Sunday, October 27, 2013

I Will Not Wait's been a while.

Things have been a bit crazy the past few weeks and I'm sorry I didn't take the time to update.

On day 24 I think...two Tuesdays ago. They told me my counts looked good and I was allowed to go home for a week! I can't tell you how happy this made me! They said to come back the next Tuesday and I would probably get released.

We went ahead and moved out of the apartment so we wouldn't be paying for 7 days that I wouldn't be there and I got to go home!

I went back last Tuesday and was told I could go home! My White Blood Count had gone all the way up to 6.1! hooray!

As thankful as I was, we knew we weren't done yet....sigh.


So I went back to Nashville this past Tuesday planning on starting radiation on Wednesday. However, I had been experiencing shortness of breath and a weird feeling in my lungs. They ran some tests and it turns out that I have lung toxicity. It is a rare side effect from one of the chemo drugs that was used during transplant. It is very treatable with steroids but will postpone radiation for at least a month. But we are thankful that this was caught before we began radiation. If not, I could have seriously damaged my lungs. God is good and present even in these bumps in the road.

This was very frustrating news. We are just so ready to be done with this part of our lives. We are just so ready to focus on something else besides cancer and not have treatments looming over us. It feels like this road is never-ending.

For so much of this journey I've just been aching and dreaming to get past all of this. To move on, to move forward. To put cancer behind us. To not burden my husband or my family anymore with all of my health problems. Like the only way I could be happy and rejoice was if cancer was gone and I could have my life back and get on with my plans.

But God has been showing me that I have to focus on the present. I have an extrememly full life that is filled with blessings. I am so grateful for my husband, my family, my friends, my church, my dogs, my house, my jobs, my life! The list could go on and on. And even though this is not the plan I had for my life, it is the road God brought me down and I need to trust Him and not resent the plan.

I have struggled to rejoice recently. It was hard for me to fully celebrate my healing knowing that I was about to go through something awful and my cancer could possibly come back. And now it's hard too because I'm not back to normal yet and I still have another whole leg of the journey.

I was standing in worship two weeks ago and I was praying about this.  I had a thought of, "when can I celebrate? When will this get better? When will I feel healed? Well after we make it two years then I'll know it's not coming back. Then I can truly celebrate and feel relieved." In that moment I distinctly heard God say to me, "you don't have to wait."

I was completely overwhelmed and in that moment I knew my dreams had to change. I had to stop dreaming about life after cancer treatments and making that the source of my happiness. God HEALED me! That is enough! My desire to be closer to God should outweigh any desire I have for children or normalcy.

I will not wait to speak of what God has done. I will shout from the rooftops that God healed me. God provided for me in the hardest of times. God chose me to share in His suffering so I could be more like Jesus. God is good. He is faithful. He will finish what He began.

Celebrate today what God has done in your life. You don't have to wait. You don't need to fear the future or wait to see how things play out. He is present even in the darkest of times and we can always find a reason to celebrate.

"I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty-
and I will meditate on your wonderful works."

Psalm 145: 1-5

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

One step forward...

 Hello everyone! I'm sorry it's been so long since I've posted. Today I am on day +15 and I am doing well! I've had some bumps along the road but hopefully it won't be too long before I'm out of here. A lot has happened since I posted last and I love a good list so I'll give it to you in list form!

1. I lost my hair. This makes the third time I've had to shave my head. I might have cried. If you think it gets easier the more times you lose your hair, it's definitely not true. I'm praying this is the last time I ever have to lose it. Until it decides to grow back in, I'm rockin the bald look...again.

2. My mouth finally recovered and my gums quit hurting/bleeding last week (This meant my white count was about to start rising) I was really excited because I thought I was through the worst of it, but then I had some rough days after that. One step forward two steps back.

3. My white count started going up which is the first step in the "rebuild my bone marrow" process last week. It was <0.1 or basically non-existent for a long time. (Normal range is 3.9-10.7) Then it was 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.7, 1.2....and today it went down a touch to 1.1. Boo. It's ok though they say that basically is the same as staying steady. I was just hoping for more improvement! Big steps forward, tiny step back.

4. My red blood cells have been pretty tricky. While I didn't have any bone marrow, I wasn't able to produce any on my own so I had to have several blood transfusions. I was dropping incredibly low quicker than they thought I should which was frustrating. Then I went three days with no blood and my count actually went up! I thought I was done with blood transfusions. Then today it went down again and I had to get blood. Very frustrating! One step forward, one step back.

Are you noticing a pattern? I'm finding that this journey is not as straight forward as I thought it would be. Hopefully from here on out, we can step forward, but I know God is with me even in the back-stepping.

On top of everything, I am so homesick. I just want to be at my house with my puppies and my husband. I want to go back to church I want to see my friends. I'm feeling so good now, it's hard to be here. I want to walk in my healing and live my life. I am so over being a patient!

I really miss this guy...

And these pups...

 But I know that I have so much to be thankful for.
~I'm thankful I am recovering and feeling good again. I'm thankful I haven't had anything so serious that I ended up in the hospital.
~I'm thankful that I got my own cells instead of a donor's and so I only have to be here to day +30 instead of day +100.
~I'm thankful I have family that can come take care of me. I'm thankful to be in remission. I'm thankful for a lot of things.
~I'm thankful I have Jesus and therefore have hope when so many around me are bitter and have no hope.

I will press on to win the prize. I will stay steadfast and trust that the Lord has not forgotten me.

Lord help me focus on these things instead of the negatives. Lord help my counts to go up. Please grant us wisdom as we face tough choices and next steps ahead. Please keep this cancer from ever returning and grant us with a long life full of ministry, love, and babies together. Help me trust You in the uncertain times. Most of all, use my life to glorify You and don't let these struggles be in vain.

your daughter