It is cruel how difficult this cycle of chemotherapy is. And while my husband has not had any negative effects of the chemotherapy this cycle has produced a much bigger emotional cruelty than previous cycles. I go to sleep overwhelmed. And I wake up overwhelmed. It is exhausting. It is draining. It is depleting. I listen to my children ask me why their dad is sick and tell me how they are sad and miss him because he is in the hospital. I look at a savings account that gets smaller each day and wrack my brain trying to figure out ways to bring in extra income. I miss my husband when I am home and miss my kids when I am at the hospital. And it is only July. This year is only half-way over. There are still 3 more cycles after this one. I woke up this morning, said a quick good bye to my children and then spent the day at the hospital. I left around 5 to go home and get the kids so they could spend time with Mel. We stayed at the hospital a few hours and then I drove home, gave the kids baths and had them watch cartoons while I picked up the toys, washed dishes and straightened up the house. And even though I was exhausted the thoughts in my head wouldn’t turn off. The routine will continue tomorrow and go on for the next 12 days.
I understand how the disciples felt when they were on the boat when the storm came. They had witnessed so many miracles that Jesus had performed but when the water started filling the ship they woke Jesus up thinking they were going to drown. They knew what Jesus had done but their eyes were on the storm. I have seen so many prayers answered in the past. I have witnessed God’s hand upon my life. I know the power of God. I have experienced doors open that only God could open. But the ship is filling up with water. The storm is crashing. And I feel as though Jesus is asleep on the bottom of the ship. And while I am aware that He can sleep because He knows we will get through this and the storm will not defeat us, the pounding of the rain is difficult to bear.
I am not quitting. I am not giving up. I am not losing hope. I will still praise God. I will still trust in Him. My walk with God is not being compromised because of this situation. But this situation hurts. It hurts to see my husband lying in a hospital bed with chemo dripping into his body. It hurts that for 15 days each cycle we are separated. And even though my husband is in remission, it hurts to know that there are 3 more cycles of chemotherapy in addition to the one we are enduring right now. It hurts because I took a massive pay cut to work from home and our income was cut dramatically more when my husband got cancer. It hurts that I know my paycheck doesn’t pay the bills. And although I trust God will make a way, the financial burden is added pressure during this difficult time. It hurts that my summer vacation is almost over and I will have to go back to trying to balancing work, kids, and hospital stays. And I know that the next hospital stay will be even more exhausting for me than this one. It hurts that holidays, birthdays and anniversaries are spent in the hospital. It hurts that my children don’t understand what is going on and I don’t feel as though I am adequately explaining it to them. It hurts that they go to sleep at night without their daddy in the home. It hurts.
And I do pray. I do read my Bible. I do know my strength comes from God. I do know He gives us comfort. I do know He gives us courage. I do know He give us peace. I do know that the reason we are not falling apart and that we are able to keep going is because of God. I know He is going to get us through. I know that we will cross the finish line. But that doesn’t mean that this doesn’t hurt. That doesn’t mean that this situation is easy. It is painful. This morning the doctor asked my husband how he was doing and how the kids were doing. He then asked me how I was doing. And I said “fine.” But I am not fine. I am in pain because my husband is in a hospital room. I am in pain because our plans have been placed on hold. I am in pain because on December 30, 2014 my husband was diagnosed with cancer and our world was turned upside down.
Why do I write all of this? Why do I share with the world (or the few people who read the blog) what is going on in my mind? Because I know I am not the only one who is hurting. I know I am not the only one who is in pain. I know there are countless others who are experiencing a situation where their life has also been turned upside down. And they put on a smile. But they are in pain. I know there is another wife unable to sleep at night right now. I know there are children of various ages who are hurting. And I know there are others lying in a hospital bed with thoughts racing through their mind. So I share my thoughts. And I share my pain. Because acknowledging pain doesn't represent a lack of trust in God. Acknowledging hurt doesn't represent a faltering faith in God.
We will get through this. We are believing every promise that was given to us. We know God has not left us. We don’t feel abandoned. We can still sing confidently that God is great. We can still declare that God is good. We will be serving God when we get to the finish line. But we are hurting. We are in pain.