One year ago today our life changed. My phone rang, and woke me up with words no one wants to hear. "They took him to the hospital." Frantically I threw on clothes and hopped in the car for the longest ride ever. I remember swallowing hard and thinking "its fine, just something little" as I walked bravely back to his room.
It was very familiar place. I knew the room well. Just days earlier I had taken care of a patient in the same room... I still continue to work in this same room, but at times, I honestly now shutter. Same ER bed that is more uncomfortable than the floor, the same stinky disinfectant filled the air, and the same monitors dinging in my ears.
Oddly, enough this was different, I could sense it. Something was very wrong. He was not acting normal, rather anxious, with his heart rate high and hands clammy.
Then it started, the longest 5 minutes of my life. Joel turned blue, eyes rolled back and he started seizing. I jumped on him, held him in bed, screamed for help, all ending with bruises all over me from the force I used to keep him from falling.
The rest is history. The gut dropping ct scan, the Dr pulling me aside, me telling Joel 5+ times something was wrong in his head, as he forgot the first times. The saddened looks, me telling my dad and brother in the waiting room, leaving a rather horrid voice mail for my best friend, friends/coworkers hugging me, and Joel sleeping through so much.
I had no idea what was next. What was growing so invasively? Wondering, if my husband would walk out alive, Or if I would leave a widow?
Only thing I knew, is my God was fighting with me. I was brave because He is merciful. I was not alone.
The rest is a blur, thankful in someways that the blog has helped me remember dates and memories. In fact I found myself recently reading portions, thinking "woah, we did that?" No joke. I really surprised myself. At times I am shocked at my own clarity. How did we survive?!
Seriously. How? I am still surprised.
We are thankful. Tearfully I rejoice for one year. It is year, I had no idea if I would have. Our princess had her Ducky. Memories have been made. Progress has been won.
Oddly, today was my most normal day yet. It just felt normal... Despite appointments that continue to control our life, I came home to Joel. That is right. That is what I have been fighting for all year. My husband and my daughters daddy. It's all worth it. I plan on continuing to fight. There is still a VERY long road ahead... I plan on it being long, with maybe a few nice straight stretches. Please Lord?
I will admit, I still daily wish this hadn't happened. It's unfair. It's hard work. (Still) And dear, Lord it's aged me. (Seriously) I love my hubby, it's hard to see him still face challenges and know there are probably more ahead. My daughter has been robbed too young of a security that she should have and faces challenges that a 4year old shouldn't even hear of. I still hate you cancer, on so many levels.
Yet, for some reason every time I think of how much, "I hate cancer" my heart echoes with grace of how blessed we are. That for every trial there has been such deep grace and provision. God is still good.
Day by day, we continue to live. Step by step we trudge forward embracing what we have right now. Love. Love for each other.
I sincerely hope all our friends and family who read this, understand how much each person has blessed us this year.
To my amazing parents. I could have not done this without you. My bros and sister in loves, thanks for your unwavering support at all hours.
ODOT family, Sacred Heart family, DEA family, Employment Department family, Dr Trammell, church family, UCSF, my Cysters, numerous other friends and family and strangers who gave financially or prayed. Thank you. You are the army that helped carry us this far.
Next scan is Feb 4th- please pray it's clean!