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For weeks before our last trip to the Mayo Clinic I was threatening not to go. Over and over I begged Matt and my family to let me stay home. “WHY?” was everybody’s reply. Nobody understood why I wouldn’t want to go to Mayo and have them confirm what we suspected … the cancer had responded so well to the last rounds of chemo that nothing more was needed. No surgery. No radiation. After getting this news from Mayo, life was supposed to return to normal. Even with all of that, I didn’t want to go and I couldn’t verbalize a good reason why.

I cried as we pulled onto the interstate. Nothing in me wanted to go. Nothing. But we forged ahead.

We arrived in Rochester without any trouble and I did my best to ignore the dread. But my subconscious was still in turmoil. Both nights before the most important appointment, I had terrible nightmares. The kind of nightmares when you are struggling to keep your kids alive from some major event. Tuesday night was the worst. In my dream, our whole area was slated to endure catastrophic flooding. During this nightmare, my kids were younger than they are now and I struggled to put all four on my back to carry them to a very tall house all the way across town. My late Uncle Rick was also in this dream. He was leading the way for me and my clinging kiddos in his old Bronco. …… I woke up around 5 a.m. and — after realizing it was all a dream — told myself to go back to sleep and the nightmare would be over. But it wasn’t. The scenario of me trying to rescue the kids continued until I finally woke for the day.

To say the least, Wednesday began with me being thoroughly unsettled.

And as the head of GI oncology — my brilliant doctor at Mayo — walked into the exam room, I realized the reason for the dread. Her normal, cheery demeanor was solemn. Gentle. Quiet.

“Have you read the scan reports?” she asked.

Of course I had. I had also spent the night before googling away trying to come up with all sorts of alternative explanations.

The next minutes were a blur. She took her time showing me the growth that all SEVEN of the lesions on my lungs had done since I had seen her two months ago. Seven. Too many, she said, to make me a candidate for surgery.

“I’m so sorry, ” said she said over and over.

I’m pretty stoic during these cancer appointments. I have cried two other times in front of professionals and it’s something I pride myself in NOT doing.

But as we talked timelines and my lack of options, according to the No. 1 hospital in the whole world, the tears flowed.

When Matt and I finally made our way back to the hotel and into a private area, my sobs had me doubled over gasping for air.

My children. My four, beautiful children.

Everything inside me was/is drenched in grief.

Matt packed up the car and we headed south. I made many, many terrible phone calls to relay the news to my loved ones and friends. I called everybody I could think of right away to get it all out of the way. And I cried, asking Matt over and over how I was going to be able to do this …. how can I leave them?

Graduations. Weddings. Grandchildren. Time. Time. Time.

God is near the broken-hearted. This is literally my only solace.

In hindsight, my subconscious …. the inner workings of my body knew that Mayo would bring hard news. My inner mind had been working thru this even before things were confirmed.

The nightmare …. me struggling to save my kiddos …. it was futile. I struggled in my dream because I knew I couldn’t succeed. That’s the point, I can’t save my kids. God gave them breath on this earth and it’s His job, not mine, to see them thru.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord …. “

And that’s really all that matters. His plans. And He promises that all of His plans will work out for the good for those that love Him.

So as I sit here crying and typing, life is buzzing all around me. The earth is still spinning. My heart is still beating and my lungs are breathing air. My son plays baseball tonight and the dirty dishes are stacked up. Laundry remains unwashed and the cats need to be fed.

Life. Now. Time.

I may not be able to witness all of my kiddos’ tomorrows, but God gave me today. I plan to live it.

Categories: Life on the farm

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My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.

6 replies

  1. Your struggle and the Faith that sustains you is a testament to your wonderful person. My prayers are with you daily. I love you so much. Aunt Julie

  2. Dear Ginia, We are so impressed with your strength, your faith, your openness, your family, and, well, you. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with all of us. We love you. – Kelly and Mary

  3. You are so beautiful Ginia. I love your heart for Christ and your heart for those 4 beautiful children. You are so strong in Him and wise beyond your years. He has given you that wisdom and the strength you need and will continue to do so. I know that is true.

    I am blessed and privileged to know you and call you my friend. Anything you need, I am here. Love you Ginia.❤

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