top of page

My shovel isn't big enough.

Today was a long day.

It started with multiple phone calls with his transplant doctor at 8am discussing which part we were going to tackle first.

After much discussion and the worry of secondary cancer being the cause, we decided the priority needed to be finding the source of the pain in his foot. Since there were no appointments with orthopedic available we headed for the ED.

After a full panel of labs and a slew of new x-rays on both feet they were confident the pain was coming from a ligament and not cancer.

We walked out feeling like 100 lbs had been lifted from our shoulders.

As we made our way to the heart center I immediately got on the phone with sports medicine to get him the earliest appointment we could, which thankfully they had an opening later that afternoon on the east side of Columbus.

We got to the heart center right before 1pm and they got his heart monitor placed, gave us all the instructions, and sent us on our way.

Brady and I were home just long enough to drop Chris off and regroup for a few minutes before heading to the sports medicine appointment.

We got to the office right at 3pm and gave the sports medicine team the same run down of the history of random pain that we had five times earlier today for all the other doctors on the case.

After looking through all the x-rays, they asked several questions, and thoroughly examined both of his feet.

Over and over he ran his fingers pinpointing where the pain was coming from.

The sports medicine doctor sat back in the chair and rolled towards the desk. “Well, they are incorrect,” he said. “This is definitely bone pain. All of his pain, the time of day, the multiple locations of where it is coming from, it isn’t an issue with a ligament. No way. It is 100% pain in his bone.”

I sat there cringing while he spoke. He spoke so quietly because he knew Brady’s full medical history and what the repercussion of bone pain could mean.

“Looking at his x-rays I’m a bit perplexed. If I just saw the one foot I would tell you definitively that it was a stress fracture. The location of the pain and the picture of his bone all lines up with that, but” he took a breath and continued, “what doesn’t make sense is that there is the same spot in almost the exact location on his other foot. So either he has the start of a second stress fracture on his other foot or something in his bone marrow is starting a kind of reaction.”

I sat there and digested the information far better than I expected to.

I took a minute. And finally responded, “so now what?”

“Well, we need to do an MRI to confirm the fracture. Unfortunately NCH is so short staffed that they are 2-3 months out. So I’m going to refer you to a place where we can get him in in one to two weeks. Until then, he needs to wear a boot. If it is a fracture then he will find relief within a day or two.” Then he added, “I’m going to reach out to his doctor in the meantime to fill her in on what I have found.”

We got Brady fitted and in a boot and we’re walking out when I thought of a couple more questions.

I quickly walked back to his office where he was sitting. “Real quick, is it possible that if these are two injuries that they are actually the result of his bones being weakened from the chemo and radiation? I know that was one of the potential side effects…”

He quickly nodded yes, “I was actually going to look into his chart now thinking the exact thing. I want to run his vitamin d and get those MRI images so we can see his bone density.”

We discussed a few more of the nasty side effects that could be leading towards the pain before I left to get Brady in the car.

So tonight we drove home almost with more questions than answers for the day, but I’m extremely thankful that tonight Brady is feeling relief from the boot.

We ate dinner and I had to get outside. So much in my head was swirling. I kept going through the details of all the conversations from the day. From the “it definitely isn’t a secondary cancer” to “it may be his bone marrow starting a reaction”.

Cooper followed me to the garage where I grabbed some gloves and a shovel. I started moving piles of dirt filling in some of the holes and small trenches where new pipes had been laid.

Cooper kept saying, “we working so hard” over and over while he took the little hand shovel to move the dirt next to me. I kept agreeing with him, “yep Coop,” I told him while I wiped the sweat from my head, “we are working so hard.”

We were over digging up a bush to transplant it when Cooper, after an hour straight of solid help, finally threw his little shovel to the ground.

He walked away and he said, “I’m done. I’m done workin hard momma.”

I looked at his little shovel there on the ground next to the big shovel I was holding.

I wanted to be done too.

I wanted to throw my shovel down too.

But I couldn’t. I had already started digging up the roots to that bush and I had to get it replanted and watered so it would live.

As I looked at his little shovel laying in the dirt I realized that little shovel is me.

I’m done. I have to be done.

I’m done with the part where I’m worried about tomorrow. I’m done with the part where I’m worried about if and when Brady’s cancer will return. I’m done with the part where I’m trying to hold it all together all by myself.

I’m done.

I’m done with all of it because God’s shovel is far bigger than mine. It is far sharper. It is far stronger. It is all around just better.

I kept shoveling at that dirt while Cooper got his bike out. He pushed it around for a bit before it fell over. He walked over sad and said, “I can’t do it! I can’t get it up!”

I put my shovel into the ground and walked towards him. “I’ll help you buddy.”

I got his bike back upright and he pushed it back over to the bush I was working on.

He picked his shovel back up and started digging again. “I’ll help momma.”

So together we dug that giant bush out.

So maybe I’m not done. Maybe I’m just done trying to dig it myself and worrying if I can actually move it on my own.

Because the truth is, I know darn well I can’t. I’m not strong enough and my shovel isn’t big enough.

And that’s the entire point.

Lord I know you have this giant bush under control. I know you don’t need my tiny hand shovel to help, but I’m here. I’ll keep digging because I know you won’t stop working for us either. I know your love reaches far beyond anything we can imagine. I know your healing hand can fix anything. Lord these roots of side effects feel like they go every where. Like so many are stretched into the soil making it hard to break free. But Lord We know you are able. We know you are the Waymaker. I know that ping pong ball sitting in the soil next to that bush was intentional. It was the reminder I needed that battles can be hard and we can be damaged, but we won’t stop. Despite the dirt and dents the letters are still clear. Battle. Lord we trust you with it all. Break the soil and free the roots.

Shields up.

Swords out.

Trusting big,


“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”


2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page