I looked at the test waiting for results. The words flashed up on the screen, “NOT PREGNANT”. Sigh. I knew then that our second fertility treatment (a medicated IUI) had not been successful. Our first fertility treatment had ended in miscarriage. I started to cry. Why does getting pregnant have to be so hard for us? Why does it have to be a five-year waiting game and counting? Why do I have to take Clomid and give myself injections to even attempt to get pregnant? Why do I have to do all of this and it still not work?
I dried my eyes, got dressed, and made my way to the hospital. My friend Casey was having a biopsy done and I was there for moral support. Casey was trying to figure out why her lymph nodes were swollen. I won’t ever forget sitting with her after the doctor completed the biopsy. We asked him a few questions and his response was one we weren’t expecting. It looked like Casey had cancer. I hugged my friend and we cried together. My thirty-three year old friend has cancer. She is a wife and a wonderful mother to three children.
I gave up on the day after this and just crawled into bed. Nothing had gone right and my heart hurt. I wanted no more of it.
Glennon Melton is a blogger over at Momastery and author of “Carry on Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life”. In the words of Glennon, “Life is brutal. But it’s also beautiful. Brutiful, I call it. Life’s brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly that they can’t be separated. Reject the brutal, reject the beauty. So now I embrace both, and I live well and hard and real.”
These things my husband and I are experiencing and my friend Casey is fighting through, they are brutiful.
Finding out your friend has cancer puts things into perspective. Infertility still sucks, but it isn’t life threatening. As I shared my day with my husband that afternoon and tearfully told him what had happened, he told me a few things I needed to be reminded of. He reminded me that getting pregnant isn’t going to be easy for us. Pregnancy isn’t going to happen in one fertility treatment or two. We don’t know if they will work at all. This is our “thing” we get to deal with during this season of life. It just is and we have to accept it. It can be brutal; however there is beauty all around me. It comes in the support and love from our families and friends. Even though some friends have intentionally left us behind as they have children and we don’t, many others have been incredibly supportive. There is so much beauty in the relationship I have with my husband. Even after seven years of marriage, I am head over heels in love with that man. From our jobs, health, families, and marriage, we have amazing things to be thankful for. These things are what I have to remind myself to focus on and they make my life lovely.
As far as my friend Casey, she has some brutiful stuff as well. If you are going to get cancer, thyroid cancer is the one you want and it is what Casey was diagnosed with. It is very treatable and has a 95% survival rate. Last night during a 9-hour surgery, the doctor removed three lymph nodes and her thyroid. The surgery was painful and recovery is slow. Balancing her hormones through medication instead of her thyroid is going to take trial and error. Seeing our church and friends rally around her is beautiful. A Care Calendar was set up so that friends could provide them with meals. Those needs were met within a few short hours. Before her surgery, several people paid for a team of house cleaners to scrub her house top to bottom. The support and prayers showered upon her by those who care is awesome. It sucks that my amazing friend has cancer, but there is no doubt in my mind that God is using this experience to weave together something with beauty.
Life it is brutal sometimes, but also beautiful. It is brutiful.