Saturday, January 11, 2014

All I Can Say

Lord, I'm tired.

I have fought this Monster for a long time.  Seven years.  Nearly the entirety of my Baby's life.  I have had surgeries.  I've been hospitalized multiple times.  I have done chemotherapy...five times.  I lost my hair, my eyebrows, and my eyelashes.  I've given up my dignity and my spirit has been crushed.  I endured radiation as long as I could.  My skin has been burnt to a crisp.  I've traveled the country, made countless appointments, and researched until my eyes were crossed.

Lord, I'm so alone.

No one understands--really understands--what it feels like to be me.  I have an army of friends and family who have walked with me and stood in the gap for me.  But nobody fully can understand the fear of laying on that CT scan table over and over again, month after month, year after year.  No one else can really identify with that feeling I get in my stomach while I wait for the phone to ring with news--that is always bad.  No one sees the way people look at me with pity or worse, look at my children.  No one but me can read the precious cards that come in the mail that all say, "I am praying for healing,"...and then wonder why God isn't answering that prayer.

Lord, the dark is creeping in, it's creeping up to swallow me.

God and I, we've stayed up a lot of nights together.  Seven years equals a lot of insomnia.  There have been nights where I've cried, nights where I've begged, and nights when I've tried to ignore Him altogether.  (That never worked out great for me.) We've had days, when I've been alone in bed, and I could literally feel the disease--the darkness--moving closer.

I think I'll stop, rest here awhile.

I had an appointment with Dr. F this week.  I was very clear as I explained to him how I have been suffering.  I told him how radiation has made me SO UNBELIEVABLY SICK, and how I feel like I made a deal with the devil by agreeing to do it.  I am weak, and crazy tired.  I calmly listed out the symptoms I am experiencing, and then sat back, swiped at the frustrated tears falling down my cheeks, and listened as my entire life changed...again.

It is time, he said.  

And this is all that I can say right now.

I am sick because of the progression of the disease.  I have used up all of the treatment options, and there is simply nothing else to do.  He is recommending that we start looking at hospice.  He doesn't suggest that for patients unless he can estimate that the remaining time left to live is six months (or less).

Lord, didn't you see me crying?

I was barely aware of the tears that persistently fell.  I hung on every word that Nurse Allyson spoke about hospice:  where to look, what to ask about, how it works.  I nearly missed my sweet Dr. F, out of the corner of my eye, reach for the Kleenex box.  It took me a moment to figure out that he was crying, too.

And didn't you hear me call your name?

It ended with Dr. F just asking me to let him know what I decide.  When I give the green light, he and Nurse Allyson will go to the ends of the earth to help me find the right people, get the right meds, and be as comfortable as possible.  They both hugged me, and I walked out of there, stunned.

Of course, nothing that he said was a real surprise.  I think I felt it in my body long before I heard the words.  There is simply a bit of shock value to hearing someone verbalize such absolutes.  

Wasn't it you I gave my heart to?

Six months.  Or less.

I wish you'd remember where you sat it down.

There is still the idea of the clinical trial at MD Anderson.  It is Dr. F's belief (and I have no reason to doubt him) that the trial would not result in any significant extension or quality of life for me.

There are decisions to make.  Many hard decisions.

And this is all that I can say right now.
And this is all that I can give.
And this is all that I can say right now,
And this is all that I can give, that's my everything.

I've walked with Jesus for a long, long time.  I don't claim to know everything, or to understand why he does what he does.  Not by a long shot.  As the darkness creeps closer, I have to dig deep to get back to what I do know is Truth:

1) God loves me.
2) God will take care of me.
3) God is always in control.

These are The Three Things that I have taught my boys.  The four of us have recited them over and over again until we were red in the face and they were rolling their eyes at me.  But The Three Things have never been more important than they are now.

This is all that I can say right now.

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.  Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  Psalm 73:23-26

Yes, that's my everything.



52 comments:

Liz said...

Allyson,
I know we don't REALLY know each other, but having read your blog the last few years, I feel like we're next door neighbors. I wish I could be there to give you a hug right now. Praying for you, sweet friend.

Mom of 8 said...

I am a friend of Liz...who commented above me. Praying for you and your dear family. I appreciate your open post. We have experienced different stages in the same journey with several family members. In the end, Jesus is enough. I am crying for you and your family but praying for wisdom and comfort for each of you and that Jesus will let yougo feel Him closely right now.

About Me said...

All you wrote is true except one thing...your spirit is not broken! - brad

Marta said...

Allyson, As I read your blog..my heart breaks, and tears fall...I just wanted to tell you I have kept & have you and your family in my prayers..I feel blessed that I got to met, and chat with you...& your family...I think of you often.

