Thursday, February 6, 2014

Getting Real About Fear When You've Been The One.

So look.

I know, I know, I know, I KNOW we are told not to be afraid.

I know it is futile to worry about things out of our control.

I know that stress and anxiety steal joy.

I KNOW.

But I am afraid.

All the time.  Every day.  Every second.

I am afraid that something terrible is going to happen to Luke or John and I just.can't.bear the thought of picking out another casket.

That said, (and before any judgement on why I am not being faithful, a good Christian, being pessimistic, etc.,)—————

I work very, very, very hard to LIVE as if I am NOT afraid.  When Matthew died, I made a strongly purposed decision to not let fear guide my life.  I would NOT let fear dictate my decisions or steal anything more than had already been stolen.  When pregnant with Luke, I refused to let terror or fear overshadow my joy.  When pregnant with Trey, same thing.

Outcomes different, but my attitude the same.

Afraid I may have felt, but BOLD AND BRAVE was how I chose to live.

I still make that choice—the choice to live like I am not afraid—every single day.  Every hour.  Every minute.

Friends—it is NOT easy.  As a Christian, I hear and sing songs and read words ALL.THE.TIME about not being afraid.  Not being anxious.  Relying on God to rescue and heal and save.

I, without question, believe He does.  A lot.

But I know, within the depths of my soul, that I could sing and read those words every day of the week and twice on Sundays and I will still be afraid.

Because when you've been on the end of Him not rescuing...not saving...not healing????

You know that every situation has two outcomes, regardless of how much you pray and beg and plead.

We all have to make our peace.  I've made mine with God.  I know that trusting Him and having faith does not always mean the outcome will be the one I want.  I know that hearing "No." on a job offer or state to move to or relationship to pursue is VERY different than hearing, "No, your children will not live." and while it's not mine to compare grief and loss, I feel like God and I are at a good place of understanding.

I understand that I will never know, and He knows that I will never understand.  

So I don't ask.  There's no point in it for me.  I believe in a God who is good and bad things that happen do not take away from His goodness.

The gratitude I have for the privilege of raising Luke is a constant, constant reminder of His grace.

And I am afraid—because I know that His being good and faithful doesn't mean that bad, horrible things don't happen.  Won't happen.  To me or to loved ones.  The thoughts terrify me because I know pain that I don't ever want to experience again.

EVER.

But I choose to LIVE unafraid.

Tomorrow, I have surgery for my sinuses.  I am excited to finally have a few months sinus infection free, but more, to have a few days of drug-induced, mandatory sleep!  My eyes tell the tale of my insomnia, and even though I guess I am 'middle-aged,' I don't love looking so tired all the time.  "Allergy eyes" don't help.

I saw the breast surgeon a few hours ago.  I left with the option to remove my right breast.  The gist of the consult was that I have, based on some physical findings and risk factors (family history and IVF), close to 30% chance of acquiring breast cancer.  I could be continue to be vigilant, watch the lumps I have closely and be on the look-out for more, or I could remove the breast altogether and not worry about developing cancer and possibly leaving Luke motherless.

Who says stay-at-home-moms don't make exciting decisions?

I asked the very respected doctor several questions, mainly whether or not removing a breast would be silly or radical and overreacting.  He did not think so, on any account.  To paraphrase his words, I am a young woman with a lot of living to do and a young child to raise.  Taking the elevated chance of cancer away is a big decision, but one he'd certainly respect and suggest.  He's left the decision in my hands, and I'm at a loss.

The odds of Matthew's IVF cycle being successful were 31%.  Luke's? 28%.  Trey's? 23%  Odds of miscarrying Trey when I did?  1:300.  Matthew dying from vasa previa complications?  1:10,000.  Him having one normal kidney and one pelvic kidney? 1:10,000.

I've been 1:4 twice.  I've been 1:3 three times. 1:300 once.  1:10,000 once.

I am good at being the one.

The one no one wants to be, that is.

I have more scans and more discussion March 5.  I think I will also seek a 2nd opinion, though honestly, this is not really surprising news. I was a bit surprised it was confirmed, but expected it as a possibility.  After the next appointment and second opinion, I guess I'll make a decision.

I do not want to make a decision based on the fear of getting cancer.  But, I don't want to wonder every day if that's the day that will change my life.

Again.

Totally off-topic?  That's a cape I got to wear this morning.   Seriously.  A cape????  Luke was sooooooo jealous!

9 comments:

  1. I don't think removing your breast and being proactive in regards to your own health show a lack of faith Lori. I think God helps those who help themselves, while you take steps toward staying healthy, it frees up a little bit of grace. My mother passed away at a young age as well, it leaves you with a scary reality at a very young age. The reality of mortality is extra scary when you've been a motherless child and don't ever want your child to feel as you have. You DO have lots of living left to do. While I can only speak for myself, I personally would see such a thing as an act of bravery. You've been through more than most, you are a phenomenal woman. Keep fighting the good fight!

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  2. I don't think removing your breast and being proactive in regards to your own health show a lack of faith Lori. I think God helps those who help themselves, while you take steps toward staying healthy, it frees up a little bit of grace. My mother passed away at a young age as well, it leaves you with a scary reality at a very young age. The reality of mortality is extra scary when you've been a motherless child and don't ever want your child to feel as you have. You DO have lots of living left to do. While I can only speak for myself, I personally would see such a thing as an act of bravery. You've been through more than most, you are a phenomenal woman. Keep fighting the good fight!

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  3. Lori, Sorry you are facing another major challenge, but I love the way you are facing it with faith and positive thoughts. My cousin just had a double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer, and her sister also had one, since she also faced a 87% chance of developing breast cancer. They both have the brca gene, as does my niece. She is not taking action yet, she's only in her 20's. They are all incredibly courageous and upbeat and feel empowered by their actions. They both had reconstructive surgery, and one decided to get an "upgrade" as she put it. Do what you need to, in order to parent that beautiful child! Thinking of you and praying for u!

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  4. Lori can we send out a prayer request to our old class?

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  5. I know we don't know each other that well, but I can't say enough how much I admire you. You are so amazing. And I'm truly not trying to fill the air, so to speak, with always saying "you're amazing" or "I admire you" but you truly offer such amazing insight. I read your posts and I literally sit here with my mouth ajar, with no other words to say except..."You are amazing" and "I admire you". Praying for you precious Lori.

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  6. I know we don't know each other that well, but I can't say enough how much I admire you. You are so amazing. And I'm truly not trying to fill the air, so to speak, with always saying "you're amazing" or "I admire you" but you truly offer such amazing insight. I read your posts and I literally sit here with my mouth ajar, with no other words to say except..."You are amazing" and "I admire you". Praying for you precious Lori.

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  7. I'm good at being The One too. Totally understand the questions of when God doesn't... {{{hug}}} Praying for your decision.

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  8. I too tend to be the one...the one no one wants to be. Praying with you. Grateful to not feel so slone after reading your posts. <3

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  9. I too tend to be the one...the one no one wants to be. Praying with you. Grateful to not feel so slone after reading your posts. <3

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Thank you for your thoughts!