I am completely unhinged. For the past several weeks I have managed to barely hang on but since 11pm last night I have been consumed by such dark and deep emotions that I fear I may have reached a point of no return. I solely blame a friend (who shall remain unnamed but he knows who he is! I really don't blame him!) for my collapse.
At about 11pm I read an email from this friend, a caring and loving email, but my undoing nonetheless. In this email, my friend talked about how much he had enjoyed the zoo party. He then went on to say the following:
My sobs began to become audible so I went back upstairs and sat in the cold dark bathroom. Why did this have to happen to Nina, to us?? We were good. I felt my despair begin to take over. I thought of all the people I knew who were plain crap, who repeatedly made terrible life choices irrespective of how they impacted their children. I had done everything to prioritize my children, put my own needs last, denied myself so many things so many times. But I was the one suffering not those people!!! Their children were safely in bed, healthy!!! Why?????
I don't remember falling asleep but I did...on the bathroom floor.
To say that this day started off miserably is the understatement of the millennium. My alarm woke me up at 7am. I was lying on the bathroom floor. The cat at my feet. How sad!! It was time for Nina's medicine. I texted Todd to see if he had already given it to her and he had. I crawled into bed and pulled the covers tightly around my neck. My head felt heavy, like a hangover. I wish it were only a hangover! I slept for another 2.5 hours. I woke up and remembered I had to meet Samantha McVee downtown. I was so excited!! The speed at which my emotional state changes still surprises me!
Samantha McVee is the mother of beautiful Eliana, a gorgeous 16 month old who also has a tumor in her brain stem. She is the only other child in Santa Barbara to have this disease. Samantha had boldly taken it upon herself to contact me and offer encouragement. When I got her email I cried!! I was so thrilled to actually meet another mother going thru this.
Sam and I met downtown for coffee. Our meeting was sacred!! There is no better way to describe it!! I looked at this beautiful woman in her 20s and I saw my own eyes in hers! Everyone around me, friends and family members, have been extraordinarily supportive. Some have had spouses who have had cancer and some have had cancer themselves. However, it is not the same! To have your child diagnosed with cancer is something altogether different, a horror of unparalleled proportions. When I looked at Sam, it was the first time in almost a month that I saw someone who actually understood what I was going through.
We talked and talked and talked. In many ways, Samantha's story with her daughter Eliana was far worse. Eliana had a seizure at 4 months of age and that is how the family had discovered the tumor. Because she was a baby, radiation was and is still not an option so Eliana has been receiving chemotherapy. My heart broke again and again as Samantha spoke. I realized then and there that Samantha and I were kindred spirits and were going to become the greatest of friends! Who knows, maybe Sam and I will be carpool buddies and go to nursing school together. All I know is that when Sam and I hugged goodbye, I knew that I loved her and her family with all my heart!
Meeting Sam was the gift of fresh air that I needed. God in all His wisdom had seen that I was headed down a very slippery slope. He knew this before I did and He gave me a friend to love and whom I know will love me and my family in return. Mercy is a miracle!!
The rest of the day was wonderfully calm. Nina took a walk to the Vinealls (our neighbors) where she proceeded to nap on their couch for an hour. I do have to agree with her...their leather couch is beyond comfortable...it was made for napping!
My in-laws left!! We had said goodbye so many other times on previous visits, but this time it felt very different. I didn't like it!
Bottom line is that even in darkness God provides. When you are surrounded and consumed by darkness it is hard to understand. I prayed for strength, for wisdom, and for mercy! I prayed for our miracle!!!