You may be surprised by the events since my last post. I wrote last about having had a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) and that I had received a call from my doctor with the “all clear” on Wednesday afternoon. Imagine my surprise when on Thursday night I began to get a headache that remained untouched by any medication. My only relief came from lying flat on my back.

Now, I’m no stranger to headaches but what took place over the next several days was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I was literally immobilized by the pain. I lay in bed flat on my back all day Friday, all day Saturday and most of Sunday. Every step was calculated. Every unnecessary step was eliminated. After some frantic moments of worry and an email sent out to many of you, I began to realize from others that this headache was a common side effect. I’m not sure how I misunderstood this (although let’s remember that I had just had a needle placed in my back to suck out the spinal fluid and that I really shouldn’t be counted on to remember anything!).  I knew I might get a headache but that, that was no headache. Research online also confirmed that this headache was “normal” or at least to be expected and should last 48 hours or more. My (limited) understanding is that while the body works to replace the spinal fluid that was removed that there is an imbalance of pressure to my head/brain that causes the immobilizing pain.

I try not to spend much time on self pity or complaining and I’m usually good at seeing the good in situations (that’s all that positivity that I was talking about before) but that headache was tough. Admittedly, once I knew that the headache was a common side effect rather than something that was unique to my experience I was able to change my perspective and realize that an end was in sight, creeping closer with each hour. But I’m not going to lie, those few days were the most difficult of the recent past. I am thankful for your prayers during this last week, prayers from those of you who knew what was happening and those who prayed in a general way. God heard all of them and encouraged my heart.

Yesterday I was back at PMH to see Dr. Crump and he was pleased with my blood count results. And so, since I’m healthy enough, I’m going back on chemo this week. I’m just waiting on the order at my pharmacy. I told a friend earlier today that the irony isn’t lost on me that now that I am healthy, it’s time for chemo again.

I must admit to you that today’s been a tough day. I spoke before that cancer is not just a physical battle, but also one that is fought in the arena of the mind and emotions. I think that a combination of the headaches on the weekend, the weather and the weariness of the cancer is wearing me down today.

Before I go, a Nathan story:

**On Friday morning when I came down for breakfast I could hardly hold my head up. I didn’t know what was going on. As Jeff prepared breakfast for us Nathan was asking “Mommy, are you sick?” This question, as you can imagine, breaks my heart because the reality of the past few weeks is that I’ve been sick a lot. Jeff answered Nathan and said, “Mommy’s head hurts. She has a headache.” Nathan’s first response was to look at me and say “Mommy, I pray for you” and with that, he folded his hands and bowed his head and began to pray. “Dear God, please help Mommy’s headache to get better. Amen.” He then looked at me and said, “Mommy, God is healing your body.”

I am so thankful that God is using this experience to make Nathan into a compassionate little boy. At the same time, it breaks my heart that this is part of his “normal” experience. Jeff and I are learning what it means to parent a toddler while also dealing with a chronic illness. We’ve got a lot to learn but we’re up to the challenge.

Love to you all,

H.

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