Powerful, disciplinarian, strong, wise, confusing, head of the Home, role models, loving, kind, stern, focused, and above all else, the boss. See, I know my father is all of those things, as a kid I always knew he was the head of the house, but I also knew that he always taught us that we could do anything if we set our minds to it and worked hard. Even in the times of struggle and disagreements, I knew he still loved me and would do anything for me.
So imagine, as a young woman, with this view/mindset of my father, portraying that on to my Heavenly Father, who is far wiser, loving, and powerful than my earthly fathers. Knowing that He has the ability to heal me, and to get rid of this disease, and yet, He chooses not to move in the way our prayers have been pleading for (at least not yet).
When we found out in January that the first set of drugs we were trying didn’t work, I was devastated. Broken. It seems like everything we have been specifically praying for has gone in the exact opposite direction. We asked for this disease to never come back. When it returned, we asked for the cancer to only be in my sternum. When it was in my sternum and my liver, we asked for guidance and for access to a new clinical trial that could potentially cure me. When we found out about these new drugs that have limited to no side effects and could work for three to five years, we begged for them to work. And yet, nothing. Everything was backwards and wrong. All of our prayers seemed to go unanswered.
So I got mad. I stopped talking to God, I stopped praying. It wasn’t working, what was the point? Why serve a God who may not even be real or have the power to heal me? Going to church become excruciatingly difficult. Hearing God’s name and singing songs about His glory and love brought me to tears instantly. I couldn’t even think of Him without crying or getting angry. He had broken my heart and I felt so alone and abandoned. Jesus, don’t you love me? Can we please just get a little break? Where are you? All of my previous words seemed foolish. And I became unsure.
Charlie and I went out to San Diego, CA for a little trip. He had to work, and I got to tag along. While we were out here, I didn’t pay much, but I did ask God something simple. Every night, I asked Him to show me His love. Every night I did this, He responded. Every night I would pray that prayer, that next morning I would get a text from a random individual telling me how much the love Charlie and I, and how they had prayed specifically for us. When I didn’t pray, no text. So, I kept praying that prayer. It’s simple, really short, but what my heart needed.
During this process, Charlie and I have also been hit with some substantial medical bills. They have been one of the largest things I worry about. Countless hours on the phone talking to insurance, talking to the hospital, talking to others for help has led to nowhere. The bills still remain and the worry/frustration remained. I knew about the benefit planned for us, but I was still worried. I didn’t think there was any way we could raise enough money to come close to what we needed to pay off our current medical debts, let alone what we needed for any future assistance.
Three weeks before the benefit, while Charlie and I were in San Diego, I wasn’t thinking about the benefit. I wasn't thinking about much other than my frustration with God's lack of "response". Oddly enough though, it was during this time that I began saying my simple prayers, asking for God to show me His love. And then it happened. You know that saying, like when people are trying to impress someone, or outperform them, and they say something to the affect of “Here, hold my cup” and then they do something amazing that just blows your mind? Well, that’s exactly what happened on the evening of my benefit. God looked at me and said, “Here, hold my golden goblet. Let me show you how much you are loved.”
Words cannot even begin to describe the generosity, kindness, support, and overwhelming amount of love we have been shown. Feelings of joy, shock, and unworthiness has swept over Charlie and I as we continue to be supported by so many. While we know we have done nothing to deserve this outpouring of love, we appreciate it beyond words. It is a much easier journey when you have the best support group in the world, and we have been blessed beyond measure with so many incredible people in our lives.
I honestly don't know what my future looks like or what it holds. The silent whispers in my head sometimes scare me, and I want to ignore them. But I can't, and only God knows the number of days we each will hold on this earth. Every day is a gift. Days of zero pain or sickness have become days that I cannot wipe the smile off of my face. There is literally nothing that can put me in a bad mood on those days. I got to go on a pain-free walk in the beautiful sunshine the other day and it was literally one of the best days of my life. The simple things truly are the things that matter the most. Sitting on the couch with my husband and dog, hanging out with my family, spending time with friends. Those are the times that matter most. I wish I would have fully and completely understood this earlier in my life.
I have slowly been learning about His love, and I've been allowed to enjoy a peace from God during this time that has kept me away from a deep depression. I have also learned that God is still moving, even if it it's in a way I don't understand or agree with. He is the ultimate powerful God, and I am not. He holds the universe in His hands, and ultimately I am called simply to obey Him and His commands. He loves me, and even if He doesn't save me from these earthly sufferings, my eternity is firmly secured in His love and mercy.
Since January, I completed reconstruction surgery. Finally, after 3.5 years, and 7 different surgeries, that portion of this process is over. Once the surgery was completed, I began a new oral chemo called Xeloda. In all honesty, this drug has been terrible. I have been sick numerous times, and I developed hand and foot syndrome so bad it became incredibly difficult simply walking across my living room floor. We have since received some additional medications to help with the severe side effects, but I had to go through a dose reduction due to the toxicity level that was previously delivered with the higher dosage amounts.
We are anxiously awaiting the next CT scan results as we are praying for something to begin working, to slow down the cancer, or kill it all together. The scan will take place on March 23, so prayers during this time would be greatly appreciated.
Again, we cannot begin to say thank you to everyone for all of their support and love. We have been blown away by a community of generosity and love. Underserving, and yet so appreciative, we continue on knowing we are not fighting this battle alone. So again, thank you.
Charlie and Megan