From there to here

I remember my last night in Florida vividly. I was sad, excited, melancholy, and really looking forward to the adventure ahead. I was moving to Missouri… me, an east coast girl, living in the midwest. As my family slept I walked out into my driveway, which was our yard in the small, but cozy townhouse which had been our home for two years. I wanted to pray and thank the Lord for all of it, for my life so far and the great life I have. I wanted to spend time breathing in the Florida air. Then I cranked up Ellie Goulding’s song Lights and began dancing around outside, in the middle of the night. I was so nervous and excited. I looked forward to a good life ahead.

When we got here I had a lot going on. I had to deal with the loneliness. I went from being surrounded by people all the time to feeling lost and alone. I knew no one but my in-laws. Seriously, I knew nobody here. I had a lot of work to do on the house as it hadn’t been lived in for a while and needed a lot of tlc. But, little by little this became our home. There’s still much to do, but I am not a millionaire so everything that hasn’t been done will have to wait.

I tried to stay in shape by working out, but I noticed my heart working overtime. I became exhausted and winded going up and down the stairs. Homeschooling was going fantastically, but even that began to suffer as I felt sick all the time. After visiting the doctor for what I was sure would be lung cancer, other things were found. Not lung cancer, phew! It didn’t matter what was found though, because I felt like my body was dying. Lord, did You bring me here to wither away? Should I have stayed where I was because I was so healthy there? It probably wouldn’t have made a difference, but it did begin to seem like my hopes and dreams of my new life were being stripped away and I wanted to go back, to when I was better and exercising all the time and feeling social.

Sometimes I step outside just for a moment. I want to look at our great big yard and the hills far off and the lights from the city at night that I can see from my yard; I want to remember that I came here to have a better life for me and my family. Right now my weeks are filled with homeschooling and appointments and trying to keep up with both. Yesterday I got news. Some of it may be fixable and some of it may be permanent. My nodule is suspicious for malignancy, and the others may be too, but the largest one which takes up half my thyroid lobe, is not something my doctor is comfortable with. Today I find out what we do about it. I have two large nodules which have popped up on my right lobe, but the one on the left is the scary one. In one report the radiologist used the term carcinoma. Look it up as I can’t even bring myself to type what the word means, but it’s bad.

I also just found out why I can’t breathe. When I was a child I had a heart murmur. All of my pediatricians assured my parents I would grow out of it. It would never affect me, or so we were told. Well, my aortic isthmus is thickened and I can’t breathe. It’s my murmur, the one that was supposed to go away. It came back, and only recently began bothering me. I had what is called a “normal” heart murmur, which means a doctor can hear my murmur on a stethoscope. Other than that, nothing, no other symptoms. An abnormal murmur can cause no symptoms or it can cause problems, like mine. Many things can make it an abnormal murmur. One of them being anemia, which I have struggled with on and off for most of my adult life. Now that we are getting things figured out, we can begin the process of treatments. I don’t know what they are yet. We are much further along in the process of getting me well. I was not sent here to die. It’s not the end, which it really did feel like. It’s only a very difficult time for us… my family is going through this with me.

I have tumors in my neck and a heart that is not getting enough blood. I need to get all this wrapped up this month and tied with a big red bow. Next month I begin my series of abdominal appointments, there are three on the calendar so far, not including the surgeries that will come after the appts. Those surgeries are going to be very, very painful. Abdominal surgery in which parts of the body are removed and cut and cauterised is tortuous. The nurse who took care of me last time said that it’s because we use our abdominal muscles for every movement. Makes sense. It’s a very busy, emotional time in my life. Yesterday I lay in bed and allowed myself 10 minutes to cry. 10 minutes to feel sorry for myself. I am a big girl and I have been through worse than this. It’s hard because I felt so strong and healthy just a few months ago. Then I got really, really sick and never fully recovered. At least it’s not lung cancer, and for that I am truly grateful.

I have to prepare for the day. Today we decide if I get a fine needle aspiration or just go straight to removing the damn thing. I don’t know if I can physically show up for a fine needle aspiration (FNA) so I hope we bypass that due to the ultrasound results being so informative and the symptoms being so irritating. My right thyroid lobe is “scattered” with nodules, with 2 big ones, and my left lobe is “scattered” with many including a very large one, called a tumor. I would have to get so many of them biopsied that it’s almost not worth doing it with needles. It may be easier to go in and remove them in one fell swoop. We’ll see what doc thinks.

Thanks for reading friends. I couldn’t bring myself to write for two days. Then my husband played the Ellie Goulding song for me last night and it brought back a flood of memories I had from my last night in Florida. I had such dreams for our family. We felt like pioneers leaving everything and heading west. Nothing has turned out like I thought it would. The valleys are low and I am weak. I trust in the Lord, this is where His strength is seen most. He is faithful and true and even if I spend the rest of my days feeling this way it doesn’t change Him, His love is enough. I hope I feel better this year, but my joy will not be dependent on my circumstances. I won’t wait to feel joy or peace. When we moved here I was filled with dreams and hope and it’s time to remember that His goodness has not wavered since. I am joined with Him and I will partake of Him during this time.

Yes, this is not fun, but I leave you will this, Psalm 40:1-3 NLT,

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.

Goodbye until tomorrow,

Love,

Jackie

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2 thoughts on “From there to here

  1. Jackie, I just want to send you a testimony of faith in Jesus…we have come through a very deep valley of trial, not of health but of finances. The Lord IS faithful. He allowed our trials and drew us closer to Him. He answered our prayers above all that we thought to even ask for. Keep trusting and praying. Take rest in His perfect peace.

    • Thank you Heather. I am learning the hard way that all of it leads to Christ. The good and the bad. And through the bad I am learning what it means to lean on Him. If it brings me to know more of Him, I would be grateful for anything! Thank you for the encouragement to pray. I had a hard time doing that for a while. I just couldn’t. It’s CHrist who is bringing back to the precious act of communicating with Him. Trusting and praying is what I will be doing. Thanks again, God Bless you! In Him, Jackie

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