Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Grief and Battle

I can’t say that I never pictured myself going through this, this whole hellish cancer thing, because I think that it is every mother’s haunting fear. We’ve all had nightmares about our babies getting sick, about them fighting for their lives. Despite picturing myself going through it (my nightmares were much milder than the reality has been, btw), I still find myself waking up in shock that I am currently living it. My squishy, jolly, adorable little guy is hooked up to wires and tubes, as he sleeps off the trauma of getting his chemo shot (L-asparaginase). And the crazy part is,  none of that phases me anymore. We have spent the last 31 days in the hospital.

Oh my word.

I think a lot of people are concerned about how I am handling all of this... how I am doing, really doing.

I am tired, but, honestly, I am good. Not good in the sense that "everything's coming up roses," but good in the sense that daily I feel the Lord sustaining me, daily I feel the Lord knitting my little family together, and daily I see how He is growing me, changing me, breaking me into, honestly, a better, humbler, and more gentle woman.

People have asked about why I am not grieving more right now and I think it's because of a number of reasons.

1) We are over a month into this and are already adjusting to our new norm (talk about being immersed!). I still cry at times during quiet moments, but even those are fewer and far between. 

2) We are literally surrounded by sick, really sick kids all the time. Watts is a lot sicker than some but there are MANY who are sicker than him at any given time. Some even have the exact same diagnosis as Watts. It puts his leukemia journey (even scary Infant Leukemia) in perspective. 

3) Watts has leukemia and we are in battle against it right now. There is grief over the loss of the way we envisioned our life being like, grief over Watts' babyhood being spent in a hospital, and there is grief that there are a TON of questions in regards to the future... But it is a grieving what might have been, a grieving of having to let go of our plans and dreams for the next two years, and a grieving letting go of the facade that we can protect and control our kids. We ache that there is cancer in the world. It sucks. As does all broken things (sex trafficking, starving orphans, poverty). 

Long and short of it, I am grieving, processing, and feeling all of this, but I am sustained AND I am way more in battle-mode than grief-mode, because the battle is at hand! 

I just learned on Facebook that an old childhood friend lost her 15 month old son unexpectedly yesterday. I feel deep racking sorrow for her and have images of our own ICU time flash through my head. What if we too had lost Watts? How close were we?

I know very little of true grief as I hold and nurse my son, chemo drugs coursing through his veins and, Lord willing, saving his little life. And I pray for my old childhood friend whose sorrow must be unbearable.

I just don't have words.


  1. I think about you all of the time... I am so proud of you, I am learning so much from you, & am honored to call you my friend. Sending prayers your way! Rock on girl!

  2. Hannah,
    Praying for your sweet and precious Watts! Big hugs to you all!

    Bethany (Moldenhauer) Trent

  3. I came across this prayer the other day, and it made me think of y'all. We are praying this for you.

    Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for you love’s sake. Amen. - The Book of Common Prayer

  4. You are a blessed woman, Hannah! Blessed with strength in the Lord, wrapped in the confidence of His love :) I'm so glad to hear that Watts is nursing again. As a Mama, I know how significant that is. The example you are to anyone who knows you or is reading this blog is so amazing. I'm always so amazed at how God brings good out of bad - refining us for the world to see is not always a pretty process but the results are beautiful. Love you and prayers still going up every day. PLEASE, let us know what needs you have - how best to help, even from a distance. Gift cards??? anything you need??? Love you all! Aunt Jenny

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  6. (whoops! accidently posted as j, above :P although i know he shares my sentiments :)

    I am soso glad to hear that the Lord is sustaining you with His strength. He is Able, and so, too, are you and Michael.

    May He continue to uphold you!

  7. Thank you all for the prayers and encouragement!


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