Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Chemo Round 1

First they give me Benadryl (for any potential reactions- makes ya hecka sleepy ) and
Dexamethasone which is a steroid that helps make anti-nausea work better. Those two drugs are put directly in my port from syringe.
Then they give me Akynzeo which is the anti-nausea med.
Next up are the Chemo drugs aka Cancer Killers aka Poison. Oxaliplatin and Leucovorin are given together over 2 hours. Once that is done I get another cancer killer drug. It’s the IV form of the chemo pills I took during radiation.
5-FU (FOLFOX) They give me a bolus(15-20min) and then they hook me up to pump and I come home with same drug. It looks like a ball and as it disperses the chemo over the next 48 hours it will shrink down.
I get to wear it in my cute pink fanny pack instead of the ugly black bag they had for me.
Now I sleep.
Pray for minimal side effects. I had minimal effects with radiation and chemo pills so I am just going to keep praying the same way
My amazing Mom was my chauffeur and I came home to 4 gorgeous bouquets of flowers from my 4 handsome guys.
Thank you for your prayers and love and well wishes. When I get disconnected on Thursday we can say “Round 1 done!”

Monday, September 21, 2020


 Today is the first day of fall.

My most favorite season.
Today is also the first day of chemotherapy, the next season in my cancer journey.
During autumn things die.
The leaves turn gorgeous colors on all the trees but it’s because they are dying.
If we didn’t know better, the months of winter that follow would have us believe nothing is happening. The quiet, the cold and the barren might deceive us into thinking there is only night and never day. There is only dark and never light.
But we know spring lies just around the corner. We know that new life is about to emerge and we know that behind the scenes nature has been at work. In the unseen places, preparing for the next season.
Each season brings with it the truth that it does not last forever. And in each season there is transformation that happens. Sometimes it looks like death but it’s just a shedding of the old to make way for the new.
Here’s to a new season and the hope that comes with it.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

How I Found Out I Had Cancer

I realized I never shared about how I found out I had cancer, so here it goes.
Biopsy results from the colonoscopy came back negative for cancer, they were pre-cancerous. Because one of them was so big I was going to require surgery to remove it and then they would take the other one out at that time. We were relieved to find this out.
My surgery ended up being more complex and my hospital stay was long and traumatic. They did not have my pathology results when I was released. They did not call me with the results. I had to wait for my two week post op appointment when they were removing my staples. Those were a hard two weeks.
We went in to get my staples removed and a doctor came in explaining what they did in the surgery and why and then says “they were both cancer”. At that moment I stopped breathing and felt like I was going to pass out. I squeezed Trevor’s hand so hard. Then the doctor’s phone buzzed and he says “oops sorry I’m on call so I have to look at this”. He proceeds to text away, making jokes to himself all the while we are sitting there stunned waiting for more information like, is it in my lymph nodes will I need further treatment. I thought Trev might punch him.
Eventually he looks back up at us almost as if he forgot we were there and says “oh sorry uh where was I... oh yeah, it’s in your lymph node so you will need chemo and radiation”. And that was about it.
Then I had to endure a nurse taking out 26 staples as she tried to joke with me and be lighthearted most likely not knowing about the news we received. We left in silence. As soon as I got home I began sobbing. We sobbed together. I spent the next week or two crying hard every day, calling in for anxiety meds and then calling in for stronger ones, barely able to leave my bed.
There’s no easy way to find out you have cancer- but this was a terrible way.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Doing the Hard Things

Look at your long hair, with no grays peeping through. Look at his pre-beard baby face and the way the lights hit your eyes. Within the next 5 years of this picture your heart will break open when you realize how many foster kids are in your valley and how few foster families there are. You will do the thing you said you would never do and bring home a little boy. You would care for his mother and encourage her to give the new life growing inside of her a chance and you would watch a beautiful adoption story unfold because of it. You would see that little boy reunited with his Mom. You’d go on to advocate and speak at events and urge the church to move towards filling this gap and even write a book. You’d say yes to a little girl outside of your preferred age range and you’d raise her for two years before releasing her back into a broken and unknown situation. You would weep more than you ever thought possible. You would be ready for a long break of rest and healing. But then you’d hear the words “it is cancer” and you’d weep even more. You’d question God, you’d fear more than you ever had in your life. You’d feel like you had been abandoned and then wonder if that is even okay for a Pastor to feel? You would question your call to ministry. Your hair would speckle with grays and so would his beard. You’d chop of that long hair and shave one side out of anger, defiance and resistance. You would not be able to muster the courage to fight- but you didn’t have to, because your community did it for you. They rose up and interceded for you. They prayed over you and stood in the gap for you because you could not stand. God has been with you this whole time.He has shown Himself to you in the meals brought over, the gifts for your kids who are struggling to grasp what is happening, the doorstep coffee drop offs and meal cards, the offers to do your laundry and clean your house and bring you fresh eggs. The cards flowing in from the mailbox and neighbors bringing over lysol. God has used His people to bring you comfort and the body of Christ and your community around you will not let you sink and you will be okay. You can do hard things.