Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Heather A Woman Of Faith

I have been struggling lately with the “3-5 year” prognosis that I was given after surgery by my neuro-surgeon. It’s not that I believe that number, it is just hard to get that number out of the forefront of my mind. During my support group last week many people stated that the number they were told after their diagnosis is the one that they remember so significantly, so vividly. One woman was given 6 months…. that was over a decade ago
So earlier today, while trying to relax in the tub, I prayed that the Lord would show me people who have lived with my type of cancer (anaplastic astrocytoma) for more than 5 years. While researching tonight the way to combat the side effects of Kytril, I came across not one, not two, but an entire list of people who have lived way longer than the 3 -5 year prognosis that I was given! One lady, much older than I am, is still alive after 18 years… that did my heart good.
I know that the prognosis is only a number, gathered by the average (or mean) of a group, but I can’t tell you what it does to a cancer patient when a doctor tells them they only have 3-5 years to live. I cant put that feeling into words, much less wrap my brain (or heart) around it. I found myself tallying up what my kids would be doing in 5 years
Easton would be 15Elijah would be 12Emma Grace would be 11.
That is not enough time.
I think that as a mother with cancer, my kids become the center focus of my treatment. I bargain with God “If you will just give me until they graduate, I will then know that they are going to be okay.” But when is any child okay after a parents death, especially the death of their mother? When is the “right time” in a child’s life for a parent to die? These are the thoughts I have on a daily basis, and admittedly they aren’t upbeat nor are they positive.
But they are real.
I wonder how other mothers battling cancer do it. I wonder how they juggle chemo and kids. I wonder how much information is too much information for my kids to digest. I wonder how other moms manage the days when they can barely get out of bed, and still have a house to run and kids events to attend. My kids see me at my very worst, and I wonder if that is what is best for them, but then again I don’t want to hide my bad days from them because that isn’t reality either.
That is why I have a love/hate relationship with the drug that is suppose to save my life. The days that I can not function, I feel that I am being cheated out of time spent with my kids. But then I think about how much time chemo is going to give me, and I muster the strength to go another round. I just hate having my kids ask me why I didn’t go to church, or why I am still in bed. It’s not that I don’t want to answer them, it’s just that the answer is just so freaking unfair.
But tonight, after reading the survivor stories of so many people with my type of cancer… I feel refreshed, I feel empowered, and although I am dreading the next round with chemo…I can’t put into words how much I am dreading it….
I will muster up the strength to go through it again, for my family… but not just for them.
For me too.
Out of the depths of desperation, rising from the ashes….arrives Faith


Felisol said...

Dear Heather,
do you know that your first name and my last means the same (Ljung= heather in Swedish) We are almost what we in Norway call name-sisters.
You are so warm, bravely fighting and reflected. It makes me blush when I'm complaining over a root canal, hearing what faces and challenges you are up against.
I admire you flat.
My nearest relation to cancer is my brother, who was diagnosed with cancer pancreas four years and three month ago. For him there were no options of radiation or chemo. He had to undertake a Whipple-surgery, remove much of his digestal system, and was given 20% chance to survive.
(Without op. the percentage was down to 2.
We, his family, are also waiting for those five years to go.
My brother will not talk much about it, but of course his life is kind of being put on a hold.
You on the other hand are seizing the days you have, and when the treatment is slapping you down, you're loosing something so that you can continue to stay alive.
On the other hand I might cross the street tomorrow and get run over by a car.
We don'tt know when and how death comes, but we will fight to stay alive, taking care of our most precious as long as we can.
May the Lord fill you with His hope and strength.

Saija said...

i think it is wonderful that you share your struggles ... in doing so you are able to help other mom's out there (with ca) who have the same fears - yet they may not have your faith or hope in God ...

blessings on each of your days - as we all live one day at a time ...

Dev said...

Dear Heather,
There are lot's of patients who are fighting with the same disease which you are suffering with. It all depends on your mind, how positive are you to fight against this difficult to treat disease. I read that you were surching for the side effects of Kytril. Hope you must have read that. What is the treatment you have been advised by your Oncologists? Please consult your Oncologist & discuss about the role of Temozolomide in Anaplastic Astrocytoma.Hope it may help you.
Dev (India)

Bill Scott, Sr. said...


You alone know all things. You control all things and by your word and power all things are. Oh God you are so good even when things are so desperately bad, you are still so good.

Please give Heather peace and wisdom on the things she wrote about. Thank you for letting her find other people who have lived well beyond the time alotted them by the doctors. The doctors can only guess Jesus, yet you never guess. You know when we rise, when we sit, how long we will live for you know all things.

Please help Heather to continually trust in you in this time of need and if it be your will, please heal her. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

When my wife was 18 weeks pregnant with my son Tobias (His name means "God is good") her water broke and we went to the doctor and they told us there was nothing they could do. They told us to go home and wait for the baby to die.

I looked the doctor in the eye and said, just because you wear a white coat does not mean that you are God. God will determine when my baby dies; not you!

The reality was that he only had a 2-1/2% chance of survial and yet he will be turning 5 in May. It has not been an easy road, but he is with us and healthy and we rejoice in the goodness of God for granting us mercy.

My heart is with you during this difficult season in your life. Is there anything that I can pray for more specifically?
Please email me at:


Terry said...

Dear Bill, I sent your prayer over to Heather.
Her blog is on the favourite links here Bill under "Especially Heather" if you ever want to visit her there..
Heather is a Pilgrim Pal!
Thanks for your prayers for her.

Yes! Well do we remember our Donna telling us about the time just recently that Tobias needed prayer again and how the Lord brought you and Jessica and the precious lad safely through!...Terry

Terry said...

Dear Dev
Thank you for dropping by and encouraging Heather.
It was nice to see you.
I just mentioned to Bill that Heather's blog site is on the side bar of Pilgrim Pals.
Drop by again sometime! You will be always welcomed!..Terry