I have been on a somewhat unusual journey for the past few days. It started when I began to transform my blog into a book. At first it seemed like a pretty straight forward project. Take the posts from one format and put them into another. Ultimately that is still the reality of what I have been doing. What I was not prepared for was how the process would affect me.
Remembering the journey
I spent time laughing as I remembered the day Rayann drove me to my chemotherapy treatment and took me to Owen’s vet instead of my oncologist.
I felt pain as I remembered what it was like to sit on our front porch with no energy, no sense of a future and wonder what tomorrow would hold.
I was thankful for Nancy and the way she walked with me the past twenty months. Her grace in the midst of difficulty and pain has been amazing. I am humbled by the reality that she chooses to continue to journey with me.
As I read there were moments of amazement as it was abundantly clear that God was using cancer to help me grow and mature as a person and a spiritual being. Part of our vision statement at First Baptist includes the words, “Empowering people to grow into mature followers of Jesus.” There is no doubt I did some maturing and growing over the past year and a half. (there is still a lot to do) God allowed me to see things with a clarity that I would never have seen without fighting cancer. I came to walk with a sense of peace and confidence that affected every piece and part of my life.
In my July 2, 2016 post I talked for the first time about the needs of the caregiver. I spoke about how it is often hard for the caregiver to take care of themselves. Growing out of those early thoughts we now have a Caregivers Support Group that meets at First Baptist. It is a young ministry but it is a good ministry. The group that meets there on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month know that they are not alone and that people care for them…the caregivers.
Reading through the journey of the past twenty months it is clear we were on one giant rollercoaster ride. On August 18, 2016 I wrote,
People ask me, “When will your treatments end?” The short answer is, “they will not.” The longer, more complete and honest, answer is: “My treatments will continue to keep my Cancer at bay until someone finds a cure for the type of Cancer I have or the treatments are no longer effective and I experience the fullness of what Jesus talks about as ‘Life to the Full’”.
The truth is that is what my oncologist was telling me at that time and it was what I believed to be true about life. Since then I have received an awesome gift! January 9, 2017 was my last chemotherapy treatment. It was decided for me on January 20, 2017 that my body was tired and it was time for a break. This break has lasted almost a whole year! It could last even longer. January 3, 2018 I have labs, followed by a CT scan on the 5th and then my follow up appointment with Dr. Saroha on the 12th.
My prayer is that the rollercoaster will continue its upward climb.
This has been a good project for me. It is far from complete yet it is reminding me of lessons learned over the past twenty months. One of the biggest fears I expressed during this journey was that I would lose some of the lessons and insight as things got better for me. I have seen it way too often in the lives of others. In the midst of a crisis we tend to learn truths, make commitments that fade away as life returns to “normal”. Reading through this journal has helped me commit to retaining lessons learned and continuing to move forward.
God is Good All the Time…All the Time God is Good (btw: this first showed up in my posts on May, 5, 2016)