Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's Been A Year

Well, I must say, I am happy to see a full 365 days pass since March 26th, 2008. Here is a pic of my son, recovering from his surgery, which, up until the last phone call from the Surgeon, had me on a rollercoaster of emotions.

I was walking to the kitchen that day in March, when Jacob came up to me, asking for a hug. Now I am sure all of you are familiar with looking down, and seeing your lovely “baby”looking up at you, with hands raised up for a hug. I was about to bend down and hug him when it saw it.

I wish I could say that I continued moving into the embrace position, but instead my fingers went straight to his neck and I said, “what is that?”

There was a lump.

For the next five minutes Jacob held out for his hug while I poked at this lump next to his esophagus in the groove of his neck. I will not panic. I told myself, over and over.

Because panic, I must tell you, is what I do best…

This lump was about the size of a blueberry, and could only really be seen at certain angles, but sure enough, it was there.

When Josh got home I told him about the lump, and, contrary to my usual behavior, that I was going to give it a week before I made an appointment to see the doctor. Jacob hadn’t been sick, wasn’t lethargic and was eating and growing like crazy, so, a week seemed reasonable to me.

Except...

I used the week to poke my son’s neck, my daughter’s neck, my husband’s neck, MY neck, and anyone else that would let me touch their neck. And then, I couldn’t help myself. I got on The Internet.

Panic took hold.

I couldn’t get him to the doctor fast enough.

Two incredible doctors saw Jacob and examined him, asking me questions, as I counted to ten in my head to halt the tears and answer them. They threw around big medical words that I did not understand as I held Jacob on my lap. They looked at me and said the next step was to visit a surgeon.

“It’s not…” was all I could say.

“Oh no, dear, it’s not!” The one doctor offered quickly. “The chances of that are a million to one!”

Well, after an unclear CT scan, three more doctors, and two sonograms, those odds went up to one in three.

The surgeon was kind enough to offer two other possibilities of what it could be after examining him, but once I heard “it is quite treatable with chemo” I about died in that room.

Josh has a better ability to think calmly and objectively and hear all the POSITIVE things the doctor said. But, I am me…I don’t hear that stuff. I asked to be left in the room as I sobbed, thinking, not my baby, not my baby. How in the world was I supposed to be strong for my little boy? How was I supposed to find God in this? Why was I freaking out and not praying?

We had three months peppered with appointments and consultations, and decided to do the surgery in Alaska while we were there on a month-long visit with friends and family. We had a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese the night before the surgery. During the party I would have snippets of laughter and peace, only to be thrust back into worry and a physical grief I had never experienced before.

Because every night for almost three months, I got on my knees and prayed at his bedside. Every night I thought of parents that were having their first night with a terrible diagnosis, or their first night with their children in the hospital, or horribly without their children in their beds ever again. I thought of parents who had that horrible news destroy their calm, parents that cried, cried out, and prayed and fought the battle while they held their babies, only to have them slip away, and no longer have them. You all, I can barely write this even now, I am crying so hard.

If it weren’t for my faith, if I didn’t believe that our kids are “loaned” to us, if I hadn’t introduced our kids to my Savior, and witnessed them grow and blossom in their own relationship with Him, I am not sure I would have made it through as a whole person if I had lost him. I would have found this world and life to be incredibly cruel and worthless. And, even with my faith and a peace somewhere deep down, I was flooded with fear and pain, and I could barely hear His voice through the screaming in my mind.

The day of the surgery I was numb. We had talked Jacob through all we could, and actually did not have to do a ton of reassuring, as he continually told us he was “just fine!!” And, admittedly, he did not act sick, and with all the information being thrown our way, that was a bit of comfort in the chaos.

The surgery was a fast 45 minutes and we were allowed into recovery to be there when he woke up. The doctor met with us and told us about the cyst-like structure he took out and all the yellow, chunky goo he was able to remove. He had new suspicions of what it could be, but wanted to wait for pathology. The most important thing at that point was that it was out.

The next few days we worked at keeping Jacob comfortable and making sure Audrey didn’t feel lost in all the anxiety-filled activity. He recovered quickly and was ready to do more than we were willing to let him do!

I was cutting up carrots for soup when the phone rang. It was the surgeon.

“Remember I said I would call if there was an issue?” He began.

At this point I spiritually laid down, “Yes.” I managed to say.

“IT’S NOT CANCER!” He sang, apparently thinking this was a great way to break the news.

I picked myself up off the floor and thanked him for all he had done, although at that point I wanted to reach through the phone and strangle him for his delivery!

It had been a long three months of doctor visits, questions, possible diagnosis, tests, prayer and tears. You know how people say they feel a weight lifted off their shoulders? It is so, so true.

