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4/26/2016

More blessed than ever

I have cancer.
I have never felt more blessed in my life.
It sounds like an oxymoron. How is that possible? 
God is capable of showing such great love in such great trial.

Let me get you up to speed. 
In my last post, we were waiting on Thursday the results of the biopsy.
My husband got to come home earlier, and he was able to go with me to pick up the results. 
When we got to the lab, the receptionist handing the results opened our envelope, gave it a read, put it back in the envelope and gave it to us saying "If you have any questions, the doctor can come out to explain the results." We knew what that meant. I didn't understand most of what the paper said except for one word: carcinoma. 
I sat down and looked up at my husband. "I have cancer."
My husband could only hold my hand as we stared into our eyes for a brief moment. 
We went back to the doctor who had done my biopsy to discuss treatment. 
We wanted to be aggressive and we wanted to be quick. 
"I want a double mastectomy tomorrow," was my first request. The doctor talked me out of taking out my perfectly healthy breast. She tried to talk me in for a breast implant that I adamantly rejected. 
"At least I'll still be able to breastfeed my next baby." I said.
"You should not get pregnant again." was her answer. 
I cried more to this news than to my cancer news. By no means am I done having more children. 

She sent me to have a full body ultrasound. Having hypothyroidism for six years now and with three friends under 35 with thyroid cancer, that was the scariest part of the scan. Luckily, my thyroid was clean. The radiologist checked my liver, kidneys, ovaries, other organs, and lastly my uterus. 
I erupted in tears.
"What's wrong? You've been so calm all this time," said the radiologist. 
"That uterus shouldn't be empty. I would be able to see my child's heart beat by now," I said barely controlling the tears flowing. 
The rest of the time I was in peace. My father-in-law asked me how I was feeling. "In a peace that I can't explain, so we know from where it's coming," I said. Friends came over. They overflowed my house. They thought it was going to be a house of tears. It was a house of party. Our good friends George and Marilyn brought chicken wings and cheesy-bacon fries for my "last supper." We ate and laughed. Everyone was amazed at the time we were having with such news. People kept telling me they felt more at peace after talking to me and seeing me take it so well. We did have some tears when we got together and prayed. It was so beautiful. 

Let me tell you where God showed His blessings and mercy in my life. 
"You probably would have never found out about your cancer in time if it hadn't been for your miscarriage," explained the doctor before entering to surgery. 
You see, the hormones from the pregnancy that lingered in my body triggered a fast growing tumor that made it possible to detect a cancer that at my age would have never been suspected or sought. 
I wrote of how Sammy's life mattered and had purpose here, but I never thought it was to save my life. I wasn't expecting God to give me an answer to the reason He took Sammy. I don't even view it as a reason. No reason would ever suffice my desire that Sammy would have stayed with me. I would have carried my Sammy at the cost of my life. 

God has been so gracious in pouring love over me. 
First with my mother. She took the first flight to be there with me before surgery. She paid for my surgery. She used her savings to save my life. She gives so generously and without reserve. Her biggest pain was that she hadn't been with me to grieve Sammy, and she was scared she was not going to make it on time to see me before surgery. We got to spend plenty of time before surgery together, giving me greater peace. If my mom was there, everything was going to be OK. She is a super mom

My husband is so amazing. He has had trouble processing everything that's happening. It is all happening so fast. He also felt sorrowful for not being with me during Sammy's miscarriage. And he was scared he was not going to be able to be with me through this as well. I think he is the only one who hasn't cried. He keeps himself busy. Busy caring for the girls, caring for me, cleaning my room sterile, buying meds, going to the lab, whatever he can do. I think that he thinks that if he stops, he is going to collapse. Yesterday he was giving me my first full bath without bandages. We looked together at the mirror showing my new body. "What did you think when you saw my body?" I asked. "I thought what I have thought from the moment we got married: I love your body and to me it's perfect." What a beauty to experience God's unconditional love through the unconditional love of your husband.

With my mom and my husband before going in to surgery.

My father has been there all along. He's had huge economical problems, yet he immediately got a loan to give me some money. His wife has been so loving as well, offering to get a loan herself. I've felt loved. They have been coming to visit, to give me massages, encouragement, love.

My family has been amazing.  Tia Sara has been our champion. She was with me since the biopsy and is at my house at this very moment. Both my daughters got food poisoning from some chicken nuggets from McDonalds the day I got home from surgery. She has been cleaning my daughters' vomit, holding my daughters that only want to be held on arms, sleeping them, bathing them, changing them, holding me back from being with them to protect me, knowing it is the hardest thing for me to do. getting me and my husband to eat. 
My mother-in-law and my father-in-law have been only mother and father to me. They have loved me as their own. They have cried for me, prayed for me, held me, cared for me, cared for my girls. My aunts and uncles have been there. My husband's aunts and uncles have been there. Arturo and Gaby even traveled to be there with him. My husband's grandfather and grandmother have been there for me.

Friends and family in the hospital lobby with my girls.

My friends have been amazing. They have been there caring for my daughters, filling the hospital lobby, helping my husband prep the house for me post-surgery, helping with food, helping with money, helping with prayers. I can't even answer all the messages I've received. Jenny, Adina, George, Marilyn, Tito, Keren, Diana, Alejandra, Melissa and so many others have been here none stop. My husband has relied on them and found rest in their help. I am so grateful. They have gone beyond!  
God even provides from the most unexpected sources. I've been a member of Facebook group of Honduran mommies called Mommy Daily where we share mommy advice, jokes, talks. I posted asking for prayers and the response has been overwhelming. Mommies have been writing, calling, donating money, bringing food, sending messages, posting prayers, posting verses, fully on top of everything. It's been so humiliating to have such support from mommies who don't even know me. 
My sweet students from back in 2009 when they were six graders and are today college students are throwing a fund raiser for me.  

My church has been so amazing. Great Commission Panama all donated to buy a plane ticket so my sister can come see me on Thursday. I am sure I have yet to see all their support.

I have cancer, but God has never blessed me with more love than I have this very moment. 
Thank you to everyone who has poured loved in my life. 
I love you!
My mom and my daughters in the hospital room. I love that they are making the most of this situation spending time together. Emmalee looks just like her Grandma Linda. The same smile.

1 comment:

  1. Ni siquiera te conozco personalmente, pero se que cada una de esas veces esporadicas que he leido tu blog soy tocada, movida y bendecida. Hoy vi que una amiga compartio este post en facebook y dije: hey! el blog que me gusta! lo voy a leer...y jamas me esperaba lo que acabo de leer. Creo que sos de esas personas valientes que Dios escoge para enseñarnos lecciones a otros a traves de tu vida. Confio que al final de tu camino hay pura gracia, plenitud y amor, pues es Dios quien te hace pasar por pruebas y es El quien se glorifica en tu vida. Un abrazo fraternal!

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