and I feel such compassion and tenderness toward a family walking through hard things with their kiddos.
But we are the family with cancer. And it’s nothing that I could’ve imagined, no matter how compassionate or tender I have been towards other families in the past. I simply didn’t have a clue what THIS would be or feel like. And this is the road we are walking. One. Day. At. A. Time. Because every day brings it’s own challenges and highs and lows. Everyday we are fighting for faith, grace, normalcy, to make sure every member of our family is feeling loved and heard and a myriad of other things too.
And some days are good. And some days are hard. And some days just knock you flat down.
I thought we were on our game this week. We have five days of chemo. We made plans, we have tons of help, and we know it’s going to be a long week, but we felt prepared and ready to face this week head on.
And then we met with radiology. And they told us more of the treatment plan.
Here’s where I would like to add that in the past I would consider crying in public a weakness. I don’t like crying in public and especially in front of strangers or professionals. Guess where I cry the most now- in public, in front of doctors. And I can’t help it, and I just don’t care anymore. So I cry because
Chemo + Radiation = A LOT.
I thought this would get easier to swallow, or my mind would be able to comprehend this diagnosis or just that the treatment wouldn’t make me want to hide in my bed.
But it’s not getting easier, my mind still has trouble wrapping itself around this thing-cancer, and it’s just harder than I ever imagined.
So, what do you do when life is so hard?
You just do the next thing. (My girl Elizabeth Elliot said that, “when life is hard, and you don’t know what to do, you just do the very next thing”. She knew a thing or two about suffering and surviving.)
I talk A LOT with Ben. And we check in about how we’re feeling and what’s coming and how we’re dealing with it all.
I tell my people about it. I try to be honest and vulnerable with them about what’s going on and how I’m feeling. And truth: I text because I can’t even speak hard things aloud these days without becoming a sobbing mess.
I read my Bible. Just this morning God met me at my sticky dining room table, with this verse, “He is your constant source of stability; He abundantly provides safety and great wisdom; He gives all this to those who fear him. (Isaiah 33:6 NET)
I journal. A lot.
I talk honestly with God and beg Him for a miracle for my baby and listen for His still small voice.
I listen to worship music. Here’s my Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/1274667778/playlist/1zNuf4xUZPsd7Rdzw4YaS1
It’s not a magical formula to make everything better. The truth is, none of it changes a dang thing we’re going through. But it changes me. And gives me strength.
And all of it helps us make it through the day. And that’s all I need to do, take each day, as it comes, and walk through it the best I can with God’s grace and provision.
It is dark, there are more questions than answers, there are many tears, but I can still tell you, God is here and He holds.
It’s texts like this from dear sister friends that boost my spirits and give me truth and hope.
“When earths painful, wretched, too much to hear or carry or even process trials happen; sometimes it’s just got to be a fall flat and let Him pick you up and brush you off and nudge you along in the marathon. There’s a goal line a prize awaiting there is a finish line. It is there sweetie. It’s there. Around the bend, up many hills, with sister saints lining the streets praying with hoarse throats and salted smeared faces FOR YOU AND BEN AND CHARLES. We will be hands of Jesus lifting you. Praying. Holding. Cheering. Soulful. Mad and sad and scared BUT most of all hopeful. So hopeful.”