After Holden was born, life seemed to be turning around for us. I still struggled with my faith and my fears, but slowly it seemed the waves were calming around us. I still think of Harper everyday. I carry her in my heart with me always, she is just such a part of me. I'm still never sure how to answer the questions when asked how many kids I have. I don't visit the cemetery as often, or look at her scrapbook as much, but she is never far from my thoughts. I'm healing, but I'll never be the same. I'll never look at life the same. I will always hold a glance too long when I see a newborn baby girl, or a curly headed 2 year old.
Sometimes my fears can take hold of my thoughts, and block out what I know to be truth. I know these thoughts and fears are not from the Lord, and this is a major struggle of mine. I feel like I just wait for the next bad thing to happen. It can't stay good for too long. But I was in no way prepared for our next big storm.
Six weeks ago, on the day after her fifth birthday, Emmerson Ruth was diagnosed with Leukemia. Sometimes I still can't believe it. It has been an emotional whirlwind these last six weeks. Losing Harper was the most difficult thing I have ever been through, and I'm not sure I can compare these two situations. I am thankful I never had to see Harper struggle and fight for her life. It kills me to see my little girl in pain. To watch her fight everyday. To see what the chemo is doing to her body. She's five. She should be carefree and happy, going to kindergarten and making new friends. Instead she has had to grow up so much. She lost her baby sister and now she is fighting cancer. It is so unfair.
At first the diagnosis felt like a death sentence. Cancer=death, right? I told my dad that night that I could not bury another one of my babies. I just can't. And as hard as it was to bury Harper, losing Emmerson would be so much harder. I know her, I have memories with her. She is a part of our home, our daily lives...and to not have her here would be more than I could bear.
In the last six weeks I have learned a lot. Medical terminology I could have never made any sense of two months ago seems like plain English today. Emmerson's prognosis is good. She has the most treatable type of childhood cancer, and while the success rate is around 95%, her survival is not a guarantee. But I know God is giving me the peace and strength I need to make it through each day, one day at a time. When I think about the unknowns in the future I feel myself spinning out of control. I have to stay focused on today, what is happening right here, right now.
I hate that this is a part of our lives. I hated being a part of the "stillbirth club" and now I hate being a part of the "cancer club." I don't know what God is doing in our lives, but I know it is my job to use what he has given us for his glory. Sometimes I struggle with being so angry with him for allowing so much pain in such a short amount of time, but then I turn around a beg him to hold me, because I know he is the only one who can heal my little girl. He is the only one who can give me true peace and hope.
If you are interested in following Emmerson's journey I have started a Caring Bridge website. www.caringbridge.org/visit/emmersonfolgate Please keep our family in your prayers as we travel this new journey.