My name is Miranda Hull. I am 33 years old and married to my favorite person, Earl J Hull and we have an 11 month old little boy, Titus.
While this past year has given Earl and I the biggest blessing in the form of our son, it has also brought many difficulties, mostly health related for me specifically. It began with my pregnancy being high risk due to an auto-immune disease I’ve lived with for about 15 years now. I have a mild case of lupus and usually manage well, but I had to be watched closely during my pregnancy. All was fine until about 8 months when my amniotic fluid was dangerously low and continually leaking and I had to be induced in order to protect my son from infection. The delivery went well and he was just perfect.
About a month after, I was having gallbladder attacks. I’d only had one previous and that was during my 5th month of pregnancy and it caused me to go to the emergency room. I was doing what I could to manage the attacks and be more aware of when and what I was eating but one weekend visiting my mom, I had a horrible attack in the middle of the night that would not go away. I was physically ill and in a ton of pain, so Earl took me to the ER. They gave me meds and I went home, but at that point, I’d had enough. I was calling the Dr to have my gallbladder removed. The attacks were too frequent and painful. I scheduled the surgery for March 1 (less than 3 months after I gave birth) and I could barely eat the weekend before for fear of another attack. I woke up from surgery with the Dr telling me all had went well, the culprit was gone, however, there were stones that also had to be removed. So, 2 days later I was in the hospital again having an endoscopy to remove the stones. That procedure went well and I have been good ever since.
Fast forward to 5 months later, the last week of August. We’d had a really rough week of sleeping from Titus teething. He had me up many times at night and working full time, I was exhausted. I started to have chest pains, something I’d experienced a few times with lupus, called pleurisy and I assumed it was that from lack of sleep. I called my rheumatologist the Friday before Labor Day and he prescribed a steroid for the weekend. They told me to go to the ER if it didn’t go away, but in my mind I knew I wouldn’t go because Earl and I had been struggling all summer with my Dr bills from my surgery and endoscopy and labor. I took the steroid and it didn’t fully relieve my pain. Generally this would’ve completely eliminated any lupus pain I’d been feeling. On Sunday and Monday, Labor Day, the pain was even worse so I was getting a little worried. Tuesday I decided not to go to work until I’d seen my rheumatologist. They got me in and right away he wanted to do a chest x-ray. He sent me across the hall and when I came back, he told me there was a 6 cm mass in the left side of my chest/armpit area. He said they wanted to do a CT Scan and basically that it was either lupus or a cyst or cancer and that was
the way to find out. So I called Earl immediately and he came with me while we basically were told after my CT Scan that I have cancer. It was the most surreal thing and I thought I’d faint from a mixture of shock and pure fear. All I could think of was my child, this beautiful, happy boy that I’d just given birth to less than a year before. I wanted to be his mother and I had no idea if my dream would be cut short.
The next few weeks of tests and waiting caused more anxiety than I could handle. Thankfully God was with me and I was on my knees, literally asking God for mercy and trying to comprehend what was happening. Earl and I prayed more than we’d ever prayed before. Still do. That’s the only way we get through. We eventually found out that I have Hodgkins Lymphoma, stage 2 and it’s a very treatable cancer, even in its advanced stages. That was great news, but honestly, it’s still completely terrifying to be 33 and a mother of a baby and to have cancer. We are now in the treatment stages and chemo is not fun. I finally learned firsthand what it means when they say you have to fight cancer. It is hard to hurt
physically and be tired constantly. It is hard when you are sick from the toxic drugs that are working to save your life and you have a precious baby who doesn’t know or understand what mommy is going through, he just wants to be held or played with. You have to push through to survive since you are physically unable to do the things you used to do and are sometimes in a constant state of pain. This whole experience has been hard, and we are still struggling due to the fact that I’m out of work until I’m better, but we get by with help from our friends and family. Everyone has been amazing. People have been bringing us food, gift cards, money for dr bills, selling bracelets, donating time to help with Titus and offering to watch him to either give us a break or to help Earl when he needs to take care of me. I’m so grateful for everyone’s thoughtfulness and generosity and also just so thankful that God gave me the husband he did. He has been amazing and we’ve grown even closer through this journey. God has been
faithful and my constant prayer throughout is that God would use my situation, my experience for His good.
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