The phone calls were now celebratory; I had a smile on my face. I was thanking God continually. I was feeling elation and pain at the same time. There are parents everyday hoping for that same phone call, and they never get it.

Why? I don’t know. I don’t pretend to understand. All I know is, time with my children is precious, I am thankful I have been entrusted with them. I am thankful for my God, because without Him my weaknesses would take hold in such a way that I would do much more damage than any illness or disease could ever do. When I hear of parents suffering through the illness and/or loss of a child my heart breaks, as I know His does. And, I know, if our children are given the path to walk, the one that will take them back home to Him, should that day arise before we are ready, then truly, everything will be OK.


15 comments:

Kearsie said...

Wow. Just...wow. I try to remind myself that my kids are just loaned to me. And then I try to remind myself that they are miracles, they are healthy and happy and are not statistics in the bad way. I try to remind myself to be grateful for every.single.day. And I praise God that everything turned out all right.

Lindy said...

I happened onto your blog from themomblogs and wanted to tell you that that post was beautiful and amazing.

"Why was I freaking out and not praying" - what a strong statement that makes about you and your faith.

God Bless.

robin said...

*SOOOOOB* that was such an ordeal. oddly enough i think i remember all of that with the same detail you do in a way! those were some tense times girlfriend! i am so thankful that it was not cancer and that he is thriving! love you kimmy!

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

Wonderful post.

Your comments about God and your children remind me so much of what I thank God for the most each night in my prayers. I thank Him for allowing me each day with my kids, for being able to watch them grow and do all the crazy, sweet, amazing things that they do...and I pray that He will give me more days...because I am terribly selfish like that. ;)

My heart also breaks when I think of all the people out there, suffering with grief over sickness/death. I say my prayers for them each night too...and sometimes, the sadness sits heavy in my chest as I think of how much pain the world holds. But then I remind myself of all the joy there is too. And that one day, it will all be over...all the pain and sorrow and suffering...and all His children will come home to Him and be eternally at peace. And that thought gives me enough comfort that I am able to finally go to sleep.

Thanks for the post! I am so glad that everything worked out ok for your family! :)

Vickie said...

What a scary time for you. I would be freaking out too. I freak out when something is wrong with our dog.

Hopefully he is feeling much better:)

The Retired One said...

I am so glad things turned out positive for you, him and your entire family.
Sometimes it is at the darkest times that we see the brightest light...

Hannah said...

God is AMAZING, isn't He? Thanks for sharing ;-)

Jaime W. said...

I lost our first child, our daughter, Maggie 6 years ago. Not to cancer...she was born 3 months premature and only lived for 5 weeks. God definately was our strength at that time. However...cancer is my #1 fear in life. My papa died from it 4 years ago. EVERYTHING makes me fearful of cancer. If anyone has a headache...I worry. A few months ago I was changing my 2 year old's diaper, and as he was lying flat on the changing table I felt a lump on his chest. I went crazy. To the Dr. I went. Know what she said it was? His ribs. She said in little kids b/c they are growing so fast, that things shift around and that made a little lump. Nothing to do...it's just his ribs. Thank goodness for ribs!! Losing Maggie was very hard, but now that my kids are almost 3 and 5, I've had more time with them...I love them more deeply. I think it would be so much harder on me to lose one of them after having all this time with them. Thank you for your post, and thank you for giving the credit and praise to God. Awesome testimony!

Insanity Kim said...

Thank you all for sharing your stories and insights! You all have such wonderful things to say. Warms my heart!

Jaime, so sorry to hear about your loss; thank you for sharing that experience.

Happy we all have each other as support in the bloggy world, and to God Who is our Comforter and our Redeemer!

Laane said...

I was just bloghopping when I found your blog.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
It must have been so hard to wait until you had the results.

It's very kind how you ended.
Two of my children had a very short path to walk.

Have a good weekend.

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

What a wonderful post, Kim! I would have been freaking out, too...so thankful it turned out not to be cancer... ((HUGZ!!))

Insanity Kim said...

Laane,

Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. I am sorry to hear of your loss, but hopeful when I think of the great reunion we will all have one day!

And thanks Stacy, me too! I learned a lot through that experience, things you wouldn't learn without experiences like that I must say. So glad I have a Comforter to guide me! :)

Jennifer said...

I love this post, I'm ecstatic that your son is well, and I'm thankful that you shared your story with us. It just reminds me that I should always savor every moment with my baby and my loved ones.

Jessica (Hey Lola) said...

Oh wow...I totally never expected to come over to your blog and cry. I'm so happy that your son and your family made it through this. And seriously...there are mascara tears running into my eyeballs and it hurts...but I'm still so happy for you.

Insanity Kim said...

Yeah Jessica,

I don't do very many of these...so I try to make them as bawl-worthy as possible. Hope your eyes are better.

And I am so glad, too. Thank you! :)

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