Hi there! Welcome to Still Waters.
I’m Mallory, a 23-year-old Daughter of Christ, born and raised in the Bluegrass, and newlywed!
In October 2013, at the age of 20, I was shockingly diagnosed with a solid pseudopapillary tumor in my pancreas… a diagnosis which turned my world upside down in ways I could have never predicted. In the two weeks following this diagnosis I would withdraw from college at Western Kentucky University- leaving my whole life behind for what I thought would only be a few months, yet never returned to- move back home, and undergo massive all-day surgery called a “Whipple” to remove this very rare tumor amongst many other parts. My surgery was a success and after eight days in the hospital my parents brought me home to begin the long road to recovery.
Less than two months later, I was struck by my first attack with acute pancreatitis… the force which would soon become my body’s greatest enemy. This was thought to be a rare complication from my Whipple, yet, nothing that couldn’t be resolved with some medical attention. On Christmas night we headed back home…unfortunately not for long. Thus, the cycle of unrelenting pancreatitis began– excruciating pain, followed by vomitting despite not having anything to eat or drink all day/days, calling the doctor, driving 45 minutes to the hospital, crying in the ER, FINALLY being admitted, spending some time in the hospital… back home for a few days, start again.
Pancreatitis is treated through (1) Lots of pain meds (2)Being declared NPO (no drinking or eating) until your pancreatic enzyme levels return to a normal range. Each time I had an attack I would spend several days NPO then slowly introduce liquids and solids to my system. But after a few days at home my pancreas would errupt again, more severely every time. My doctors determined that my pancreas needed a longer period of rest- this is when I got a PICC line in my arm and began TPN (IV nutrition.) After 31 days on TPN alone I took my first bite of food. I remember thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe I went that long without eating..thank you Lord for pulling me through and for your healing! I hope I never have to do this again.”
Unfortunately, about two weeks later I found myself back in the hospital, my pancreatitis wasn’t ready to let go. During this stay, I had surgery to place a feeding tube that would be my sole source of nutrition for, what we hoped, the next two months. I began tube feeds at the beginning of March and stayed on 24-hour feeds, with nothing by mouth other than some clear liquids, for the next 8 1/2 months. My body was not healing the way we so desperately hoped and prayed it would, rather, things continued to get much worse.
Though this time was filled with miserable pain, constant disappointment, confused doctors appointments and great sadness, more importantly, it was also filled with the peace that passes understanding, beauty from ashes moments, the comforting embrace of a loving Savior and treasures that can only be found in the darkness (Isaiah 45:3).
On November 6, 2014, I underwent a total Pancreatectomy, Splenectomy, and Islet Cell Transplant to end the vicious cycle which had made me prisoner to a broken body, and give me a second chance at life.
Now, 2 years post op I’m still a sick person. Pain, fatigue, & major digestive issues plague me constantly. My focus is 100% on healing, trying to teach my body how to eat & digest again (this has been a daunting process & I am still limited to a diet full of puréed/mushy foods), re-entering the world and regaining life, and of course enjoying this new marriage thing!
I have no idea what God has in store for my future, but whatever it is, I know it’s more incredible than anything I could ever imagine.
Still Waters is my journal, my story… the song God has given me to share with you in hopes of bringing encouragement, hope, salvation and above all, glory to Him who is worthy of ALL praise no matter the circumstance. Though my experiences are unique, overall, my story is not. It’s the tale of a sinner whose world is shaken by a merciful, powerful God. A sinner whose heart and soul is transformed by the grace of a Mighty Redeemer who provides comfort through every valley, every plateau, and every peak. It’s a story that shares a great many similarities with millions of others. A story marked by One God, One Love, One Death and One Resurrection. The same Deliverer who rescued me, CAN and WILL, rescue you. Living by faith is by no means an easy ride. Yet, it’s undoubtedly the only path that can truly satisfy the emptiest spaces of your soul.
Thanks for reading; enjoy!
All of my love,