Friday, August 8, 2014

Checking In For Round 2....

After a morning of bloodwork & then taking my girl to lunch & killing time waiting for a room, we are all checked in for a 4 day stay at the Wolfson's Efficiency Inn & Suites (Wolfson's Children's Hospital)....

She’s been on IV fluids for several hours and  we're waiting for Chemo Round 2 to begin as I type.  I have to do something to distract myself....this room is TOO QUIET… I guess I’ll try to find words for the update so many have been asking for. {added after the fact:  this turned out longer than I expected.  Once I started, I just kept going ;) …..everybody’s got their ways of processing & my way is often in writing. Once I get started.   Read what ya want and leave the rest for someone else J }

Today's lunch was  one of the few things that has tasted GOOD to her.  We have gone through a progression:  Things have tasted metallic....or nothing tasted good and it all just came back up anyway, making her afraid to try to eat anything, to finally having success little by little with small amounts....grits was a hit for a few days.  Then a few backsteps to throwing up everything again....and finally, day after day an appetite returning.  But still , nothing tasted right.  Nothing had flavor.  Nothing tasted REALLY good.  Lunch today....she'd been wanting seafood and I was determined to let her have it before she went back was GOOD & tasted just like it was supposed to.  We stopped at a few places and it felt ALMOST normal, except that it wasn't and I kept listening for the phone call that would tell me to bring her to the hospital.  She's just started to feel better physically the past several days.  Not my normal Ashlyn and she tires easily, but much better than she was the first week and a half after beginning her first round.....emotionally is another matter altogether.  Driving back here was incredibly surreal....everything about this is surreal.  So completely not wanting to bring her back and make her do this again, and again, and again, and again, and again....and yet having no choice.   I wish God would just go ahead and let me do this for her already….I think I’m already feeling so much of what she is anyway.  I felt sicker and sicker the closer we got…..and sicker now still, just waiting for them to hook up the chemo.  And watching her smile and be sweet to the nurses, giggling at something one of them said….while I know what’s going on in her heart.  And it’s not smiles and giggles.  It’s FEAR.  And anger.  And sadness.  And every other emotion you could possibly imagine she might be feeling.  She’s good at that…..that smiling and being sweet to them….and acting like she’s ok with most people when she’s not.

Ohmygoodness, the multitude of things that flood my mind….one continuous, unending, relentless stream… thought after another, competing and fighting for attention and their place at the front….The nice guy who checked us into the hospital smiled as we walked in and immediately said, “You go to FBC, don’t you”?  “Yes, we do”, I replied as I gave him our last name.  He looked at his list of admissions and said, “this is Ashlyn”????  He brought us up to our room, talking the whole way.  I met him on his way going back down and he asked me things he didn’t want to ask in front of Ashlyn.  The last question he hesitated with & stammered around on, wondering about her stage, until I said it was ok….he could ask.  His initial facial expression when I told him….that he quickly tried to cover up,  made my heart skip a beat and made it hard to breathe.  And I smiled and finished the conversation, thanked him for helping me not get lost and for his prayers….and headed back to the garage to get more things from the car.  That garage.  It was far too quiet.  She was fine.  And so stinkin’ hot.  It was just supposed to be an infection.  Easily cleared up.  I walked to the farthest side where I had parked and kept trying to BREATHE.  Deep breaths that just still didn’t seem to give me enough air.  And I couldn’t get my heart to calm down…. Cancer.  Stage 4B in my mind.  She’s never been sick.  Nothing more than a common cold or virus.  It was just supposed to be an infection.  Easy peasy.   Get it cleared up and get on with things.  CANCER.  Stage 4B.  That chart….it only goes to 4C.  FEAR of what if.  That sick feeling that doesn’t go away.  And tears stinging my eyes as I kept walking, trying to breathe and those stupid thoughts….the worst ones kept fighting to be at the forefront.  And I walked….just keep putting one foot in front of the other…. and tried to find my car…something to focus my gaze on.  I wondered where all those OTHER thoughts that are usually there went and tried desperately to find them, to push away the ones that were doing this to me.   Lord knows I’ve got enough other stuff going on that I should be able to find something else to think about…..where’d all those thoughts go???

