I do not ask questions for which there are no answers. A question is followed by a natural pause. When we ask a question that has no answer that pause goes on forever. If the questions are important, if they come from the depths of our broken soul, that pause is accompanied by a pain that goes on forever as well. There is no room within my heart for anymore pain. My heart cannot handle the pause of asking a question like, “Why is this happening to Izzy…Again?” Questions like this will never be answered this side of heaven and I have learned to simply not ask. To accept this broken world for what it is: a land of constant tragedy, void of reason.
Our first week of treatment was such a kind re-introduction to chemotherapy. But this week. This week we remembered chemotherapy is often a lion in sheep’s clothing. It is so gentle and quiet at first and then it attacks, like a thief in the night, stealing quality of life, pilfering joy and hope.
This week Izzy lay on the couch and moaned quietly, her hand never far from a basin to throw up in. This week she hardly moved from that couch each day, mostly to run to the bathroom, her bowels tormented from the poison. She cried and she cried but mostly she just lay. Just lay, with a sad, pained expression on her face.
Izzy has lost over 4lbs in the past two weeks. The bones of her pelvis stick out obnoxiously on each side. Everything that goes in her goes straight through her. The nausea has subsided, but the diarrhea and abdominal cramping are at an all time high. Her counts have dropped, she couldn’t go out in public if she felt like it. She is too weak to do much of anything. On the occasion we journey outside for a bit but she grows tired. She longs to go back inside to the couch.
I have made a pallet for her on the couch. Her favorite blankets and her pillow. Even her favorite stuffed animals on the back of the couch to sit watch over her. But they look creepy actually. They look lifeless and stuffed as she has paid them no attention. What good are a child’s toys if the child has no life to give them?
This week I remembered what the fight is all about and this week I remembered that it is her own. I can get a tattoo and I can shave my head. We can all rally around her with all the love and support and prayers in the world. But at the end of the day, and at the beginning of the day for that matter, the fight is Izzy’s. She is the one being knocked down. Yes I know, she will bounce back. But then, right away, she will be knocked right back down again. And with each hit she will fall faster, she will hit the ground harder and she will stay down longer. That’s not me being gloom and doom. That’s the science behind chemotherapy.
I have never known a pain like this. A sadness, a hopelessness so big that it would not fit within the confines of your heart. Often times I hear nothing around me but the emptiness inside my chest. I hear the void that is my soul and I think that this life cannot possibly be my own. But it is. That this life cannot be my child’s. But it is.This is our life for now. As we wait. As we pause.
As I was writing this post I listened to a worship song I used to listen to over and over again two and a half years ago on the Stem Cell Transplant floor. Desperate cries for redemption to overcome flowed from the headphones into my soul. Tears streamed down my face as I typed each key. My soul was raw and free for the first time. The Lord began to lift my head from the darkness. Suddenly I looked up and saw Carter standing in the doorway. He was watching.
“What’s wrong, mom?,” he asked, still keeping his distance. I struggled with my words. First said nothing and then decided to be upfront. He knew. I know he knew. “I’m sad baby.”
He walked closer to me now, “Why?” I took a deep breath and gathered my composure enough to speak clearly. My words were slow and deliberate. ” I am sad because Izzy is so sick.”
We have talked about Izzy being very, very sick since she relapsed. He has never wanted to go further. But this time he understood the word ‘sick’ to mean what it truly does for us. “Izzy is sick?,” he asked, as if he had never heard those words before.
“Yes, baby. Izzy is sick.” And he ran to my bed and buried his head in me. After a few minutes he looked up, “How sick is she?”
“She is very sick baby,” I said and he cried. I don’t know why he got it now, don’t know why he suddenly understood but he did. “Is she going to d-i-e?,” he asked with a terrified look on his face.
A few tears finally fell down mine, “I don’t know baby. I don’t know.”
“But. But. But I don’t want to be an only child,” he said and climbed up onto the bed with me to get more closer to me still.
For the next ten minutes we talked about tumors and chemotherapy, praying and healing and we talked about hope. I promised him that I would tell him if the doctors told me they thought she was going to die. I promised. And I asked him to promise not to tell Izzy about how scary the kind of cancer she has is. He agreed.
If you wanted a feel good read tonight, you clicked the wrong link. This is the honest, raw, heartbreaking story that is ours. That is Izzy’s. This is Izzy’s story and this is Izzy’s fight.
We walk slowly with her in this suffering, in this pause. We wait and see what the journey has next for us. We continue to ask the Lord to lift our heads from the darkness every day. We ask for His mercy, His grace and above all, His Healing. And then we wait, in yet another pause that is accompanied by a great pain.
Blessings on you today and LIFE for Izzy.
13 Replies to “In The Pause”
Words cannot come close to expressing what I would like them to but please know that even in these most gut wrenching moments, you are not alone. I don’t know you or Izzy but I stand with you our arms linked together before the throne of God pleading on her behalf.
There are no words. My family and I will continue to pray ferventlyy for Izzy. She reminds me so much of St. Therese, who like Therese, gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden.
As I am battling my own cancer and watching it affect my babies, my heart aches for you. You and your family will be in my prayers.
Continued prayers for your family. From Amy & Ryley (pgh)
I have been following your Izzy’s story – and your story – for a long time since my friend is a friend of your friend and she asked for prayers for you guys. I am not religious so I don’t think I can offer anything in that regard. But I write because I want you to know that you, and Izzy, and your son and your husband are in my mind and heart quite a bit. This is awful and wrong and I hate what is happening with your dear girl. And I’m so glad your boy could talk about this with you. That means you are doing good, mama. I have nothing to offer you other than the fact that I am listening to your testament, and I hear it. I am wishing all of you peace.
Molly, your open and honest sharing continue to be a source of inspiration as you and Izzy and your family travel the dark path through the valley .You like thepsalmist of old return to relying on God for strength and support. I know God is sharing Izzy’s pain. We all are sharing her pain and your suffering also.
Prayers of loving light sent to you and your wonderful family.
Sweet girl I pray for you every day and your on my mind. When I need a pick me up I think of your smile and getting on the bus with that big monkey…lol. fight izzy fight. MRS AMY love you!
Love and heartfelt prayers to you, your entire family and especially Izzy!! Izzy sounds like a true trooper. Standing and believing with you LIFE FOR IZZY!!!!
I have followed your story for two years now, as long as we have been fighting for this same disease. My daughter is about same age and we have now enjoyed our “freedom” after treatment about half a year. I really wish all the best for you and your family and LIFE FOR IZZY! She’s so sweet!
I have also been following your and Izzy’s story for the last couple of years and said many prayers for you. I don’t know you (I think I saw someone shared one of your posts on Facebook), but I’ve feel like I do. Tomorrow is a sad day for me. My divorce will be final. A good marriage that was ruined by mistakes I had no control over. I am at home feeling sorry for myself and wondering why God allowed this to happen. Then I read your most recent post. If you and Izzy can handle what she is going through, I can make it through too. Thank you Izzy for your strength! You are my inspiration tonight!
I’m sorry to hear about this loss for you, Laura. Thank you for reaching out. I am so blessed to hear that Izzy’s story has been an encouragement to you. I pray that on the hard days the Lord will lift your head out of the darkness just as He has ours. Blessings. ♡
I do not know your pain and suffering but Jesus does. I don’t have any right words to say but I know the Holy Spirit will interpret my groanings for your family into prayers that will be laid before the throne of God. I will be praying for you. Every day. Loving you in Jesus’ name, Jeanne Duran