As much as I would love to say Tybo’s cancer diagnosis did not change our lives as a whole, it changed just about every darn thing I can think about. It changed the way I look at life as a whole. I remember someone giving me a poem what Cancer cannot do and I hung it up so I could remember that while I was going through the hardest trials of my life.
“WHAT CANCER CANNOT DO”
Cancer is so limited….
It cannot cripple love
It cannot shatter hope
It cannot corrode faith
It cannot destroy peace
It cannot kill friendship
It cannot suppress memories
It cannot silence courage
It cannot invade the soul
It cannot steal eternal life
It cannot conquer the spirit.
As I read these words it did inspire me, even though cancer did try to do most of the things that it listed that it could not do. I think it should have stated it cannot do the following unless you allow it to. I tell everyone that cancer was the storm that was sent to destroy me and everything I love but God is turning it all around for good. Slowly but surely, I will wait upon the Lord because he is my rock, strength & my defender! And good things come to those who wait, Lord knows it has not been easy to wait! But I trust he has something awesome planned to come out of all this suffering!
Because our son was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, I realize now just how short and precious life is, too short to sweat the small stuff. That being said I try and see the good in every day, because there is always, always, always something to be thankful for! These past four years going on 5, have been the roughest years of my whole life, a true emotional rollercoaster, full of good and bad times. I am thankful that God has never forsaken us through it all he has found ways to bless us just when we need it most!
He answers my prayers for provisions and even things I want that may seem foolish or not necessary! I believe it’s because he loves us and every good gift comes from Him! I just wish he would help me rein in my emotions, I struggle with the waves of sadness, happiness, anger & regret sweep over me constantly! It’s a constant daily battle, because I want to be happy and thankful but when I focus on the daily struggle I get weak in my flesh and just become an emotional mess! I am hoping this blog with be an emotional outlet for me to vent, and by sharing how I feel at the present time!
The emotions get even worse around Thanksgiving & Christmas time, ever since he was sent home on hospice 4 years ago in early November. He was just 3 years old for a few months before he was diagnosed and then in the same year to be sent home on hospice was just too much to handle. God gave me peace at the time and I know that peace was from him because I did not even understand it. I mean who sees hospice as God opening a door? If you had seen our son when they sent him home, you would have thought he had days to live, the treatment was that harsh. He has lost all color, he was skinny as a starved person, and he had a blank stare like all the life was slowly leaving his body.
(pic above is at his big 4th birthday celebration)
Now his birthday is close to Christmas, so after being sent home on hospice right near the holidays, we celebrated a quiet Thanksgiving, his 4th birthday we tried to make a big deal & that 1st Christmas on hospice was quiet but good. And every year since just has been sadness mixed with unexpected blessings. I think caring for a critically ill child and knowing that nothing will ever be the same as it used to be before he was sick; that is hard to swallow. Our new “normal” is crazy unpredictable days, you never know will he have a seizure today, or multiple seizures, will he throw up or have a blow out all over the bed after all the laundry was caught up, will he be his old sweet self or will he be a mean beast because of his keppra, etc… but even through all of this I know if we have each other to get through it we can get through anything!
When a family faces pediatric cancer, it can try and tear you apart one by one, and in so many different ways. You have to be vigilant, prayerful and you have to be able to forgive one another. I am so thankful we were able to be together during Tybo’s chemo treatments, because even though it was hard it was harder to stay at home while Tybo & Daddy went through radiation treatments alone. I am thankful God put people in our path to help us along the way, because we would have never have been able to be strong without all the prayers, love & support. God has put people in our lives that feel more like family when there has been family members, that will go unnamed, that have left us when we needed them most.
Family is everything to me! And God has multiplied our family and made us stronger through these trials. We are so blessed to have a larger than average family , just with our immediate family of 8, I could not imagine our life without any of our 6 kids. I can tell you we did not sit down and plan this large family; but I know God did and I am so thankful for all of our babies! I look forward to seeing how God uses all of this in their own lives one day and I love seeing how each one of them is handling day to day life with a special needs brother. Our children teach and bless me everyday, in so many ways and I am thankful for our larger than average family! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!