Do you know this song? It's me, it's me, it's me Oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer...
I have been in bed for five days - and I'm still weary. I had a relatively easy weekend following chemo. I rested well and managed the pain much more effectively. I really expected to feel good on Monday and return to work on Tuesday - like I've done for the past two rounds of chemo.
However, on Monday I was still exceedingly tired and I slept almost all day. I got up Tuesday morning and went to a breakfast meeting at work. I was really weak, but determined to press through. During breakfast I got really ill and thought I might pass out. My co-worker had to drive me back home - where I spent the rest of the day in bed again.
Today I went to the doctor, expecting to receive another dose of Avastin, my weekly check up and then head into work. Instead I learned that my white counts are low (the reason for my extreme fatigue) and as a result didn't receive treatment - but was sent home to bed again. I did get a booster shot this morning and I'm hopeful that by tomorrow morning my counts will be sufficient to resume both my work schedule and my treatment plan.
I did get some good news today! The MRI of my breast revealed that the tumor is 1/2 of it's original size - which was already small. Obviously, this is good news and means that the "cocktail" of drugs is effective and is making progress. However, it wasn't the report I had hoped for, leaving me with a strange sense of disappointment. The CT of my hip isn't as definitive as the MRI. He is confident the cancer is being killed - but the CT revealed that my hip bone is still very porous and now has a small crack in it. This is the reason for the return of the pain. He cautioned me again about being careful not to break the bone and put me back on some restrictions - like no lifting etc. He says I am responding well and that I'm to trust him. I do.
For the past few weeks I've been really struggling emotionally. Between the returning hip pain, recurring urinary tract infections, and general apathy, I find I am in need of some additional prayer support. I get easily discouraged by the length of the process. I really like to determine the problem, spend a day or so thinking about what to do about it, then do it! Then move on!
The problem with this cancer thing is that it just does not move on! When you feel good, you feel like you are making progress and you can easily believe that you are the victor. But when your body feels bad and your mind is tired and your emotions are flat, its much easier to listen to every whisper of the enemy. I'm trying to turn his voice away, but he is merciless - bringing fear and hopelessness and anxiety at every turn.
I realized again tonight that I've not been calling on my friends and family for the support I so desperately need. I've been drawing further and further away - rather than announcing at the top of my lungs that I'm struggling! I am reminded that one of the strategies of the enemy is to keep me isolated and my needs hidden. When I feel discouraged, I tend to close up - be quiet - wait for it to pass. I think that's a failing strategy in this moment. So friends, would you pray for me again? I am in need of healing - yes - and so much more.
Mary Jo asked me recently who's report was I going to believe. I believe the report of the Lord - that I will not die but live and declare His works!