“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” – Isaiah 58:11
(NOTE: I’ve been trying to draft this post for almost two weeks now — seriously, these pain meds are NO JOKE.)
New Year’s Eve.
My entire life, NYE has been an evening of watching the ball drop from my TV screen, eating too much, a variation of family fun night, watching Hotel Transylvania (Elizabeth O., we WILL watch #3 together, haha), or dressing up and going out. And the next day is ALWAYS my vision board/journaling day— reflecting on the past year and contemplating the fresh, squeaky-clean, 365 days ahead while creating my list of goals (I’ve always preferred goals over resolutions).
But this time around, these two days were a blur of trying to fight excruciating pain, not being physically able to eat OR sleep, and finding myself uttering the words, “I don’t know if I’m going to make it through this,” to my family gathered around my bedside on New Year’s Eve, laying hands on me and praying for a miracle.
For the first time in my cancer recurrence and journey, I actually felt scared about being at home without a clear plan for pain management, and the meds I had been taking over the previous months were no longer even touching the pain. Good sleep was out of the question — I slept sitting up because of how swollen my neck had gotten, and we already knew these to be strange cystic lymph nodes encapsulating necrotic cells (from the ER visit and CT scan in November) that none of the doctors we consulted with would touch; these nodes continued growing despite my stopping IVs and injections for a bit to allow my body a break for balance. And just the concept of food was both physically and emotionally draining — I was now down to all liquids because of how painful it was to chew and swallow.
My functional medicine doctor (an absolutely incredible woman I began working with in the beginning of November) had suggested Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston for a second opinion a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t in any position to travel given my condition. So we prayed. Hard. Daily. For hours. As a family, as individuals, as groups of friends laying hands on my weak body. I spent most of those sleepless nights begging God to heal me or take me home because I just didn’t know how to handle it anymore.
But things just kept getting worse.