Saturday, May 23, 2015

Temporary Hairlessness

I'm finally back on my laptop since last I posted. 

I thought that with all of these crazy happenings I would be totally on top of blogging, FB, and all the updating . . . but usually, I would rather sleep than think. 

So here are some answers to the top questions I am sure many are wondering at this time...

How are we doing? I would say very good, considering. I personally figured that once I started chemo I would "snap into the reality" that I have cancer. It didn't work. Not to mention, we pretty much had a "second diagnosis" while in my first round of chemo (In my last post I let you all know that the cancer spread to my lungs). However, for me that is a much bigger deal than I care to delve into right now. Thankfully, my oncology team is still optimistic about it all! So I'm going to bank on that and the BIG reality that we have a big God instead of going off into all the lovely statistics and articles I have read. 

We head in to the hospital this coming Tuesday for five days of chemo treatments. I'm not at all looking forward to being cooped in the hospital for a week, but since this will be common-place for the next year, I'd better buck up and learn to like it. The staff is absolutely incredible! I couldn't have better doctors, nurse practitioners, or nurses in the world! (NOT to mention I have a Type One Diabetic Nurse!! Yeah! so totally fun) So I do have positive things to anticipate - which is a blessing. 

(The "temporary hairlessness" happened on Monday. I shaved it instead of it all falling out soon)

I find days have their own ups and downs. Obviously they aren't all "ups." Between sickness, nausea, low white blood cell counts, and the craziness of having three T1Ds, days can definitely bottom out. Yet what helps is the incredible support that we have (you included): being with my family, getting outside in this amazing weather, and focusing on anything other than the fact I have cancer. :)

In conclusion, we are starting to find our groove. We just have to keep plodding and focus  on beating the odds and kicking this cancer!! Thank you so much for your prayers, emails, and love. It means more than I can sometimes personally express thanks.

Until the next update, See you then! 

(I must say, supervision is much more fun than actually working ;) Lots of fun out with Sam and Jon)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

First Chemo Down: Bad and Good News

Hi my friends, fellow-cancer fighters, and readers:

It's me!!!

It has taken me a full three days to get through my first round of chemotherapy. Not to mention the surgery in which my chemo port was installed and also when my bone marrow biopsy was done.
I still feel a little loopy but I wanted to go ahead and send out an update!

So there's some good news, and some bad news.

The good news, is that the cancer has not spread throughout my body! 

However, the bad news is that the cancer had spread to my lungs. There are multiple small tumors, and one large tumor in my lungs. This is another blow from the back- mainly because the PET scan seemed to show that the cancer was localized. Sadly, that is not the truth.

The gameplan from this new finding is going to entail more intense chemo and radiation. Also, at the last 3 month period, my body will be in the hospital for a whole month to severely attack the remaining cancer.

Please pray for my family and I. We have a year-long battle ahead, and
"bad news" never helps. 

All I can rest in, is that God knew this was going to spread far before any of us. 

Thanks Again! :)  

Monday, May 11, 2015

Guest Post: Trying To Breathe

Please enjoy the following guest post written by Kate Skidmore, a dear family friend.

Written by a listening ear for the Hatchetts as they struggle for the words to say.

Dear friends and family and friends of family and family friends and well, you get the picture...

Please know we love you. Please know we need you. Please know we covet every prayer on our behalf. Like a ship at sea raises flags to communicate with other boaters in the water, we too need to raise our flags to communicate with all those that surround our lives at this time.

I don't know what color tomorrow's flag will be but today's flag is Delta. It looks like this

And it means: I am maneuvering with difficulty - steer clear

On our land-lived life, this looks like granting space to a mom and a dad and the five kids living under our roof, hunkering down together as we learn to breathe once again in our new normal. Keep in mind that our reserves are already low due to three T1D diagnoses and daily management, major changes in the past year too numerous to recount, and now an aggressive bone cancer diagnosis.

