My word, it's been a while since my last post, hasn't it? This week has been a whirlwind! As you know, we started the week in Houston for my appointment at MD Anderson. Then, Brian worked in Houston on Tuesday. And, since then, I have been a little under the weather. Don't get me wrong, I've still been blowing and going from one place to the next, but as soon as I get home, I'm ready to crash.
The effects of radiation take a few weeks to show up, so it's taken until now for the extreme fatigue to really hit me. And, it's hit me hard! It's so weird. I'm bouncing around one minute and the next it feels like I literally hit a brick wall and can't do another thing before I sit down and rest. So, the fatigue has been a big setback this week. Ain't no thang, though, I'll be back to my normal self in no time. I'm confident of God's restoration power in me!
In addition to that, I have had an allergic reaction to radiation called radiation recall. Basically, my head, neck, and forehead are covered in hive looking bumps that itch like crazy and my lymph nodes in my neck and behind my ears are so swollen from the reaction that it's quite painful to move my head. It's like an extremely bad sunburn that hurts under the surface and on the surface. It's miserable, to say the least. Brian has threatened oven mitts for my hands if I don't stop scratching my head.
I saw my wonderful radiation oncologist yesterday and she said, "I know you hear this all the time, but this NEVER happens!" I just laughed and said, "Yep. Story of my life." So, now I have some medicine and I'm just praying hard that it works quickly. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure those oven mitts will become a reality!
To say the least, I'm not functioning at 100% today, but you know what? I AM functioning! Praise God!
Yesterday, I started back on my IV infusions of Herceptin. Herceptin is a targeted drug that is aimed at Her2+ breast cancer. I know most of you don't give a hoot nor a holler about the science of all of this stuff. I have to care, otherwise, I wouldn't either. It doesn't matter.
The whole idea of "it doesn't matter" has hit me square in the face this week. Prior to receiving my wonderful test results on Monday, I had prepared myself for the worst. And the recurring thought that the Lord kept giving to me was this - The test results don't matter. Several of you have asked me what I mean when I say, "nothing has changed". To me, these two things go hand in hand, and they are the very truths by which I live and breathe, and proclaim God's glory each and every day.
Ladies and gentlemen, your days are set. From the time you graced the earth with your beautiful presence, God knew the number of your days. They aren't up to you, a doctor, a medicine, a test result, or any other variable. They are up to Him.
For this reason alone, I am able (with the power of the Holy Spirit) to say every morning, "Father, thank you for today. Grant me your health today, and make me a faithful servant today."
Psalm 139:16 says, "Your [God's] eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
This doesn't mean that I don't plan for the future, but it does mean that I strive to live my life intentionally each day. I ask God to help me see Him, encounter Him, and be used by Him each day. When we keep this mentality, the darts that Satan masterfully hurls at us become less and less of a threat.
So, you get a bad diagnosis?
Your days are set and carefully held by God Almighty! That diagnosis did not, all of a sudden, change your destiny. It was determined before you were born. That's what I mean. I mean that the tests haven't automatically added or removed years from my life. They are the same, regardless of test results.
Sometimes, as I sit in cancer centers or chemo labs, I wish I could just run up to the people their and grab them by their faces and tell them that wonderful news. But, I might get thrown out for invading personal space. On many occasions, I look around at faces, and that's all it takes to assess the internal peace or turmoil that people are facing. I just wish they could all experience abundant life and joy, because, after all, nothing's changed.