Oh, it's okay, Dear Reader, my "jumping off" remains a trustworthy fact. But something did almost scare me to the point where I considered failure a decent enough option.
Shame stopped me, and stilled me, and brought me back to reason -- if, indeed, reason embraces notions such as God, and God's grace.
If, indeed, reason covers Kate.
I'm putting my newfound sobriety (oh, shut up) on the line and saying, "yes, reason covers not just a multitude of your miserable ass sins, reason also covers the unsullied, the babies, the loving mothers, the faithful fathers... yes, reason covers radiation and chemo therapies, covers the good doctors, nurses, aides, and techs... yes, reason covers daughter sisters and son brothers... and most definitely, reason covers kate.
I checked my email for the first time today (instead of the addicted hourly regimen followed by my Former Junkie Self) -- at 19:00. At roughly 19:00:23, I thought of my own failure, and how much of a likelihood it would become were the message I was about to read a very difficult one. All I knew at that point was that it had been just over a week since Holly McRae had posted an update to her journal about Kate's journey on CaringBridge. It was my catastrophic bent at that second to think the very worst.
I beg Holly's pardon as the necessary shift to it's-not-all-about-me takes hold.
This is the entirety of what she posted (forgive me for that, as well) and if you've never met Kate through her mother's words before, consider a trip over to the CaringBridge to read all of her journaling. It will move and inspire you. It can almost make a believer out of anyone, just to righten the odds.
I continue to find it harder and harder to update. Not for lack of things happening, and most definitely not for lack of emotion, simply for the lack of words. No words seem adequate for what our hearts feel, on the good days and on the awful days. It is a constant daily battle to reign in our thoughts and fears concerning Kate. Being that I am the one who engages more of the medical side of Kate's diagnosis and reads more of the literature concerning it, I tend to struggle with it more heavily.
Kate is doing well. Of course everything is relative, and that being quite relative to her diagnosis. We are grateful the last chemo did not cause more symptoms or side effects in Kate than it did. She is easily fatigued, which is probably more related to the radiation, and continues with stomach pains here and there. Her appetite is unpredictable, so again we are having to be less strict with what she eats, simply to get her to eat some days. I have noticed that she also seems slightly less engaged with others outside of our home. I am not sure as to the reason, and have stopped guessing. I simply cherish the moments we see her full throttle at home.
Kate was horribly disappointed to learn that she would be getting chemo again this week. I guess she had forgotten. We had not! It has been a delicate dance learning to be grateful we have something to fight with, while at the same time despising those very treatments. She will have her bloodwork drawn on Tuesday to see what effect the chemo had on her blood counts and then proceed with the infusion of her biweekly chemo. I am sure we will also discuss a starting date for the Avastin, and begin scheduling her next MRI. We are obviously no longer on the every 3 month plan for scans. I was actually hoping for monthly MRI's and have realized that 2 months for now is probably best. It is a very delicate balance not scanning too early, and yet not allowing too much time to pass if cancer is growing unnoticed. If we scan before we allow time for the chemo to have an effect, there is the possibility we could see growth and take her off of one of the few medications that may work. The reason for not desiring to scan too infrequently is obvious. So our thought is her next MRI will most likely be early to mid July.
This month marks the 2 year anniversary of Kate's diagnosis. God has been working ferociously on my heart the past few months concerning just that. The disappointment and at times anger for that which she is faced. How we had hoped and prayed that at 2 years we would find our sweet girl cancer free, that we would be celebrating God's faithfulness and His mercy in allowing Kate freedom from the clutches of this disease. Rather we find ourselves battling 2 new tumors and facing the uncertainty of an aggressive and unforgiving disease that almost always ends in death. We find ourselves facing the ramifications of having had to aggressively radiate her entire brain and spine in hopes of sparing her life. We find ourselves craving the days past where getting the tangles out of her curly blonde hair was the most frustrating part of the morning. Now we wonder if her hair will ever come back.
And yet, despite our raging disappointments, God continues to be faithful. And He most definitely continues to be able to heal her. As much as my heart yearns to see her walk again without a brace and to see her right hand paint so beautifully as it once did, I am reminded she also faced a day she could not move her right side at all. A day when thoughts plagued us if we would ever see her move outside her wheelchair. If we would ever hear her sweet voice utter our names again, or tell us she loved us. So we celebrate the blessings mixed in with the current pains. We continue to fight for her life, and for her quality of life. And in the same breathe realize this life is not our ultimate home. Never have I been more grateful for that.
Tomorrow we celebrate a very sweet day in our daughters lives. Aaron will be baptizing both Kate and Olivia. So tomorrow we celebrate those things God has done in our daughters lives. And the rest of the week we continue the treatments hoping and praying Kate will have a lifetime to share those things with others. Thanks for being persistent in prayer for Kate's healing.