Anonymous said...

You are so brave and such a fighter. I have read your blog for a long time,and you are an inspiration. My heart breaks for you. God bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time, and I'm crying with you. I love the three things, and they are still true!

Jeffrey Reed said...

We love you and your cowboys. They will be better men because of you and God's grace.

Andrea said...

I'm so very sorry :(. I wish there was something I could say, anything to make you feel less alone, but I know that there isn't. I'm a mother to 4 young children who lost her own mother to the same monster you're battling. It's horrible and unfair and I hate that anyone has to face what you're facing.

The Herings said...

I used to live in Flower Mound and I know we have mutual friends. I've read your blog for a long time and have always prayed but never commented. But as I was reading and crying, I kept thinking of 2 Timothy 4:6-7: "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith." And then I kept reading. "Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day." My soul aches for you, your husband, your boys, your family, and your friends as you finish this race.

Anonymous said...

Many prayers of peace and healing for you....

Katrice Lowe said...

Incessant prayers for you and yours.

Katrice Lowe said...

Incessant prayers for you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Allyson,
Like many here, I have followed your blog through Brett and Christina for a long time. My heart burns for you and your family. Your testimony of faith and perseverance in the Lord Jesus is remarkable. You have and continue to influence so many for the good of the Kingdom, and there is no better testimony than that. The light is going to swallow the darkness.

Charlene Bader said...

Your courage and faith are contagious. Thank you for sharing from this place. I don't know you, but I'm crying as I read your words, because it's my greatest fear to leave my young kids without a mother. But your courage and faith, and your 3 absolutes about God, I don't know. It's just showing me where I haven't trusted, and confirmed in me that our God is good and that He does provide. Thank you.

Robin Mabry said...

Allyson,

I have prayed for you for a long time! I think of you and your family often! The one thing at comforts me is your faith and your personal relationship with the God who created you. I have read many stories from you on your blog over the past few years and I am always amazed at your strength and grace! I know you learned early on just like I did that in this life if we just bring one person on this earth to know Christ it was all worth it. By reading the comments on here I see God has used you and your testimony of trials, faith and strength to help someone else see how important it is to trust God in all things. Allyson we love you and are continuing to pray for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Allyson but all I really want to say is da#@it, da@+ cancer. Love to you and your boys. Prayers for the days ahead. -Rebecca coffee

Sandi Rog said...

Allyson,

I'm a mother of four and I battled cancer (Non-Hodgkins T-cell Lymphoma) for two years. After chemo, radiation, and a stem cell transplant, the cancer came back. They wanted to do more chemo, but I refused. I finally beat it with a vitamin called Laetrile or B17. You can read about my story here: www.beatcancerwithb17.blogspot.com. Ever since this happened, I just had to tell the world what cured me. I also have two YouTube videos out sharing my story. According to Dr. Krebs who discovered B17, it works on all cancers. But you have to get on it on time for it to work. If you wait too long, it won't work. Here's a link to my first video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyvSmhrlJwE. And here's a link to my second video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5HelY7o2IE.

Just so you know, I don't sell this. I refuse to. B17 was a 40,000 dollar lesson for us. I refuse to sell it and make money off of people who are suffering.

I pray this can help you too.

God bless you.

Sandi

BagOfNothing.com said...

You have the most courage of any woman I know. You got over your fear of feet and I was with you when you took your first drink of alcohol. . . on a Baptist campus of all places. The best part about courage, your courage in particular, is how it spreads, it's contagious, and there's no cure for it. I'm thankful your husband and cowboys have this infection called courage, and it's a beautiful gift you will leave them, one of many many gifts. Thanks for giving it to me.

Christina Valdivia said...

My heart aches for you as the child of a mother that passed away 10 weeks ago. She, too, was given 6 months to live and yet God gave her 8 1/2 more years! I don't know how you're ferling, but I have a little insight as to how your children may feel someday. It is something that you can't prepare them for no matter how hard you try. But I treasure the memories we made even as my mother was weak and sick. She was my best friend! Things I treasure now are photos, letters, my mom left me...a blanket of hers I sleep with every night...her perfume. She wrote letters to each of us years ago. There are ways God lets you still talk to your loved ones from Heaven. Just know that hospice doesn't have to be a "death sentence"...sometimes its just a way to male you more comfortable so you can enjoy your time with your family more, you could be on hospice for many, many years! I don't personally know you but I feel a connection and you are in my prayers! -Christina

oneday@atime said...

I do not know you but after reading your blog I ccannot get you out of my head and heart. My heart aches and my stomach is in knots thinking of what you are going through. I wish there was something I could do. I will pray for you and your family. God Bless♥

Anonymous said...

