Chemotherapy has many side effects. The past few weeks I have seen healing from one of the most annoying side effects I have experienced.
A Damaged Sniffer
Soon after I started my chemotherapy treatments in May of 2016, I lost my nose. One of the drugs that was part of my chemo cocktail caused the lining of my nose to bleed constantly. I would slowly get better during my off week, but as soon as treatment began again, my nose would be sore and raw. During my first long (six months) break from chemo my left nostril cleared up, and I had hopes for complete healing. Once we started my second round of chemo that hope soon disappeared. My nose was raw each morning and night. The lining would bleed, and it would form clots that would, in turn, cut the interior of my nose when I blew my nose.
Something to Live With
I talked with Dr. Saroha about it many times. He was compassionate, but it was just one of those side effects that came with the type of chemo I have been using. I had resigned myself to taking care of a raw, sore, bleeding nose for the rest of my life.
Six months into this break from chemotherapy and suddenly my nose has cleared up! I do mean suddenly. One day it was a wreck, and by the end of the week, it was healthy. The healthy caught me by surprise. I had a routine that I used to keep my nostril clean and clear (I will spare you the details). I found myself sitting in my chair realizing I had not needed to follow my routine for three or four days. At that moment I realized the clotting had stopped and my nostril was healthy.
It may not seem like much to some…but this is huge for me. I had resigned myself to living with a damaged nose for the rest of my life. In the grand scheme of things, it is a small discomfort. A minor inconvenience for the joy of living life. I had made peace with the awkwardness of my nose, now to find out I was experiencing healing.
For the past few weeks I have been walking through life taking deep, unobstructed breaths through both nostrils…sometimes it is the small things.
A few days ago I was re-reading in the sixteenth chapter of the gospel of John. Jesus spends the entire chapter warning and preparing the disciples of what is to come. He shares the struggles that lay before them. Jesus also speaks of the Holy Spirit that will come to guide them as they seek to follow the teachings and example of Jesus. The chapter closes with Jesus speaking these words,
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 (NIV)
Jesus offers three promises within this short verse.
In this world, we will have trouble. There will be nose bleeds. We will have ailments that cause us to be uncomfortable. We could each speak for hours, or pages, about the things within this world that cause us trouble. Chaos abounds, relationships are in turmoil, finances are tight, futures unsure. Jesus is very clear, this is the way of this world.
In him, we may have peace. If you spend a few minutes and read John chapter sixteen, there is very little peaceful about it. Jesus tells the disciples he is getting ready to leave. He tells them there will be a season of grief, weeping, and mourning. He warns them that in the coming day’s people will be out to kill them. In the midst of all that chaos, Jesus offers peace. Peace not as the world understands, but the peace that comes from walking with Jesus, following the leading of the Spirit, alive well and working in our lives.
Jesus has overcome the world! Let me say that again, Jesus has overcome the world! All those things which cause turmoil and chaos, Jesus claims victory over. Victory over a nose that has not worked right for two years. Victory over the cancer in my liver. Victory over whatever peace robbing reality exists in your life.
Let me share with you how this passage has impacted the way I am living life these days.
To be clear, there are still cancerous lesions on my liver, and yet I am living as if…
I have been healed of my cancer, Jesus has overcome the world!
That healing may come in the form of a physical healing, something like I experienced with my nose.
The healing may come when cancer takes my life, and Jesus calls me heavenward.
Either way, Jesus has overcome the world! Jesus has overcome my cancer, even the uncomfortable nose bleeds.
Living each day with such a reality brings peace.
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:25-27 (NIV)
To read more of how Abba has helped me find Joy Amidst Life’s Struggles check out The Journey Continues.