Sunday, January 18, 2009

Just More Peaks and Valleys

Chemo went just fine on Monday. By Tuesday it was clear that I was going to have more nausea on this round. Wednesday confirmed that. But it was controllable. At this point of my treatment that is what I am looking for - controllable side effects. Clearly it is becoming a bit more difficult as the time goes on. It did not help though that I allowed myself to become so run-down over the holidays. Since that, my schedule has either continued to be packed or I have been sick.

I was so much better last weekend, but the sinus thing is back with a vengeance. I did not get out of bed until 12:46 on Friday. I do not remember a time when I slept that late before. The minute I rose though I knew my sinuses would just a soon have stayed in bed. And indeed, all day I felt that swimmy headed feeling where you feel like you're in the room, but also floating above it watching life unfold from a distance.

Bottom line - I guess I'm sick again. Phooey. Today, Saturday, I'm wondering if my platelets might be a bit low this time. The bottom line is that I really need prayer to get through this round over the next week or so.

I have a three week break coming up in March where I will be free of the chemo room. I am really trying to make it to that point. Only three more treatments to go and I will have my break. I can see that it is something my body is going to need. Please pray with me that I can make it until then. I don't really care if I have to be a bit sick till then. It's just important that I be able to maintain my schedule up to that point. I cannot get so sick that I have to take an unscheduled break before then.

This was my 10th treatment in this round. To have had that many treatments on a two week schedule I have done remarkably well. I know that God has been with me, sustaining and strengthening me through this. I do wonder though about people who have done chemo literally for years on end. How do they keep it up? It is a daunting task at best. I marvel at their strength and courage.

The chemo room is an interesting place. I have met so many wonderful people there. A month or two ago a lady sat down in the chair next to me. As we exchanged pleasantries it came to light that she had married a man from my hometown. And I had gone to high school with his brother. Oh what a story she has to tell. When she was diagnosed, she was given about six months. Her cancer metastasized to her lungs, then her brain, then her lungs again and now to her liver. This was five years ago. So much for that six month estimate!

I am not and never have been one to live on false hope. Dealing with reality is actually easier for me. And I have, for the most part, made the arrangements that I needed to make in order to spare my family many details later. But she is a reminder that there are better outcomes at times and that we should never lose our hope. My minister had early on made the comment that we have heard from the doctors, but that God has not yet spoken. I try so hard to remember this every day and wait patiently for God to speak. There is something so much more powerful about waiting on God to speak, as we trust in Him rather than ourselves.

Again through a less than stellar week, our wonderful church provided us with meals. If you've never been in this position you just have no idea what a blessing this is. To not have the daily pressure of meals when you're not feeling well is wonderful. Since my husband does not even arrive home until 6:00 after working 10 hours it is difficult for him to deal with a long workday and then come home and have to handle dinner as well. Although I have a couple of older girls at home, they are often at work, doing schoolwork or tied up trying to appease younger siblings. Repeatedly I hear from people that it is such a little thing. Maybe it is a little thing to the providers, but I assure you that is not a little thing to us, but a huge blessing.

I got a little down the other day when I checked out of the chemo room from having my pump removed. I should know better but I looked at the encounter form. What I saw took my breath away. It was January 14th and the balance was already over $25,500. This was only the one group and does not reflect any other providers or drug expenses. Since our insurance is a high deductible plan, this leaves us with quite a bit in the way of medical bills early in the year. Wow! But we are endlessly blessed. Little things like that are sent by the enemy to discourage us. I am so blessed and believe me I know it. When I look around at our comfort, I cannot help but marvel at our blessings. Just last night I sat here while I typed and watched my children enjoying family movie night complete with popcorn and too many Milk Duds (I did NOT buy them sugary junk - their slightly overindulgent but loving Daddy did). They curled up together under lap blankets in front of the fire with the lights down low just like a theater. Halfway through the movie, the littles have fallen asleep usually in the arms of an older sibling who loves them endless. We have a warm dry house filled with God's children and parents who love them. We have food, we have way too much in terms of "stuff" but most of all we have each other. Truly we want for nothing that is a need. And even a great deal of our wants are also provided, nearly always in surprising ways.

This morning has been a bit disappointing. I am still somewhat under the weather and it's cold with a 60% of rain. That means church will be via radio this morning. I am so grateful that our service is available on the radio. But I miss it when I'm not right there in the congregation. I am not where I wanted to be this morning. Then I consider others who are much less fortunate this week. Prayers are in order for Linn and Dwight. On Wednesday their house burned to the ground. On Thursday, one of their children had emergency surgery. Just to add insult to injury, on Friday their dog died. They are another large adoptive family whose hearts are with orphans as are ours. And on a local level, please pray for Chuck and Judy whose house also burned this week. Two wonderful families rendered homeless in an instant. We never know when life can become so much more difficult. But in both cases, these families' testimony stands firm.


Lori said...

Praying for you this morning, Cindy.

Lori Cortright

Paula Poppe said...

Know that the Poppes are praying for you too (every night in our family devotion time), and have been since the recurrance of your cancer. You are an encouragement to me, and I see the strength of the Lord in you.

Carol said...

Hi Cindy. Know that all the Paines are praying for you. We're sending you warmth and sunshine as well. I've ordered your platelets in to overtime production and we're praying that they get busy. Now. All our love.

Amanda said...

I am praying for you Cindy!!

Randy Furco said...

I pray that you recieve all the benefits of The Blood of Jesus!

Beth said...

I too am praying for you..You are an amazing women to me, my admomy friend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cindy! I'm testing the comments AND wanted to let you in on another award I gave you. What the heck, we have to spread the wealth, eh?

It appears the comments are working though...

God bless you!

EbethW said...

Wow!! boy Alexa sure does a great job! Your blog is just wonderful!!

Praying for you and always thinking of you, Cindy and Howard. If you need me...I am just 3 doors away.

HUGS and Prayers,

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