When I started writing this 4 days ago, I was sitting in the waiting room of a hospital while Cosbie had surgery to remove some lymph nodes from his neck. He has been sick for a few months now. Around Thanksgiving he went to the doctor and they said he had mono. The day we went to get our engagement pictures taken he woke up with a very swollen neck, mostly on his right side. He had been to a couple of doctors with a couple rounds of antibiotics, but nothing worked. Week before last he went back to the doctor and was sent to the ENT on Tuesday. The ENT was pretty concerned and sent him to get a CT scan right then and sent the results back to the doctor that day too. When they met with the doctor and looked at the scan, they were almost certain that he had lymphoma.
Tuesday Cosbie called me during my lunch break. He asked me if I was sitting down and I knew I wasn't going to like where this conversation went. I wish I could say that I kept it together and was able to be strong for him, but I couldn't. I lost it. I was devastated and terrified and angry all at once. I was mad at myself for not being more concerned sooner. I was mad at the doctor for not doing anything about it sooner. And I was mad at God for threatening to hurt the man I had prayed to come for so many years. Somehow I made it through the rest of the day at school. I could have never done that without the awesome teachers that I work with here. I am so thankful that they were here for me. A few minutes after I left school, the tears just wouldn't stop. I pulled over into a parking lot and just cried. I couldn't breathe. Everything started to look black and fuzzy and I thought I was about to pass out. For a few minutes, fear and anxiety completely gripped my body. It was the scariest thing I have ever felt. I was alone and terrified of what was about to happen to me. And then it was just like God got in my face and said, "ok, we're done." And I was done. I felt peace. I was still crying, but it was different. This was of God, not of Satan. Even though I was upset, it was still glorifying to Him. When I got back to Dahlonega, Savannah came over and sat with me, let me cry for a few minutes, and then just talked and ate dinner with me. She was exactly what I needed- someone to let me cry but also someone to let life be normal for a few minutes too.
I needed to be with Cosbie. There was no way I was going to be able to stay in Dahlonega and not be with him, so I packed a bag and headed to his house. I am a crier, but I also have a hard time dealing with things. I have these mood swings where I go from needing to talk and cry to wanting to pretend that nothing is happening within seconds of each other. I know it's ridiculous and very difficult for people to deal with, but that's how I've always been. I can already tell you that this is going to teach me to talk about things and deal. I had a hard time Tuesday night. Cosbie was the one calming me down and comforting me, and it should have been the other way around. I wanted so badly to be able to get myself together and be strong for him, but I just couldn't do it.
Wednesday I was still in denial. I was mad at everyone for talking about it all the time and I kept thinking it would just go away. I was putting up walls to everyone, including Cosbie. I knew he didn't need to deal with me on top of everything else, but I couldn't figure out how to deal with this. Thursday was surgery day. The whole time he was in surgery I was still thinking this was going to be nothing and we would be done with all of it by the end of the day. The surgery would fix whatever was wrong and we wouldn't have to worry about this anymore. When the surgeon came out, he told us that it was pretty evident that Cosbie does have lymphoma. The good news is that his body has already started attacking it. I couldn't think straight. I couldn't see. I felt like I was going to be sick. This couldn't be happening to him. To us. I don't remember much else. I remember sitting down next to my mom and just crying. I don't know what anyone else around me was doing. I couldn't breathe. I was focusing all my efforts on trying to breathe and not pass out. I was scared and angry and just kept telling my mom, "I can't do this." I was afraid. Afraid of what was going to happen. Afraid of what I didn't know. And afraid that I wasn't going to be able to be what Cosbie needs me to be. I am so thankful for the people that were sitting in that room with us. I could have never done that without my mom there with me. Some of Carol Ann's friends were there and they prayed over us and helped me feel peace. And the sweetest volunteer that was working there, Chica. I knew I had to get it together. Sweet Chica let my mom and I go into a nurses' bathroom where we sat and cried some more and prayed and then sucked it up. I was never going to be able to be what Cosbie needed if I couldn't get it together. So I did. (sucking up the tears is one of my spiritual gifts.) And I kept it together. Because that's what he needed. He knows me. He knew I was hurting. He knew I was scared. He knew I had cried and would cry some more in the days and hours to come, but that's not what he needed to see when I walked in that room. He needed me to be strong. He needed me to be honest with him about what the doctor told us. He needed me to learn to change his drain and pay attention to the nurse talking about his medicine. What we do know is that this is very treatable. Yes, it is cancer, and no one ever wants the one they love to have cancer, but I'm not afraid of losing Cosbie anymore. All of my fear comes from the unknown of what is to come.
It has been a long week, and this is only the beginning. There have been moments when I cried and yelled and screamed alone in my car. There have been moments when I have been on my knees begging God to be the God who gives and not the God who takes away. There have been moments when I have been angry. There have been moments when I have been mad at God because I know and believe that He can heal Cosbie and that He is choosing not to. I will admit that I struggle with those moments more than anything else. I have asked why. I have asked to take his place. I have been sad and mourned the loss of all of our plans- a wedding, a honeymoon, a family, a normal life. There are times when I would give anything to go back to Monday afternoon- our first Valentine's day together. Mexican food, a movie, and Cosbie. My heart was full. 24 hours later it was breaking and terrified.
We don't know what we're doing about the wedding. We don't know when we will be married- sooner than May 21? on May 21? or after? But what I do know is I am marrying him. I'm not leaving. I'm going to be right by his side every step of the way. Cancer is not our life; cancer is our next 6 months to a year. We have the rest of our lives after this to be together cancer free. It's not going to be easy. Some days will require more faith than others and some days will involve more tears than others. Some days he will lean on me more and other days I will lean on him. There will be awful days and then there will be ok days. But at some point every day I still see my Cosbie. I see the man I love in his smile. He won't be overtaken by this and neither will our marriage. I believe that God allowed this to happen now and not before we met because we can take this on together. There are a lot of questions without answers right now, but I don't care. I only love him more through every day of this and there's nowhere else I'd rather be than by his side.
Our God is bigger than lymphoma. He's bigger than us and bigger than our fear, doubts, and tears. No matter where we are, He is the same. He has been so faithful to us and He won't stop now.