Cancer, Favorite Posts, On My Mind

the hard thoughts.

a little update:

Nate has officially completed 8 treatments of radiation! 8 down, 25 more to go! So far Nate has still felt pretty good!  Good enough to get out and go snowshoeing a couple of times.  He already is saying food doesn’t sound as good though, has been a little tired, and he has had a little sore throat…#herewego.

Also, we officially decided not to do chemo.  The docs were leaning towards not doing it but they left it up to us to decide.  Because they are giving Nate the full dose of radiation (doesn’t happen very often) & with it being so close to his brain and other vital organs (eye, mouth, ear, etc) they were really worried that it could cause some permanent damage with only a little better improvement in survival rate.  So although it slightly kills me that we aren’t doing everything I am happy with our decision.  It wouldn’t be worth it to see Nate have brain damage or the like.  So 25 more treatments of radiation and we will see what happens from there!

p.s. I started seriously training for the Boston Marathon these past few weeks…Ames has been helping me out 🙂

Throughout these past 3 months of “cancer life” I have, obviously, had a lot running through my mind.  I have shared quite a bit on here, but not everything.  Not the really hard thoughts.  While I absolutely know my burden has been lifted (thanks to all of you & the Big Man) sometimes the weight of everything barrels down on me & the hard thoughts creep in my mind.  The last few weeks life felt much more normal – Nate was doing way better and we had a nice break from appointments, decisions, and just ‘cancer talk.’  For awhile there Nate’s diagnosis/surgery days were starting to feel like a really bad dream.  However, with the start of treatments, everything has felt real again.  And I’ll tell you what, sometimes reality isn’t the most lovely picture. 
This past week I have found myself pondering our situation.  I definitely think of how blessed we are and often go and reread all or your comments/messages (seriously, thanks for those).  But I also find myself thinking of the ‘what ifs’ & the ‘why us’. Starting with the hardball…

death:

What if Nate did actually die? I am so terrified of this.  Absolutely terrified.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think anyone should have to face the reality that you could be widowed at the age of 24 (or ever) with a sweet 1 year old babe.  It just should not happen…but it does.  I never feel like Nate is going to die, especially since he has been doing so well lately, but I hear stories all the time of “so & so” dying of cancer when just the month before they were out running 6 miles a day.  I get why cancer is crap now.  Totally get it.  Cancer doesn’t care how old or young you are or how good your outlook is…and I hate it.  I am terrified to live without Nate – what would I do?  The thought of dating again makes me sick & the thought of living alone scares me. And even worse than me living without him, I think of Ames.  How would I possibly explain to my sweet babe that the man who he runs into see the second I get him out of his crib in the morning isn’t there – and will never be there.  I don’t know how I could do it.  From the get go of this cancer crap I knew going through it would be really, really hard…but I felt like I could do it.  But just the thought of Nate dying…I fall apart. I will be a complete mess if everything turns out like this.

weakness:

I absolutely, 100%, hate seeing Nate so sick. The morning after his surgery I found myself staring at my beautiful husband.  He was SO beat up and had tubes, wires, IVs, coming out of literally everywhere.  Tears ran down my face as I thought of the man underneath…the man that is one of the most gifted athletes.  The man who is so smart it’s hard to follow along with what he is saying.  The man that can make anybody laugh (at least if you are close enough to hear him).  The man who is the best father.  The man who is one of the most gifted coaches.  The man who can make anyone feel good. The man who I love with everything I am.  It has been extremely hard to see him so weak.  It’s been so hard to see him to the point of welcoming death because he was so miserable.  I have tried to stay as strong as I could, knowing that it would all pass I would have my husband back (and luckily these past few weeks I have had him back). But the weeks after surgery were rough. And I know as treatments continue he’s going to get weaker and weaker and stay that way for months.  And I really, just really, don’t like it.

babies:

Another thing that has hit me hard is the possibility of infertility.  Right before Nate was diagnosed we started thinking of baby #2.  Then with everything that has happened we have been cautioned that there is a slight risk that we might not be able to have anymore kids.  Luckily, in our day and age there are great resources out there that we took advantage of.  So just in case treatments affect us having children the traditional way, we do have other options.  But it’s not fun.  I know there are so many out there that struggle with infertility and just the possibility that we could be one of them is so hard for me.  We also have been advised that we should wait at least a year before even trying to have another babe – just so we know Nate is on a good road.  I know that this doesn’t sound like a big burden…but I was beginning to really want another babe.  And now that we are told it might not happen & it at least won’t happen for a while makes me want one even more.

the unknown:

I think the over arching thing that is hard is just loss of control.  I like to be in control & to plan things out.  Right now our lives are totally “go with the flow.”  Which is hard.   Over Christmas break my family sat down and tried to plan a family vacation in the upcoming year.  It hit me that we have absolutely no idea where we will be or what we will be doing.  The adventurous side of me kinda likes it, but everything else in me gets bogged down.  I yearn for stability.  I want Nate to have a job & us to have a house that we know we’ll be able to at least plan on for 5 years.  I want to be sure that we will be able to have more babies without complications.  I want to know that without a doubt I will have Nate for the rest of my mortal life.  I want to KNOW things.  I have always had a yearning for knowledge & get impatient when I don’t know things…especially when those things are the direction of my own life.

…the hard thoughts.  There have been a few others but these are the worst.  Luckily, through prayer, I really feel confident that things will all work out.  I am, very luckily, most confident that Nate will ‘crush it’ and live a long life.  But I don’t know if that means that he won’t have more battles with cancer.  I just hope & practice all the faith that I have that I will get my eternal companion for mortality too.  I’m positive heaven knows I can’t do mortal life with out him.  I know that sometime down ‘the road’ that I’ll look back at this time, with more babies, good job, house, etc, and know that it was worth it.  I don’t ever think I’ll look back and think “wow, that wasn’t as bad as it felt” cause, frankly, it’s rough.  But I know I can look back stronger. Look back with wisdom & knowledge I learned from this time.  Look back with a proud heart, because we freakin’ domiNATEd the heck out of cancer and all its crap!

But until then, I’m still learning, growing, and I still have these hard thoughts on my mind.

  

2 thoughts on “the hard thoughts.

  1. I so get it! The diagnosis day. The being carried. The surgery. The long recovery. Watching them sleep-tears like you never knew you had. Decisions you don't want to make. Those weeks in between that you try to be normal, but life just isn't. Jake starts radiation in a week. It will be on his head and neck. He was a strong athletic kid. He has lost 40lbs from surgery and chemo. Chemo was horrible. It will be there but you can't go back once you do it. I have watched you guys go along- diagnosed almost the same time. We saw

  2. (Cont) Nate in Hunts office in the beginning. Didn't know you, but Jake watched him. He said at 17, that it would be harder at Nates age. It's just hard. Any age. Cancer respects no person. I hate the what ifs. All I know is for every trial we get some equal blessing. This is quite the trial. I will keep you in our thoughts and prayers! Hang in there fellow fighter! Watching our people suffer is really the hardest thing I have done – and I am old! Sorry Kacee. Love you. Kerri Brown(Courtney's mom)

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