Quote from "Stepping Heavenward" by Mrs. E. Prentiss

"She says I shall now have one mouth more to fill and two feet the more to shoe, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other.

Here is a sweet, fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering about my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which dwells is worthy of all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other dear darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, wondrously blest!"

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chemo Day & Cancer Battle Plans

A while back I told what it was like to get radiation. Today I'll give you details on a chemo day. When you come in to the cancer center for the first time, you realize you have entered a world you never really thought about or envisioned. After you get weighed (again) and all vitals checked, you may or may not have a visit with the doctor. Afterwards, you head to the treatment room where there are lots of chairs with i.v. bars nearby. You will also see all kinds of people. Cancer does not discriminate in any way. Then the fun begins. If you have a port like myself and your blood levels were high enough, you get stuck and the poisons begin to head on in. Others get their chemo through their veins. People read, nap, listen to music or watch movies on their computers, talk to the person who brought them, etc. Many people keep to themselves, but every now and then you get someone to talk to and hear their story. My visit lasts 4 to 5 hours. You get to know the nurses fairly well and they are really great with everyone. I have been chewing on lately the thought that I am "battling cancer." When my mind envisions a battle, I think of making war plans and pondering good strategies to win the fight. Below are some of the tactics I have been using in hopes of a victory.
1) Being thankful. I Thess. 5:18 says "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." How can we give thanks for cancer? For me it's easier than I thought. I have been surrounded by love like never before since my diagnosis. My children have seen the Lord provide our every need. Besides when you focus on the good of each day, doesn't it seem to change your attitude and it tends to bring joy into your soul. It doesn't mean that every day is easy or that I enjoy driving the porcelain bus or being exhausted.   It means finding the good the Lord does send you each day.
2) Laugh...A Lot. Proverbs 17:22. "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." I love a good laugh and fortunately our family laughs a lot. A gentleman told me this week that one of the things some of the folks at church have been surprised about is that whenever they see me I am smiling and how it blessed them. I told him that I am choosing to be happy no matter the results. If I don't make it, I don't want my children's memories of me to be of sadness, stress, fear, anxiety, depression, anger, etc. My younger children may only remember this year if I was to pass. I want them to remember playing games, taking walks, ewing and awing over sunsets, starry nights and little babies. I want them to remember us laughing while living life together. I want them to see how the Lord is really with you when you go through trials and that you can trust Him in all things.

 3) Make healthy choices. Whether it's food, physical or spiritual exercise. I even need to make great mental choices....Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." That narrows down my television, reading, and music choices. This verse keeps me from seeing others with a critical eye and talking about others. This may all sound restricting, but it's really freeing. It helps me "see" the good around me.
4) Resting in His Wisdom  On front of one of the magazines at the doctor's office today, there was a caption of Sharon Osbourne saying she would not let her son die. I thought really....you believe life and death is in your hands? Wow! I am praying for victory, but I realize that sometimes God uses defeats to accomplish His purposes in our lives. Ps 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. No matter how things look I know God has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Even Jesus' followers thought His death was a defeat not yet understanding what a victory it was. I found the following illustration a while back from a sermon I read and thought it was a great example of what may have seemed like a disastrous life brought forth a great man.

At the age of seven, he had to go to work to help support his family. At nine, his mother died. At twenty-two, he lost his job as a store clerk. At twenty-three, he went into debt and became a partner in a small store. At twenty-six, his partner died leaving him a huge debt. By the age of thirty-five, he had been defeated twice when running for a seat in Congress. At the age of thirty-seven, he won the election. At thirty-nine, he lost his reelection bid. At forty-one, his four-year-old son died. At forty-two, he was rejected for a land officer role. At forty-five, he ran for the Senate and lost. At forty-seven, he was defeated for the nomination for Vice President. At forty-nine, he ran for Senate again and lost again. At the age of fifty-one, he was elected President of the United States. During his second term of office, he was assassinated. But his name lives on among the greats in U.S. history--Abraham Lincoln.
I'm still believing in the Lord's victory over this disease in my body. I am not lacking faith. I feel as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did in Daniel 3:17-19 "our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. 18 But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up.” I do believe God can heal me. Until He tells me otherwise, I believe He is willing. But if not, I still choose to praise Him.

5) Trusting in His Providence This was one of the words the children learned in VBS. The dictionary defines providence as "the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth. God, especially when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence." I love this definition because He is a wise and benevolent Father who watches over us. You can trust Him. What battle are you in? Whatever it is I hope that you can find some things to be thankful for, that you can laugh, that you make wise choices, that you find His peace, and that you trust in His providence.


Anonymous said...

Michelle you are a gifted person and beautiful person. I look up to you. I love you very much.

Unknown said...

Thanks for this beautiful post, Michelle. I passed it on to my son-in-law who is battling lymphoma right now and had his 4th chemo-treatment yesterday. He so appreciated it and in fact, posted it on his own blog. You are an inspiration and encouragement to many and we thank God for the grace given you to testify as you do. May He continue to uphold you in your own struggles. in Christ, Chuck

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