The hard part for us, and for you, is sorting out what is helpful and what is overwhelming as people reach out and into our lives to offer support. The only thing I know right now with the DELTA flag flying is that we need your offerings of support from a distance as we focus on trying to breathe. 

Love us through the mail, the blog, through prayers, send pictures that make us smile, or jokes to make us laugh, or songs, or poems, or words of truth and hope. Direct our hope to the Lord. Beg God for his favor on Caleb and our family. Pray for a miracle of healing. If you choose to join us and give anything during this time please give with an open hand with no reciprocation expected. Please don't feel offended if we give access to one support and turn away another. Expected people may not have access while unexpected people will. Please give grace as we attempt to navigate these treacherous waters. Right now there are seven people on the boat trying to breathe. When we are ready to fly a new flag, we will let you know.

Helping is a card...instead of a call.
Helping is a comment or a like on Facebook or Caleb's blog...instead of stopping by.
Helping is honoring the preset visit times and leaving without us having to ask.
Helping is recognizing that managing our energy and time will look different than what you might think we need.
Helping is allowing us to take in your gifts and offerings of support on our own timeframe. 

Today the Delta flag may be flying but tomorrow we may need to call an "all hands on deck."

Thank you for loving us the way we need to be loved right now.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Numbing Myself

 (Dad and I, exhausted after D-Day (Diagnosis Day))

A lot has happened to me in the last three weeks.

I went from an ambitious nursing student with goals of specializing in Pediatric Endocrinology- to a cancer patient.

I went from a Type One Diabetic still overwhelmed with the enormity of a chronic disease- to a Type One cancer patient. 

I went from a 19 year old with big exciting plans on life- to a cancer patient stripped of my own ideas.

These are the realities I am trying to wrap my mind around. I have people constantly asking, "How are you?", "You doing okay?", "How are you holding up?". Honestly, I don't really know. I'm trapped in a blur of a new reality. A new battle that has erupted and blindsided me in the middle of my journey as a college student. 

It's hard to process this all. It's hard to accept that I'm only 19 and don't feel anything near ready to tackle another ominous disease such as cancer; let alone a cancer that demands a year of Chemotherapy. A year. Thoughts of where I could be in the Nursing program haunt me when I try  thinking ahead. 

So how am I coping? How do I even make sense of it all? How do I make sense of Ewing Sarcoma, or chemotherapy, or the replacement of my shoulder after the fight with cancer?

Well I have found the key to it all is to numb myself to myself. 

Numbing myself occurs when I stop myself from thinking ahead. When I prevent myself from panicking about the terror of the unknown. . . the endless possibilities and pathways this journey could go. I tend to do that a lot, think ahead, process, prepare. Yet God has promised only enough grace for today . . . not tomorrow, not next week, month, or year! Only today. 

Also, I have found that to numb myself- I have to "infuse" myself with Scripture. If you haven't had the opportunity to truly enjoy the riches of God's Word than you may be completely lost here. So what do I mean. When you have a personal relationship with the God of the Universe, you are given the discernment and understanding to be completely immersed in the comfort that it provides. I have found that the Bible has been more real to me now than ever before. Beyond a doubt II Corinthians has spoken to me the most! The reason for the depths of II Corinthians is the truth that God comforts us in our greatest tribulation, so that we can comfort others- with His comfort!

If you didn't quite get that- here's the simplified edition. ;)

I want to use this terrible, overwhelming, confusing, difficult and ominous diagnosis of Ewing Sarcoma to do one thing- be able to minister to others around me.

Everybody relates to cancer. And the worst thing that I could do is squander this opportunity God has given me- in my own grief and pain.

Now am I grieving? Totally. Am I hurting? Completely. Am I going to hurt more? Positively. 

But here's the focus, I am given the chance that very few get. An opportunity to reach out to others that are grieving and hurting- and to show them the comfort that God can only instill. 

Thank you so much for all your prayers and amazing support! I look for this year to be extremely difficult, but I couldn't have a better support group, or more powerful God!

Love to all! Will post again soon, hopefully!