I have had to learn a new way to pace myself this past month. I thought I was pretty good at pacing myself…my “new normal” has helped me see I could do even better. This past weekend I was feeling tired. I would do something small and find myself winded and ready to sit in a chair and nap. This past Saturday one of the channels had a 007 movie marathon. I got excited, something to do to pass time and rest. I did not see one entire movie. I would start out strong and then wake up ten minutes into the next feature. My goal for the day became to see one movie start to finish, I failed. Sitting there wondering why I was unable to stay awake I began to reflect on the past few weeks.
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind.
Friday, April 29th I was in the ER with troubling breathing.
Tuesday, May 3rd they told me I had stage IV Colon Cancer.
Thursday, May 5th I was in surgery as they they put my port in so I could receive chemotherapy.
Monday, May 9th was my first chemotherapy treatment.
Monday, May 23rd I got my second round of chemotherapy.
Monday, May 23rd (late at night) I was back in the hospital (either reacting to the chemo or a virus I had been carrying and the chemo made me unable to fight)
Thursday, May 26th I was released from the hospital and told to “behave” and take care of myself.
Looking forward…Monday, June 6th will hopefully be my third round of chemotherapy.
To say that this has been a month is an understatement.
What stands out in the midst of all of this are little three hour blocks of time every Sunday.
When I first met with my oncologist he asked, “What is important for you in the midst of all this?” I told him, “I want to be present on Sunday mornings and I want to preach most Sundays…like normal.”
We talked about planning my chemo so that my “good days” would most likely fall on a Sunday and how we could make changes to schedules to help ensure that would happen. I was hopeful and yet not overly optimistic as I listened to him talk.
Well, so far things have worked out fairly well.
I was reminded of that on Sunday. On the way to church I remarked to Nancy, “I am tired…I could take a nap right now.” Once at church there was a burst of energy and I had fun greeting people (no handshakes) and catching up on life. Once worship began I sat down during most of the service. I would stand up to do my parts but would take advantage of moments to sit and be still. Then it was sermon time. I am not your stand behind the pulpit and talk kind of a preacher…I am what you call a “wanderer”. I use every part and piece of the platform. From the moment it started till the moment we closed in prayer there was no thought about energy, or being tired. Looking back there was an energy and strength I had not known all morning (or afternoon) long that filled those moments as we shared what it means to be “peacemakers”.
I am thankful for those “bursts” of strength at just the right times as I journey through this season. It is a reminder that we do not journey alone. It is a reminder that Abba’s Spirit goes before, behind, and beside us as we travel whatever journey life has us on.
May you experience the power and peace of Christ’s presence in the midst of your life this day.
Mike Giovaninni says
I will take this as a sign of answered prayers, then, Dan. Throughout the day Sunday, whilst toiling up and down yonder hills of the Appalachain Trail (which I seem to recall was once a dream of yours, too) I spent the quiet moments between my labored breathing praying that you would receive an extra portion of strength (among other things). God’s got this.
Mike, yes, “God’s got this!” Thank you for the prayers. You are right about the Appalachian Trail…it was (and still is) a dream to hike the whole thing. That dream, like many others looks a little different these days but in HIS time all things are possible.
Sandy Lundquist says
Dan, you have spoken about the plans you had that were nixed by your cancer diagnosis, so God’s “G Plan” has those Sunday bursts of energy built in. Your Blog is another piece of His “G Plan” for you to share this journey you are on and share how God is in control and the power of peace and strength that He brings in our weakness.
Continued prayers for Nancy, Rayann, Joseph and you. Praising God for His “G Plan” and the wondrous ways God is surrounding you with the team of doctors & nurses, directed you to a house surrounded by serenity and nature before you fell ill. To think that God is in control of all the details such as Nancy’s position as director of J.A.M. Daycare which can allow for flexibility to be available when necessary, and of course His timing in having you search for a church just when FBC was searching for a pastor!
God is good all the time. ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD!