A long road ahead

So by now, I'm sure everyone has heard the latest news about McKaylee and even though it's all right in front of me, I feel like I'm watching this from a distance. Sitting in the room with the neuro-oncologist today was like a surreal moment. A Grade three Anaplastic Astrocytoma was the final diagnosis....and it only carries a 50% survival rate for her age group. How do you wrap your head around that statistic? Hearing that your child has a 50% chance of surviving is so unbelievable...I'm still in shock. We're leaving tomorrow afternoon for St. Jude's hospital and as I am packing all of our bags, I began thinking---how do you pack your life in a suitcase? We'll be gone for the better part of a year and I don't even know where to begin packing for that type of excursion. You make a list, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo and it just seems so ridiculous for some reason. Where is the list for a one year absence from home? I feel like I need a separate suitcase just to bundle up my emotions in. Fear, apprehension, anxiety, sadness, anger, I could go on and on. I sit here and think about how hard all of this is going to be, all the chemo and the side effects it will bring, all the ups and downs, and it just numbs me. Someone actually asked me today, "What's wrong? You sound so normal.". Yes, well someone has just put a timeline on my daughter's life and clued me in to how terribly hard the next 12 months of my life are going to be; yes, there is a large part of me that's not really here. I almost feel like a turtle who has left its shell and that's all that's left, just the tough outer covering, nothing inside. Maybe that's just some type of survival method kicking in, I'm not sure. Then I see my precious McKaylee, babbling and walking around as though she hadn't a care in the world and it breaks my heart. For she hasn't a clue to the hardships she will have to endure in the upcoming weeks and months. She's so little and chunky...it just doesn't seem right that she has to go through all of this. It breaks my heart, it absolutely devastates my soul that my little angel has this terrible cancer. I hate this tumor and the cells that are feeding its growth, I despise the pain it brings her and how much it has interrupted her childhood. She will celebrate her second birthday in a hospital and that makes me hurt beyond words. One day I'll look back on this as a memory and there's a part of me that is jealous of that. I've already been pulling from my reserves on strength and hope and I wonder where that extra strength that I'm going to need is going to come from. I am reminded of a sermon I just recently heard from Dr. Charles Stanley in which he preached over and over again, God's grace is sufficient. And so it has been and so it will be. I refuse to give up on this, I refuse to lose hope, I refuse to falter in my faith. Jesus Christ, my Savior, WILL pull us through this and He will be there to hold her hand and mine each step of the way. This is when life gets serious and when all of our faith gets tested. I can only hope to come out of this a stronger person in Christ. So for all reading, regardless of your spiritual beliefs, get on your knees and pray for this little girl.  I believe, we all believe, in a Miracle for McKaylee.


Leslie said…
Dear Jess:

I go to church with John and Pat Britt. I am praying every day for your sweet daughter, and for you and your family. In reading your blog, I have been inspired by the strength of your faith in God. I am praying for healing for your daughter, but I am also praying for strength for you and your husband, for your marriage during the time that you have to live separately during treatment, and for your little boy, who sounds so wise, but must be confused by all of this. God bless you all.
Christy said…

We will be praying for McKaylee and for your family. The doctors at St. Jude are some of the best and we will be praying for them, also, as they use their wisdom and expertise to heal McKaylee. She is a beautiful and special little girl and I am so sorry that she is having to go through this. You all will be in our constant thoughts and prayers.

Christy, Ben and Riley Habshey
Jill said…

I am Christy's cousin and I live in Huntsville. I have to confess I have only read the first couple of lines on your blog and I am still compelled to write before reading on. I am married and have one little girl 21 months. I cannot begin to imagine your difficulty or pain but immediately a verse came to mind. It is Jeremiah 29:11-12. McKaylee is touching lives even now at her little age and God has great plans for her. This verse is what I held onto throughout the adoption process of our only daughter. I hope that it will be something for you to constantly hold close to your heart. Very quickly in beginning to read your story it is VERY apparent that you have strong faith in our God. Without realizing it you have given me a gift by demonstrating your faith and sharing your story. This helps to strengthen me and helps me realize how preciouse life is and how many blessings such as McKaylee that we are given every day! I am trying to teach Sarah Grace about prayer. You can be assured that we will include your family and McKaylee every day. I know HE listens.

Jill, Tim and Sarah Grace
Megan said…
Tears are streaming down my face as I pray for you. I don't even begin to know how you must be feeling, but I want you to know that I do know how much loving your child can hurt....especially knowing they are going through something that they didn't ask for....something as unfair and ugly as cancer. I will be following your story closely, and praying for you. If you don't mind, I am going to ask for prayers for you on my blog and at my church. I found your blog through our friend Bethany Edgeworth, and I know that God will bring many more prayer warriors your way. Praying for you now and for as long as you need it!
Rachel Garcia said…
Hey girl.. WE are praying. I know God will follow through as He leads you guys up to St. Judes. i am praying that their efforts and treatment will be that good 50%! She CAN pull through this. That is my prayer. I'll keep checking for more updates. Be safe.

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