Friday, April 22, 2011

Reactions to Change

On Tuesday afternoon I went to the doctor. I thought that it would be the routine check over and hoped that the doctor would tell me what she and the other board of doctors had decided regarding my case. I was prepared to hear that they would give me 5 more doses of chemo and that would be that. However, I was not prepared to have my doctor tell me that I had only one more chemo and then radiation! It shocked me and that shock sent a wave of thoughts and emotions through my body.

Hold on! Radiation? I thought we were trying to avoid this because of data that shows that it could cause cancers later in life. Are you sure about radiation? How did we reach this decision?

My doctor said that some of the radiation technology has improved and that she felt comfortable with this route.

Woohoo! Last chemo on Friday! I'm done! Done with those drugs! Will I get my picc line out of my arm? What? On Friday? Right after chemo? YES! The worlds longest and most relaxing shower is about to happen! I can go lift weights! I can go out without feeling self-conscious about the tubes coming out my arm!

You will meet with the radiation oncologist next week.

What does radiation hold? Are we making the right decision? What if it does produce cancer later in life? What will radiation be like? Radiation or chemo? Suddenly it all seems like pick your poison.

You will be done with chemo!

Done? That's great! It's so easy to rejoice, especially with others and my family. But, in the alone moments, it's harder. What about others who are not done? What about the girl who is only one chemo behind me and has a very similar case? Will she be done? What about the other patients who seem to see no end to the cycles of chemo? I feel guilty for being so blessed. When I walk out of this cancer center, I will be viewed as the unlucky one, the one who has cancer. However, in the cancer center, I am the lucky one; I am the fortunate one. Why me? How do I go to my last chemo and look at the others who might be there off and on for a year more? Thank you, Jesus, for letting me done; but, what about the others? As you can see, Lord, I still wrestle with your sovereignty.

Alright, that will be all. Congratulations!

Thank You, Lord. Like salvation from sin, I am undeserving. Thank You for your grace. Please, continue to sustain me. I am nothing without You.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dear fellow patient and friend

I know exactly where you are right now. You, like me, are sitting in a reclining chair hooked up to the medicine that drives your body crazy but is slowly healing. I am thinking of you. We are buddies now. There is something about facing a similar hardship that drives you together. There is a bond.
I am praying for you. I know that we were both not expecting this. We were both planning on being done with this sooner. But God is sovereign and we are both learning to lean on His grace. We are learning lots of lessons about our Lord. Many times there are questions. Sometimes there are answers. Always there is the peace that we are not alone in this. I am praying that God heals your body quickly. I am praying that this treatment goes well. I am praying that you will have joy in all things.
They are walking and running in honor of us today, in honor of all who are fighting a similar battle. I feel humbled and grateful and honored all at the same time. They have named the team after me. However, all I could think of when I woke up today was you. They are doing this for you and for me. They are doing this so that you and I will have more birthdays. More birthdays, not just to enjoy life on earth, but to tell others about our Sovereign Lord and His glorious Gospel. How profound...we have more time. Time to do what with our lives? I am convicted by the idea.
I hope you are doing well. It is chilly in my treatment room; is it chilly in yours? Are you staring out a window like I am? We will get through this, I know. God will get us through the moments that make up days and the days that make up the long months ahead. Just know, I am thinking and praying...for you.
Your friend

(this post is in honor of Don Callahan, a man from my church in High Point who is going through chemotherapy treatment as well)

Friday, April 1, 2011


On Saturday evening Mom, Dad, and I went to a Isle of Wight Humane Society function. We were off to see the doggies. I had seen some puppies online and knew of one that I was specifically interested in adopting. On the drive over I prayed she would be there.
And she was! There in a pen was a small Australian Shepherd mix pup. They called her Bobbie because she had a slight vision/balance problem and looked like a bobble head. I picked her up and held her and knew that she was the one I wanted.
Yes, Mom and Dad allowed me to adopt a puppy! And I am so thankful. She has helped to take my mind off of so many overwhelming things. She has given me a playmate and friend.
I named her Pichincha after a volcano in Ecuador. Mount Pichincha sits right by Quito and I used to see it every morning when I looked out the kitchen window. It was such a pretty mountain. So her name is Pichincha and we call her Chincha for short, or if you are dad, Chichi.
She is just a little bit quirky, but we like that. We love that she is quite content to take naps in between our feet as we work at the kitchen table during the day. And we think it is quite comical that she often walks right into us when we are taking her for walks.
I was thinking this morning as I did my devotions. God is the Giver of all things. He gives rain to the ground, as we have seen this past week. He gives grace when we are struggling and even when we are "doing okay." I know this may sound hokey, but I was thanking Him for Chincha. I was thanking Him for all things, even puppies. He is the Giver of all good gifts. His gifts do not satisfy, however, they point us back in thankfulness the the Giver who does.