Thursday, April 7, 2016

God is Good.

Do you ever hear something about someone or something and you internalize it for what seems like forever before actually saying it out loud, because you haven't actually come to terms with it yourself? Well, if that's not something you do ... that's something I do. And I do it a lot. I'm an over-thinker and and over-analyzer and it's something I internally struggle with. Because while some people are able to take whatever said thing is, for what it is, or what was said ... I always seem to attach another meaning or another reason to said thing.

It's one of the things I love most about myself, because I'm usually able to connect on a deeper meaning with trivial things. But, in the same breath, it's also a thing I hate most about myself ... because I do just that ... make things a bigger deal than they need to be. My family and friends may smirk and tell you I'm dramatic and to that, I plead the fifth. But either way, it's who I am. It's who I've always been. And it's who I plan to continue to be.

Because while it's a bit frustrating, and often gets me more worked up than I care to admit. It allows me to feel, and feel deeply. It allows me to care, it allows me to heal, it allows me to want, it pushes me to explore because there often IS more ... and I want to know about it. I say all of this, as a bit of self-reflection and precursor for what I've been alluding to in recent blog posts.  A little bit about what's been happening behind the scenes of our fun family outings and happy times at home recently. I'm going to try an remain as brief as possible, while giving you the needed details, so if you have questions let me know.


Midday Friday, March 18th, my phone rang and it was my doctor. I picked it up not thinking a thing. But, when I heard her voice and the tone and not her nurses' voice I knew she didn't have great news to share. She began to explain my pathology results from a recent biopsy of a mole take from the back of my right thigh (just above my knee) from a few weeks earlier. There was a lot of yada-yada and then I heard "spitzoid melanoma" and immediately couldn't hear anything more.

My brain did what it always does, and immediately went to the worst possible place. I lost my grandfather to Melanoma when I was in high school, so I immediately thought of my family and begin thinking about the possibility of what I would and all of the things I planned to do with them that may not happen?! What if I didn't get to be a part of their future? What if I didn't get to see them grow up? What if I didn't get to become an old woman next to the love of my life? All of the horrible, horrible scary things that creep into your mind immediately flooded in. The worst thing I could think of ... not being here.

And then I heard the doctor say, "and your OB is also aware and she will be calling you as well." That immediately snapped me back into reality. OB?! Why would she be calling?! And then it clicked. I had this mole while I was pregnant. And then I heard "melanoma is a cancer that can cross the placenta". And then everything I thought was the worst was immediately overshadowed. Lainey.

Lainey is at risk. My sweet beautiful precious baby girl that I am committed to protect with every ounce of my being is at risk. And it's coming from me. I broke. I truthfully broke. Every piece of me shattered. I sat down and wept.

Once I had gathered my thoughts and asked the doctor to repeat everything she had just said, so I could jot down a few notes, I took a deep breath and called Shane. I love that man. He is my rock and I needed him. He immediately rushed home and we had a short moment together to attempt to process, before he had to immediately jump back in the car and go pick up Bennett from school. Friday was a rough day. A long day.

A lot of conversations with family happened over the next several days. A lot of comforting words that went in one ear and out the other. A roller coaster of emotions. And honestly it continued to be that way for the better part of 4-5 days. Until Wednesday, March 23rd. I said I broke the previous Friday, but I was wrong. Wednesday morning is when it truly hit me. I had a better understanding of what was happening. I had read just enough to understand more about the diagnosis. We had met with a specialist for Lainey. My first visit with the oncologist was scheduled and it was all laid out in front of me to comprehend and pick apart and decide what in the *H* I was going to do with it. And I broke. Wholeheartedly, ugly face cry, shaking, nauseous, broken.

Once I hit the I can't breathe part of the crying session, I picked myself up off the laundry room floor, walked into my bathroom, stared in the mirror and had a good long talk with God. He talked back and reminded me He paved this road for me and He will be there to fight my battles. He picked me up and put my little booty in the car to drive to the nearest Christian bookstore and buy me a new bible. It was time to come back. I have never strayed far, but He was also not nearly as centrally focused as He had once been. And I needed Him back.

