Monday, August 10, 2015

A Cancer Journey Update

My husband is finished with his cancer treatments. He has had a PICC line in his arm for months and even had to carry around a large pouch which dispensed medicine 24/7 for a month. Now, however, he's free of all those entanglements. He no longer has to wrap his arm in Glad Press 'n Seal to take a shower. He no longer has to secure his "baby" (med pouch) in a plastic bag and hang it on the shower nozzle. He's free and he's loving it!

The vital PET scan is scheduled for September 4 and, based on his doctors' educated prediction, we are expecting him to be cancer-free.

We are thankful beyond words to those who have held us up in prayer.

When this thing started, not knowing what was wrong was harder than getting a cancer diagnosis. For days while we waited for test results, all we knew was that he had a large tumor on his tailbone. We didn't know if it was cancer or some other problem, but we knew it was bad because it knocked my healthy, robust husband off his feet and landed him in a hospital bed hooked up to strong, narcotic drugs.

When we finally got the cancer diagnosis, we were relieved because the disposition of the doctors was so positive. They said, "We've got this. Lymphoma responds to treatment. Give us a few months and you will be cancer free."

So, we did just that. Week after week, he drove up to Johns Hopkins for blood work and PICC line flushing, then headed to work right after. Every third week, we went together and spent the day in the cancer pod while he received 8 hours of chemo. It was precious time together.

Time together has been a problem throughout this journey. Because we are a one-income family, he had to continue working this entire time. And he wanted to. But, it took everything he had to work and by the time he got home each night, he had nothing left to give and would often take a long nap after dinner, so the kids and I have had the evenings to ourselves. His Saturdays have been mostly days of rest because he continued to preach two services every Sunday afternoon. He also kept up on Bible studies for our church plant.

When this new routine of chemo and rest and lab work and more rest started, it felt overwhelming. On the overwhelming days, we just did what we knew we had to do and trusted God for the rest.
Looking back, I can see that it wasn't so overwhelming after all.
When I thought something was going to be too hard, I found out it wasn't.
God's grace has been all-sufficient, just as He said it would be.

This is grace in action.
This is grace we can take with us.
This is grace no one can take away from us.

In Psalm 46:10, God says, "Be still and know that I am God, I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth!"

I took those first 8 words and looked them up in the Hebrew and made a few observations:

1. The words "that I am" are not in the original language.
2. Be still = Let go; release
3. Know = Notice, learn, realize
4. God = Elohim, Ruler and Creator of the universe
5. Elohim is plural.

"Let go and realize the Ruler and Creator of the universe."

Because of Him, we do not have to be overwhelmed by cancer.
Because of Him, we do not have to be overwhelmed by anything.

~Tricia


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