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Sabrina Gauer

Faith, Life & The Journey

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Mercy

Hello, 2019

 “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.

Continue reading “Hello, 2019”

Fear and Faith

“Jesus said, ‘Don’t be afraid; only believe.'” – Mark 5:36

I learned very quickly in this cancer journey round two that Google is my medical enemy.

The moment I was rediagnosed, I went on a mad search for doctors, holistic cures, and stories of hope. But what I found was a rabbit hole that sucked me deeper and deeper into despair.

Five-year survival rate from first diagnosis. High mortality. Many have tried…few (if any??) have succeeded in living beyond the five years without major risks and complications that came from the “only option” of surgeries, chemo, and radiation.

One late afternoon in early May of this year, before I knew what my plan would be or who would work with me from a medical perspective, I was laying in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, anxiously waiting for my PET scan results, and doing another frantic search for answers on my phone. When I came out of the chamber, I was so overwhelmed by everything I had read that I could hardly process all the “bad news”.

Continue reading “Fear and Faith”

When It’s Better To Be Uprooted

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” –  Colossians 2:7

I winced a bit as I gingerly wiggled the plant in its temporary potted situation. I needed it to come loose and put it in its new home — a spacious terra cotta. But this guy was adamant about staying packed into a makeshift home I had put him in last year after he fell off the windowsill (I’m trying to help you, buddy!!).

The job of replanting ended up requiring a butter knife, losing a few stems, and a big mess of roots and dirt before I was able to successfully dislodge him from his temporary housing into his more permanent (and much more comfortable!) place of growth.

And then I started thinking about life and how, as humans, we like what we know. We get comfortable, even when the place of “comfort” might not be what’s best for us. We are firmly wedged into our routines, schedules, families, friends, etc.

But what if uprooting is what’s best? What if there’s a BETTER place of promise beyond what we can see from our stubborn hold on what we think our lives should be?

Continue reading “When It’s Better To Be Uprooted”

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