The Ups & Downs 

Well, yesterday was rock bottom. We shall spare you the details medically but as a whole, it was rock bottom for me physically, emotionally & mentally. At least I’m calling it that because my heart can’t imagine anything worse. On top of that, I found myself to be so angry at different moments yesterday. Angry at the pain. Angry at the slow recovery. Angry that I need help with seemingly everything. Angry that it seems like I can’t catch a break. Angry that I haven’t even had a chance to really mourn for Hallie because my brain has been so wrapped up in recovery. Angry that I’ll never get to meet Hallie. Angry that had this happened just weeks later, Hallie would be in our arms while I fight. Angry that this happened at all! Angry that I’ll never be able to have my own kids. That’s so final and so unfair. Angry that cancer stole all of this from me, from us. Cancer is the worst. Angry that I’m 30! 30! And this is our life. Angry that Kevin and I were robbed of this incredible life we were so close to having. Angry that my husband has had to step up into a role no spouse should ever have to play. Angry that our parents should be buying pack n plays & toys and instead are trying desperately to help in any and every way. Angry for our siblings that were going to be the worlds greatest aunts and uncles and are now left scrambling to take care of us & their broken hearts. Angry that I was robbed of the perfect maternity leave with my bestie Sheila, who is due 10 days after me. Our kids were supposed to be best friends like their moms! Or husband and wife, we were totally ok with that. 😉 I’m sure our husbands find glimmers of hope in money saved from all those Hobby Lobby trips that would’ve happened. Angry that this physical recovery is so hard and about the time that I will be feeling like a normal human again, I’ll be starting chemo and radiation and the fear and anxiety of what that’ll do to me physically and mentally. I’m really angry at that, what an awful stretch during the best time of the year!! Angry that as my physical pain starts to subside, I’m so much more aware of how much my heart aches. Angry that I’ll lose my hair. Like really angry about that. My red hair! 

And yet here I am 24 hours removed and all I can think about is the good that came out of yesterday. My high school best friends sent me the most beautiful orange flowers (with an orange vase, +1!) and we’ve since relived some silly high school memories via a Facebook group chat. My Yelp counterpart in Dublin who is my soul sister, KP, sent me the most beautiful necklace that I’m already wearing. It reads “strength” on one side & “courage” on the other. I chose yesterday to wear the courage side showing, Lord knows I needed some of that. My moms work surprised her with a donation that we are putting towards Hallie’s memorial on Friday. I got a few texts of encouragement from people near & far that I swore they just knew I needed to hear their words in that moment. And this was all just yesterday!  There are a thousand other acts that you’ve done for me that I haven’t mentioned here but I’m so thankful for. And on top of all that, I know there are countless prayers being said by you all that I will never physically hear, but I feel the impact of it all. My attitude today is proof of that! I so mean it when I say that these acts are carrying me through the most difficult moments. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Rock bottom, as awful as it is in the moment, always allows you the opportunity to start your climb back up. Today brought that. Kevin was able to get to work today for a few hours and my Mom came to babysit again. Hallmark Christmas movies are good for the soul, embrace the cheesy! Big news is that she was able to get me out of the house for the first time, we took a short walk outside!  Fresh air felt so amazing, I can’t believe this weather and it’s November. She’ll kill me for posting this pic but I’m the one that looks a little haphazard so I must as it’s a big milestone in this journey. 

We also spent some time today building a shadow box for Hallie’s memorial. I will be sure to share more on that after the service on Friday. There are a million emotions I feel. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why the extent to which we can memorialize our daughters life is her sweet hand prints, foot prints & ultrasound pictures. I have a hard time coming to grips with the finality of this when we had so many hopes and dreams for this little girl. It sure just doesn’t feel real. The thought of chicken and lasagna still makes me cringe so I must be pregnant still, right?! My heart just isn’t ready to go there yet, so for today I will be thankful that we have those sweet footprints & handprints and for the beauty of this shadow box that’s Hallies life. I promise it will be proudly shown for all to see in our new home!

Keep prayin’ for us. My goal for tomorrow and Thursday is to get out for a few walks since Friday will be a physically demanding day with my doctors appt & the service. I think I made it a block today, so if you need a quick jaunt, let me know! Hope to also keep my mind busy. Friday is going to be so, so hard. I write this one through so many tears, but hope abounds that this will get better, Hallie’s life is more than a shadow box and there is a greater purpose to it all. 

Love you all,



10 thoughts on “The Ups & Downs 

  1. Bethany, Thank you for sharing with us. I know the next few days will requiring extraordinary strength and courage. I also know between you, Kev and your amazing support system, you HAVE extraordinary strength and courage. Thinking of you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re my hero. I’m always down for a walk around the block if you need (not by the skatepark) 😉 You’re allowed to be angry, but I admire your ability to stop and see the good. Keep fighting Beef!


  3. Kevin, Bethany, Mary and your family….. We used to watch Chris and our son Mike Kastel in sporting events at the high school. You have such an incredible family. This breaks my heart for each of you, and I know your faith will keep you protected as you feel each emotion and go through this journey. We have a niece who we love dearly go through the same thing. We will be praying for each of you. I am so sorry for your loss of your sweet Hallie. Our hearts break for you reading your posts, and still your strength and your faith shows how incredible you are. I’m glad you felt able to speak of your anger as well as your blessings in the battle. God hold each of you in the palm of His hands. Wendy and Steve Kastel


  4. Dear sweet Bethany,

    So loved seeing the picture of you and your mom. My heart is aching with the loss and anger and pain your experiencing. knowing you are suffering in this way, causes me sadness for everything you are facing.

    Christina, now 15, can you believe it? was noticing my solemn look as I read your latest post- She was a baby when I started DTP. We prayed together for you and Kevin, your parents and family as you face a tough day on Friday.

    I am so proud of you; you are facing something what no one should face at your age. I know with chemo around the corner and the nasty side affects it brings and with the challenge of the healing process from surgery- go forward, #halliestrong, continuing to fight – enjoy these warmer November days! Love ya! Constant prayers


  5. My heart is breaking for you and Kevin. Bethany, you are an amazing woman! I have to believe that God has good things ahead for you once you get through this terrible sadness and recovery you are going through right now. We are all aching with you but keep looking for the light, as you have been. Sending all the prayers and thoughts I can everyday! xoxo


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