Monday, May 25, 2015

Overwhelmed Again

These past few cycles of treatment have made my life and the life of my family very challenging. Who cares about hair loss, fatigue, and the myriad of other physical side effects that have made my life different from what it used to be. But, the build up of the steroids (kept my body from inflammation during the chemo treatment) and anti-anxiety drugs (helped me not to get nauseous and not to throw up during the chemo treatment) in my body are another story. 

This is a part of the chemotherapy process that isn’t really talked about nor well known. We all associate chemo with hair loss, nausea, and fatigue. We don’t associate chemotherapy with anger, confusion, agitation, feelings of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, loss of memory, problems with memory, trouble sleeping, or trouble concentrating. You may be wondering how this is possible. Side effects.

For the past few months, my family and I have been on this chemotherapy roller coaster that they never chose to be on. I have to be on this roller coaster, because it is a part of my treatment. They are on it whether they like it or not. Families of chemo patients need so much love, understanding, and support also.

I don’t think that your oncologist can predict the exact side effects that you will experience during your treatment nor can they explain or prepare you for them. To be honest, I haven’t disclosed all that I have been experiencing, emotionally, to my oncologist, because I know what the solution will be: more drugs with more side effects which will put more pressure on my liver. 

Throughout this time, I’ve shed many tears. About my cancer? No. (This still baffles me but has a simple answer: Jesus. He has kept me and protected me, even from myself). About this and that? Yes. I can’t fully verbalize this, but those ahead of me in their treatment know what I am talking about. Today, I had one of those moments, but a good one. I was coming out of the bathroom, when I remembered the wall hanging that is seen as people enter our home. The majority have no idea what it says (unless they ask), because it is in Chinese characters. I know because my husband told me what it said when a missionary gave it to us. It says, “Immanuel.” It means God with us

Well, as I thought of these words, God with us, I was overwhelmed again. He is with me. He is with my family. He has never left us nor forsaken us. Even when I go cray cray, He is with me. Even when my world seems to have a fog over it. He is here. Even when I pull away from Him. He is with me. I started crying and dropped to the floor in thankfulness to Him. As I sat on my kitchen floor, I saw that God is still so good to me.


by pheenie23



Friday, April 24, 2015

CT Scans and Tech Scans

Last week, I had my three month CT scan. I cannot believe how quickly time passes. It was my "off" week of chemo, and it was packed with different appointments and engagements. Things just come in large waves - a lot of times.

Thankfully, I remembered to pick up the oral contrast ahead of time. I headed to the hospital with my stomach full of the water/oral contrast solution and more bottles of water for the next two doses of the contrast.

As I drove, I prayed. I thanked God for loving me. I thanked God for always being with me. Then, I had the thought to pray, "Please, help me not to 'read' the CT tech's body language." The CT techs are not supposed to tell the patients the results of the scan (big lawsuit) - only the doctors can do that. They try their best not to reveal anything, but they are human. They feel, and as a result, you can "feel" what the results are. The thing is that until you hear from the doctor, you aren't 100% sure. That means days of worrying for something that you are not completely sure of.

On this day, I asked God to help me not to read the tech so that I could enjoy the week. And, that is what He did. I couldn't read the techs. It was nice to walk out of the hospital not knowing.

The week was CRAZY with activity that was out of my control. I didn't hear from my oncologist, and I decided not to call her. The CT was on Monday, and I was going to see her on Friday. By Thursday, I started to waver about calling her. What if it was bad news? I didn't want to come out bawling from her office or while driving home. What to do? What to do? I ended up not calling.

When I was face to face with Dr. K, we talked about our families and then she told me. The cancer in my liver was stable. What does that mean? It means that it has not spread or grown larger or gotten smaller. From her perspective, that means that the chemo has been working and that we can continue to use it (three more months). Some of the tumor markers in my blood have also gone down which is always welcome. Hearing the news was like a fresh, island breeze to my soul.

Thank You, Lord. My life is in Your hands. You know better than I.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Amazing Love

This one is timeless and never too late.

by Peggy Merrit