Hello all! Monday has found us all again and I pray you have had a good start to it. For me, a big week lies ahead so I’ll jump right in.
I know I haven’t updated you all since my first doctors visit after finding out about the new spots and I have a very good reason why. I just didn’t want to :). The visit itself went as well as it could have but happenings since have not been what I expected or hoped for, thus I haven’t really wanted to share. However, I know that as painful as it is to share my life with others at times, I share in order to have people battling with me. So, pick up your sword and march with me cause this one is not so fun.
First, to recap my last doctor visit here’s what happened. Basically, I received my normal, monthly medicines and then we talked with my oncologist about options and a treatment plan. He said that all he could do was guess as to why these new spots have showed up all the sudden. It could be because I had a long break between chemo and mastectomy so that I could have my colon removed. It could be that these spots were always there and were previously too small to show up on any scans. He’s not sure why but he believe the later is probably the case. Either way, the spots have to be treated asap.
The treatment option we decided to go with is chemo pills. I could have done the same chemo I did before but, for obvious reasons, that was not ideal. So pills it is. The pills have some side effects such as a small chance of hair loss, slightly suppressed immune system… but overall they are much easier to take than IV chemotherapy. So that was a praise and we left the doctors office feeling pretty good about our approach only the ‘not so fun’ news didn’t come till a few days later.
We did blood work same as always at my monthly visit and the initial labs came back perfectly healthy and normal. But the part of the blood work that takes a while came back with some results we were not expecting. Turns out that even though I take a hormone suppressor every day and get an injection of hormone blockers once a month, somehow my ovaries are still producing estrogen. And since the cancer tested estrogen positive, that is not good news for my body. While that does explain why these spots grew and it makes sense because I am young and my body is just doing what it thinks it is supposed to do, it is not what I wanted to hear.
You may recall that we talked about removing my ovaries before but the doctors have always said that as long as the hormones were suppressed then there was no need. But now, now that the hormones are not being adequately suppressed, it’s time for the ovaries to go. I am sure most all of you are familiar enough with human anatomy to understand us hearing that as a young couple who hasn’t even had a chance to try to create a family of our own was quite devastating. And to be honest, it still is.
I can barely talk about it, think about it, or share it with others before the tears start to well up. Of everything I have ever been through, it has always seemed like it was going to be ok because there was always some sort of solution and if there wasn’t, the negative aspects affected only me. But this, this is different. No ovaries means no biological children of our own. No ovaries means never getting to experience pregnancy. No ovaries means no biological grandchildren for mine and Bryan’s parents. No ovaries means a lot of letting go of hopes and dreams and excitement of the future. And it is something I still have yet to fully accept.
Before I go any further, I have to say that I know Bryan and I can still have a family of our own. In fact, there may be children being born right now that will find a home with us some day through adoption. Not being able to have children of your own is not the end of the world and it doesn’t make adopting any less special. I have several cousins who are adopted and they are not felt, seen as, or loved any differently than anyone else. And because of those cousins and other children I know, I have actually always wanted to adopt. So if/when that day comes, I will not love that child any less than my own; but, saying that the emotions of loss and grieving that come along with not being able to have children of my own can simply be swept under the rug, is just not true.
I know right now I am definitely seeing a lot of negatives that will come along with ovary removal and I’d say that’s pretty normal upon facing this kind of situation. Accepting that, barring a miracle of God, I will never be able to give my husband the children that he and I have both dreamt of for years… seems like nothing but negative to me. But when I find myself seeing only the negative, as I seem to have been doing continually for the past few years, there is something that always helps.
Bryan and I like to call this something “grand scheming it,” and it is exactly what it sounds like. When you are going through something difficult it is very easy to find yourself with tunnel vision. (Or in our case, ‘can’t even see my hand in front of my face’ vision.) Either way, seeing only what is directly in front of you is normal. It’s human nature and everybody does it. The problem, however; comes when satan seizes this opportunity and capitalizes on our lack of perspective. He tries to keep our heads down and turned away from God, he makes problems seem bigger than they are, and suddenly, you have no idea how you’ll ever move beyond the next step. You know what I’m talking about? I know you’ve been there. We all have. But it is at this moment, when you feel that you are sinking in quick sand and that even one more step is impossible, that “grand scheming it” comes into play. Let me show you.
As of now it seems that Bryan and I are in an impossible place. Cancer has come back and I am only 23. Not good odds by medical standards. I was about to get a job when all of this started happening again. Now I am having my ovaries removed and in human sight I will never be able to have my own children. I can picture being the girl at all my friends baby showers and everyone wondering how I’m handling seeing someone experience the joy of what I can never have. It feels like God let us down and that I will never be healed of anything. I am having emotions of anger, injustice, and wondering why, and it feels like even if I could keep going that I will only get smacked in the face again by some other health issue. …see what I mean by tunnel vision? It’s what our flesh does, it’s SO easy to slip farther and farther back into the tunnel and disappear from the light all together because a lot of it is true. But one of the biggest things I learned growing up is, “DO NOT believe ANYTHING the devil says. EVEN WHEN IT’S TRUE.” And lately I’ve been there. There have been a lot of ugly truths in my life and it would be easy to believe them. So at this point, it is the perfect time for a grand scheme picture of what reality truly is.
In the grand scheme of things, we are not even close to an impossible situation because nothing is impossible for God. In the grand scheme of things, I am only 23 and have had cancer but the name of God is bigger even than the name of cancer. In the grand scheme of things, I haven’t been able to get a job yet but God’s timing IS perfect and I have the rest of my life to work. In the grand scheme of things Bryan and I will be parents to someone at some point and because that child will be who God has for us, our family will be blessed. In the grand scheme of things, I was created and GIVEN a life only because GOD created me. The only reason I am taking this next breath is because the God of the universe allows me to. The only reason I exist is to bring glory to God, my Father. The day I chose to give my life back to Him who created me I said, “I will worship Him through every storm, over every mountain, no matter what the cost, no matter how painful, no matter if I do not understand, and no matter how dark the moment may be.” In the grand scheme of things, I will one day live for all of eternity in Heaven and until that day, I have only ONE shot at this life to give everything I am back to the Lord of all who gave me a life in the first place. Amen.
Don’t you feel better?! Cause I do. Man, it’s amazing what a little of God’s perspective will do for you. Now some of you may see what I just did as a cop out. Like I’m running away from reality. “Kailen, if you see everything like that then you will just allow bad things to happen to you like nothing in this life matters.” But that is not true. I hate what my body is going through. I have felt every awful emotion you could imagine to be associated with cancer. I pray and fight and plead and yell at God to take it all away. Bryan and I both do. But even while I am angry and scared in my flesh, looking at things from a grand scheme, from God’s perspetive, is a gift that God has given us as His children. I do fear things at times but in my heart I know I do not have to fear anything at all. I feel like I have been shaken to the core but in reality, my Rock has never moved. I feel all kinds of things but when I grand scheme it, I know God has it all in His hands. His ways are higher than mine. And I never know what He may have in store for me.
All that being said, I have an appointment tomorrow morning to get all the details for surgery and what all is to come. I will update you as I can but, in the meantime, please pray for Bryan and I. And I pray that God will show you the ‘grand scheme of things’ in your own life, that you may not be trapped in your flesh or in the devil’s tunnel vision. Have a blessed rest of your day!