September 2009


I know it’s been a long time, again.  Here I am… if you’re still there too.

I’ve just got the time for a quick update tonight and a bit of a schedule for the upcoming weeks.  Here we go.

Since chemo last week things have been going pretty okay.  I did have one day of nausea again, right around the same timing in the 21 day cycle as before and I just tucked myself into bed and slept until the early afternoon.  I’m glad that’s over with!

This week is filled up with appointments and it is coming time to re-evaluate what the next steps will be, whether or not to have another round of chemo or to set things in motion for the transplant.  I still have great peace about the bmt but I realize that the days ahead of me are getting closer and closer to the transplant date (still to be determined) and I’d be lying to say that I don’t think about it from time to time.  I know that must sound so strange, to say that I think about the transplant “from time to time” but the reality is that cancer has become “normal” for us.  It is part of my life/our lives and not my entire life.  Cancer is a part of who I am, not who I am.  Cancer does not define me… I simply won’t let it.

So for my appointments  this week:

Monday, September 21:  CT Scan at PMH then an appointment with the Infectious Disease doctor at Toronto General Hospital across the street.  The scan will be looking at changes from my previous scan in early summer to help determine how my lymph glands have changed, shrunk, disappeared etc… It will also look at my liver, spleen as well and will be part of the tools used to determine whether I am ready for the transplant.

Wednesday, September 23:  Meeting with the bmt team at PMH.  We were asked to set aside 2-3 hours for this appointment.  This will be a heavy appointment, filled with information, evaluation and examinations and the advice of the transplant team will also be used to determine my readiness for the bmt.

Wednesday, September 30:  Appointment with Dr. Crump.  Also, depending on the decisions by Dr. Crump and the bmt team, I have a chemo appointment scheduled if necessary.

So as you can see, the next few weeks busy for me/us.  There will also be a lot of information to listen to and to share with family and friends.

We value your prayers at this time.

Love to you all,

H.

I guess I should start by telling you that since that Terrible Tuesday and coincidentally, my last post, that Jeff and I are feeling much better.  Those of you who are “glass half empty” folks may have thought that something was terribly wrong and those of you “glass half full” folks may have guessed that “no news is good news”.  The nausea lasted for only a day and Jeff managed to pass his kidney stone without any further medical intervention.  And, well, we’re both much happier now.

But here’s the thing.  I’ve been thinking a lot about that Terrible Tuesday,  not the throwing up parts,  but the quiet moments when I was lying still, the moments in between awake and asleep because that’s when I heard the voices.  Quietly at first,  just whispers but as I listened the voices shouted out to me.  Here’s what I heard.

“If you can’t even handle a little bit of nausea, how on earth are you ever going to be able to handle a bone marrow transplant (bmt)?”

And in my tiredness and discomfort I allowed those voices to call out to me.  I gave in.  I listened.  And I began to believe these words to be true.  What a dangerous, lonely and miserable place to be.

In my desperation I cried out to God in prayer, blocking out the voices that I knew were not His.  Choosing instead to listen to the Voice that I have come to recognize over the years.  God brought to my memory all ways that He has provided for me/us over this year.  I was reminded of the people and conversations that brought Jeff and I to the decision of a bmt and  I thought of God’s faithfulness and goodness to me over the days/months/years of living with cancer.  That Voice was like music to my ears.  The difference was like picking up the phone and hearing a telemarketer ask “are you the homeowner?” compared to picking up the phone and hearing the voice of a loved one on the other end.

Honestly,  I’m not sure what I’m going to do when it comes time for the bmt.  As I approach my last round of chemo tomorrow I know that the bmt will be just around the corner and it scares me.  But I do know this:  I don’t have to worry about it today.  Here are some of my favourite verses from the Bible that talk about worry.

Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I love these verses because each day when I look out of my window I see the birds in my garden and I am reminded that God is the One who cares for them and that He is the One who cares for me.

H.