Funny how what is in reality only moments of time can seem to be neverending and to drag on forever.   And finally, there it was.  I fixed my gaze on the car.  Loaded myself down with everything in it so that I wouldn’t have to make another trip and headed back.  And I thanked HIM for the weight of those bags and blanket and pillows….the weight of carrying more than I should and the pain of several bag handles digging into both my hands & shoulders so that I thought they might fall off.  For the ache in my arms the longer I walked….it’s a long walk from the garage, through the hospital and up to our room.  ;)  With each step taken with that pain, the other pain lessened and the fear lost its grip on me.   And I thanked HIM.  I thanked HIM for never leaving me.  Not ever.

And I got back to the room, took one more deep breath and walked in, Ashlyn giggling at the sight of me loaded down and my silly reaction to my hands screaming at me in pain and then relief when I dropped the bags on the floor.  And I smiled and said how awesome it was that God put yet another person in our path….a guy from church to bring us in today, someone else to tell us he was praying for us.  Talked about how amazing it is that we can see so clearly His hand, guiding us through and how he’s putting so many in our paths, to encourage and love us through them.   And I started unpacking while we giggled and joked about the horrible and disgusting hospital mac & cheese {and everything else served up in here ;) }.  I told her she just didn’t like it because she was spoiled rotten with her mama’s cooking real food and GOOD food ;) , refusing to relent to her persistent “just try it….just ONE bite” while getting out her own blankets because the hospital ones aren’t good enough ;) , organizing all our things while she watched me.  Always watching me.    Always listening.   Always counting on me.   Always trusting me.

Trusting me.  My stomach somersaulted briefly and that fear prickled.  I have to do the right things for her.  I thought about how MUCH I love her, how I would give my life for her…. to save her from this….without a thought or the slightest hesitation.  And that as much as this hurts me and as much as I love her…..HE loves us more.  
HOW is that even possible???  He has used my kids to teach me more about HIM and His love for me than anything else in my life.   As I love them, He loves me….only better.  And more.  A love like that I can’t even begin to comprehend or understand.  But I can accept it…..and beg Him every day that my kids will, too.   And I pushed those tears away that threaten so often, silently thanking Him.   For giving them to me.  For loving me.  And I asked Him to please….don’t let me mess this Mom thing up. 

They’re my Romans 8:28.  They’re my biggest and best GOOD in the midst of so much that isn’t.
I can't mess this up.

I feel like nearly every breath, every prayer, in my life and on various subjects, begins and end with two words.  "Lord, please.....", with lots of other words thrown in the middle. 

This is just a little glimpse into my day...our day.... as I write and I ramble, trying to make the thoughts be quiet while just outside the window, the sound of cars coming and going over the bridge makes me wonder where all those people are going to, living their lives and doing their thing while we're sitting here in this hospital room, wishing we could go and do....anything else but this.  I wonder how people do THIS without the Lord.  And for those who know the Lord, I wonder what goes in the middle of their "Lord, pleases".   What goes into the middle of your "Lord pleases"??  
If you have a home and someone who loves you and who's there for you....and children who are healthy and happy....please make sure you throw some thank you's in there, too.  Because I'm sitting here waiting for a chemo that I hate to be pumped into my daughter, knowing that when she wakes up in the morning, she's not going to feel good.  And that in the days ahead, she'll feel even worse.  And that her smile that I got a glimpse of today might not make an appearance tomorrow.  And I hate it.  I hate chemo and what it does to her.  But I hate the alternative more.

Lord, please.  Let this work.  Please

1 comment:

Angie said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. Praying for Ashlyn and sending our love. ❤