Thursday, May 29, 2008

It’s as Simple as a Mustard Seed!

How much faith do you need? Faith is easy to come by when you know the outcome but the true test of Faith is when you don't know what will happen!

The past two weeks have been especially difficult for me. First the hormone shots I was taking floored me. I had no energy for several days. I could barely pick myself up off the couch to go to the bathroom. This increased tiredness then led to feelings of sorrow. I was given the news that in my current condition running may never be possible. It would be easier if I didn't have a foot. That was not something I wanted to hear. Courtney ended up calling the fertility doctor to find out if what I was experiencing was normal. We were told these were side effects from the hormones. It was hitting me harder then most because my body was still recovering.

My trip down to Temecula for the Xterra West Championship was bitter sweet. It was great to see everyone. To feel "a little normal" since my life was turned upside down. I was glad I went because I had a chance to talk with friends and to let people see me in person. So many had no clue to the extent of my "illness." Most folks thought since the tumor was successfully removed that I was in the clear. Boy, you should have seen the looks on their faces! But then there were others that couldn't believe how great I looked. I guess it just depended on how you looked at my situation.

Watching the race was quite different for me. I have always been on the other side not the sideline! I'm not going to lie it was a little hard to swallow, but when the gun went off and the temperature reached 100 degrees I was happy to cheer the racers on and give splits. I think the hardest part was seeing Melanie come into transition off the bike and know I wasn't going to be trying to run her down. My Dad and I walked up to the finish line area so I could get out of the sun and watch folks run in. It was at that moment that I had the biggest desire to return to racing. I knew I was to sick to return to any racing this year but it lit the fire in me to do what it takes to get back to what I love. It was also nice to sit and talk with Melanie after she crossed the finish line in first place. She has been a huge support through this incredibly difficult time. In fact those that you least expect to be there have been there the most! If you would like to see a picture of use check out her website.

That fire that I had in my eye was quickly extinguished with a new set of challenges. As the time to harvest my eggs grew closer my ovaries were each the size of grapefruits. The tumor that was in there before was now replaced with two things that size. It wasn't bad until the morning of the egg retrieval. My stomach was completely swollen and I was having severe cramping. I kept telling myself it was all worth it and the pain would pass.

Sunday morning we received a call that sixteen of my eggs were mature enough. Sixteen, I can't believe it. In the midst of so many bad things, so much bad news we were finally blessed with good news. Praise God for that. As much as I wanted to go out and celebrate I was in too much pain and it was getting worse. I would cry in agony because the pain was so bad. If you think about it, just eight weeks ago I was sliced open and had my insides placed on a table to remove the tumor. Now all of those organs that were trying to heal were being crushed by two more giants. It was excruciatingly painful. I kept thinking if this was a precursor to child birth I am going to be waiting awhile because my body has already been through a lot and it still isn't over!

As I write this I am still in so much pain. I was crying up a storm to my Dad praying God would give me the strength or have mercy on me. For so long I have been in pain. Not knowing what is going to happen has been frustrating for me. I am starting to lose sleep again. I like to sleep. Sleep is when the body can heal itself. If I can't get the rest I need how is my body supposed to heal? When I thought I couldn't take anymore I opened up my computer to check my emails. As I read them I knew God had sent me the strength I needed to get through one more night. It was reading your words that I found comfort.

Back when I was in the hospital (I think the second time) I didn't know what was going on. I remember calling my Dad and balling my eyes out. I was scared. No one knew what I had or how to go about getting it out. My Dad told me to have a little faith. He told me all I needed was faith the size of a mustard seed and I could move a mountain. I dried the tears rolling down my cheek and asked if he could bring me a mustard seed.

When my Dad came to relieve Courtney he handed me a small box. I opened it and inside I found a cross on a chain. I asked my Dad who this was from. He looked at me and replied, "Me you ding dong! It's the mustard seed you wanted." As I looked closer at the cross there in the middle was a mustard seed. I smiled.

The greatest faith comes when you don't know what tomorrow brings. I am in a place in my life when I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I don't know if I will wake up and be healed. I don't know if I will ever be able to race again. I don't even know if I will need to go through chemo after my radiation treatments. The one thing I do know is that I only need faith the size of a mustard seed!


Chili said...

You'll get through this -- you have a mustard seed!! You've always been an inspiration, but more so now than ever. At this weekend's Richmond Xterra, YOU will be the one I'll think of when those whiny negative monsters get in my head saying I can't swim or run fast. One thought of how you're praying to swim/run/bike again, is all it takes to move my butt -- FOR YOU! Always thinking of you.

Ted said...

I meet you and courtney at last year's ICTN camp. I'm the one that runs trail ultramarathons. You are my inspiration! Keep up the fight!