Day 23: lull November 13, 2013

With my 4th of 4 treatments ending on Tuesday, day 22, I now have 3 weeks ahead with no treatments, just labs for two weeks and scans on the third week.

I don’t want to think any more about days 17-21 after the 3rd treatment. Excruciating pain in my right chest (not heart), ER visit on Friday, discomforting weekend, wondering how the 4th treatment would go—I don’t want to talk about it, but I’m glad it’s in the past.

Silly me…I have reminded myself so often through this process not to anticipate outcomes, not to presume to give myself medical advice, not to move my focus from the moments in front of me, but I still fall down into those frustrating habits. Don’t get me wrong, I trust God with all of the details and know that He meets me in my point of need always. When things don’t work out as I planned, I am confident that God’s eye is still on me. I do know, however, that I’m the one affected when I take my focus off the next right step and the next moment. I feel sad, which is really quite silly. His love and mercy are unfailing, and that’s not silly at all.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about thinking of the “consider the lilies” verses. Today I was drawn to the verses at the end of that section of the Sermon on the Mount. “Seek ye first the kingdom” was one of the first things I cross-stitched back when I did that, and “Seek ye first…” is painted as a border in one of the rooms in our home. Today I looked the words that Jesus used to close that thought (and I added the italics): “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow.” Consider the lilies…seek ye first the kingdom…and therefore you don’t have to worry about tomorrow.

I’m going to try once again to stay in the moment, and I’m going to do it for the next moments today.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:33-34)


Cycle 1 Day 15: Pushing forward November 5, 2013

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  • 1st treatment: Reaction during treatment but minimal side effects in the following week.
  • 2nd treatment: No reaction during treatment but fairly constant side effects in the following week.

Days 8-15 were not good. I was sick, sick, sick, and I often wondered how I could handle weeks of this if I continued.

When I reported symptoms today, however, once again the response was rapid. I’m now on an anti-nausea regime every six hours for the next 2 days; I have a med to handle other issues as well. I’m going to rest today and a bit tomorrow and pay close attention to how I’m feeling so I can react appropriately, especially for the next three days.

There was also good news today. I learned that my numbers are strong, which may indicate that the drug might be having an effect on my immune system and resetting it to recognize the cancer. I remind myself that the purpose of the trial is not to treat my cancer but to gather information on the effectiveness of the drug. I know that that seems to be splitting a fine line, but that’s why drug companies put drugs into a trial—to see if and how the drug might work. There are no promises for participants in a clinical trial, but I must admit that it’s exciting for me to know that something is in development that may offer a treatment for people like me.

Therefore, I’m praying that this is a break-even week, one that will look like this:

  • 3rd treatment: No reaction during treatment, and minimal side effects in the following week.

Ah, a girl can dream. Three down in this cycle, and one to go. I’m pushing forward, no matter what. There have been and will be too many wonderful stories to tell.

Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us.

None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. (Psalm 40:5, NIV)