Monday, March 30, 2015

Doing Battle, Week 27

First, I have some really exciting news...a direct answer to prayer! I met with the oncologist last week (I do blood work and meet with someone from his office every week, but it'd been several visits since I'd been seen by the top dog.) I reported that I've had no affect from the chemo, that I barely notice I'm on it. I don't think he believed me because he said well, what about this? Or that? Nope, NO side effects. He was rather astounded and said I'm in the 5-10% of patients whose body can handle what he's giving me. And he said my blood counts were "excellent". I skipped out of there!

Radiation is a different story. The weeks are starting to pile up (yay that we're getting through!) but my body is taking a beating and I'm feeling the cumulative effect. So, so tired and pain and/or discomfort are now my constant companions.

I'm weary of the journey, yet thankful I get to be on it. Ever since reading her book, The Hardest Peace, I'd been following the blog of the author, a young woman, wife and mom of four who'd been battling cancer and last week her body finally gave out. Sobering. Makes me feel ridiculous for complaining about a thing.

Our pastor talked about pain and suffering several weeks ago and one thing he said has really stuck with me:

We are in bondage to decay. I'm thinking, God, why is this happening? Why can't I see well anymore? Why do I have arthritis? Why does my knee need to be replaced? Why do I have cancer? God says it's simple. You are decaying. All of creation is decaying. Here's the reality: no matter what choices you made, no matter what you did, eventually this was going to happen. But why? Because everything is decaying. Here's the big point: Sin entered the world and from that time on death followed, death reigned and everything on this planet, everything without exception, is in bondage to decay.....its not that something about you is broke, the whole world around you is broke....sin entered into the world and death reigned and we are all decaying. None of us are exempt. 

In the meantime, we live in a place of hope that God is with us and through His spirit he has promised a future for us....God is at work in all things.

"We are bound to decay". Somehow, that was so encouraging to me. It should be no surprise when we start feeling aches and pains. Our pain and suffering is the result of a fallen world and is just evidence that we are weak. But God works in our weakness and conforms us to his likeness.

Conform away, God. Strip me of me until there is only you.

Particularly if you are currently going through a tough time, the whole podcast is worth listing to.

My friend Shelva came out from Colorado to stay with her parents for a few days, so we got some time together. We sat in her parents' living room and laughed and reminisced and it brought me back about 25 years to when that was just a common occurrence (except the reminiscing part...we didn't have many years to look back on. But always the laughter. :)

She made the drive to radiation with Aiden and I and they sent me this picture.
I don't love that radiation is a household word around here, but I DO enjoy this guys company on the hour drive each morning. Sometimes he's still tired enough to not say a word, sometimes he sings quietly to klove. Other times he rattles off the endless supply of knowledge he has about nature "Mom, did you know that...?" (I never do) or he'll ask me deep theological questions that I don't have concrete answers for. He is a blessing!
On a different day Amy came, too. She doesn't trust me to catch ALL of what the doctors tell me. I may or may not have a tendency to filter out the bad/negative information and hold tightly to anything positive. She and Shaun claim it is important to have the full story in these situations.
My sweet, sweet napping buddy. I'll never be sorry for these forced naps that I get to do laying next to this love (and that stinky blankie!)

I memorized these verses several years ago and I said them over and over each day this past week while laying on the radiation table :

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
II Corinthians 4:16-18

Thank you for you constant encouragement, for your prayers and thoughts towards our family. We'd like to think we could do this on our own but we cannot, so we are grateful that you've come along beside us. From my heart, thank you Team Lisa.


Find Handmade said...

Thinking of you - you are an inspiration and sharing your journey is a true privilege. God Bless.

Meg A. said...

Such a huge answer to prayer!!! 5-10%...WOW! I loved that sermon profound and true. Love you and so thankful you get to fight. xoxo

sara said...

praising God this morning for your ability to withstand the chemo!!!!

you know from my blog, Hardest Peace, affected me greatly and gave me a new perspective on my "hard" time.

Love you and pray for you and your family daily. Thank you for these updates!! they give me a direction to pray for you each week.

Amy Joy said...

That verse could not be more fitting and inspiring! Also was grateful to read that snippet of the sermon - will need to follow-up and hear the rest. Great update and so glad you're getting closer to the end of radiation. xoxo

Melody said...

So glad you got to spend some time with Shelva!
Cheering you on as you press forward in the pain. Love you!

Melody said...

Also, still doing the happy dance about the 5-10%! Grateful that you don't have to deal with both chemo and radiation side effects at the same time.

Amanda Robinson said...

This is wonderful news. One prayer answered consistently.