By now some of you already know that I was diagnosed with stage three (B – if the B means something to you) colon cancer a week or so ago after going to the hospital for an unrelated issue. Apparently, being tired should have tipped me off, but I was just plodding along like any good homeschool mama and because we are health nuts and eat well, I was managing. I can look back now and see that I had a life-threatening episode with being tired at one of the conventions I was taking photos for in May, but I only thought I was needing some rest after working hard for three days. I wasn’t aware that I was sick or had lost nearly HALF of my blood somehow. Still scratching my head about it all.
I went to the ER for vertigo – benign positional vertigo – and they discovered my blood loss. That prompted me to get a blood transfusion, hospital admittance, and a slew of tests including a colonoscopy/endoscopy. My suggestion to you if you have any gut or bowel issues – no matter how young you think you still are – is to GET ONE. It may save your life. After I had this procedure, they found the cancer and it was necessary to remove it. I was in the hospital about a week total, and although I’m missing a little bit of my intestines, I’m thankful that my life has been spared. My doctor said that at a 6.1 hemoglobin rate (think 6 units of blood total in my body), I would have died of organ failure, stroke, or heart attack before Christmas. Yes – all while eating healthy, being young, and thinking I was invincible.
It has been an emotional few weeks, but there have been a lot of silver linings. I’m keeping my facebook friends updated on the day to day details about my journey, but I am not planning to turn this blog in to a cancer blog. I’m refusing to live my life as a victim. I’m already a survivor because of God’s grace and a case of vertigo that still hasn’t resolved entirely. I feel blessed and so very thankful to have wonderful family and friends who are supporting me in this walk. It is a walk no one wants to take – into an unknown future that no one wants to grapple with… but I know Who is there waiting on me.
I’m researching alternative and conventional methods of treatment. I have a week or so before I have to go in and make a decision on chemo. I am praying God puts the decision in my head and heart with clarity and resolve and peace so that I won’t have to second guess anything. He already did this with my entire hospital stay. I had complete peace about everything that was done and knew that He was leading me through the valley of death. Now I am at a Y in the road and God is going to be able to use whichever method I chose to heal me… but I want to do whatever is best, and most effective.
The scariest part of this journey so far has been the decision on what to do now that God has removed the cancer that is visible. Do I go with the 40% chance in 5 years I will get this again if I “do nothing” (and try my best to fit every alternative method known to man to the test)… or the 30% chance I will get this again in 5 years AFTER doing chemo!?! Those odds are just not as solid as a mama wants to have them be. And either way will cost a fortune I am going to have to rely on God to provide.
Speaking of funds, my aunt has set up a Go Fund Me account to help me fundraise for medical bills and treatment and I’ve linked it below. I’d love it if you could spread the word. Your prayers and help are appreciated as we navigate these unchartered waters.
Go Fund Me Link: https://www.gofundme.com/2j9c3bc8
I have had another reason for being gone from the blog world a while, too. In the middle of this scary cancer news, I also was planning a graduation party for my oldest. There were some nay-sayers who said there was no way I should be even attending a party a week after surgery, but I wasn’t about to let a little diagnosis get in the way of my life-long-dream of reaching the homeschool finish line!
I’m now a veteran homeschool mom of a homeschool graduate. Kaden graduated this past weekend and my wonderful friends and family all came out of the woodwork for us – bringing food, decorating, helping me plan, cleaning up, and loving on us. God is amazing how He has shown himself SO BIG the past couple of weeks.
I have had friends dropping in, coming from out of state, bringing food, cooking and cleaning, taking me and my kids to appointments, buying us groceries, sending us cards, Facebook messaging me with encouraging scriptures, praying ceaselessly… it’s all too much for my heart to take in.
I pray that there’s a perfect happy ending to this story, but it will be a journey we will be on for a while. I hope you will keep us in your prayers if you think of us. I am praying God has many-a-homeschool-year ahead for this mama. After all, we just started 2nd Grade and Kindergarten for my little boys this year and I have a wonderful year planned out for them. I know God works in mysterious ways and His ways aren’t ours. I know that He is the giver of all good things. I’m praying that healing in this life – at this time – is part of His plan for me, so that I can continue to raise up little warriors for His kingdom.