We've been getting reacquainted the last couple of weeks and He has brought much brightness to some very uncertain times. He is good. He is faithful. And I believe He has us wrapped in His hands.

Surgery is scheduled for April 12th, and they will be performing a wide local excision on the melanoma spot on the back of my leg until they get clean margins. It will likely be at least 2 cm removed in all directions and will leave a sizable scar. Furthermore, they will be performing a sentinel node biopsy on my right groin. Before the surgery that morning they will be injecting me with a radioactive tracer along with a blue pigmented dye in and around the melanoma spot on the back of my leg. They will allow for a few hours for this to naturally drain to the nearest node(s), which are located in the groin, and then they will be going in through an incision in the groin and removing any node that shows any sign of the radioactive tracer or dye.

The goal by removing any and all nodes that show signs is to determine if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, in which case it will help us focus on if/when/what future treatment is needed. In the chance the cancer has not spread to the nodes, this will likely be the final step in this treatment process (aside from future monitoring and forever early detection). However, if the cancer has spread to the nodes (we will know pathology reports 5 days post operation) we will determine if another surgery needs to take place in order to remove more lymph nodes and/or if we need to begin chemotherapy.

As for our sweet Lainey girl, we have heard reassuring news. The good news is, while it is possible for it to pass through the placenta - it is rare. And she will continued to be monitored for the longevity of her life, so we will always be on the lookout for her! We have met with a local specialist, and will likely be getting a second opinion in the months to come to ensure there is nothing more we should be doing. But we feel hopeful we have caught this early and little bit will be just fine.

I woke up Monday morning anxious that this is the last week before I could potentially get even scarier news and felt shaken. I've been strong. I've felt decent, but Monday morning shook me. I went out that morning to take advantage of the nice weather and took the kids with me to have a little fun, but couldn't shake that nervous feeling. I got home praying for comfort and I walked in the door to this. Another reminder that God is always with us. He knows. He is lifting us up.

It was a package from my Aunt Toby, who always seems to have some of the best guidance and most faithful messages in hard times. I opened it and couldn't stop smiling through the whole package. There were encouraging notes and prayers all over the paper and cardboard.

And packaged inside where prayer blankets from the ladies she leads at her weekly Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) group.

A woman, named Shirley, whom I have never met, made these blankets for me and my sweet girl. And more women (whom I have never met) wrote me encouraging words and prayers all over the back of the blankets. Letting me know I am not alone in this fight. They are lifting me and my sweet Lainey up in prayer.

How awesome is that?! Women I have never met are praying for me and my child. And He is watching over us. We are not alone. It was exactly what I needed this week. The perfect message and reminder that it is all going to be okay. We are going to come out of this victorious.
Lainey and I immediately walked outside and snuggled and FaceTimed Aunt Toby to tell her she spoke to my heart in a way I could have never known to ask for. And I taped that "I love you until pigs fly" momento right on the inside of my bible, so I can always relive the graciousness these women have passed along to me.
I hope to report back in a few weeks with what we have been saying over and over in our household "it was isolated, it was contained, and we got it all."  And, hopefully as with all things in my life (as I previously mentioned) we can chalk this one up to another me making it into a bigger deal than it ever needed to be!  But I do know this, it will not be our only fight, cancer scare aside. Life is all about trial and tribulations and having the grace and faith to overcome them. Everyone is fighting a battle. There will be more hardships and heartache. But I know and will remain steadfast, He will always be with us.
Joshua 1: 1-9 {abbreviated} "...In the same way I was with Moses, I'll be with you. I won't give up on you; I won't leave you ... Give it everything you have, heart and soul ... Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take."

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  1. I will be praying for you sweet girl.. GOD IS FAITHFUL!!! HE will see your through this and protect you!!!

  2. Oh Katie - sending thoughts and prayers your way!


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