"But we are not of those who shrink back and are defeated, but of those who believe and are saved."
I was recently told that I have a limited time to live. It has been four and a half years since the nasty disease called osteosarcoma (aka cancer), decided to take over my body. It has been a long and tough battle, but four times, I have made it through. With the Lord and my friends and family by my side, I have come through the other side healthy and happy. This past Wednesday, though, my family and I got the news that my cancer has returned, and is filling up my lungs at this very moment. I can feel the pain from one of the tumors pushing up against the inside of my lung cavity, and my breathing is raspy from the fluid filling up my lungs. “Prognosis is really bad,” says Dr. G. I have already received basically everything that they can offer, which has resulted in kidney failure and a number of other problems. My options now are extremely limited, with the next steps being surgery and then searching to find a clinical trial somewhere that I could qualify for. It’s definitely scary, having to basically search for all of this info. My treatment is in my control, and now I call the shots. All of my decisions now are shifted to “quality vs. quantity.” That is, everything I decide has to be based on if I want a higher quality of life, or if I want more time. How am I to make these decisions? I have no freaking idea. I have no answers to any of this. All I know is that from now on, I want to truly LIVE…even if that means I may have less time. For all I know, I could come out of this and 60 years later I look at this as a distant memory. But I don’t know that for sure, and there’s no way anyone can know. I definitely still believe that God can heal (I even went and got a tattoo this week…its “jehovah rapha” -the god who heals- inside an infinity symbol.) I KNOW God can heal. And I am praying and hoping for that. But I just don’t know.
Through this blog, I hope that you may be inspired, and that you may share in the joys that I am excited to embark on. As my first bucket-list item…or carpe diem item, as I prefer to call it, my dad and I are taking a spontaneous trip to NYC tomorrow!! I cannot wait!! :) Then there is Christmas and New years, and then its off to surgery for me. I will try my best to keep you all updated through this blog- I used to have a caring bridge (a website for patients that the parents would update), but my mom is tired and weary from all of this heart ache, so I am taking on the job.
I will write soon, my friends. I love all of you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for those of you who have been on this journey with me before. Its time for battle mode, once again.
It has been the hardest past few weeks of my entire life- harder than the month I was on high-dose ifosomide, when I was having seizures and laying basically unconscious for weeks at a time- even harder than when I was first diagnosed. I haven’t really distinguished whether or not knowing that my life is limited is a blessing or a curse… I am thankful that I have an opportunity to be able to tell people I love them and to reflect upon my life, but at the same time, I am crippled with anguish and fear. My emotions are shot, and my body is so fragile and weak- I hardly even recognize myself anymore. The tumors in my lungs are making it really hard to breath normally and fully, so I had to be put on at-home oxygen, and am basically on bed-rest all the time. I was officially admitted into hospice care on Wednesday. Basically being on hospice means I won’t have to go to the hospital at all anymore- the company we are using (ironically but divinely called “Journey Hospice”) can do everything a hospital can do at my house- even x-rays and CT’s and things ER’s can do. The only thing they can’t do is operate. So, I will be staying at home until… well, let’s not go there right now. But anyways, I’ve been really reluctant to post anything about any of this because quite frankly, thinking about it is extremely heart-wrenching for me. Prior to this post, only a select few knew what was going on…but for the sake of all those who have loved and cared for me over the years, I wanted to let you know what was going on.
There is nothing that I need or want. I know people want to help me somehow, but honestly I do not wish to receive any presents or money or anything like that (other than flowers if you are so inclined). My deepest wish is for people to pray for my friends and family… the thing that rips my heart up the most is knowing that my friends and family are in so much pain over losing me. If there is one thing I would ask for them, it would be that they have peace and that they would find joy. Everything that surrounds me emanates with the love from the people in my life- from the pictures on my wall to the clothes in my closet, and the little gifts and knick-knacks around my room from different experiences I have had. I am so incredibly blessed, and most of my tears come from basking in that realization. I have always known of these blessings, but I have never felt them so intimately until now.
All of this being said, I still believe that God has the power to heal me- even now. But, my heart is pretty sure that His healing is not going to be in a physical form. Even though this is not my ideal circumstance by any means, I have full confidence that I will be in Heaven, fully healed, fully restored, and fully new. The cancer WILL BE GONE. It may seem like cancer won, but it hasn’t and never will. God still has the victory, and I am humbled that He has chosen me to come be with Him. I am still filled with grief and fear over what is to come- but who wouldn’t be. That’s what makes me human I suppose. Thank you to all who have been there for me and who have followed my story- it is a story I know I was supposed to tell. I am not sure if I will be writing in here again- I only write when I feel led. But just know that my heart holds deep appreciation and love for all of you, and that my journey is not and will not ever be over.