Complaints and prayers.
[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=crying+girl&iid=8513042″ src=”c/1/2/e/photo_caricature_from_5369.jpg?adImageId=12733214&imageId=8513042″ width=”430″ height=”396″ /]Complaints first: I restarted chemo again on Thursday the 29th after my usual week-long break from the stuff. I could not sleep that night at all, nor could I sleep the next night — until I finally realized that I was in pain from the top of my head to the tip of my toes. So I took a Tylenol and went to sleep. Chemo makes you feel so consistently crappy that sometimes it’s hard even to tell if you’re in pain. For some reason this round really slapped me down hard, even though my bloodwork “looks good,” which in chemo-land means that there’s nothing there that’s going to kill you this week. Whatever the reason, I was flat all day Saturday and didn’t start to feel a bit better until yesterday afternoon. To top off the complaints, I found that a certain face cream I have when combined with the re-start of chemo is a catalyst for a bad skin reaction. So, once again, my face feels like I have a steam burn and all the skin on my cheeks and eyelids is peeling off again. So boo hoo hoo. At least I’m alive.
Prayers: I have lost my faith — what I mean is I’ve lost my faith in medicine to get me through this thing, not that I ever had much faith in it to begin with. I’m sure the chemo is slowing the beast down, and the supplements from the naturopath and the acupuncture [picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=miracle&iid=99526″ src=”0095/243189b7-9499-4da7-86da-0245c6b49706.jpg?adImageId=12733619&imageId=99526″ width=”234″ height=”250″ /]treatmetns are certainly making me feel better than I would without them. All of the practitioners I meet, though, tell me that what I have will never go away. For some people (2%), this means 20 or 30 years of managing the cancer like you would manage diabetes. The other 98% are looking at shorter times, some of them only months. I asked my oncologist if he had ever met anyone who lived a long time with what I have and he said, “Well, I have a couple of miracle patients,” to which I answered, “Are you saying it’s going to take a miracle for me to survive this?” He said, “No, well, ummm…. what I meant was…. ummm…” and that was it. Poor man. He puts up with a lot from me.
Anyway, I took that as a clue. I pray and I know that many of you are praying for me, but I upped it a notch by going to our churches anointing prayer service last night. I don’t know what I didn’t do this earlier.
I had someone ask me recently about prayer — about being specific in prayer. I’ve been trying to come up with a blog post about prayer, but it’s an enormous subject. In general, God asks us to take our every need to Him, and He will answer according to His will. That last part means that sometimes he says, “No.” There are things that we think would be a good idea, but He has the eternal view and sometimes what we ask for specifically is not the right thing. On the other hand, we’re allowed to nag Him, as illustrated by the persistent widow in Luke 18. On the other other hand, sometimes we just plain old don’t know how or what to pray, in which case we just let the Spirit do it for us. I found what looks like a good sermon outline on prayer that might be helpful: http://www.trinityurcvisalia.com/sermons/rom08v26-27.html. And here’s what looks like some good information on healing prayers: http://www.allaboutprayer.org/healing-prayers.htm.
Other than that, if you want to add something about prayer, please do so in the comments.
Next steps (some specific things you can pray for/about): I get scanned head to toe on May 17. I get the results of the brain part of the scan that afternoon, and the result of the torso part of the scan on May 20. We’re watching two 4mm tumors in my brain and either hoping they don’t grow or disappear, or hoping they grow slowly to 6mm so they can be treated with gamma knife. We don’t want to see any new tumors or any quick growth, both of which are Very Bad Things. For the torso, we’re hoping to see continued shrinkage or complete disappearance of the tumor in my lung. It was showing good response 3 months ago. We also don’t want to see any new signs of cancer anywhere else in my body.
We’ll have to make some decisions about what to do next depending on the results of these scans. I would like to dispense with chemo altogether and resume normal life. The hard truth is that most women with what I have are on some sort of chemo for the rest of their lives. So, that’s where the miracle comes in.