Last I wrote, he had received his diagnosis, but we had not yet decided on a treatment plan. I'm sorry I never updated. I kept meaning to, but every time I sat down to write,
Even after spending February-April on hospital bed rest in 2012--even after losing my father, suddenly and unexpectedly, in February of 2013--I can honestly say that this past fall/winter was the hardest I've ever endured.
Mr. E began the first of seven rounds of chemo on August 29, 2014, one day after my 30th birthday. During the course of treatment, he lost his right leg to an above-knee amputation; suffered a life-threatening infection that landed him in the hospital for days; and had such bad reactions to one of the drugs that was meant to boost his immune system that once, he ended up passing out in the car while I drove us home in rush hour traffic.
I will never forget the sound he made as his head dropped forward. I was frantic, driving with one hand while trying to lift his head with the other, screaming at 911, screaming at him to wake up, praying that I wouldn't crash, all the while believing that I was going to lose him by the side of the road because the sounds he was making--those horrible choking, wheezing gasps--were the same ones my dad made as he lay dying.
He survived though, and we survived. That round of chemo ended, and then it was on to the next. I pray that I never have to see him, or anyone else, endure chemotherapy again. I know that it may have saved his life--that if any microscopic tumor cells had spread, the chemo was our only line of defense--and yet, it was more painful to see him undergo chemo than to see him undergo his amputation. Surgery takes what it will in hours; it isolates the problem area, but it spares the rest. Chemo though...
Chemo is relentless and debilitating and cruel. It chips away at you slowly, piece by piece, taking not just the parts that you want to be rid of, but also the parts that you are trying to save. Those were dark, hollow months. It took everything he had just to survive, so even when he was with us, he wasn't. I tried to be there for him, and to be both of us for our children, and it was the loneliest I have ever been.
His treatment ended in January, and he was given the highly coveted NED status (No Evidence of Disease). So far, his first two post-treatment scans have come back clean, and we are hoping beyond hope that so will each and every scan from here on out.
The truth is, Synovial Sarcoma is freakishly rare, and there is frustratingly little known about it. If you Go.ogle it (I shouldn't have!), his prognosis doesn't look good. At all. If you talk to his doctors, however, there is a much more hope. They specialize in sarcomas, so while his cancer is rare to the world, it is commonplace to them. They believe he has every reason to plan for a long, healthy life, and even if it takes a miracle for that to happen, he and I both know well that miracles exist.
For better or for worse, infertility has taught us that. The miracles we have already been given are sleeping right now down the hall: The two who, by all logic, should never have made it to term, and the one whose gender was given to me 9 months before his birth by my father in a dream. We have witnessed miracles of our own, and countless miracles in this community, and even though I know that things do not always go the way we pray, I have to believe that the miraculous will happen again. It has to.
So, here we are, one year later! Again, I'm sorry for not updating sooner, and again, thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. I am not sure what direction this blog will take, though as of now, I am unwilling to let it go completely. I plan on trying to catch up with all the blogs I've missed as soon as possible, but in the meantime, I hope you are well and as always, I wish you health and joy and baby dust. XO,