Allyson,
I don't personally know you, but I have followed your blog for over a year and a half. I only pray that one day I can be half as strong and courageous as one like yourself. You are an amazing woman of God, and you are right. He will take care of you.

Love and prayers.

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you. Especially the kids. I am in the same boat. Not at the end but my statistics are not good. Stage IV cancer. I am really ok with going to Heaven-not ok with leaving my 5 children and husband behind to suffer. I don't know what treatments lie ahead for me-they sound worse and worse as I go but there will be a time where I hold up my hand and say "ENOUGH". Quality of life is so important. I totally get your fears and position. I pray that God will place people in your life that will completely take up the cross where it concerns you and your boys. Love in Christ, CeCe

Dawson Pritchard said...

Ms. Allyson, I can't say that I've been keeping up with your blog like everybody else here, but I'm more than well aware of your story. I know it's been an incredibly long time since you've even heard from me, but I want you to know that your family will be in my prayers. My mom is one of my brat friends and I wouldn't know what to do without her, so my heart breaks for your boys. Please let me know if there's anything that my family or I can do for them or for you.
Dawson Pritchard
Heb 12:28-29

Anonymous said...

I've been following your blog for a while now, and praying so hard for you and your family. I just want you to know that your amazing courage and faith have led me back to my own faith in Christ. Continued prayers for you and your family.

Suejo Armstrong said...

Years ago when you were just a newly wed. I had the privilege to know you and share special Sunday mornings with you as your SS teacher. I have been praying for you all these years and kept up with you on your blog and by others. I just want you to know that I am better for having known you and for reading about your strength and faith. You are and have always been in the hands of God and He may not choose to extend your life but He cries also. He is giving you a legacy of 3 sons who will continue your life and love and in their hearts you will live forever. I send love and thank you for being so open and truthful and thank you for allowing me into your life.

Kim said...

Allyson,
I grieve for you in your pain and utter fatigue that this battle has produced. Like everyone else who is a lover and follower of Christ, I often don't understand why He brings physical healing to some and not to others. I know, as do you, that His ways are deep and are done in a level of perfect love that our human minds cannot quite grasp. We grasp slivers, glorious slivers, of understanding and somehow those slivers sustain us in our relationship with our God. One thing I want to say is I think us humans so often miss out on the miracles of God that are present and falsely cling to and proclaim physical wellness as a miracle. I wish people would stop doing that because it makes those who do not receive a physical wellness, question why not. My son had two cancers. After 3 major surgeries and horrific chemo and radiation, he has been cancer free for a little over two years. I don't consider his being cancer free a miracle. I consider the miracle being God's transcendence into my daily life, making His presence known during such dark days. That is something you experience every day: the miracle of His presence. That relationship that you have with our God is something that you have so eloquently shared with a very hurting world. A world desperate to hear its message. One of my prayers for you is that in the very real physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that is still a part of each day, you won't lose sight of that.

This is my song for you (and for all of us believers when the time comes):

Just a few more weary days and then,
I'll fly away.
To a land where joy shall never end,
I'll fly away.

I'll fly away, O Glory,
I'll fly away.
When I die, hallelujah, bye and bye,
I'll fly away.

Until that glorious day, my prayers for you and your family continue.

Carolyn June said...

I have no idea who you are. I found this post via facebook as a friend of mine posted it. As I read it I cried. I have two boys and I could not begin to imagine what you're going through. My youngest came out while I was reading the comments and saw the tears rolling down my face. He asked why I was crying. I told him that soon these three little boys wouldn't have their mommy. He cried as well. We will forever lift your family up in pray to our Lord. I pray if cancer comes my way again (I'm a melanoma survivor) that I fight it with the grace you show in this one post. Prayers and peace that only God can give...

LeeAnn said...

Allyson, I am a friend of Your friend Caroline. I have fervently prayed for you over the years, through each new treatment, medication, horrible side effects, at-home struggles...I have cried many tears for you and your precious boys. There are no words. I now pray that your boys will soak up every single second they have with you and that your days will be filled with joy knowing that your strong, courageous, FAITH-filled legacy will live on through them. I pray for peace that passes all understanding for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, but I'm sitting here crying after reading this post. Sweet sister in Christ, I'm lifting up you and your precious family, praying that our God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I can't find the words to convey my heartache for you or find words that might would bring you some comfort. I hurt so much for you but am in awe of your spiritual strength and determination. You are an example to me and all the others that are praying for you and your dear family. May God grant you peace, comfort, strength, wisdom, joy, direction and anything else you need. I like the idea of writing letters to your kids (and even husband) to be given to them on specific days, i.e. bdays, graduation, marriages etc. I pray you will get some good sleep somehow and rest in God's peace and great love for you. Rhonda (from Sagemont Church)

Sandy said...

