Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thank you

My dear, wonderful praying friends,

Spring 2015 was the most horrific health season I'd experienced in my six years of illness. I didn't blog much about what was going on in my body that semester, but I often felt like I was dying. When I finally found doctors who helped me get on a trajectory of healing in the late summer and fall, I told God I could never, ever endure that kind of physical suffering again and begged him to protect me from it.

But then, this last January, after some consecutive treatments-gone-awry, my health spiraled back into that nightmarish place, and now I find myself wrapping up a semester of physical and psychological suffering comparable to last spring.

I could never, ever have made it through this semester without you.

Your presence, prayers, and encouragement were a word-defying gift to me.

There were so many things I was afraid would happen this semester that didn't because God is good and you were praying.

Every morning, when I walked down the stairs to grab a water bottle before heading to work for the morning, I felt my legs buckling beneath my weight, and I wondered if I would fall down the stairs and injure myself. I only fell once, but I didn't injure myself.

There were lots of mornings when, in the middle of teaching, the world grew dark and I knew I was seconds away from passing out, but I never did.

As the list of foods my body could tolerate dwindled, I wondered if my already-slender frame would become emaciated from a lack of calories and nutrition, but it didn't.

I spent at least 21 hours of every day in bed almost everyday this semester, and I could have been plagued by panic attacks from the horror of it all and the havoc the viruses wreaked in my nervous system, but I wasn't.

A number of times my eyesight dimmed and I momentarily lost my hearing, and although the viruses infecting me can cause blindness and deafness, I can still see and hear.

Many times, while I was resting in bed, I felt like I was on the brink of a seizure. It was a strange sensation, sort of like when a sneeze builds up, but I never seized.

In December, one of my doctors told me that if I ever have to get chemo, one of the viruses infecting me could very easily blind me. Last month, one of my doctors had me screened for breast cancer because of a few new, alarming symptoms, but we didn't find breast cancer, and I didn't have to get chemo.

There were a handful of times when I knew how vulnerable I was to more infections — how very near to death I could be in a body too weak for antibiotics, but you guys, I didn't die. I am tempted to couch this in humor somehow, because it feels uncomfortable and easily misunderstood, but those of you who are sick like I am know: we are fighting for our lives here.

So many other things could have gone wrong, but didn't; and I am alive, and now, more than ever, life is so fiercely beautiful.

Because my health problems have been so serious, I seriously considered quitting school and taking a break from work, but every time I decided I should quit, God made it clear that I shouldn't. I'm not sure why, exactly, but he was clear, so I decided to stay the course, and all of you prayed.

All of you prayed and prayed and prayed, and you read prayer update after prayer update, and you ran my errands, and you made me food, and you sent me gifts and notes of encouragement, and you took me to doctors appointments, and I made it through another unspeakably difficult season.

A few days ago I turned in my grades, and now, it is officially summer, and I can rest and explore new treatments that will, hopefully, pull me out of this pit.

And so my dear, wonderful, praying friends, cheers to you for praying me to the finish line:

I finished my last batch of grading on Monday

I am unspeakably grateful for you, and I love you.



  1. Love you dearly, my long time friend. So thankful for each person praying for you and standing with you. And grateful for a God that intervenes and brings peace and joy, at all the right times, even when it doesn't make sense. Love you to the mooooooon. -Rach

    1. Love you, too, Rach. I'm thankful for your prayers — and the prayers of your faithful Bible study group members — and I'm thankful for a God who is always presence in the stuff-that-doesn't-make-sense.

      Hugs and hugs and hugs!