Friday, December 7, 2012

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Goliath's jiu jitsu class is a great place for me to talk on the phone.  I am stuck there for a solid 45 minutes while he punches and wrestles his little heart out, which is plenty of time to play catch up.  This was the case yesterday.  I spent a good 25 minutes chatting and sharing with a long-time friend.  We had just hung up when my phone rang again.  The caller i.d. said that the caller was "unknown."  In my world, that means it's the oncology office.

It was Dr. F.  I'm not sure that he has ever called me himself before.  Isn't that why doctors have minions?  To do the bothersome work of communicating and scheduling?  But this news was far too important to assign to a minion to deliver.  I knew it as soon as I heard his voice.

The news is bad.  New cancer is growing in my body.  It is growing out of nothing, at the same time that active poison chemotherapy is being delivered into my body.

We were both silent for a moment.  Neither of us knew what to say.  Then I took a deep breath, tuned out the sounds of punching bags around me, and said the only thing I could think of:  "Well, this really sucks."  He agreed.

The course of action is up to me.  Obviously, I am done with Doxil.   Dr. F assured me that the problem is not necessarily that the Doxil wasn't working.  The real problem we face is that the cancer that plagues me is big and fast and aggressive and strong.  It simply overpowered the drug.  So, I am going straight to the next drug.  Remember when I told you that Doxil was the one and only possibility?  That list is still true, but in my case will serve as more of a guideline than an end-all cancer Bible.  I've given the go-ahead for the medical team to stuff Doxil and move on to topotecan.  It is standard, as far as chemotherapy goes.  I will be nauseous and sick.  I will be very susceptible to infection due to low blood cell counts, and weak.  I will possibly lose my hair.  The plan now is to do six cycles. One cycle means treatment once a week for three weeks, with the fourth week off.  I will start immediately.

The reason that I have to do this is simple, and can be divided into three parts:  Goliath, Little Middle, and Baby.  I may not be the best mother in the world, but I am their mother.  Made for them.  I'm the only one they are ever going to get.  I will not--WILL NOT!!--do anything less than everything for my sons.  This disease may kill me, but not without a hard fight.

Last night I cried with my husband and my mother.  I called my dad, my sister, and my brother and cried again.  The sorrow among the six of us is overwhelming.  The despair, the anger, the absolute grief--too much.  The hurt...oh, the hurt!  I think our hearts must be broken, but none of us have the luxury of giving in to heartbreak.  Because there are three little cowboys who need their mom.

I am close to the edge.  I'm teetering on the side of keeping it together.  I am so close that I can look over into the pit of despair and hopelessness.  If I am pushed ever so slightly...if I get one more phone call...if I have to make one more decision...if one more inkling of uncertainty darkens my doorstep...I could just give in and let go.  I could surrender to the inclination to cover my head and hide out until I die.  And who would blame me?   

But there are these little men who call me "Mom."  And some days, when I'm really lucky, I still get to be "Mommy."  And I have this God who I sure don't understand, but he promises to stay close to me because I am brokenhearted and my spirit is crushed (Psalm 34:18).  I know that I am not done.  I'm close, but I can back up, take a deep breath, dry my tears, and look ahead.  Brokenhearted, but not beaten.

60 comments:

The Horton Family said...

Damn cancer.

Liz said...

Praying! Sharing this on my facebook wall! Tweeting it for more prayers!

Denise T said...

Allyson, We've never met, but I know and deeply love your parents, so, of course, I care about you. Almost everyday, I listen to an old Imperials song called "Praise the Lord," that speaks of praising God when life is hard and/or awful. I pray through that song for you each time I hear it; that is my Allyson song. My family and I are praying for you, sweet lady, and we're praising the Lord for you.

Anonymous said...

Dear gracious and Holy Father, I lift my sister to You. She is Your princess, Your perfect rose and she is THE mother of 3 little cowboys. Father show us Your grace and mercy and restore her to health. We love You. We are depending on Your strength for this family. Amen. Kathy Herron

Kirk Green said...

We hate you Cancer! Fight, fight, Cowboy Mommy! We love you. - Kirk & Leesa

Anonymous said...

Allyson, you are a remarkable woman of faith. There are no words to express at a moment like this, but I will instead take your needs to our God and King and lift you up in my prayers right now. Dear Father,
I lift up Allyson to you right now. Give her unmeasurable peace and strength. I ask for healing in her body right now Jesus, that you would take away this cancer and give her many days and years with her little cowboys. We make our requests boldly before you knowing you alone are the author and perfector of our faith. Amen.
Cami Ryan

Anonymous said...

May the God who created you be merciful and gracious to you. May His strength be your strength, and may His healing wash over you like a mighty current. Amen.

Leah said...

!*#@ cancer

Anonymous said...

Allyson, we don't know each other but I wanted you to know that I am saying many prayers for you, your boys, your husband and the rest of your family. I hope that all of these prayers will bring you mental and physical healing.

Anonymous said...

No words - only tears and prayers. G

Anonymous said...

I don't know you but your blog popped up on my facebook page when a friend shared it and asked for prayer. I can understand and sympathize with your hurt. I'm not the cancer patient but my husband is. We have two small girls and are struggling with the cancer fight as well. Like you his is spreading and we are at a loss to understand life right now. My only comfort is that God saw this coming and will stand by our side. You and your family are in my prayers.