Allyson, i found you through yvonne and jon clanton....
I have a friend who tried natural juicing and diet change when she had cancer....Is there a way to try that before totally giving up? I will pray for you now that I know you are there.....I don't know what it is like, but I can be in prayer for you and seek the Lord at the Mercy Seat for you...
Love in NC

Lori (Maine) said...

Dear Allyson,
I found your blog this morning via a comment from Carol Thomas Carlton on Facebook. In that brief span of time I have read every blog post word for word and just feel compelled to write even though I know that there are times when words are not enough.
I don't know you but as a fellow Christian and as a human being who cares, I just wish I could make Monster go away for good! Unfortunately, I can't do that.
But what I CAN --and WILL do is pray! Prayer is stronger than chemo, stronger than radiation, even stronger than monster. I pray that the Lord will heal you even now. But if He chooses not to for whatever divine reason He has, we can know that all of our prayers STILL work because NOTHING can take away Jesus in your heart and life and that of your precious family. NOTHING can kill your spirit, NOTHING can diminish the light that He is and the light that shines through you--even in this darkness that is Monster.
God Bless and hold you and your family close!

Anonymous said...

Allyson - we went to church together at Trinity in Lewisville. I've been following your blog...I walked this path with my sister 10 years ago and Dr. M and Dr. F were her Drs. as well. I put your name on our SS prayer list today that God would comfort you and encourage you. I can't imagine what you feel especially around your husband and your little boys. I think I do know how your Mom and your siblings feel. This life is just hard. I remember your story about your Grandfather and how you dreamed about him using his woodworking skills getting rooms ready for his family in heaven and it brought me much comfort that we'll all be together again soon for eternity. Much love to you, Elaine Corbin

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog. I have been so inspired by the letters that you write to your sons, the ways that you embrace life and live it to the fullest, and the faith that you have in God. Thank you for sharing. You have touched the world forever and are making it a much better place. You and your family are in my prayers, Allyson. May God bless you and your family always.

joyce said...

Dear Allyson,
You don't know me,but I was given your name by my cousin Anne Scott.Anne asked me to join her in praying for you and your precious family.
She included your blog .....I have to tell you that I read it and could not stop crying!
I think it is very courageous of you to let others in on the Journey you are on...My heart breaks for the pain you so rightfully feel right now.
I pray now that God will flood your heart and mind with His Peace that passes all understanding.I pray that when you wake up today,you will be reminded of God's unchanging,never ending Love for you.I pray that you will sense God's Presence in a powerful way today as you bravely face whatever your day brings.
I pray that you live each day to the fullest,knowing that because JESUS lives in and through you....HOPE is always present .You are a living testimony to Christ and His power :-)
Blessings! Romans 8:28
Joyce Freeman

annonymous said...

Allyson,

I've read and reread most if not all of your posts for awhile now. We have never met. This last post has taken my breath away and I cannot shake that feeling. You sweet Allyson have written something holy... perhaps the most holy words apart from Scripture I have ever read. Like many I posted the link to your blog on my FB page... desperate for people to intercede for you and yours. Through your beautiful, gifted writing the heart of an atheist friend was touched. Your words radiate Jesus. Yours is an unanswerable journey, yet along its painful twists you have woven your sweet family into our hearts searing them into our minds. We as moms and as Christ followers will bring them to the THRONE OF GRACE when your beautiful prayers are silenced. Until then I keep bringing all of you to Jesus and explain to Him that this would be a perfect time to heal your body in addition to your spirit. If, Allyson, He doesn't my faith isn't diminished, but miraculously strengthened and edified because you have brought my into His presence and shown me His Holiness in you.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you for that. You have left a gift that will forever bring people to Jesus. When you were too tired to type and too hurt to think, your dedication to your blog won out and you gifted us and magnificently honored Him. I'm praying for you and yours from now until He gives me the precious
opportunity to meet you, and I thank you for your willingness to honor Him in all things.

With much much love, a fellow follower of Jesus

Carolina22 said...

I've been following your blog for a few years now and I don’t have anything useful to say or to help – I only wish I could. None of us have really any idea of what you must be going through, and I know it is presumptuous of me to say anything really.

I have been praying for you and your dear family. Whenever I would wake up and not be able to go back to sleep I'd think of you and wonder if you were awake too and pray.

