And I do mean that:) I feel like I’ve gotten to know so many of you through this blog – when I sit down at this laptop and start typing, I always feel like I’m about to talk to old friends. It never feels like an obligation, or anything other than sitting down to talk to people who have always been so kind and supportive…you know, friends.
Which is why I feel it’s only natural to keep you in the loop with some stuff that’s been going on. You’ve been with me through my CVID diagnosis – and the wild and bumpy ride that has been my health – for a few years now, and January was no exception. That’s the scary thing about this disease – you never really do know what’s around the corner. Which, honestly, has a little bit of good to it – it really does make you so so grateful for the times when life is calm, and nothing major is going on. The times when you almost forget you even have this disease.
I have been saying for years now, that I believe so wholeheartedly – in every ounce of my being – that God placed this blog in my hands to do things much greater than post about decorating and crafts. And is always SO clear when I talk about my health. The crazy *coincidental* timing of these posts – well, I know they aren’t coincidental at all. The people I’ve connected with because of this blog who also have CVID, or other health issues, but still find the world less alone by hearing someone else’s story – it’s the beautiful thing about this connected world. I’m telling you- I can feel God working in my life so very much when I sit down at this keyboard.
But you see, those I’ve talked with about CVID…we all have similarities of course, but the thing about this particular disease is how it can take you in so many directions. One might have this, one might have that, one might have another thing altogether. You learn that no two people with CVID are exactly the same. But one thing we have in common is being at risk for certain cancers.
One of those being lymphoma.
And I’ve had a large lymph node on my neck that had been causing me some concern. Especially since I am more at risk for lymphoma. (And when you google lymphoma, by the way, you immediately see a woman with a lump on her neck that looked EXACTLY like mine).
Lesson here, folks: DO NOT EVER BE DR. GOOGLE. LIKE, EVER.
That, on top of the fact that my doctor wanted it biopsied…well, it made for a scary January.
People were telling me not to worry, it’s probably nothing. And I wanted to feel that way – more than anything. But when you’ve been dealing with weird health stuff for so long, one of them being an immune deficiency that makes you more at risk for lymphoma and you have an enlarged lymph node…it was pretty hard not to freak out. But I tried my hardest.
It was really hard. There were so many moments where I’d look at my children and need to hide in the bathroom and cry because I’d let my mind go there.
I was mentally preparing myself for the worst. I got incredibly close with God. I talked to Him more than I ever have. Over and over and over…and over again. When my anxiety would hit the roof, I prayed that God would grant me peace and comfort. I prayed for strength to fight whatever was about to happen. That whatever His plan was, that we don’t lose faith in Him. Because of course, bad things – really bad things – happen every day. God didn’t promise us an easy life, but He did promise us He’d walk with us every step of the way. And if things got ugly and our faith was tested, I wanted us to only grow stronger in it. Not waver, not give up. No matter what. I prayed that so. many. times.
During the last week, after my biopsy and before the results, when I was at my most scared, I felt God stronger than ever before in my life. The gospel and homily at church was more timely than you could possibly imagine and I cried from beginning to end of that hour – I kid you not. I was the crazy lady IN THE FRONT ROW, mind you, who could not keep it together. Did I mention the communion hymn was Be Not Afraid?? YES. I mean, REALLY. I just lost it. There were too many emotions to explain, but mostly, the tears were there because I felt God so strongly there with me. You ever have those moments when you can just feel Him working? It’s the most amazing thing, isn’t it? Leaving that church, my husband looked at me and felt it too. I decided I was at peace with whatever news I was about to receive that week. We were going to be ok, whatever happened.
Then the call came on Thursday. Six days after the biopsy. It was all ok. I was ok. I WAS OK. It’s probably just some freak result of an infection that hasn’t gone away, and we just need to monitor it, make sure it doesn’t get bigger, but it’s going to be ok.
Cue the tears. (Shocking, right?)
I can’t say it was a good month. But I can say it was a life-changing one. I shared this post on Instagram on Saturday morning:
“The hubs and I had a long overdue Date Night last night. It was a really, really good one. The kids spent the night at their favorite place (their grandparents’ house), we went out to dinner, and just like in our early dating days, grabbed a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on the way home for a late night snack. 😉 Curled up and watched a movie and it was truly, truly glorious.
January was a very scary month with health issues. But we received news that my biopsy showed nothing to be concerned about, thank you God. Paul is still asleep, and the kids are still at my parents’, and the sun is finally out – FINALLY – and just the beauty of this bowl of fruit and cards for my kids overwhelms me with gratitude. I’ve been making this man a bowl of fruit every Saturday and Sunday for the past 13+ years. And every single time he is so appreciative. This scary month has really showed me how these little things – like bowls of fruit and love letters taped to your kids’ doors – these little things are what it’s all about. I noticed so much this past month – things and moments that typically have passed me by – and that has been a gift through it all.
Love your people, do the little things, and realize how crazy precious life is. Have a beautiful, blessed weekend, friends.”
And holy cow is it true. The things…the moments…just stuff like my son climbing in my bed at night and wanting me to scratch his back while I read my book. Packing lunches for my family. My daughter asking to help with dinner and teaching her how to cut up the potatoes the same size so they cook evenly. All five of us piled on the couch watching Wheel of Fortune together. These are the everyday things that I never took time to appreciate before. They were just motions. Now, they’ve morphed from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and have been magnified. By like a million. So much so that it’s all I see. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful to see it from this angle.
So that’s what’s been going on over here. I know it’s been quiet on the blog, but I just haven’t had much decorating on the brain. From the bottom-est bottom of my heart, I thank you for your prayers. I felt them, I really did.
And to my fellow CVID Zebra friends on this lifelong rollercoaster ride, I hope you’re experiencing one of the less exciting times at the moment. If you’re not, I hope you feel my prayers. You are never alone.