I figured it was about time that I (Lindsay) write things from my own perspective starting where Cody left off. That day a few weeks ago when we got to see how well our little baby was growing and moving was probably one of the most exciting times in our lives thus far. Any time we can see that little boy and hear his heartbeat every negative thing around us seems to fade away, even if just for a few seconds. What we didn’t realize at the time was that this moment of pure joy was soon to be followed by pure devastation just a few short hours later.
When we left Maternal Fetal Medicine and headed over to Illinois Cancer Care we knew our day was going to shift gears a little. At the time we really didn’t think much could be said to totally derail us. I had done minimal research online about my diagnosis of small cell ovarian cancer just so I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect. What I failed to realize was the excruciatingly different pain there was between reading something online that may pertain to you and having a doctor that has studied your case tell you that those statistics actually do pertain to you.
Going into this meeting with your gynecoligical oncoligist I had the bare essentials when it came to information. I knew that my diagnosis was small cell ovarian cancer, I knew that this form of ovarian cancer was very rare and very aggressive, and I knew from my minimal research that the overall survival rate was about 10%. (That’s when I stopped doing my “research”). Our doctor didn’t waste any time getting down to business and explaining to us what we were facing. As I sat in what seemed to be the world’s smallest room with my husband of less than a year, my mother-in-law, and both of my parents it felt both like time was standing still and that time couldn’t move fast enough to get me out of that facility.
Our doctor came in, looked us straight in the eye, and told us the statistics of patients facing this disease. He told us that they were classifying this as stage II and that 50% of patients live a year after diagnosis and that 10% make it 5 years. He definitely wasn’t sugar coating it. I cannot even begin to explain to you the amount pain, devastation, anger, or fright that goes through you in a matter of minutes after someone tells you you may only have a year left to live, especially while growing my first baby inside of my cancerous body. He continued to talk to the rest of my family for about a half hour more, but I can honestly tell you that I didn’t hear a word he said after those statistics came out of his mouth. I could hear his voice, but all I could think about doing was getting up and running as far away from that building as I could possibly get.
What seemed like decades later we were finally able to head for home. That 45 minute drive back to Bloomington was filled with tears, silence, and more tears. No one knew what to say to each other or what to do to make the situation better. That feeling of uncertainty lasted the rest of the night as Cody and I layed in our bed with our dogs and just cried. Those next 12 hours I went through so many emotions that I would never wish on anyone. I went from asking God why to just sobbing uncontrollaby to just being outright mad. I didn’t (and still don’t) understand why it had to be us. All I’ve wanted my entire life is to be a wife and a mom and raise the perfect little family. I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around why I felt like all of that was getting taken away from me the second that it was all so close. The sobbing that continued for the next several hours was out of complete shock, terror, anger, having to possibly leave my husband, and the thought of not getting to be around to watch my baby boy grow up. While I would imagine that all of those feelings are “normal” to feel for someone dealt the cards we were dealt, I didn’t want to spend any more time feeling those things or sitting around thinking about how much time I may or may not have left. Trust me I know, that is all easier said than done.
Those of you that know me, know that I am a fixer. I dislike problems and I dislike it even more when I am faced with a problem that I cannot fix or do anything to change. This has been an ongoing struggle for me since this diagnosis. I just want to be able to fix it. For me, for my husband, for my family, and most importantly for this little baby. Unfornuately, fix it I cannot. But what I can do is trust in the team of doctors that we have and fight my ass of to be around for decades and decades more. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not, nor have I ever been, a statistic. I understand that it’s part of a doctors job to tell patients the reality of any situation they’re facing. But we also have to realize that no one except God, not even those doctors, actually know what side of those statistics we fall on. I have to trust that God has a bigger plan for me and my family in all of this and that he only puts these unbearably heavy burdens in front of people that are strong enough to handle them. So that’s what we’re doing. We’re handling it. One day at a time.