Archive for March, 2012

The Toll from Cancer

Today starts the beginning of week 35, meaning that I have 13 more weeks of shots left. I have given myself 210 shots, only 78 more to go. Everyone continues to tell me “Hang in there, it’s almost over.” Is it? Mathematically, I’m almost 73 percent through. But I don’t think I will ever be over this. It’s changed me.

On one hand, I am confident in the fact that God is using me to bring Him glory. On the other hand, I am so tired, or sick, or sore that I just exist through the day. The day of my shots, I feel pretty good all day; after the shots, I feel like I’m losing a battle. The day in between, sometimes it’s good; other times it’s really bad. I never know what to expect.

I’m trying to be grateful. My situation could have been so much worse.

Have you noticed how many people are battling cancer? Every time I turn around, someone is being diagnosed, beginning treatment, or even passing on. My heart hurts – desperately – every time I hear about a new battle beginning or another being lost. I don’t think I was this sympathetic until I started walking this journey. I’ve changed. I’ll always feel different, more compassionate, about the demon called cancer.

I look forward to the day when God says “No More”; you will not take another of my children.

Last week, God took two of his servants home – both losing their battle with cancer. And both were welcomed, no doubt, home by Jesus himself. I wish I could wash away the hurt and the loss; but until we ourselves are home, we must continue to walk in faith that God’s got all of this junk under His control.

Pray for the families and friends of Mike (in Nashville) and Bruce (in Sedalia), that God will comfort them in their time of sorrow and rejoicing. Pray for Joey – who started interferon treatments last Friday. And, please pray for Lorenda, who just found out she has to have a double mastectomy. She’s grateful, however, because she learned yesterday that she won’t have to have chemo.

Please be sensitive to the people around you battling cancer. Sometimes, even when you are surrounded by family and friends who love you very much, it is a long and lonely road.

Pray for the doctors and nurses who treat these families, administering treatments day in and day out. These ladies (at least where I was treated) develop relationships with the patients they treat. Imagine the loss they experience. Yet they continue on, serving with love, compassion, and respect. I’m convinced there’s a special place in heaven for them.

And, above all, don’t stop believing.  No matter the physical outcome, God’s got this.

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A much-needed emotional release

My dear friends, I want to thank you for your outpouring of love and encouragement over the last week. I am so blessed, and humbled. Thank you for not judging me and simply allowing me to be honest.

The new meds are leveling out a bit. The nausea seems to have subsided and been replaced by that achy flu feeling – but that, I can work through. It’s hard to do anything when you actually feel sick. No matter, I keep pushing through.

As far as they swelling up of tears (or maybe the suppression of tears), I have found relief. Nathan played two very hard-fought basketball games this weekend. The cheering (and yes, screaming) during the games seemed to do the trick. Well, that plus a heart-wrenching episode of The Biggest Loser. Yes, it was THAT bad; the tears were that close to the surface.

I have been overwhelmed by the number of friends that offered support if this happens again. So many, many people have offered to be on the other end of a phone call at any time. And I even had a few friends who said they would meet me at any hour, just for the support that physical presence and a hug provides.

Yesterday, I was able to go to church AND life group. I haven’t had the strength to do both for several weeks. It was definitely a blessing to be with friends. I absolutely love celebrating the love of Christ with my spiritual family.

Lastly, please continue to pray for the family of Bruce Campbell and the New Hope congregation. Bruce came home from the hospital on Friday and is now under hospice care. God, please fill them with peace that can only come from you.

A Heavy Heart

What a week. It’s been like trudging through the mud. I seem to be adapting the shots – still nauseous but not as bad as it was when I first started last Thursday. I’m filled with the strongest urge to cry, and I’m not sure what’s causing it.

Normally, I can get to a low spot, figure out what is wrong, and work through it. But these last few days, I can’t seem to break through. I am sad, but why? The image I long for is to be held and protected by my Heavenly Father, like a mother cradling her baby who has finally found that peaceful place of sleep.

This is not depression, and I am not taking any more medication to work through this. But I don’t have any answers – why I’m feeling this way or how to get out. And please, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t email me your suggestions.

For the last several days I have been listening to a lot of Christian music. And the words have spoken to me with a yearning like I haven’t ever felt. My heart hurts with all the junk here. I’m not sad about myself, I’ll get through this. Of that, I am sure. But so many people are hurting.

I know God is with me. I know he will never forsake me. I know he has a plan. I know he is using me to reach others. I know all of those things. I know the truth. But my heart is hurting, and I’m not sure why or how to move beyond it.

I long to stand before the Father and praise him with reckless abandon. I long to sleep and all the junk to pass me by. I want to feel the peace that only God can give.

I’m afraid that if I start crying, I won’t be able to stop.

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