The Unexpected Road — Final Part 6
The next two trimesters and following months of chemo offered minimal baby weight gain, compounded fatigue, compounded sickness and an excessively low hair count.
When my hair started falling out, it was the strangest thing.
I couldn’t actually feel it coming out but when I would pull on my hair, it effortlessly came off in the entire chunk I held in my hand. Well, at that point it needed to go so I let Jeff take the clippers to it and have some fun. Might as well get some laughs with the situation right? We took some hilarious pictures that I think are somewhere.
First, I got a ‘DW’ haircut (anyone with kids seen the TV show ‘Arthur’?), then it was a sick skullet, then whatever else he thought would be funny- I can’t remember- and then came the final shave. I also ended up with, like, two eyelashes so I forewent mascara all together as it was weird to only apply it on a few.
Mouth sores, dry skin, dry eyes, a sudden increase in wrinkles, serious ‘chemo brain’ where I literally thought my car got stolen, a new grey/yellow tone to my skin and other things started coming around. I was also in the ER a lot with a terrible immune system/constant fever and flu waving my little orange flag. The ‘orange flag’ is just a piece of paper that lets triage know you are immunocompromised, need to wear a mask and should be assessed quickly.
I was and still am so grateful for our health care professionals and hospital staff. They do a stellar job and have a lot going on there.
Appointment identity is a legit thing too.
Between weekly ultrasounds to check on Luke, bloodwork, weekly PICC line cleaning and dressing changes, doctors, surgical and oncology visits and other tests, I was either in the hospital or an appointment 3–4 times per week for the entire 7 months of pregnancy since finding out I had cancer.
Was that ever a trip.
It’s a weird thing having almost a full-time job of attending appointments. It wasn’t something I was proud of and often felt bad feeling like I was clogging the system.
Having cancer is a twisted way to unintentionally get a lot of attention but it happens. I’m an introvert and thrive on alone time. I re-energize when I’m by myself and am grateful for those short few moments after pulling in the driveway where I get five minutes to myself in the day.
So to always be around people, talking and answering questions while being a wife and raising 7 year-old Braden that needed my attention, love and time…life got tiring. Still, I remained as physically active as I could be…getting in walks and fresh air as much as possible.
There were so many little things, big things, good things and horrible things that happened and I don’t have the time or space to write on them all. In short, it was an interesting year that one.
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March 29, 2011.
After they said I wouldn’t survive, after they said he wouldn’t survive (and/or be unhealthy or premature), and after an intense all-nighter, I was induced on his due date and Luke arrived at eight something in the morning.
How totally rude!- and how dare he- Luke came out with a full head of hair while I laid there with none.
We sure showed them didn’t we buddy? We sure did.
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As I was reading through Deuteronomy this morning, this verse popped out at me:
“And the LORD will protect you from all sickness.” Deut 7:15 (NLT)
See, God is good…all the time. Though many humans often and unfortunately intentionally skew, misuse and abuse His name wrongly for earthly gain and power over others, God- by true character is nothing but good…all the time. He is.
I knew that I knew that I knew that I had to walk that cancer road at that time with Luke. We live in a world where there are good things and bad things that happen. God doesn’t promise us a life free from trials but He does promise to be with us through the fire.
And He does…every time — even if it doesn’t feel like it.
At the beginning of my breast cancer journey, the following song was put on my heart and its words remain to this day a constant reminder of the promises made to me- “In Christ Alone” by Travis Cottrell. It’s a bit of an old one but for anyone who might need the reassurance or a reminder that Jesus is always there with you (or that He carries you ;) through your trials, feel free to check it out.
In closing, this truth I’ll leave with you…
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:8 (NLT)