And So It Begins

Today my upper body feels like a punching bag. My head is killing me this afternoon, and my neck and chest ache. From what I’ve read, this is not uncommon for the first few doses of the chemo I’m on. It’s the drugs attacking the cancer and putting up a fight. I’m thankful for that, although I’d like it to be much less painful. I am taking tylenol and ibuprofen, and it seems to be helping relieve the pain some.

I was able to work today and run a couple errands. I curled up for a bit with Cooper Dooper this afternoon and now I am cozy next to the fire, listening to the children chatter away while they fix snack and scheme about Christmas parties at school. Bella Boo has already changed into her dress-up outfit for the afternoon. She cracks me up and brings me some much needed delight.


Yesterday was a hard day.

But the love from so many of you… cards in the mail, a phone call with my dear Bethy, texts and emails, prayers and love. You helped make a hard day easier.

The emotions of walking into that center for more than just a check-up hit me a lot harder than I thought they would. My sweet mama was with me. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without her.

It was a long afternoon, but I think that’s mostly because they were busy with playing catch-up from the holidays and it was my first chemo again. I had papers to sign and forms to fill out and explanations to hear. The sheet of possible side effects was very long which took me by surprise considering they call this a “gentle chemo.” I think the difference is that many of these side effects are very manageable and less debilitating.


Still, seeing the alert on my chemo bag, taking the pre-doses of anti-nausea meds, having the nurse sit with me during infusion to make sure my veins could handle the chemo… it all brought back so much pain from the past and fear for the future. It is so much to take in, to comprehend, to feel…


There is hope.

There is hope that this chemo will knock the cancer out and I’ll just be on maintenance doses for the future. There is hope for a cure for cancer. There is hope that God will remove cancer from my body completely. There is hope for a new normal.

But there is more than that.

“It is Advent right now, and this year especially, I’m really thankful for Advent. Advent is about waiting, anticipating, yearning. Advent is the question, the pleading, and Christmas is the answer to that question, the response to the howl. There are moments in this season when I don’t feel a lot like Christmas, but I do feel like Advent.” (~Shauna Niequist)

Even in the howl of advent, there is hope.

Christ came. Christ lived. Christ died. Christ rose. Christ waits. Christ returns.

There is always hope.

Sunday night we sat with our children and talked about how life would change the next day, how we would begin a new normal.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

We are choosing hope. We are choosing faith. We are choosing love.



This is our rallying cry.

Thank you for rallying around us, with us. We are so very blessed by you.

(For those of you wondering, I’m realizing my explanation from my previous post may have been confusing. Chemo is only once a week on my “weeks on”, so I will have chemo on Mondays two weeks in a row, have a week off, then two weeks on, week off, and so on and so forth. Thank you for asking.)

3 responses to “And So It Begins”

  1. My eyes well up with tears and my heart swells with our hope. Thank you for your transparency. Thank God for the love He surrounds you.


  2. Saddened and praying for you and your family as you begin the “new normal”, but rejoicing with you in the sure and perfect hope the Advent gives us!


  3. I have never met you but Calvin Smith, a parent in the school where I work as receptionist in Roanoke, Virginia, asked those of us who prayed for his wife, Kim Smith, to pray now for you.
    It is an honor to do so.
    Humbling and frightening and a high honor.
    I began this journey at his invitation and with the post “The Post I Didn’t Want to Write” and now when I see “Spring of Joy” in my inbox at work I wait until the distractions are minimal around me and open it thoughtfully for prayer and understanding and updating.
    May I NEVER be so presumptuous as to think that I understand what it is like to be you. I can not. But as you write and I read, I am reminded of what it means to be human and what it means to have faith and what it means to have joy and what it means to be frightened and what it means to cry out and ALL the many things you relate to us so well. So thoughtfully and clearly. Thank you. You help us grow. You help us prepare. And you help us learn to trust and pray and fight and believe and wait. And I find that kind of encouragement that comes from doing life together. And especially that life in Christ together. Even with “strangers.” Strangers who know HIM by name can still feel related in that family way.
    And so, dear sister, I cheer you on. And as He leads, I will pray and believe with you that God will love on you in many abundant ways as you live life and live loved by Him. Glory to God as we live out loud the faith we have.


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