Bill Petticrew said...

Praying and believing that your amazing story will go on long after they are big cowboys with little cowboys of their own.

PandaMom said...

I have no words that will bring any relief or wisdom. As I type these letters in black and white, I look over to my right and the photos of you and your kids are staring straight at me.....exactly how y'all stared straight at me when I took the photo just a few days before the first time your body, mind and spirit underwent hell. The photo pierces me to my core. You and I were allowed to cross paths for reasons unknown to us, but I'm thankful that I know you. You are on this messy journey for reasons unknown to us. Despite what you may think, we have all watched you walk it so gracefully!!!! I don't understand God, either, though I can say I deeply love Him and trust Him. I think you do, too. I'll intercede for you, friend. It's really all I have to offer. Know you are cherished.

Anonymous said...

I am truly amazed and inspired by your spirit. The way you give completely to your family, the way you confidently trust the Lord in spite of your situation, the way you write from your heart in such a way that even I, a stranger, feel as if I know you and can feel your pain and fears. You are an incredible young woman and such a testimony of faith to everyone who is blessed with being able to read your blog. I will keep you and your family in continued prayer. Thank you for sharing your stories...

Anonymous said...

(big sigh) love you Allyson. -rebecca

Anonymous said...

Your spirit is amazingly strong. Keep up the fight, laugh and cry when you need to. You clearly have an army on your side.

Bobbi Jo said...

I love you friend. I love your determination. I love your willingness to be honest, weak, and real. God is using you in an unimaginable way. Wish I could give you a hug right now. Your boys are beyond blessed to call you mom.

Jan Rogers said...

You are in my prayers always. I love you and your family very much and send my hugs. As I have said before you are an amazing wife, fantastic loving mom to those sweet little cowboys,and such an inspiration to all of us. I love you very much and want you to keep up the fight. Prayers from my very close friends are headed your way. Love to you and your family.

B Hayes said...

Oh so hard - I love how you love your family - especially those cowboys.

The Counts Family said...

God Bless you for the courage to fight! I too am a mother of three young boys. I battled skin cancer two years ago. My story is in no way comparable to your reality...but my heart aches for you. Our God is such an awesome God. His plan is always for the betterment of all those involved. For the purification of all souls involved. Still, there are times when its just too difficult to imagine. Keep up the good and faithful fight! Please know that you and your beautiful cowboys are in my prayers.

-Jillian Counts

Anonymous said...

Only someone lifted by the arms of the Lord could so bravely pen the words that you share so openly and unabashed. You are courageous and an angel who is giving us inspiration in the midst of such a terrible battle. The Lord would do nothing but bless your husband and cowboys in honor of your determination, faith, undying love for HIM. That is the hope you rest on and HE will not let you down not will he forsake you and your loving husband and sons. I could only imagine to be as strong to be able to document the journey of a walk such as yours over the many years. Loe and prayers to you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, your blog popped out on my facebook page and your story really impacted me. I am a mom of young girls and I can't even imagine what you are going thru. A different world for sure! My prays will be for you to have energy, energy, and more energy to fight hard against this unwelcome beast.

Anonymous said...

Dear Allyson,
Like many others who read your blog, you do not know me. But I know you, so much that my heart cries for the fight and struggle you are going through. I know that you are so loved dearly by the people around you, and much much more by the Father who created you. And He loves so much much more the reasons you are fighting for. Ever since two years ago when your mom graciously shared your blog, I wait for what you have to share. You are so honest with your emotion that you convey nothing but pure joy that is so infectious, and the deep hurt also cuts me up for your three cowboys. And always, you inspire me and I get jealous of your relationship with our Father, that I want to emulate you. I thank God for your faith, strength and honesty. Like many others whom your writings have touched, I am praying for you that God will completely heal you and take this disease away.

Mary Baker said...

Hi Allyson,

Like many hear we have never met but I know the faithfulness of your parents. And like others, I am sick of this cancer that is killing so many people these days. I have a dear friend, whose 10 year old son, was just diagnosed with a brain tumor, and without a second thought the doctors quickly rush them off to fill this young boy with poison.

I get so angry now every time I heard the word cancer because I know the very next thing that happens is that the body is placed under this immense cycle of poison. Of course, the doctors would not consider anything natural. So they give you this drug that does nothing for you and while your body is weakened more cancer develops? This is not right. I am beginning to believe that cancer treatment no longer has anything to do with the treatment of cancer. I pray that God would give you a different avenue to a "cure". A complete healing of your body through a process that is meant for your healing and not for the advancement of research. I am and will continue to pray for you and your family, that God would lead you to the answer of a complete and successful cure, in the great name of Jesus. Have faith in the life and the plan God has for you.

Lew said...

We've never met, but I sit here and weap for you and pray for you. I pray for healing, peace, and comfort.

Anonymous said...

Allison - You have a gift of expression, of saying what you mean, and allowing us to see your life. You are honest and vulnearble, and I know God is working - . I wish we didn't live in this fallen world and have such burdens to bear. Your faith is amazing and inspiring. Praying for you. Sheila

Cameron VSJ said...

Hi,

I have a quick question about your blog, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance?

Thanks,

Cameron

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