Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I felt bad about the way I left my last journal entry and have been wanting to get back here to leave on a more positive note. Several things have kept me from getting back to writing. One of which is that I have been a little uninspired. I am trying to listen to the Lord's voice with each journal entry and not just write for the sake of writing. I am happy to say that the Lord started to put something on my heart yesterday and then completely confirmed it (as only He can) today.  So I want to take the chance to say thank you for reading what I write.  It has helped me capture this journey more than anything else ever could. I look forward to reading my journal in the future and being reminded of all that God has done during this time.  

Although I do not wish to dwell on all the negative side effects I have experienced with my first round of chemotherapy (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, restlessness, reflux, minimal bone pain, burnt taste in the mouth, etc), I also don't want to minimize them too much because they are an important part of my journey and this journal entry. Other than listing the effects as I just did, it is difficult to entirely describe what those days following chemo were like. But if I had to use just one word to describe it, I would use "devoid". The definition rang so true as I read it to mean "completely lacking, destitute, empty". The severe nausea was debilitating to the point of being unable to sleep or even sit still. This was what made it obvious that we needed medical help. Fortunately, they were able to provide enough relief at the ER that I could rest. However, it left me with an incredible weakness that I don't believe I have ever really experienced before including following my surgery. 

Today I was reminded of a sermon series that was preached at Bay Area Community Church on the prophet, Habbakuk. I feel like the description given in Habakkuk 3:17 so adequately describes me in the days following Chemotherapy. "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vine, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls."  I am so thankful to say that my strength as been renewed a little bit with each passing day but I felt like I was good for nothing, unable to care for my kids or even myself. I had no power of my own and was completely in need of the Lord's supernatural strength. I may have thought I was weary before, but I have truly never felt this lacking before. If my first experience with chemotherapy had been different, I might not be as intent on relying on the Lord's strength for the remaining cycles. I may have even entertained prideful thoughts that "my body stood up well to it" when the truth is, this entire journey has been about my spiritual submission to this circumstance that is completely out of my control. And what I really want is for Habakkuk 3:18 to describe me as it described Habakkuk, "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be Joyful in God my Savior."

Today, I had a follow up with the Plastic Surgeon for another injection of saline into the expanders. Expansion days and the ones following are usually sore days, but relative to my post-chemo experience, it is nothing to complain about. I also had an appointment with my PT (Lymphedema Specialist) and that is always a relaxing time for me.  The best thing about today's appointments was that I actually drove myself to both.  It felt so good to hop in the car and go off on my own for a while. I was also able to take Koa out for a nice walk yesterday.  We walked to the park and talked, not about anything specific but it felt good to be able to do that with him. By the time we got back to the house, I was quite fatigued. Yet another reminder of how little control I have, to once be training for a half marathon and now to barely be able to walk to the park and back. But as long as the weather and my body allow, I plan to be out walking and rejoicing as I go. 

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