day one in a big green chair

I’ve never been comfortable sitting in a chair if my feet can’t touch the ground. So here I am, feeling like an 8 year old sent to the principal’s office. This chair is huge and sort of “hospital-ish”—not the chair I would watch a football game from for sure. I’m five hours into my first day of treatment, and so far so good. I’m told each treatment builds on the last until they finally have you begging for mercy—so I’m really excited about the coming months. ;)

I went into the office early and reviewed all of my staff updates. It was nice to get a couple of hours of work in. We arrived at Kaiser at 9:30 where Bro. Eldon Lofgren (one of our deacons) was waiting (since 8 a.m.) to hug me and pray with me. What a blessing it was to see him standing there as I walked up the sidewalk to the lab! We hugged and prayed together. He’s a great man.

After getting some bloodwork done, we met with Dr. Birhan. We chatted for about 45 minutes, asked questions, and enjoyed getting to know him better. I’m praying he will be saved. I gave him a copy of DONE and he promised me he would read it. His most encouraging words to me were spoken in his thick Ethiopian accent— “I tell you, you are going to have to find some other way to die. It will not be from this cancer.” I loved that! Guess I’ll start considering my other options then. :)

A little while later, we were ushered into a room full of chemo chairs and patients. Actually, this was the saddest moment of the day. Seeing all these folks getting chemo was hard for both me and Dana. I’m sure many of them have a much worse prognosis than I do. After having the IV hooked up, I waited for my personal poison to arrive—three injections followed by a bag, given over about three hours. In the middle of it all, we met with a pharmacist who gave us lots of other instructions about all the other medications they want me to take between treatments. So now, I’m both toxic and highly drugged. I’m really glad Pastor Chappell doesn’t conduct mandatory drug testing for the staff.

Other than wrapping up the first treatment, the news of the day is as follows: I will need to have a port installed in my chest for future chemo. (This will be a procedure I’ll have to have done in the next two weeks.) And, I have to get blood work every week. Not much else to report.

On the spiritual side, I’m grateful to have been able to give DONE to about four or five folks this morning and invited some to church. In fact, one lady is sitting next to me reading it right now! That’s cool.

And I’m certain I’m the most prayed for individual in the country today. I actually feel like a “prayer hog”—like I might break some limit in Heaven or something—that’s just how many encouraging emails, texts, messages, and tweets I’ve received today. Thank you so much for all of the encouragement. All day, God has given me an overwhelming sense of calm and security—so He’s answering your prayer.

Well, day one is complete! The nurse just said she’s gonna “flush me”! That sure doesn’t sound fun, but I’m hoping that they have one of those prize boxes like the dentist does! I’m planning on grabbing two prizes—one for me, and one for Dana! :)

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10 Responses to day one in a big green chair

  1. John and Laura Downey says:

    First, wanted to mention that the haircut isn’t bad…kind of takes away all the cowlick issues, huh? Secondly, been praying for you all day and will continue throughout the months. Will also pray more specifically for Dana as I’m sure watching you get poisoned for hours on end isn’t a bunch of fun for her. Although, with her behind the camera, you take a pretty good picture. I think it is because, you have a way of always flirting with her as you look at her. Anyway, we will also pray for salvations as you get to spend so much time with people you would otherwise never have crossed paths with. This part is very exciting.
    Oh, yes, so exciting that something else is supposed to kill you – not the cancer!
    Still thankful for you sharing this experience with us so candidly. It not only allows us to share baring your burden but also sharing what you are learning at the same time. Look, there you go, being the time manager again.
    Take care, rest when you need to. God will make sure everything that needs doing gets done somehow.

  2. Charity Harley says:

    Pastor Schmidt,

    My husband and I are praying for you! We want to tell you how much we appreciate your ministry! My husband (who is a youth pastor) reads your blogs, books, and articles on a regular basis. (Actually his entire Christmas list is composed of books from strivingtogether.com!) He has the teens in our youth group that go on the mission trip each year read “Done” so they will be better prepared for witnessing!
    I’m a nurse and I want to encourage you that the port they will put in will be a blessing! It’ll prevent the veins in your arms from getting ruined by the chemo.
    Keep up the good work! I know you’ve encouraged my husband many times with your work in the ministry.

