Jesaiah’s Love

Today is April 12, 2014.  I have been encouraged to keep a journal through my journey. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 28, 2014, three weeks after turning 33 years of age. Sadden? Yes… Shocked? Definitely. Was this a coincidence, test of faith, jinxing, or just another journey? You may ask, why would coincidence come to mind? Here’s a little family history. I am the youngest out of 5 children and my oldest brother and I are the two who were diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia and Cancer. My brother passed away at the age of 33 and I have always stated I would do the same. Never, did I think I would be diagnosed with cancer as well. Did I jinx myself or did God allow me the opportunity to peek into my future? I guess we will find out at the end of this journey I call life with exceptional testimonies.

The past few weeks have been very emotional and painful as I come to grips with having surgery on April 15, 2014, at 8 am. This is one day before my son turns 4 years old. The thought of another journey comes to mind from April 2010.  I had a major Sickle Cell crisis and was placed in the hospital. I was very ill and did not know if the baby and I would make it. At 28 weeks, God allowed 1 lb, 10 ounces of an amazing angel into my life. I’m so grateful for my son and I know I must remain…even through this pain.

As I think about the process, I imagine being self-conscious of scars and sadden from hair loss. I wonder how others will react when they see me. I question how my son’s father will respond with part of me missing and potentially no hair.  I know that I have to be strong for my son and continue to smile for him when I want to cry. I think about seasons and I honestly believe everything happens for a reason. If this is my season to leave this place, I know that God will prepare us.

Today is May 9, 2014 and I have started the process of chemotherapy. My hair has started falling out as I receive chemotherapy weekly and will start radiation daily. I had a major sickle cell crisis and had to be placed in the hospital to receive a blood transfusion. I struggle some days with pain, sadness, and just existing.  There are days when joy seems so far away but I have to pray and believe that it will get better. My son definitely brings me joy as I remove my wig and he says “there you are!” He kisses me on my bald head as he gives me a book to read. I can only smile, read to him, and realize we must enjoy every moment of the day.

On December 10, 2014, I finished radiation.  It was a great day! I was done with feeling sad, hurting, and crying because I did not look right. I was done with being sick and done with the pain of having cancer. Oh, but God!  I had gone through this journey and my life was about to be “normal” again. In actuality, my life would never be normal again. I mentioned earlier that when I turned 33, I thought I would pass away as my brother had. However, I was diagnosed on March 28, 2014 and on March 30, 2014, Bishop’s sermon was “He won’t let it kill you!” This was only the beginning of several messages from God as on the next Sunday, it was “The grace to get thru it!”

So, God had given me the grace to get through it and I thought what a year! I guess it was all just a coincidence. Oh, but I was wrong. I was far from being through it. As of December 30, 2014, my life would never be the same. I remember reading a text message at 3:22 pm stating “Jesaiah was running a fever so I gave him some Tylenol. He is sleeping right now.” My reply at 3:24 stated “Ok. Thank you! I’m on my way now.”  I pulled up at the daycare and knocked on the door. Jesaiah came to the door and held his hands up for me to pick him up. The daycare worker stated he was still sleepy from the medicine. We went home and he slept for a while until his dad arrived. We contemplated on taking him to the ER and agreed that we should.  They stated he had an upper respiratory infection and sent us home around 5 am. Jesaiah stayed home with his dad and he stated he had been sleeping all day but for the last hour, he would wake up, scream, and go back to sleep. I said this was not like him so I called the on call Pediatrician and explained what was going on. She said to take him back to the emergency room. We got him dressed and headed back.  By this time, he was lethargic almost; would not stand up. When we arrived to the ER, he was just laying in his dad’s arms. They sent us back immediately to complete a CT scan and MRI. On 1/1/2015 at 1 am, the doctor stated, “your son has bacterial meningitis.”

At 3 am, the doctor stated they were going to put a breathing tube down Jesaiah’s throat. She also informed me that she wanted to say this one time to get it over with and would only say it once. I will NEVER forget those words.  She proceeded to say “He could die from this.” After placing the tube, she stated they needed to place him in a medical induced coma. The doctor stated, “no one could have done anything differently.” I knew then, my baby would never be the same.

On January 11, 2015, at 1:16 pm the doctor pronounced my 4 ½ year-old clinically deceased.  What does a mom do? They asked…may we share his joy with someone else? Will you harvest his organs? His father and I asked each other, what would Jesaiah do? We knew… “Hi, I’m Jesaiah, nice to meet you!” must live on. We decided to donate his organs for he was such a happy and loving child.  He would speak to everyone he met, hug strangers, and shake hands while introducing himself. He gave love like none other and I’m certain that the people who received his organs are doing the same.

How could I live on after knowing my only child had passed when I thought I was supposed to pass away?  I was 33 and I had not died but SUCH a huge part of me did. I made it through the pain of cancer and now I must make it through the pain of losing my son. I knew  I must start my second act. I thought about one of his favorite things to do and decided to share Jesaiah’s Love with others. I gave books of Jesaiah’s to kids at his daycare and other children as well. Today, I am working on finishing my book which shares my battle with cancer and Jesaiah’s love. I know that God is using me to help those who have been diagnosed with cancer, lost a child, and experience complications from Sickle Cell Anemia. I’m a survivor at the age of 35 who keeps surviving this life with exceptional testimonies. We never know what will happen tomorrow.

Smile, love, and be kind to one another. Pray, forgive, and celebrate life.