This week really marks the beginning of the next stage in my battle against cancer.
This morning my wife and I sat through an hour-long class our oncologist calls Chemotherapy 101. One of the nurses gave us an overview of cancer, how it works, the three primary medical options of treatment, some of the side affects of chemotherapy I could experience, an overview of how it will be administered, and then a tour of the facility.
Thursday its back to the hospital to have a port-catheter implanted through which they can take blood and administer the chemotherapy without messing up my veins with the normal IVs.
Then on Monday, September 26 … chemotherapy begins. I’m sure there will be more to share throughout that journey in the coming months … possibly years.
Several weeks ago I shared about a book I had just read by Jerry Bridges titled Trusting God and asked if anyone had any recommendations of a book for someone just starting out in a battle with cancer.
While no one offered any suggestions here on the WordPress blog over on google+ a brother suggested the book Hope in the Face of Cancer: A Survival Guide for the Journey You Did Not Choose by Amy Givler M.D. Dr. Givler is a Christian woman and cancer survivor who faced her battle as both a doctor and a young mother. I’m only about three chapters into it but so far I have found it both insightful and helpful. And it makes for a good conversation starter between my wife and I on the topic of cancer …
So as we were riding to the doctor this morning, I was sharing with my wife how so many people are simply overwhelmed almost to a state of immobility, inaction and hopelessness when they find out they have cancer … it is simply an unexpected shock to them (and also to their loved ones)!
Then I shared with her why it had not been the least bit of a shock to me. I had two colonoscopies in the four months preceding the doctor’s recommendation for surgery. After the first colonoscopy in April, I was fairly certain I had cancer even thought the doctor was not. After the second one, I had no doubts.
As the doctor and I talked about the planned surgery (colectomy) I asked him to give me the best and the worst outcomes of the surgery. And while as a man no doubt I hoped for the easiest and most comfortable outcome … as a believer I had a pretty positive sense of where this all was headed … and has now arrived. After all, it was just four years ago I had a section of colon removed that pathology later revealed to be cancerous … so this is not my first encounter with cancer.
Now I share this little secret not to make you believe I am prophetic and/or psychic … or even psychotic. This is actually not about any power or skill emanating from me … at all. No, this is about the presence of God loving me and working IN me in preparation for the trials and tribulations ahead.
If indeed I had been clueless to the possibility of cancer being a possibly outcome for this surgery then I can almost guarantee my response would be as hopeless, sad and desperate as many have expected it to be but yet to see. BUT … just as the indwelling Christ prepares us for all of life IN Him, I have no doubt He prepared me for this aspect of this life IN Him exactly as He knew I needed to be prepared. And you simply cannot believe how my faith has been strengthened by that knowledge and understanding.
Sharing this with my wife on the ride this morning seemed to help her … and she had only one request, “Next time the Lord shares something like this with you, ask Him to tell me as well.”
Understood my love … understood.