The weather report said it was going to be a cold, overcast day with a possibility of rain. I am at the start line, shoulder to shoulder with thousands of people and the friends that I have trained with for weeks to prepare for this day. Adrenalaine is pumping through my veins. I can feel the excitement and nervousness in the air. It is my second marathon so I am feeling prepared for what is to come. There is not a cloud is the sky and the sun has already started to beat down on our faces. The weather report was wrong.
It is hot...90+ degrees and humidity beyond belief. We reach the 20 mile mark. My body is hot and tired. Kelly, who has not left my side, is keeping me going. Up ahead we see Jason along with some friends cheering us on. It gives me that extra boost I need to go a few more miles. Unfortunately, I am needing to stop and use the bathroom several times at this point slowing us down. Something is definitely not right. We reach the 23 mile mark. There is Kelly's family cheering us on and her son Nick runs along with us. It is keeping my mind off of what is going on with my body. We reach one of the last water stops. I make a poor choice and decide to keep going. I want this race to be done. I tell Kelly I will see her at the finish line and pick up the pace the last couple of miles. Adrenalaine once again starts pumping through my veins as I see the finish line. It is finally over. I see Kelly coming up behind me with tears of joy in her eyes. We hug and say "we did it". It was a moment we will never forget and we are glad that we were able to share it together. Soon after, I feel myself falling apart. I tell Kelly I am not feeling well and duck into the medical tent. I am now being placed on a cot and being hooked up to IV's. I feel extremely nauseous and think I am going to pass out. Nothing is working so they decide to send me to the ER. I have never been so sick in my life. I thought I was going to die.
It is our first wedding anniversary. I am 6 months pregnant with twins. I have checked into the hospital to be on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. The doctors want to keep a close watch on my condition. It is unknown what is going to happen to the twins. That evening, the doctor decides to do an ultrasound to monitor the twins. Jason is out getting takeout to celebrate our anniversary. Sudden change in plans...twin #1 is near death. If we want to save twin #2 we have to take them out now. Before I know it, a neonatologist is in my room explaining the risks, complications and chances of survival for twin #2 and asking for permission to not intervene with twin #1. She was too underdeveloped to survive. I am in shock at this point desperately trying to get a hold of Jason. They were already prepping me for a c-section as Jason comes in the door and is alarmed to see what is going on. He has a look of unbelief on his face while he is putting surgical scrubs on.
I am on the surgical table, feeling extremely sick to my stomach. I am aware of what is going on around me, yet unable to do anything. Twin #1, named Aubrey, is being held by a nurse in the corner of surgical suite as she is slowing passing away. Twin #2, named Mackenzie, is surrounded by doctors as they attempt to intubate her, inject a drug into her lungs to make them strong and get her stable. Jason is trying to spend equal time between the twins and myself. Soon, Mackenzie is taken to the NICU where she was to spend the next 6 1/2 months of her life. Aubrey passes away after 30 minutes of life.
It is 5:00 a.m. and in 3 1/2 hours I am about to go through 7 weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. This may be the most difficult thing that I am about to go through in my life. I am scared to death. I am looking for the strength and perseverance inside of me that I had to finish that marathon two years ago. I am hoping for the healing that God gave to our sweet Mackenzie who is now a happy 8 year old little girl.