November Update

Give thanks unto the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. Ps 136:1

This Thanksgiving was very different for Shari & I as we found ourselves thankful to have health, life, & each other. Not just thankful, but thankful to our God who holds our lives in His hands. We have committed ourselves to Him many times over in the past months and have faced many uncertainties. Through it all He has shown us His mighty power. When I lay awake at night and the enemy brings doubt & fear my God brings hope, joy, & peace that passes my deepest understanding. I have tried to be normal but found that normal eludes me more than it finds me. When I think I gain control I find I am not in control of my life as my life is hid in Christ.

Over the past 7 weeks I have found myself feeling more “normal” than I have since April. Somehow I felt that it was all behind me & I would resume a former schedule. On Nov 14th we went to Indy to IU Bone Marrow Transplant Center to have a catheter installed for a stem cell harvest on the 15th. They were able to collect enough stem cells in one day which is rare. So again we give thanks to our God. We returned home on the 16th in time for church in the pm. I was very tired for 5 days then began to regain strength. Yesterday, the 28th we met with the oncologist and he scheduled me for 2 more cycles of chemo beginning on the 7th & 8th of December. 3 Weeks of treatment & one week off is one cycle. Then I would have one more cycle in January.

I was doing good until he stated that I begin the dexamethasone on Tuesday (yesterday). Suddenly I was stunned with the reality that I was going to begin again the medicine that I had grown to hate due to the side effects. My heart rate elevated, my face got hot, my eyes flushed with tears as he discussed the plan. It is a steroid and it changes me in ways that I have no control over. I can be hurtful with my words, aggressive in behavior, and sleep evades me. Sadly, there are 2 other drugs that also have bitter side effects that I have no control over. The worst part is Shari has to ride it out with me during my worst moments, and there is little she can do but wait till it passes. What works one day is off the next.

On the way home Shari read a text through our tears from our daughter and son in law. It said cry, be angry, be sad today but tomorrow is a new day and you will see things differently. (Ps 30:5-7) You will get through. I was also reminded of a passage that has become very important to me in Is 43:1-3

3b “Fear not, for I have redeemed you;I have called you by name, you are mine.

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. 

3 For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I returned back to the words of my Savior and hope began to well up within me again. I believe the passage He brought to me and believe He has much for me to accomplish before leaving this earth.

My words to the deacons and elders at River of Life I share with you; I love each one of you and admonish you to never give up no matter the trial you face! We are all people made of the same fabric that can only be mended by Jesus.