Quicker than I would like. Quicker than I really imagined.
I have had some redness on my side for a few months. It is in the area where I have had major surgery, a 12 inch scar, 4 drains and then the latest thoracentesis. It was hard to know what the redness was from. When the doc had looked at it in the past, he mentioned it could be cancer or an infection, so we just kept an eye on it. Friday we did a biopsy. We waited through the weekend, waited Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and finally Thursday had confirmation that the cancer is in the skin. While there is cancer in plenty of other places, it is still very frustrating to have it still growing, moving and showing up in new places. It is common for cancer cells to show in surgical sites. The cancer cells get new means of transportation and blood supplies change or even travel through the surgical site like tubes. However it got there, I have individual cancer cells in the area. Not a tumor, but just cells — which is good. It we get to a tumor of cells, we would radiate that area.
So, here is where things change. Because cancer is still growing/spreading despite being on Xeloda, it kinda means that Xeloda isn’t working. Ugh! I had read several good testimonies about that drug and since it had “mild” side effects and the convenience of a pill, I really wanted it to be the one we stuck with. But after 2 cycles, we are already moving on. The next drug is Eribulin. It will be given intravenously, so back to typical chemo days. Side effects really vary so I am unsure what to expect. Fatigue, low blood counts, possible hair loss…. it goes on. The really discouraging news is that the more drugs I take unsuccessfully, the less chance the next drug will work.
It is just a dance. The diagnosis of stage IV, the prognosis of my time left, but I feel good and life keeps going. Then randomly through the day or week, I am reminded of what I am really staring at. A disease that is not understood by anyone. A disease that will keep me on toxic drugs for the rest of my life. I am in distress of what I can do on my own to help my body. Diet change? Med change? Doctor change? Eat this, don’t eat this? This vitamin. This oil. It is so overwhelming for a girl who likes her chocolate and Mighty Fine. I am in prayer for some insight or direction in these decisions.
Despite reality, I am so blessed by friends near and far. Friends who bring me food without notice. Friends who will sit and cry with me and sit and laugh with me. I have thousands of people who follow my posts and hopefully are drawn toward God through my struggles. Friends who pray because they can’t be by my side. Family who loves me. Who desperately prays for my healing. A church filled with love and compassion. I could go on…
Through this last week and my questions of why and what is the point in God’s plan… a new perspective was brought to my attention. Instead of the mindset that God is involved in this cancer journey, that he is making the decisions yes or no, that he is allowing all this to happen for some “reason”… what if He is just present? What if cancer is cancer because if this sinful world? What if my body is dying because that is what it does? Maybe I am just fighting against this world and not against God’s “no’s”. I like the visual of God walking beside me. Fully knowing what is going on and what is to happen, but simply being present. Offering His grace, His peace, His never changing love as I suffer and struggle.
Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble…Though the earth give way, mountains quake, God is within her…God will help her at break of day…THE LORD ALMIGHTY IS WITH US.
Psalm 121: I lift my eyes to the hills…My help comes from the Lord…he who watches over you will not slumber…the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
For now it does my soul good to just see God as my strength, my protector, always present. He may not prevent all the bad things from happening though He is fully capable. He never wanted them to happen. He never created the earth to be this way. Its sin. Let’s hate sin. And lets rejoice in the freedom we have from this sin in Jesus Christ. Let’s rejoice that even though our bodies wither and die, we are promised eternal glory if we only BELIEVE. I don’t want you to only hurt for us, and continue to follow us because of the sadness and drama of our story. If my story can do anything, it can bring any of you to the Savior.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Done and done. That’s it. That is all you have to do. For God has done the rest.