The last time I posted was cycle 1 day 1 of my third clinical trial (August 25), which was a long time ago. I wish I could say that I’ve been doing so wonderfully, wonderfully well. Oh, how I wish I would say that I’ve been in such fantastically good health that I haven’t had a moment to write because of the constant, energetic, hilarious, high-quality FUN I’ve been having. I wish.
These last nine weeks have been difficult. The trial drug consists of a potent chemotherapy molecule bonded with a powerful antibody, and each chemotherapy molecule is designed to “bomb” the cancer cell and cause it to explode. Potent chemotherapy and exploding cancer cells have had very powerful side effects, including blisters covering my corneas. Oh yes, that feels just as it sounds.
Basically, the drug changes the shape of the corneas, which in turn changes my vision, and the blisters are an added bonus. I can’t see well with or without my glasses, and reading is almost impossible. For me, not being able to read hurts more than the blisters.
My next treatment has been postponed to allow my eyes to heal before resuming with cycle 4. At the same time, my cancer marker has to be monitored since that number indicates what’s going on with my cancer. My last C-125 marker was 103 at the end of September, but there was a “slight” (!) increase to 167 the end of October. I don’t know what that’s about since I was on the trial all of those weeks. I’m trying not to dwell on that increase too much, however, because it’s definitely another one of those details that I can’t control.
In the almost-three years since my diagnosis, there have been several of those out-of-my-control experiences. I’m realizing that any “control” was an illusion at best. Life often consists of experiences for which there are no easy solutions. Sometimes it’s a health issue; other times it’s a relationship or something else. My challenge right now is cancer, but I think everyone has some sort of issue. What has to be done is to is trust God with the challenges even if they can’t be resolved. It’s been my constant question: Do I believe God or not? Is my belief dependent on His resolving my struggle? If I expect God to answer as I wish He would, to resolve my struggle according to my plan, then my faith isn’t faith at all. Although I say the words and think I’m giving everything to Him, I blink my eye and discover I’ve pulled pieces back to myself once again. I’m not saying this well, but my struggle is often with the fact that I have to struggle at all; I want it to be a one-and-done deal.
Three 21-day cycles, one 7-day holding period, and my eyes are still blurry and still hurt. Struggle is part of the process, but how thankful I am that my life is not my own to manage. I’ll making the choice to trust in His plan because that’s the only solution that can bring comfort to my soul. I also know that I’ll have to make this choice again and again, and God will still be there.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)