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Sabrina Gauer

Faith, Life & The Journey

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Patience

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”

What NOT to Say to Someone Dealing with Chronic Illness

“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” – Proverbs 17:22

This has been a rollercoaster month.

Healing cancer naturally has been nothing like I anticipated. After all my research, following instructions and advice of others who are healing their bodies too, and holding on to hope against all odds, I sincerely thought my journey would be different. Less painful or stressful somehow. Boy, was I ever wrong! But through all the ups and downs, one thing has remained the same: God’s faithfulness.

However, throughout the past seven months, there have been a lot of well-meaning people who just don’t “get” what I’m going through. Like, AT ALL. I’ve been very surprised and disappointed with the reactions, the comments, the questions that seemingly lack a filter. I want to just throw my hands up sometimes and yell, “Would you want ME to say these things to you if YOU were going through a similar situation?!”

Disclaimer: this post may sound a little sharp or snarky, so I apologize in advance for offending anyone — however, this is real life, and I’m the actual cancer patient who’s been fielding these questions and statements.

So, without further ado, what NOT to say to someone dealing with cancer or chronic illness:

“Aww, still not feeling well?” Continue reading “What NOT to Say to Someone Dealing with Chronic Illness”

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