Tossing and turning in bed, trying to get comfortable on one side or another. The right side (liver) is definitely out, as is laying on my stomach. The left side hurts as well because of my spleen and now I’m crying as the familiarity of all of this strikes me. Winter 2015 it was the same nearly every night, but I didn’t mind as much. I slept fitfully or stayed awake on the couch feeling the movements of the twins swimming inside me. I talked and sang to them so that they would recognize my voice when we met in person.
My abdomen is nearly as big now as it was then. The tumors in my liver make it big enough to be palpable and the spleen is twice the size it should be, a symptom of liver disease. During pregnancy I loved the sight of my huge belly. Now it reminds me of the disease lurking inside.
During the day my abdomen is usually only a little uncomfortable. At night it often becomes painful, I assume because of digestion, and everything having less room. The skin over the angry organs becomes hard, distended and tight. If I were to bump into something at stomach level, I feel as though I would burst like a ripe grape.
Trying to get comfortable in bed, I can’t stop bitter, angry tears from coming. Here I am, feeling like I have come back to the same place of pain and illness that I was in in 2015. Only with a lot of suffering in between. And for what? My mind screams at God, “HOW CAN YOU???!!”. I want to sit up in bed and scream until I’m hoarse. I have a wild desire to pummel Him “If only He were human”, my mind says.
But He is human. I see Jesus, just a figure in my mind, and I see myself before Him. I hesitate with a choice, one that we are all faced with at some time in life. Curse or worship. I choose to fall, weeping, at His feet and say with faith or strength that I barely have: “You are love.” The words and the act of saying them is so raw that I might as well be turned inside out- heart and guts displayed to the world. It might be the greatest surrender that I’ve ever made.
It’s been a rather emotional week. If life went according to plans, Nate and I would be in Utah or Arizona right now. We had planned and booked an exciting trip to see the Grand Canyon and other canyons in the Grand Circle of national parks. Sadly, we had to cancel the trip. I became ill four days ago and am just now starting to feel better, though weak and with a low fever hanging on.
Canceling was a big disappointment to me. It’s one more thing to try to accept and not be angry about. This trip, our girls, my health, life itself. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. I continue to say “Blessed be Your name” because I know it’s the right thing to do. I have faith that before the end, I will be able to say it and mean it.
The latest on the medical front is that I had another TACE procedure (injecting chemo into the liver) on Feb. 14. The side effects were rough, but I think I’ve healed from them. I’m due for some imaging before long to see if the procedure did its job. Death to cancer cells.