Friday, April 24, 2009

a word I never thought I would speak with such joy

Benign.

I have been waiting for a while to post about this because I wanted to have news first. The news is: The lump on my left breast is benign.

The ordeal started roughly a month ago when I noticed a small lump. A few weeks later I noticed it had gotten bigger, so I scheduled a visit with my nurse practitioner. She felt the lump and thought it was okay, but wanted to be sure, so she sent me to a specialist.

I went to the specialist this past Tuesday. I was scheduled for an ultrasound, and I ended up having an ultrasound and 3 mammograms. Then they had me come back on Wednesday for a biopsy.

After 2 long days of waiting, I got a call at about 7:20 this evening, letting me know that I do not have breast cancer.

The relief is incredible. But the really incredible thing is what has happened over the last week and what I have seen God do in my life.

Of course my human nature has had me nervous throughout the ordeal, but I really have had a peace that passes all human understanding through it all. God has been with me in a very real, very comforting way.

Today I realized that, no matter what the diagnosis, I was ready to trust in God and His plan. None of this has been a surprise to Him, and if He decided that I should have breast cancer at age 25 and pregnant, I actually would have completely trusted that.

I realized it today and I was having a very honest discussion with my mom. I told her that no matter what the news, I didn't think I would be shocked or even really surprised at all. I was prepared for anything the Lord had in store, truly. She confessed that she understood and actually felt the same way. We talked about what would happen if I were to leave my earthly body behind, and although I felt melancholy about the prospect of leaving my child(ren) without a mother, I felt comfort and peace that he/they would be cared for, and that they would be okay.

With that, over the last 24 hours I have truly realized what my family means to me. My WHOLE family, and of course specifically my husband and my son. I ADORE THEM. I adore them so much. And I think I just felt the depth of it for the first time today. Literally. For the first time.

Within minutes of realizing that fact, the doctor called to let me know that I do not have cancer and that the only "treatment" required would be a follow-up ultrasound in 1 year.

So I am spared, at least for now, and I am so thankful. I am so thankful for the peace God has given me through this whole thing and I am so thankful for the new insight I have because of it. I have truly grown through this trial, and I am so, so joyful because of that.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. [James 1:2-3]

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, [being] much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see [Him], yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith--the salvation of [your] souls. [1 Peter 1:6-9]

I realized that, compared to actually fighting cancer, my "trial" was pretty weak. But it did the trick. It made me focus on the Prize--it made me focus on Jesus.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

God pulled one over on us...

So you may recall that a few short weeks ago, Bo and I were lamenting the loss of a possible huge promotion. Since then, he has received a small promotion, and we are content with what God has given us.

Fast forward to yesterday.

Bo decided to go ahead and apply and interview for 2 branch manager positions that had opened up. Although he has only been an assistant manager in Virginia for about 3 weeks (typically it's a matter of 6 months at least (usually more) before you can be a branch manager), he had been an assistant in Texas for quite a while (a year I think?), so he decided to go ahead and try his best to convince everyone that he was the guy for the job.

He came out of his two interviews yesterday with very distinct impressions. The first was for a position in Farmville (90 minutes away!!!). He thought it went really well, so I was happy for him. The second was for a position on West Broad Street (about 25 minutes away), and he thought that interview went terribly. He got the impression that the guy interviewing him there really wanted nothing to do with him.

We knew that either position was a long shot, and after his interviews, we figured that if he were to get one of them, it would probably be the Farmville one.

We were wrong; he did NOT get the Farmville one.

He got the West Broad one.

WOW.

We are so thrilled; Bo is shocked and ecstatic! This means a significant pay raise and a company car!!!!!

I am constantly amazed by God. We couldn't see the whole plan; we never can. One month ago we were devastated that Bo had missed out on a big promotion. Today we are thrilled that he has gained a wonderful, huge, different promotion.

God really does cause all things to work toward good to those who love Him. I always knew it was true, but this is a clear example of it in our lives. Amazing.

In other news...
We heard the baby's heartbeat again today...briefly. The nurse had a really hard time getting a reading of more than a few seconds because that little bugger would not hold still! It was so funny; the nurse would find a good, strong heartbeat, and a second later it would be gone. Then she'd find it again on the other side of my abdomen...and then it would be gone. Then she'd find it up near my rib cage...and then it would be gone. Looks like we have another energetic baby on our hands!! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

12 weeks

I had my 12 week OB-GYN appointment this morning. It went really well! This was the first appointment with my actual doctor. Last time I saw the nurse practitioner, and she was fine, but I was not terribly excited about her or impressed.

In fact, after relaying to her my history of PIH, she actually said sarcastically, "and now you're pregnant again, great."

That was a turn-off.

But I digress.
My doctor was FANTASTIC. She is friendly, informative, helpful, etc. And her family lives in Austin, so we bonded over that! She was very encouraging, and she spoke to me like a person, not like an idiot, which is always nice. She had a satisfying answer to every question.

As expected, she wants to watch my BP and the baby's growth very, very closely, especially as we get to the end of the 2nd trimester and into the 3rd. If anything is amiss, I will immediately be put on bed rest.

However, she had lots of information to share on my previous condition, and she seems optimistic that even if I do have BP/growth restriction issues again, it is usually a later onset in 2nd pregnancies, and it is typically less severe than in the first pregnancy.

