Update and a little insight into my head and heart
On March 4th I had bunch of CAT Scans which guided them to put the locator tattoos in the right place for the upcoming radiation. They also made a mold which will hold my body in the same place during all the sessions of radiation. If the Doctors can complete their treatment plan, then tomorrow will be the final preliminary visit to the cancer center before they begin the treatments.
On the Thyroid cancer front, I continue with hormone replacement pills. The big picture is that I have the proper dosage. Blood tests show the right levels, and I do not have many of the possible side effects. On a smaller scale, I reach the correct weekly dosage by taking a double dose on Saturday and Tuesday nights. That makes Sundays and Wednesdays very interesting. I swing between bouts of tiredness and energy. It seems that the cancer fog is a little more of a factor on those days too. At Wednesday night Bible study, the leader will ask for the group to find a passage related to the topic. When he gives the reference, I think ‘I know that without looking it up’ so I start to recite it and the fog rolls in and I end up paraphrasing or even making up the rest of it. We now joke that while some use the ESV and others the KJV, I use the JCE version.
It is 2:20 AM Thursday morning and I am still feeling the effects of Wednesday’s double dose. Wednesday night we were in bed by 10PM. At 11:30 I was still wide awake and ready to say, ‘Forget about all this medicine and cancer treatment. Maybe I should just live normally until I die.’ This was not the most rational of thoughts, but I was really feeling tired and discouraged with the changed lifestyle and intrusive therapies I am going through. I so much wanted to get up, throw the medicine away, cancel all my appointments, and go into the kitchen and eat foods I am not supposed to have. I realized this was ridiculous thinking and finally asked God to help me fall asleep. He was merciful and I fell right asleep. It makes me wonder why I spent the time fretting about my situation instead of asking for His help sooner. I woke at 1:35 which was the perfect time to take my next Thyroid pill. I went back to bed and began to think about all the things in this experience I could write about and by 2 AM realized that I would not remember it by morning. Thus, I find myself in my office typing this out. I am using the energy cycle of my medication for good purposes, instead of moaning about it.
I was really encouraged by something at Bible study tonight. It was one of those little ‘God things’ where I saw something that had nothing to do with the lesson and while I dwelt on it, everyone else moved on. We were looking at 2 Peter 1:3 ‘His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,’. I took the ‘all things’ as similar to the ‘precious promises’ of verse 4 ‘by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.’ I started to list the promises that seemed especially precious to me at this stage of life. I began paying attention to the class when they started looking at Acts 2:14 and following. My eye glanced down at vs 24 ‘God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.’ And the phrase ‘loosing the pangs of death’ jumped out at me. I put that together with the ‘partaker of the divine nature’ of 2 Peter 1:4 and realized that as part of our identity in and union with Christ, we are loosed from the pangs of death. This helped me understand the way I am dealing with two aggressive forms of cancer, where statistically speaking, successful treatments will see my life expectancy to be in the high single digits. How can I be not only accepting, but embracing this harsh reminder of my mortality? It is simple, it is because of Jesus, He has loosed me from the pangs of impending death. I extended that thought to another concern I have had. This is the impact of my death on Karen. I realized that while she will still experience loss, memories may be tinged with sadness, and there will be times of missing me; as a follower of Jesus, she too will be loosed from the pangs of my death. Because of this, she will grieve, but not as one who has no hope. Her hope as well as mine is rooted in the precious promises of our God and Savor, Jesus Christ.