Candid: adj. Characterized by openness and sincerity of expression;
So blogs are about being real, yes? I often get harassed about my "candidness" and I'm told that some things I discuss are "inappropriate". Well news flash. This is my blog. If you don't like it, don't read it. I am currently dealing with ridiculous life troubles that have challenged me in my faith to the deepest degree. I'm going to share these troubles with you. I don't typically talk about my strongholds so this is new for me. I probably won't want to talk about it with you after you read this blog, so its better to not ask me about it. I've chosen a few people, with whom I am 100% open. They are my safety net. My fence. My support.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with a rare form of vaginal/uterine cancer. The cause at the time was thought to be the result of something I'd rather not talk about, but none the less, It was a trying time. Getting blasted with the news that you have cancer, Stage 1-B whilst planning a wedding is a blow to the heart (and the uterus in this situation). Will I be bald for my wedding? Will Jeremy still want to marry me? What will I tell my family? And the ultimate: will I die? Death is not something that scares me- because I have a firm grasp of where I will go after this life on earth. I know that when I was 16- I made the commitment to allow Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I publicly professed my love for him. Although I may have struggled with that faith, my experiences with Him were always very real. I know His voice. I can feel His love.
Instead of going the chemo/radiation route, I opted for an alternative treatment. I won't go into the details of that because its irrelevant. My reasons for choosing this newly FDA approved treatment were superficial but important at the time. I did not want to be bald for my wedding. The new treatment made me sick. But I still ran, planned the wedding, and worked full time. It was a difficult season.
Fast forward to the wedding- the day was beautiful and I had my loved ones around me. I married my prince who has been an undercurrent source of strength through this process. And I had my hair.
6 months later I went in for a check up- the treatment was progressing well. But I received another blow, I had a 30% chance of getting pregnant and carrying the baby full term. If I can make it past the first trimester, I'd be good to go (most-likely)... another devastation. However, once again I had the support of Jeremy. He said that whether I carry a baby or we adopt a baby, it will be ours and our family and friends will not see it any other way. After our talk, I had a dream that I was in a hospital bed in an all white room holding an infant. I believe this was God speaking to me- "You will have a child"... now whether or not that child comes to me the "traditional" way or not- I believe God's word. He will give us a baby when we are ready. I look forward to the day I can hold my daughter or son and play with their little hands and toes. I know it will happen.
My treatment continues. I see the doctor every three months for checkups (sometimes more frequently). Recently they noticed some abnormalities and decided to run further tests. Long story short, the test revealed developing cancer cells. My oncologist, airing on the side of caution, sent the cells up to John Hopkins for further tests. If they are the same type of cells as before (adenocarcinoma) then it is evidence that my alternative treatments did not work. Thus, I will have to travel down the road of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. My doctor did say that he would not be as concerned if I didn't have the history that I do and so he is being extra careful with me. He also said that the chances of me NOT having chemo are far greater than me actually having to go through the treatment, but even the small percent that I would have to go through it is frightening. I'll be honest, I'm scared to death. And fear is not an emotion I often display. I'm always the strong one. Its difficult for people to see me in a weak state. Going through chemo would make me to be the most vulnerable I've ever been. THAT scares me almost more than the treatment itself. I don't want people to see the "raw" me-
My mom and I were discussing possible causes of my cancer and she told me about DES. My grandmother took this medication in the 1940's- it was though to prevent miscarriages but instead, caused numerous problems in the offspring. Although I am third generation, there has been evidence that DES actually has impacted third generation females. One of the known health effects is: Clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCA), a rare kind of vaginal and cervical cancer. The revelation that my cancer and the DES my grandmother took may have a cause/effect relationship is something I found out this morning. I'm swallowing this information, along with my coffee. Its hard for me to think that out of the 3 daughters and 3 biological granddaughters, I was the lucky one to experience this road. Now, I'm not saying I wish this on anyone else but the question of "why me" does come up. Is that normal?
If I do have to begin chemotherapy, I will start the treatments in April. I still plan to run and work and do the things that I enjoy. My girlfriends will buy me fabulous earrings and scarfs. I know my best friends would take off work to sit with me during treatments. My sisters would come in from out of town to hold me while I tremor. My husband would be my steadfast love and support. Again, I am terrified. I feel guilty, so guilty, that I am putting the people I love through this. I almost want to go through it alone, as to spare them the stress and concern that goes along with it.
We are believing that the results of the test will be in my favor. The cells were nothing but "abnormal" and further treatment will not be necessary. We are praying for protection and peace. We are praying that I can keep my hair and eyelashes. We are praying we won't have to invest in hundreds of Popsicles. Pray with us, and most importantly- Believe that God can do miraculous things!