Thursday, October 9, 2008
Our Unfamiliar Path
In life we plan out what path we will take any given day, week, or month. We decide our futures. But, sometimes our life is thrusted down a path we never planned on taking, a very unfamiliar path. We had a plan. We knew where we were headed, until two weeks ago when our plan was changed. Our sweet one year old baby girl has been diagnosed with cancer. Instead of planning our next family vacation, date night, shopping trip or even story time with the kids, we are lost in a rush of doctor's visits, tests, hospital stays and numerous nights up on the computer searching for medical answers and sobbing in between it all.Now most of you want to know how this all happened. Well, two weeks ago our little girl was running around playing and having fun with her siblings and a few of her cousins when she needed a diaper change. To our surprise when we took off her diaper there was blood in her diaper and her bottom had blood dripping from it. We rushed her to the doctors and she was examined. Our Dr. was confused by what he saw and knew that he needed to get a second opinion from the local children's hospital. He sent us home for the night and had us come back in the following day. After bringing her in to the Dr. again he said that he thought maybe it was a hormone reaction from being weened from breast milk, but that he wanted to be sure and set up an appointment for us to have a pelvic ultrasound at the children's hospital. The appointment was set up for the following week. When we took her up the Dr. reading the ultra sound informed us that she had a mass in her uterus and that he would need her to come back the following day for a MRI to get a better look. He said that he thought it was either a tumor or a cluster of blood vessels. The MRI confirmed our fears that there was indeed a tumor in her uterus. The testing continued on over the next few days including a bone scan, CT scan and Eco of her heart. We also met with a team of oncologists there at the hospital. Following our meeting our daughter was scheduled for a biopsy the next day. Contingent upon the surgeons findings concerning the tumor they would also put a Broviak tube in place for future cancer treatments and blood draws and do double bone marrow draws. Today we took her in for surgery. We were lucky that the surgeon was able to get her biopsy without an incision through her stomach (hooray!). They took the bone marrow from the front of her pelvis on both sides and her Broviak tube was also put in place . She seems to have done well. The Oncologist ordered 3 more tests to be done with her blood work as well today. They were able to use her tube for that so that she did not need to be poked with a needle again. She does seem to be in a bit of pain from the bone marrow draw since she refuses to do anything but keep her legs very straight and very still.We have had many people ask us how we are doing with all of this and to be completely honest with you we are very overwhelmed. I don't think we have even had much time to completely register all of the information that has come at us so quickly. We both have times where we have felt upset and other times when we have felt alright, luckily we have fallen apart at different times and we have been able to rely on each other for comfort during those times. We both decided that we would like to keep a journal with our thoughts on and a sister in-law of ours suggested typing it on a blog so this will be our journal of the process for our family to treat our daughters cancer. Now before we started this blog we did write down a few of our thoughts that we have had over the last week. As we listen to LDS General Conference this past Saturday and Sunday we turned to each other and commented that most of the talks that were given had a reoccurring theme: Life has challenges but don't despair, our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ will always be here for us to help us through. We have been surprised to find that we both feel so at peace as we have found out about her cancerous tumor. We have had a few blessings and many many prayers of neighbors, friends and loved ones and we couldn't be more grateful. It is amazing the love that has come to our family during this time, our Heavenly Father has sent us many angels in the form of those people who have been willing to drop by or call and send their love as well as offer their help in anyway that they can. We can't help but feel our Saviors love with us at this time. I found a quote that we have found comfort in "When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes." Thomas S. Monson. Now we don't know why our little girl has to go through cancer at this time in her life, but we do know that our Father in Heaven does have a hand in all things, and that there is a purpose for all things that we go through in this life.Now in no particular order I am going to make a list of the thoughts I have written down in my note book as they have come to me. I am concerned for my other children and how this process will effect them: I must still be there for my other children physically, emotionally and spiritually. I can't become so consumed by negative thoughts and discouragement that I cannot function and still provide strength and help to my other children. I must be willing to share my feelings with my husband and those who are willing and want to listen. I must be available to my husband for whatever his needs maybe so that we will stay close and strengthen each other during this difficult time. I will focus on the things happening now and not be consumed by the might happens of the future. I will find out what is the next step and accomplish it and then move to the next (baby steps). I want to be strong around our other children to make it less scary and confusing for them. I will be available to talk with them, to answer questions, give my time and lots of extra loves to them (they need reassurance that things will be okay and that they are important too). I am strong and our daughter is too. We will get through this, I CAN DO THIS! Just as a side note when I found out that my daughter might have something wrong with her, before the tumor was ever discovered I was very upset and kept praying saying she has to be just fine, because I am not that type of mother. I can't make it if my children are sick, I can't do it. Our daughter and both my husband and I have had some priesthood blessings and I know that because of these blessings and the comfort given to me by the Holy Ghost that I have a new strength with me one that I didn't think I was capable of having. I am so grateful to be a part of the LDS church and have a knowledge of the gospel. I would be so lost during this difficult time without my faith in my Heavenly Father and in His Son Jesus Christ. They want us to draw strength from them during our trials and I am finding much comfort and strength at this time. They stand ready to help me, being just as close to me as I will let them be. I am sure before this is all through my knees we will have callouses and I will know my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ very well.