She also had lots of info on research that has just come to light in the last couple of years, so if you're interested, I'll tell you, but it's a lot to blog. And it would probably bore most people. :)

I also brought up the fact that my previous doctor did not think I would be able to deliver a baby over 5 lbs. I asked her what she thought she would want to do if/when the baby starts measuring over 6 lbs. She basically said it was up to me, that we could try a vaginal delivery and if the baby gets stuck or whatever we can always switch to a c-section if need be. She also said that if I really wanted to she would be willing to schedule a c-section, but I think I'll at least try to do it the "old-fashioned way" haha. We shall see; we have a while to think about it!

Anyway, I am feeling much more comfortable after talking to Dr. Powers. She is very, very astute and she has a great bedside manner. I feel great knowing she is in charge of my care!

Oh...and we also heard the baby's heartbeat today! 163 bpm.

The day that True Love died

Today is the anniversary of that day--the day that True Love, in the form of Jesus Christ, died.

Phil Wickham sings:

"When blood and water hit the ground,
Walls we couldn't move came crashing down

Tears were filling heaven's eyes
The day that True Love died."

Jesus knew what was happening; the night before He was crucified, He prayed that if there were any other way, God the Father would spare Him the suffering of death. But He most importantly conceded, "Nevertheless, not My will, but Yours be done."

Hebrews 12:2 Tells us that Jesus knew the shame and suffering that were imminent, but He also knew that the reward of the shame and suffering--namely, saving the world, saving YOU, saving ME--would be worth it. "for the joy that was set before Him, [He] endured the cross, despising the shame."

That joy, the joy that was set before Him, is the promise of eternal life for all who believe in Him as their Savior.

As Jesus hung on the cross, He thought of you. He thought of me. Yes, I believe He literally thought of me, specifically, even though I wouldn't be born for nearly 2000 years. He already knew me and He died for me. And for you. Specifically, you.

He thought, "This is incredible pain and suffering, and I will endure it because that way Eryn will never have to endure it. And that way Eryn and I will get to spend eternity together."

Wow. I love Jesus.

Monday, April 6, 2009

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Nothing ever goes the way you plan...

including, and especially Monday mornings!

UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH

This morning Jack woke up saying he had to go potty. I rushed him into the bathroom, and since we didn't have his potty seat upstairs, I helped him to stand up to pee.

Except it didn't work out too well because he had to poop.

He pooped all over himself, the floor, and me. And mind you, it was mushy green poop (Lord knows why).

...to be followed up 90 minutes later with a pee-pee accident in his pants.

AWESOME.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gold Medal Mom

Oh my. What a morning.

After getting all my siblings off to school without any major issues, I was feeling pretty on top of it this morning as I headed for MOPS. I got a pretty good parking spot, locked the car, got out, and went to get Jack.

But the car was locked.

And my keys were inside. With my phone. And Jackson.

Enter panic mode.

I started by trying to get Jack to get himself out of his car seat. He didn't know how (although he's done it before when I didn't want him to) and he just got frustrated and started to cry. I started to look around frantically for anyone I knew (I knew my MOPS friends would be arriving and parking nearby), but no one I knew was around.

Finally a young man crossed the street near us. He could tell we were "in distress" and he looked over quizzically. I asked him if he happened to have a cell phone I could borrow. He did! Praise God!

I called Bo several times (he doesn't answer when he doesn't know the number) before he finally answered. However, I hadn't thought of the fact that I was driving my mom's car, to which Bo does not have a key.

In fact, the only spare keys were 30 minutes away from either of us, at my parents house. That meant that the fastest we would be able to get them and unlock the car would be at least an hour. I asked Bo to please think of something, call the insurance company, do something, and I hung up, thanking the young man profusely. He asked if there was anything else he could do, but I couldn't think of anything, so I sent him on his way.

Thankfully, by that time my MOPS friends were arriving. One of them, Betsy, offered me her phone and suggested that I call either the police or Pop-A-Lock. I tried but couldn't get through to anyone.

By now, Megan, Karen, and a bunch of my other wonderful MOPS friends had surrounded me with love and encouragement...and just as I hung up the phone there was a fire truck coming around the corner. All my awesome friends started flagging them down; someone had called them to help us!

The firemen were so kind; they saw that Jack was confused but okay, so they called Pop-A-Lock so that the car wouldn't get messed up in the unlocking process. They talked to Jack and Jack was very entertained by the fire truck.

Bo showed up for moral support and talked to Jack too. That made Jack's day--firemen AND Daddy?! Too good to be true!

Finally Pop-A-Lock arrived (FREE when there's a kid in the car YAY!!!) and Jack was out of the car, about 35 minutes after the start of the ordeal.

When I got that child out of the car I didn't think I would ever put him down, but soon he was asking to go play with his friends in church. I obliged and my MOPS experience continued as usual, without further event.

Let me just say: Thank God for my good parking space, near the church and in a high-foot-traffic area! Thank God for my mystery friend with the cell phone! Thank God for all my MOPS friends and the fire department and my supportive husband! Thank God Pop-A-Lock was free since there was a child in the car! And thank God it was 60 degrees and overcast so there was no danger of Jack getting too hot or too cold!!!

Boy do I feel like mother of the year, though...man nothing makes you feel worse than hearing your child say "Help me, Mommy!" and being unable to help.

Praise God for this too, though:
As we were leaving MOPS, there was a crowd of kids in Jack's little "classroom." As he was making his way to the door (carrying his own diaper bag, no less), he said "Excuse me! Excuse me!" To every kid he passed, very politely indeed. It was so sweet I nearly cried.

So...there was a HUGE blow to my mommy-ego...and then there was some awesome affirmation that I am helping God to raise an awesome, sweet, smart kid. That was so appreciated.