Where do I even begin…. 2017 was probably the most eventful year of my whole life.
For this post, lets just start at 37 weeks pregnant…
I was putting on my makeup when I looked down and noticed a huge lump on the side of my neck. I called my mom and of course, she thought I was being dramatic and said, it was more than likely “hormones”. I figured she was probably right and thought nothing of it.
I went to my regular weekly check up with my OBGYN on Wednesday November, 22 (just 4 days after I noticed the lump). My doctor immediately scheduled me a sonogram to make sure it was “nothing serious”. I received a sonogram and they told me that my doctor would be in contact. Again, I thought nothing of it and continued home.
It was around 5pm that same afternoon when I received a call. I knew it was serious because when I answered, it wasn’t the usual nurse that calls me after a test to assure me that everything was ok… It was my doctor. My heart immediately dropped. She said, “We are going to need you to pack a bag and come to the hospital tonight”. I could tell she didn’t want to use the word “cancer” because they had no real proof, but I knew that’s what she was leaning towards.
I bawled. I didn’t want to believe that I COULD ACTUALLY have cancer! There is just no way! I have been completely healthy! Zero symptoms of being sick!! Plus, the OBGYN had taken my blood a million times and had never noticed anything odd with my blood count?! I was so upset. I wiped my tears, and continued to remind myself that God was by my side. There was absolutely nothing I could do so, freaking out was not going to help the situation. (Even though I was having MAJOR anxiety) I needed to pull it together for my baby. He could feel everything I was feeling, so I tried my hardest to calm down and tell myself that this was all in God’s hands. Everything was going to be ok.
I immediately called my husband and told him the news. I changed into some comfy clothes, put our suitcases in the car, (Of course, I had the bags already packed and ready to go just in case baby came early. That will be another post!) grabbed the car seat and we headed to the hospital.
This was not supposed to be my birthing story but finding out I have cancer was a major part of it. I will continue my birth story in my next post but for now lets fast-forward a couple of days.
Friday, November 24, 2017 I had a beautiful healthy baby boy! His name is Jamison Wes Chaney II. He is perfect in every way. I couldn’t believe that God chose me to be the mother of the most beautiful baby boy! We were so overjoyed with happiness.
The following Monday I went upstairs to get a biopsy of my neck. I was terrified! I couldn’t figure out if I was freaking out because of the fact that I might have cancer, postpartum hormones, or the scalpel that was going to my neck! I had too constantly tell myself “God is in control”, and “I can do all things through Christ”. I repeated that over, and over again. It was the only way I would not have a complete melt down.
The next day I went to my OBGYN to hear the results from the biopsy.
She starts to explain that thyroid cancer is the “best” cancer to have if you have to have cancer…? I guess that’s good news? They wanted me to recover from my C-section before we start talking about surgery. I got scheduled for a cat scan and we would go from there…
At this point my baby was in the NICU because he had low blood sugar, my postpartum hormones were ALL over the place, and I just found out I had cancer! My husband and I were physically, and emotionally drained. We knew my cancer was the “best” cancer there was so, we weren’t too concerned about it. Our prayers were over our little boy who was fighting a different fight. All we wanted was for him to be healthy, and for us to be able to take him home.
A few weeks go by… I went to see a specialized thyroid surgeon. She pulls up my cat scan report and starts to explain the worst news. She tells me that I have a lot of cancer. The cancer had spread to both sides of my neck and down into my chest. She explains, “That this will not be an average thyroid removal procedure”. I remember her going into full detail of how she will be removing the cancer, all of the nerves she could “possibly cut” and the side effects if she does cut those nerves. She told me it was going to be a 9 hour surgery, that they were going to have to cut down my chest, through my sternum. She kept using the words “the extent of your disease”, and going on and on for an 80 min appointment that felt like eternity. I cried and cried throughout the entire appointment. One of the hardest things I ever had to sit through.
I remember being so mad at my mom because she didn’t go with me to that appointment. I always call my mom for EVERYTHING, but even after hearing the worst news I’ve ever heard I was going to be “too proud” to call her. But of course God had a different plan. As soon as I walk out of my appointment, my phone starts ringing and it’s my step dad. My step dad always has the right things to say in the most difficult situations. He reminded me that this is God’s plan and I WILL have to fight and I WILL beat this. He told me the devil wants you to be mad at your mom, he wants you to think you can do this on your own. But you cannot. You need to forgive your mom, because we have to fight together. So, that is exactly what I did. I surrounded myself around family, and kept my mind busy. I knew that I would beat this and it would become a testimony I would be able to share with the world one day.
December 27th 2017 was the day of my surgery. Again, I was TERRIFIED! I had to keep reminding myself that this was God’s plan, and that I can do all things through Christ. I repeated those two sayings in my head constantly. My husband does a good job staying calm, and keeping us calm. I was trying to be like him. Trying so hard not to think about leaving my baby, and having this HUGE surgery.
We said a final prayer before I went back, and the last thing I remember were the doctors asking about my baby boy… 10 hours later I woke up with no complications, and feeling like an elephant had sat on my chest! I was so thankful I had made it out of the surgery, my entire family was there waiting for me, and everything was ok.
I ended up spending 5 days in the hospital including spending our first New Years without our baby boy. Even though I was terribly sad I couldn’t spend it with him, I could only be thankful and give thanks to the good Lord for all the blessings he had given me this year. I have a great job, I got married to my amazing husband, I gave birth to an amazing little boy, we bought a house, and after a ten-hour surgery, they removed ALL cancer that was visible! So many blessings!
New Years Eve 2017
Today is February 26th 2018. I am sitting in my room isolated from the world during my radiation treatment. Again, I am forced to be away from my baby. I am so thankful for my wonderful father and my wonderful mother in Law; they dropped everything and flew in to help during this difficult time. I have to constantly remind myself that this might be difficult now, but it will be worth everything in the long run. I have to keep fighting for my little one. I know that God has a greater plan for my family, and he will be right by my side the entire time.