The past two days, I have written brief updates on Facebook about where we are in this whole “what’s going on with my vocal cord paralysis” mess. Y’all I have been so overwhelmed by your response. This morning as I wept through comment after comment of your love, encouragement and prayers, all I could think was how I wish I could sit down and write a note to each one of you… to sit with beautiful stationery and my colorful sharpie pens and pour out my heart. How I wish I could sit with you over a cup of coffee and tell you what it really means to me–your love, your prayers, your encouragement.
Two small words.
Please don’t miss the weight of them.
So where are we now?
Still in limbo. Still no real answers of why I have the paralysis.
Thankfully the radioactive iodine scan came back clear. This means there is no thyroid cancer recurrence. It was a huge relief. I left the doctor that day and had lunch with my Mom. As I walked in the door, there stood my daddy, stopping by on his lunch break to see me, to hug me, to just say, “Hi.” I am so blessed. I know many of you do not have your parents here or a relationship with them like this. I realize what a gift I have. I ache for those of you who do not. Please know this.
Sipping on hot cider, Mom and I chatted about life, about struggle, about our fear, about the baggage we carry from a church in our past that distorted the truth and broke our souls. And always, Mom pointed me to Jesus. I need this. I need her.
Then last night, my ENT called. He called me dear heart, and I knew. This is not good. “You know that PET scan I wanted for you and your insurance wouldn’t approve? I need you to get one (and they’ll approve it now that you’ve had the CTs).” I asked him what he was seeing. There is a nodule they’ve been monitoring for nine months now (ultrasounds, CTs, etc.). He needs a clearer picture of it, because it looks like there is a second one there. This is new. He couldn’t tell me much more than this. I will see him on Monday and we will plan where we go from here. (Side note: Dr. A did say this brings us no closer to answers on the vocal cord paralysis which is just adds to the frustration.)
This is scary. I don’t want to go down roads I don’t need to. My history carries me there, but I’ve had many clear scans, too. My Bella was in the car with us when he called, so Bri and I had cryptic conversations. I took deep shuddering breaths to keep her from knowing. My children are so afraid of all of this. I watch them ache and worry and struggle. I see them fall apart over the simplest things or snap in anger at each other over minor incidents or curl up quietly wanting to do absolutely nothing but escape the world. I get it, because I see myself doing all these things, too. We are exhausted in every way. And Brian bears the physical weight of it all… working and helping with the kids and being Mom and Dad when I am unable to fulfill my role. He says little, but carries much.
So this is where we are.
And this is where you have stepped in.
You have been a community to me here when it was a literal physical struggle for me to have the community I long for (even as an introvert). You have pointed me to Christ when I couldn’t see Him. You have provided laughter and tears. You have provided meals and coffee and books and your presence. While there are aspects of this that only we can carry, can walk through, can bear, you have stepped in to carry and walk and bear what you can. Even if it’s a simple smile or heart on Facebook or a text that says, “I love you,” it is a gift.
They seem so little.
We say them so often they can lose their meaning.
But y’all, please don’t. Not here.
Thank you means all of this–this overwhelming gratefulness for how you have cared for me through the years in this little place. Many of you come with your own struggle, suffering and trial. I am keenly aware of how you encourage through your own pain.
You are gifts to me. To us.