It is no coincidence that I just happen to be immersed in the book of Job at this time. I am following a reading plan in a Bible I gave to my father years ago and when he passed, I inherited it. Each day of the year is marked out with a reading from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and then a Psalm reading and a verse from Proverbs. I have read through the Bible several times following this pattern. I also have a devotional I follow with daily words of encouragement, last year it was Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest” and this year, “Discovering God’s Daily Agenda” written by Henry and Richard Blackaby. I am blessed to call Richard and Henry friends and they have been faithfully praying for me through this health challenge. Today, my daughter also shared with me a wonderful song from Mercy Me entitled “Even If”. I will include the video at the end of this post.
My Pastor, in one of his recent sermons that I have been listening to online, says that as Christians we should not have in our vocabulary these words: fate, luck, or coincidence because our lives are not directed by fate, luck or coincidence, our lives are directed by God and nothing is left to chance with Him. It was not a coincidence that all my readings today were centred around the one theme of faithfully waiting on God, and trusting Him even if I don’t understand why I am going down a hard road at this time. I know He could heal me instantly if He wanted to. He is a God of miracles after all, but I must trust Him even if He chooses not to. God is teaching me to wait in peace. He is in control.
Last week, at my last doctor’s appointment, I faced temptation. After hearing about all the challenges I had gone through with the first three rounds of chemotherapy, the doctor shook her head and said, “We have three choices. Stop your treatments…” I hardly heard the next two options, because the idea of stopping the chemo nearly overwhelmed me. To be done, to not have to endure three more rounds, to start to recover, no more side effects, no more weekends of “chemo thunder” as I’ve come to describe the days of battling nausea, pain, and fatigue. I nearly jumped up and said, “Yay! I’ll take it!” Then, that inner voice buzzed in my head, “Wait. Listen.”
“The other choice is to decrease the dosage of the Paclitaxel, the chemo drug that you seem to be having the most difficult side effects with or lastly, stay the course and I’ll prescribe a new pain pill and see how you do this next round.”
I was still in the throes of embracing temptation with stopping the treatments entirely, when my husband looked at me and shook his head. He knew my thoughts. Over the last few months I have put these drugs purposefully into my body to combat the cancer and to combat the side effects caused by those drugs, and each pill comes with its own side effects: Carboplatin, Paclitaxel, Dexamethasone, Metoclopramide, Tramadol-Acetaminophen, Codeine Phosphate, Rantidine, Diphenhydramine, Netupitant/Palonosetron Hydrochloride, and Tinzaparin (blood thinner for my DVT after round 2). Don’t click on the links if you are prone to squeamishness. All I know is that mosquitoes refuse to bite me now. My blood is toxic to the little blood-suckers. Haha!
The temptation to quit chemo AND stop taking all those drugs was almost overwhelming, but I knew it wasn’t the right choice to make. As much as I was sorely tempted, I knew I had to stay the course. I am doing everything humanly possible to combat endometrial cancer, the rest is up to the Great Physician. I pray for complete healing and to quit treatments now wouldn’t be a prudent move. Also to decrease a chemo drug lessens its overall effectiveness, so I couldn’t choose that option either. It wasn’t an easy decision, especially when it took three nurses and five attempts to get an IV into my uncooperative veins yesterday for my fourth round of chemotherapy. I wondered if I had made the right choice to stay the course. My poor bruised arm!
This morning, I spent a concerted amount of time with the Lord, crying on His Shoulder, reading His Word, taking comfort in His Presence, and abiding in His Love. I’ll be okay. Fractions are my friend! I’m 2/3 rds the way through treatments! Can I get a Hallelujah?!
Keep praying for me, dear readers. Know that I pray for you too, thankful for your encouragement and comments.