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Sabrina Gauer

Faith, Life & The Journey

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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”

Honesty and Grace

“Oh my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name!
Oh my soul, bless Goddon’t forget a single blessing! He forgives your sins—every one. He heals your diseases—every one. He redeems you from hell—saves your life! He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown. He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal. He renews your youth—you’re always young in His presence.” — Psalm 103:1-5 (the Message)

 

Part of my desire to share my journey with friends and strangers alike is to be as real as humanly possible in the social media realm.

Social media is all about showing the best sides of ourselves, in the best lighting, through the perfect filter, and falling into the trap of wanting a life that truly isn’t reality. So today, I wanted to write a raw post about how I’ve been doing emotionally as well as physically.

Fighting cancer in general is hard. But fighting cancer naturally/alternatively has taken me to a whole new level of difficulty. I’m so new to being 100% in with holistic healing and wellness. This might be my second round with cancer, but to look myself in the eye every morning in the bathroom mirror and promise to not give up, no matter how much excruciating pain I’m in, really takes courage.

And I don’t always feel particularly courageous.

It’s making the decision (sometimes moment by moment) to put all my faith and trust in the Ultimate Healer.

When my veins don’t want to cooperate for treatment, when I’m having trouble sleeping, when I have to cancel plans AGAIN with friends because I’m feeling too exhausted or in pain to hang out, when I’m overwhelmed by all the emotions that come with being almost 30 years old and trying not to be envious of those around me who are doing life the “normal” way — starting families, buying homes, changing jobs, moving, etc. — I have to remind myself that everyone has something they’re dealing with. Maybe it’s not cancer, but every single person on the planet has something they’re working through, healing from, or struggling with. Their life is not my life, and I’m only equipped to handle my own.

And that’s okay.

I need to have grace with myself on the daily to accept where God has me right now, acknowledge the emotions and then let them go, and trust that the bigger picture will make so much more sense than the current view. Doesn’t mean I have to LOVE what’s happening at the moment, but I can accept it and work through it.

I am thankful for the network of support I’ve been blessed with. I am surrounded by some of the most incredible people who believe in what I’m doing and give me space to make the decisions I’m at peace with and what I feel is best for me and my body. It’s a longer journey than I expected (more on that later), but a necessary one, and I couldn’t do any of this alone.

A few weeks ago, I recorded a video to update everyone, what I’m doing for treatment, and giving a shoutout to those who have donated to help me continue to fight this naturally. If you are one of those people, THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart. And if you feel led, here’s a link to the GoFundMe page that my wonderful friend and cancer-survivor sister, Katie Warren, created to help off-set the expenses of treatment and travel ❤

 

 

 

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