Simply Obey

I was telling my friend that I had made a decision to start immunotherapy treatment as I felt God was pointing me in that direction but that I did not “feel” like doing it.  Sometimes you can know something is the right thing to do even though your “heart” is not into it.  I was quite ornery about this decision (for days).  My friend said her dad would tell her when she was a young girl to “simply obey”.  So I am going to “simply obey” the plan I believe God has for me, which involves four infusions of an immunotherapy drug over a twelve week period.  I will begin the treatments in mid-April at the Lacks Cancer Center.

Please pray that I would be able to handle the side effects of this drug.  It seems like right when I get feeling “sort of” normal again and I have adjusted to the changes in my body that it is time for another procedure. I now understand why they say “battling cancer”.

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More Decisions

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My good news is that I can walk unaided – no walker or crutches are needed anymore. My back is already feeling better from being more upright. I do still need to restrict my activities to just walking. Considering that I am not a runner, exercise enthusiast, or even an amateur biker, I think I can handle that.

My radiation treatment, which happened to be on my 45th birthday, was uneventful. Because my head wasn’t in a machine this time, I was able to listen to music and the hour went by quickly. I decided that if the radiation treatment controls the tumor, that is the best birthday present I could receive.

I feel at a crossroad as I have to make a decision on my next step and who should handle my care. I am a person who likes definites, agreement, and concrete facts but these are lacking in this situation. So many voices were clamoring in my head and I was wearing myself out mulling everything over. Our God is not a God of confusion and I know He will lead me. Please pray for discernment (AND SLEEP TOO).

I have had several doctor appointments these past few weeks, which all take a toll. After one of my doctor appointments last week, I was emotionally drained and asked my friend Suzanne to drive my car back to her house. Later upon getting into my car to drive, I saw a blow-pop sucker sticking out of the crack of the driver’s seat. We had no clue where it came from or why we hadn’t seen it before now. Suzanne declared it was a sign. I said sarcastically, “life sucks”, “life blows”. She later called me to tell me it came to her what the sucker meant – I am going to LICK this cancer! I smiled as I told RK to get that sucker out of the trash bin in my car. It is now proudly displayed on my TV as a reminder to me – NEVER LOSE HOPE.

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John 16:33  “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

A Lesson in Advocating Gracefully

I have delayed writing as it has been a rough week. An appointment earlier in the week put me in a funk and I attempted to advocate for myself without success.  So on Friday when I began my monthly infusions of a bone strengthening medication, I was in a surly mood.  My disposition was not helped when I realized the lack of privacy in the infusion room. I was so close to the man in the chair next to me that Richard could not get my IV pole out between the chairs so I could use the restroom without moving my whole chair. I realize hundreds of people have been treated in this room  prior to today, so why am I the only one appalled to be able to hear and see the medical information of others? I let each personnel who had contact with me know my feelings and I later marched out of that room to get a copy of my patient rights. Yes, I was in rare form that day.

A sweet nurse came to me who handled me so well. She squatted down next to me blocking the neighbor’s view and spoke to me in a quiet voice. She listened to my concerns and offered solutions. She was so soothing that I felt myself begin to soften. While I was getting my IV inserted, Richard surprised me with a speciality tea. I began conversing with the man who was literally an arms-length away from me, and my attitude began to shift. My joyful spirit was back.

The lack of control in my care and seeing so many other people with the same disease appearing so ill took its toll on me that day.  I am somewhat embarrassed of my childlike manner.  While I am still not completely fine with the set-up of the situation, I pray that next time I am able to advocate for myself in a more graceful manner and that I may bring joy to that room instead of angst.

Following the appointment, Richard and I went to stay with family in the Chicago area for the weekend. We had wonderful visits but once again the side effects of the infusion limited our activities. It is hard not to get discouraged when mentally I want to do so many different activities but my body physically is not up to it.  Our family members were very accommodating and we felt spoiled, blessed, and renewed by our time together.

This week on Wednesday, March 11th, I will receive one cyberknife radiation treatment to the femur. The following week the orthopedic surgeon will view the xray of my femur to guide me on my mobility. I am walking without the walker for short distances in my home now which feels liberating.

Jesus Calling Devotional for March 8th “Let Me Help You through this day. The challenges you face are far too great for you to handle alone. You are keenly aware of your helplessness in the scheme of events you face.  The awareness opens up a choice:  to doggedly go it alone or walk with Me in humble dependence.  Actually, this choice is continually before you, but difficulties highlight the decision-making process.  So consider it all joy when you are enveloped in various trials.  These are gifts from Me, reminding you to rely on Me alone.”