    In Christ,
    Charity Harley
    Apex, NC

  3. Janice Airhart says:

    Continued prayers for you and your family. My daughter..Vanessa Airhart (now Henriquez) always talked about what an inspiration you were to here while at college. Thank you for your ministry and impacting so many lives. Don’t know what people who are not saved do in a situation like this. Praise the Lord for His infinite mercies and grace

  4. Adam Wood says:

    This morning I woke up with our 2 month old to help my wife feed him. While I was awake the Lord reminded me to pray for you. So I did. It was about 12 PM on the 15th your time. I will continue.

  5. Rochelle Blaszczyk says:

    Bro. Schmidt
    Just wanted to thank you for being such a blessing! I know the feeling in that chemo room, believe it or not Mrs. Shannon was the one right there with me during my treatments. ( John was there for most of them but I had to go in every week) We were the youngest in the room by about 40 years most of the time, and we would laugh and talk the whole time. Some people would just watch us, they had no one there with them, and I’m sure were trying to figure out what we had that was so different. I’m very thankful that you can and do witness while you are there, I know people are going to be blessed by this. It was also a blessing for us to be able to talk with some of the ones next to us, invite them to the Easter Musical, and other Sunday services. Don’t know if any of them ever came. You will probably find that you will be on the same schedule with some of them and be there at the same time often, but most of them you may never run into again.
    The port is a God send really, not only will you get your chemo there, but they can also draw your blood there, alot less pokes in you arms! And look on the bright side, you won’ t have a bra strap rubbing against it everyday! hahaha
    We are praying for you and the family! Love ya! So sad I missed your mom when she was here! You should’ve told me! :D I texted with her a bit yesterday too.

    Love, Rochelle

  6. Coefield Family says:

    Bro Schmidt and family,
    Praying for you all so often. Thanking the Lord for all you have done and will continue to do. You and Dana and the family are such a blessing, more than word could ever explain.
    We love you all,
    Coefield family.

  7. Thomas & Brittany Strausbaugh says:

    Bro. Schmidt,

    We are continuing to pray for you and your family during this time. I understand what you and your family is going through, and we are praying for His grace in your lives. Seeing this picture brought back so many memories of sitting in that chair with my mom, and I just wanted you guys to know that we are constantly praying for you and thinking about you. We will also be praying for the people that you were able to witness and talk to. We pray that God may receive all the glory throught this time in your life. Thank you Bro. Schmidt for the example, influence, and blessing that you have been on our lives.

    Thomas and Brittany

  8. Premo Family says:

    Bro. Schmidt and Family,
    Just wanted to let you know we are all praying for you. You have always been a huge blessing to us and our church family. I know God will get you through this and you will be a blessing in the future to someone because of this.
    Love and Prayers,
    The Premos

  9. Gail Kelly Robards says:

    Hi Cary,
    One of my Facebook friends, Maria Henshal, shared your website with me. Sorry to hear of your diagnosis and pray you are doing well with your first chemo.

    I was diagnosed stage 4 Hodgskins Lymphoma on June 27th. I had tumors in both knees and left hip. Also in the bone marrow of both femurs. I have had 6 rounds of what they call R Chop chemo and am doing well. Thanks to God and the many who pray for me and my husband. We believe I will be healed and look forward to a MRI on the 29th of November.

    My hubby and I will add you and Dana to our prayer list.

    Blessings,
    Gail Kelly Robards

  10. Dionna Baggaley says:

    Thought you’d like to know that my 3 1/2 year old reminded me again to pray for you at lunch time (Not that I’d never remember to without her, lol). She said something funny about praying for the guy on the stage that got hurt. Finally figured out she meant you! Thanks for being a blessing throughout all this.
    Dionna

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