Nineteen days out from my last chemo treatment, I’m discovering that seven months of treatments has set me back further than I expected. Here’s a quick update on what’s happening.
The first few days of last week, we went away as a family and enjoyed the Disneyland area. It was our family celebration of “the end of chemo,” and God gave us a great time! We made a lot of good memories, had a lot of laughs, and savored the time together.
At the end of the week, I had the privilege of teaching our single life 1 retreat at the same hotel. It was a joy to open God’s Word with a group of growing and hungry Christians. Their spirit and joy was encouraging! I’m thankful beyond words that the Lord allows us to be a part of this age group in ministry. Teaching that much in three days wiped me out, but it was worth it!
Health-wise I had one really great day at Disneyland, but probably overdid it. Every day since then has been mixed. Most days start out great, but energy becomes depleted and I hit a wall around 2pm. My chest gets heavy, breathing becomes a chore, and my stomach starts to knot up like it’s still on treatment. I keep thinking this is strange, but then I remind myself that recovery is going to take about 3 months. It’s all good—almost anything is better than going in for another treatment!
Last Friday I had a CT scan in Hollywood in prep for radiation. This Friday is another appointment when they will finish mapping out my upper body to make sure they zap me accurately in all the right areas. Monday, radiation begins—daily treatments in Hollywood until July 6th.
My spirit keeps saying, “GET A MOVE ON, YOU’RE DONE WITH CHEMO!” But my body keeps saying “WHOA THERE PAL… NOT SO FAST! REST!” I’m eager to resume life in so many ways, but I keep getting held back by an uncooperative flesh-suit! It makes me look forward to my new body, and it reminds me of 2 Corinthians 4 and 5, one of my favorite passages of Scripture. In it the Apostle Paul is talking about his trials and the burdens of his own body, and then he compares them to the expectation and hope of a new body. Take a look:
2 Corinthians 4:5-6:8
For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of te knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
What an awesome passage! I hope it encouraged you! One quick prayer request. We are headed to the home-going service for Dana’s grandmother. I’ll be doing this service on Thursday and would appreciate your prayers for her family.