Chemo Round 6: Gathering Grace For Hacksaw Ridge


 This was me, yesterday, heading into my 6th round of chemo, every last bit of  all the past rounds of chemo.  not just this go ’round, but all the chemo, radiation, and surgeries of my last diagnosis combined with raising my 5 lil’ chirrens too.

But, as crazy as this meme above looks, and as true as it speaks to the way I feel, ol’ Madea cries out to “da Lort” in the end.  And so do I.  He knows I do.

‘Cuz honestly, He’s the one who keeps me going.  Of course, so does my family.  This crazy big family of mine keeps me going every morning, rain or shine, sick or not. Every minute of our Christmas break, they still wanted to go the movies, have a playdate, bake cookies, have our regular dance parties and build winter wonderlands all over the house.  And so we did.  Life went on. And it should.  I love that they remind me that LIFE is still to be lived RIGHT NOW.  I’M STILL LIVING TODAY, no matter how I feel.  Today is another day that I was blessed to wake up to live.  And that, my friends, is indeed a gift, no matter what challenges I may have ahead.  God will give us what we need to face them.

We’re approaching a new year, not to scoff at the last one, because we got through it with tears and laughter, but together and stronger and so will we in the next. So I thank God for last year and I welcome the next.  Can’t help but wonder and maybe get a little nervous of what lurks behind the next corner, but also be excited of the possibilities of the blessings that I know God will bring in each storm if they do indeed arise.


Ya see, when I received this new diagnosis of STAGE 4 Metastic Breast Cancer in the Lungs, Chest Wall, and Liver, they told me we’d start out with PLAN A: trying out 6 rounds of aggressive chemo and kinda go from there with more scans to see if we’d need more rounds, switch to a chemo pill, or if by some chance it’d be miraculously all gone and we’d just move on to my maintenance indefinite monthly infusions to keep my lines clear.  As much as I’d loooove for this phase of aggressive chemo infusions to be over with, they have me scheduled for more rounds.  Next week, we’ll reconvene after looking at my Brain MRI and recent CT with contrast to see if, by some chance I could switch to a chemo pill, but it seems my levels (at this point) are pointing in the direction of more taxotere infusions.  We shall see.

Hearing this kinda stuff, after going through round after round, nausea and sickness overload as I get, and losing my hair a second time, sleeping over and over again in front of my kids when they come home from school and all I want to do is be they’re peppy “JUST DANCE- killin’ it on the dance floor mama” kinda woman,  it breaks my heart  to have to go back into these chemo rounds/battles over and over with no clear end in sight.  It’s confused me.  Yet, I keep hearing God in prayers to trust Him, to trust in my doctors, and to know that He’s got me.





And then I saw a movie with my dad, just before the Christmas break began, that I never thought would relate to me the way it did, but it reached way down into my heart and into my gut and spoke to me.


If you haven’t yet,  I highly recommend it.  It’s a difficult one, but worth every minute.

I related so well to the story of the soldier knowing in the midst of this war, He felt a purpose in it all.  In the midst of the fight in which I could barely fathom how they could even see through the dust, the quick decision making, the noise, how fast their attackers came, how they just kept going and going, yet he held strong to his purpose… listening to God.  He knew that God was directing him through the battle.  True, the night terrors came, the fear, the stress, the loss of appetite, yet he never retreated.  He never gave up.  This soldier kept going.  Not knowing how much longer he had to go, or seeing a clear end in sight, he just repeated to God,


And those words, that simple prayer gave him the strength to keep going and going.  That prayer gave him the strength of a thousand men and helped him to save not only himself, but so many others.


Since this movie, this same prayer has become my prayer.  With each round of chemo, with each tough week at home trying to be mommy, with each small activity to do with my kids while sick… “help me get one more.”  And God sees me through.  It’s those simple prayers.  It doesn’t have to be fancy with God.  It’s just talking to him, and He sees us through.

And just like in the movie, and just like I’m feeling now, right when you think you’re getting off of Hacksaw Ridge (for me both in going from my last diagnosis and being re diagnosed again now, or hoping for only 6 rounds of aggressive chemo and learning that I probably need to go back in for me) we sometimes get called back onto the Ridge again, and sometimes we go back not knowing how long it will be but going in only with the hopes that God is on our side and will get us out safely on the other side.  Just like before… we put our trust in HIM, surrounded by fellow supportive fighters  (like YOU) praying with us, praying:


And we put on our armor and head back into battle, ready to kick some butt!!


except my armor may look a little more like this 😉 …


New Chemo Ninja Gear in Full Effect!    #Hiyahh

Although, Sometimes I feel like in my lil’ snazzy stretchy pants, I may come off lookin’ a lil more like this…


HA!!!  Either way,  I’m dressing’ out,  gearing’ up, and heading back into battle in whatever armor I’m feeling that day and going back into battle with my head in the game ready to kick cancer’s butt all day every day.  No two ways about it.

That’s all there is to it.

As this is the anniversary of a the loss of a dear friend who I grew to know and grieved to lose during this whole cancer ordeal,  The great BEN BLANCHARD,  I can’t help but quote him now in closing as I hail all of these HACKSAW RIDGE battle cries.

For you, Ben:


God bless you, my friends and to all the friends we’ve lost, missed and pray for in these battles.  We offer up our many challenges along the way, be they cancer or not, we all have our our crosses that we can offer up for one another.

Don’t wait for tomorrow. Today’s the day.

Today’s the day we can love a little more, try a little harder, and let go of whatever’s holding us back to living life more than ever before, no matter how big our cross is.

That’s my plan, even as I head back to chemo today.

And ya know what? Even then…









16 thoughts on “Chemo Round 6: Gathering Grace For Hacksaw Ridge

  1. Beautiful post Kiddo. Saw Hacksaw Ridge myself – GREAT movie. And I like the analogy with chemo.

    You may go back to the Ridge but God is with you – just like He was with Desmond Doss in Okinawa.

    Love you
    Batho B

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As you fight one more round, one more day, you are also winning another battle for God as you inspire one more person in one more personal struggle somewhere to trust the One Lord with every one word you say! Praying for you as you fight this fight. You are a special someone.


  3. Elise so kind of you to remember Ben,, he never retreated nor did he surrounded but was peaceful
    & sure in his passage to the Lord.. Mark & I pray for you every single
    Day! And will continue to! May you always be filled w Christ as I witness you today and always!
    Love a sister in Christ


    • Ben was a very special guy. You raised him well that way as you all have been a witness to me and so many others. I pray to be even half of the witness of faith and courage that you have been in to me


  4. Fighting this battle with you in our prayers always Ninja warrior!!! Thanks for your openness and sharing , you are helping many be inspired to pick up their crosses and follow your lead! Sending arms to hug you !!


  5. God Bless you Elise! You so inspire me . You are a woman of great strength , a true and faithful child of God. We are continuously lifting you and your family in prayer.


  6. I am truly humbled to tears. Thank you for sharing your journey. Your candor, humor and most importantly your faith and continued trust in God during this challenging time, has touched my heart. I will continue to pray for you and your family and request the saints intercession. (This morning Saint Charbel was coming to mind) Sending love and prayers from Arizona!

    Liked by 1 person

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