I work in cancer research and I so wish we had more answers/treatment options. I truly believe you could not have not more to fight this. You have given it your all and done so with such grace and faithfulness. Most people would have kept their story private but you were willing to share your story with others so they might grow in their faith.

I wish you could blog from heaven where you'll be at last be free from pain and suffering and Jesus will be there with open arms saying "well done, my good and faithful servant. . .enter into the joy of your master."

My soul aches that you must finish the race far far too soon. May God give you and your sweet family peace that passes all understanding. Much love! Laura

Priscilla said...

I don't know you, but I want you to know... there are strangers out there who are taken with compassion for what you are going through. Strangers like me, who are fasting and praying for you. I'm so very sorry for your pain and suffering. Its NOT fair, and its OK to be upset about it. God loves your honesty with Him, but don't loose your faith. You are stronger than you believe. You CAN do this, and you ARE victorious! I believe in you, and I've never even met you! God bless you, from Wyoming!

Carolyn June said...

I'm sure you've looked into every option but I have to agree with Sandy above. Have you tried juicing? I know three ladies who were diagnosed with cancer who turned to juicing and raw eating and in all cases the tumors all shrank to where doctor's were better able to do surgery or the tumors left altogether. I know it would be a long shot since you've ridden this out so long, but I have felt like I should tell you this since I sent my first comment yesterday. Still praying for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me (I am friends with Hope's sister Holly), but please know that so many people are praying for you along this journey. I've been reading your blog for awhile and you are such a blessing. I know you have tried so many things, but I have to echo the ladies above in saying how about juicing? Whatever you decide to do know that we are all deeply touched by your life and your witness for our Heavenly Father.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have had so many people come to us as you have above... from a good part, I'd hope, they ask "why don't you try juicing Kale", "why don't you take IV vitamins", "why haven't you used coffee enemas", "don't you know they can cure cancer in Tijuana... MD Anderson doesn't know about these new cures"!

You have done everything the right way. You have done everything you can, you've lived your life, you've raised your babies into boys, and you've taught them about the Lord.

You are doing all these things while continuing to honor God, and you are not vocally hateful towards Him (what you do in private is between you and God, and I think everyone has their dark nights of the soul, and are entitled to them).

My wife was just told that her condition can turn around in as little as 30 days and we've been to a funeral parlor to discuss what needs to happen when, how it will be done, etc.

Your oldest son is now a genuine big boy, in a year he'll be a teen. Your baby isn't such a baby. Little Middle is, well, in between. But you've done your job.

If the pics you post are any indicator, your family has thrived because of you. And they will miss you. And the world will lose a good soul.

The doctor hasn't told my wife that "it is time", but we know he will... I only hope she handles it with the grace and dignity you have.


Anonymous said...

Dear, one...over 10 years ago, we worked together. You thought I was "scary," I thought you were sweet, but silly. I've read every entry, every Scripture reference, watched each video link (even the really goofy ones!) Throughout, you have always, always given God the glory. That glory and all its rewards, we can only imagine. You have given us a glimpse, a whisper of what awaits each of us who know HIM. What a blessing you are. I will keep praying for you and your dear family...whatever may come, as your journey continues. Loving you. A.

Anonymous said...

You're right Allyson. No one understands. But Jesus does! And he is in charge! God loves you, and so do we. That night in "The Garden" he knew!

Jenny Rose said...

Oh, Allyson. I offer my prayers. xx

Lori said...

I don't know you but I commented several days ago and wanted you to know you are on my mind and in my prayers daily. My heart aches for all you are going through and I pray for a miracle!

Mindy Short said...

I just came across your blog. Thank you for the rawness you share. My life was defined by the loss of my mother at the tender age of 5. I want you to know that in that precious gift of 5 years she taught me to love The Lord and that has been the foundation of my life since that moment. That was 40 years ago and tears fall still as I write this. But my peace rests in my 4 children that each represent a piece of her. My oldest son with her humor..my first born daughter with her curly hair...my second born daughter with her blue eyes... And my youngest son with her fighting spirit and tender heartedness. I pray for your journey of peace as The Lord wraps his arms gently around you.

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Jenn said...

Happened to come across your blog in a lady asking for prayer for you on a different blog. Whew. I read your posts & it makes me re-think my life...the time I have with them that shouldn't be wasted. Thank you for being so real in such a dark valley in your life. I pray huge blessings on your family & you as you step-by-step through this. God knows, God cares, God is willing, God is able. I know what I've faced isn't what you have, but those 10 words bring me such comfort & peace. Praying for you sweet lady & for hubby & those precious kiddos.
Jenn

http://yearninginmyheart.blogspot.com

Mikki Jaeger said...

GOD is with you Ally. He will never leave you. Trust Him.

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