keeping on keeping on September 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 8:32 pm

Nothing much has changed with me since the last update, except that the PET scan ordered for Monday is no longer scheduled. Insurance decided that the CT scans I’ve had should give all of the information needed, and so there is no PET scan Monday. My positive spin on this is that a PET scan can be scheduled if any of the indicators change in the weeks or months ahead. On Monday, October 1, I’ll meet with my oncologist and have another Avastin treatment. It will all be okay.

My neuropathy continues to be a challenge, but I am trying to anticipate the struggles and to react before the pain becomes too much.  I’m also trying not to be grumpy but to accept this as something I have to handle. I admit that some days I’m better at the not-being-grumpy and the accepting-this and that some days I’m not very successful.

I apologize for not keeping in touch with almost everyone. I’m still concentrating on resting and trusting, and most of the time that’s all I can do. Once again I’m confronted with the fact that focusing on the moment and trusting God with the details is hard work. I really, really thought I’d be better by now, and so I’m often discouraged by the reality that I’m not—and that’s why I haven’t been posting or replying or connecting. Please forgive me.

Then, of course, God steps in today in a powerful way. My dear friend Jane encouraged me to read today’s entry (September 27) in Sarah Young’s wonderful devotional book Jesus Calling. Of course, God planned for me to take heart from Sarah’s dear words (and if you do not have this book, I encourage you to purchase a copy!):

Relax in My everlasting arms. Your weakness is an opportunity to grow strong in awareness of My Almighty Presence. When your energy fails you, do not look inward and lament the lack you find there. Look to Me and My sufficiency; rejoice in My radiant riches that are abundantly available to help you.

Go gently through this day, leaning on Me and enjoying My Presence. Thank Me for your neediness, which is building trust-bonds between us. If you look back on your journey thus far, you can see that days of extreme weakness have been some of your most precious times. Memories of these days are richly interwoven with golden strands of My intimate Presence.

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you, saying, ‘Destroy them!’ (Deuteronomy 33:27)

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)

God never fails. When the clouds are all that I can see, He is My light.

PS  Today is our daughter Emily’s 28th birthday. Since she now lives in New York City, it’s the first time that I haven’t seen her on her birthday, but I am confident that our hearts are together. Happy birthday, sweet Mimi!


quick update September 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 9:09 pm

After two Avastin treatments, I can confirm that having only one drug infused through my port is an improvement over the regular 6 drugs. I have had no side effects during or after Avastin alone, and the actual process takes an hour from the time I enter the office until I leave it. I believe that I can do this for as long as necessary.

After my post last Tuesday, I had three very good days, and those were answers to prayers. Friday night, however, I went to the football game at BA and walked around a bit, and I haven’t fully recovered since then. That’s actually good news because I know why I hurt this weekend, and I know what to do in the future to prevent this pain. Hey, in my world, information like this is a gift!

I rejoice tonight in the gift of another day and of the sure knowledge that He prepares the way before me. I want my focus to be on who God is, not on what He does for me. I  pray that you also know His love and goodness and mercy as you walk through whatever God has for you today. “You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever” (Psalm 118: 28-29).


the new normal September 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — cindytripp @ 11:45 pm

I’m still here. Nothing about my health has changed; my feet continue to be both painful and numb—and don’t ask me how both of those feelings can be possible at the same time. I now have a few lovely red bruises below the surface of my skin, the result of the blood-thinner medication. After the first wisps of hair appeared on my head about 6 weeks ago, all I have is that—mere wisps, not hair.

While I don’t think the medicines I’m taking are working very well, that’s probably because I want them to work miracles in a short amount of time. That isn’t happening. This Friday I’ll have my second Avastin treatment through my port, and then nothing else is scheduled for three more weeks until October 1.

I feel as if my life is on pause. I’ve quit thinking about expecting and hoping because doing so requires the use of more brain cells than I can devote to the task. Some days I want to stay in bed all day, and some days I am able to move to the couch and put my feet up. There are not enough great days, just good days when nothing much changes.

Ahhhhhh. Nothing has changed, and I want something to change.

This afternoon I came to a decision. If nothing in my health is changing, then I have to change. I actually have to do something to prove to myself that I am on the other side of this cancer. The reality is that I have worked through six chemotherapy treatments, followed the health recommendations, and paid attention to my need for rest. I have been surrounded by faithful members of my family and by dear friends who call and email and text me regularly. I have so very much for which to be grateful—regardless of whether my health has actually changed.

I decided today that I have to put my hands and feet (numb as they are) and my heart and mind (inconstant though they may be) to the task before me. Do I believe all that I have thought and written since my diagnosis on February 17? Am I going to focus on faith or feelings? Do I truly believe that my God is good even though my circumstances may be difficult? If I do, then I should act differently from the way I have been acting.

The apostle Peter spoke of the end times with these words: “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8). The message to me is this: God is not slow in keeping His promise to me, as I understand slowness as I wait for something to change in my health. Instead he is patient with me.

While nothing much has changed in my health, I will believe that I’m fine. That’s the conclusion that I reached today because it’s the only one that makes sense. It’s also the only one that will enable me to look beyond my circumstances and to walk in faith.

I’m still here, and I’m grateful that I am not alone. He is here no matter where my “here” is.

To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.