It's interesting the journeys life takes you on. About two years ago, I felt God leading me into medical technology, in order to work in a hospital lab. Therefore, in 2015, I quit teaching and started graduate studies at UAB. I graduated on April 28th this year with a Masters in Clinical Laboratory Studies. When my mother and sisters came for my graduation, they said, "You don't look good. You look very pale." I knew I had been feeling tired for the last 2-3 months, but I thought it was just stress from clinicals, and finishing papers.
Rachel stayed to make sure I went to the doctor. I was able to get an appointment on May 2nd. They found I was severely anemic, and I was admitted to the hospital. I had to get blood transfusions and iron infusions. They also did a chest x-ray and found a spot on my lung. This led them to do a ct scan and they saw masses at the bottom of both lungs, in my liver, and around the intestines and ovaries. This has led to a very unexpected journey. A liver biopsy found the masses were adenocarcenomas that probably started in the GI tract. An endoscopy found a small nodule where the stomach meets the esophagus that was cancerous and probably the start of all of this. I saw an oncologist today, who said that when the stomach cancer cells spread to my abdomen they started growing faster than the ones in the stomach. As he put it, "They liked it better there." Next week, I should get a port put in and the week after that start chemotherapy.
I thought I would be spending this time finding a job and taking a board of certification exam. (I am happy to say I passed my board exam last week.) Even though things haven't gone like I thought they would, I know God is in control and He has worked out so many things already. I also have faith that I will get to use my new degree when all of this is over. Prayers are much appreciated, because I am going to need a lot of strength to make it through. I am also very thankful for my family and friends for their support and help. I can't imagine going through this without them and God.
June 12, 2017 I'm getting my first chemo treatment right now. I was suppose to start last week but my hemoglobin was low and I had a little bit of a fever (probably from having my port put in the week before). I have a lot of time to sit and think back here, which can be good and bad. I start worrying about side effects, will the treatment actually work and will I be able to work while taking treatments. Then I remember God has already taken care of this and He has shown it in so many ways. The Thursday before last I had a port placed. So many of the nurses said they would be praying. On the way home, mother, Elizabeth and I ate lunch at Lloyd's and when we got back to the car there was a sticky note on the driver's door. It said, "Have a great day !! Cast all of your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you! 1Peter 5:7". Our car was the only car in the parking lot with a note, which made it extra special. God evidently knew we needed to be reminded of this.
It can be easy to think if you have faith you should never get scared or anxious. God knows we will feel this way and He wants us to cry out to Him. There have been a few times I cried and prayed in the shower because I get scared of the unknown and what's going to happen. It is not a weakness to feel scared about the future, we just have to remember to call out to God. He has very big shoulders that can help us get through the fear and uncertain times.