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.