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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Radiation is for the Birds

Another weird day. I’ve been told for six weeks that I would probably need chemo to get rid of the high grade or aggressive cancer in my body. I was ready on Monday to know the plan of attack. I had my dukes up and I was ready to fight.

When I finally got to a medical oncologist’s office at MD Anderson, after months of fighting insurance and weeks of waiting, I was told that medically nothing else could be done to increase my odds. I was told my odds, in his opinion (and he does have a very well respected opinion) were very good. We were both in agreement that the odds were certainly not good enough, certainly not acceptable, but for cancer they were unquestionably good. He went so far as to say he didn’t think I’d need any further treatment at all. Ultimately radiation would be the surgeon’s call but he didn’t think I needed it and the surgeon had already said she didn’t think I needed it.

He spent lots of time telling me that I’m at a good point. Cancer patients all want to be at the point where their treatment is finished. I had gotten there quicker than lots, he said. Instead of a nasty fight, the good doc told me I needed to put away my fight and make peace. Learn to live in the uncertainty is what he said.

Yesterday I replayed his words in my head. Again and again and again. I made peace with those words. I began to realize just how God’s hand is surely on me because I don’t have to go through the horrors of chemo. I just began to see with a tad bit of clarity and to relish this spot ever so slightly. I refused to go through what ifs and very timidly began to set some goals in my mind.

I’ll run my marathon this summer.

I’ll make sure we find a way to get that boat and actually enjoy the lake where we are making our home.

I’ll wear my hair really poofy for a few days, be proud I get to keep it and thank God for it.

Okay maybe poofy hair wasn’t a goal but it sounds like a fun way to appreciate hair, huh?

First thing this morning, my phone rang. It was the nurse practitioner calling to say that surprisingly the radiation oncologist the surgeon had consulted with thought I would benefit from radiation. I’m thankful for a speedy answer. I’m thankful for a speedy appointment (she’s trying to work me in on Friday). I’m just a little unused to the idea of radiation. I was making peace. I had started to live in the calm after the storm. Tonight I'm preparing for that fight.

Monday I was ready to hear radiation. Tuesday I was thankful I didn’t hear it. Wednesday I heard radiation.

My mind and emotions begin reeling again. Tears fall again. Anger surfaces again. Again, my husband points me north. He says I should be glad something more can be done. I’m trying. I really am.

I was reminded of something this morning. And then I was reminded of this truth over and over again today. God knows. He has not forgotten a single detail of my life. Or yours. God is completely able to handle all of my fears. And yours. All of my questions. And yours. And all of my needs. And yours.

Last week when I was vacuuming my closet, the vacuum sucked up a pair of my favorite comfy sweat pants. These pants have big silver beads at the end of the ties in the waistband so that the string doesn’t get lost inside. The vacuum stole one. I was upset but trying not to sweat it. I took the tube out of the vacuum and even emptied the bag. I searched in vain for about five or ten minutes quickly abandoning my search to attend to things that really matter.

Yesterday when I was cleaning out my closet, I found that big silver bead. I laughed out loud. I almost cried. Actually, I think a few tears escaped. I knew God was telling me He was in my cancer plan just as He is in every little detail of my life. My mind immediately went to the sparrows. I’m so glad I serve a God who doesn’t just have a plan for my cancer, He even has a plan for my closet! I serve a God who’s in the details.

“What's the price of a pet [sparrow]? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don't be intimidated by all this bully talk. You're worth more than a million [sparrows].” Matthew 10:29-31


His Girl said...

geez, friend- you wrote that so well I actually cried when you found the bead.

I'm sad about stupid radiation, but am praying that it will do its job and you will be here to tell many, many more stories for Jesus.

MommaMindy said...

I was in the hospital with a very sick child, not knowing the outcome. An older Christian woman came and sat with me quietly, handed me a picture of a sparrow she found in a magazine, and after a few more quiet moments she prayed with me. I rejoice the same thought from the Word of God is ministering to your heart. His eye is on you because you are the apple of His eye.Ps 17:8

Denise said...

You are worth more than sparrows, you are His daughter, His princess. Wear your crown with pride sis, love you.

Bernie said...

Lisa, I didn't find the radiation very hard to deal with at all, now remember I am comparing to having chemo as well but honestly I was a bit more tired and also developed what looked like a mild sunburn which I just sprinkled with baby powder.
I think radiation may be a good thing just in case there were a few cells left in the breast, the radiation will kill them...I do think Andrew is right, anything extra they can do is a bonus.
Keeping you in my heart and prayers always sweetie.....:-)Hugs

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Praying for you and all the decisions you have to make....

Andrea said...

Indeed, my precious friend, HE has a perfect plan for every aspect of your life. HE loves you and so do I...I continue to storm the heavens with you, in prayer! Hold your head up and enjoy each moment GOD gives you...cut loose, girlfriend..wear your hair in all kinds of funky do's....wear colors you once would not wear...and dance with the LORD through out this life...not caring what the frumpy old lady next to you in the grocery line thinks...for she has NOT experienced the freedom and newness you now have in your relationship with HIM who loves you most!
Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

Donna said...

It's so wonderful to be reminded that God is indeed in all the details in our lives! No matter if we are on the mountain top or in the valley, He is fully aware of everything. Nothing catches Him off guard. Radiation did not catch Him off guard. He will continue to uphold you and renew your strength. Who knows what He has prepared for you on that path.

Blessings to you and your family!

Debbie said...

You are soo right and PRAISE GOD for it...He keeps every little tiny detail in His mighty and capable hands every day and we have nothing to fear. There are no mistakes. Soo OK, the radiation is on...it must be for your ultimate good if it is in His plan. One more step in the fight. We are all here standing beside you and we will see this through. Praying for you, Debbie

Anonymous said...

Oh what a roller coaster ride you are on. I am still doing my prayer time for you everyday and know all the prayer warriors are.

Tiffani said...

praying for you. i know all too well the road of radiation. my sister went thru 8 weeks of it last summer and i was with her and her kids every day.

one day at a time may seem a very overused cliche but it's truly all were given and all you can do!

praying over you dear girl.

Jan said...

Oh my Lisa! That nasty 'ole cancer sure does have you on a roller coaster ride of emotions this week, doesn't it! I was so happy to read below that no treatments were gonna be needed and now I see today that that has all changed. I'm so hoping that the preventative measures will grant you a bit more peace about the future, but I imagine that only God can actually do that :) Who knows, maybe the radiation is the tool He chose to use :) He does after all move in mysterious ways sometimes. Hugs to you sweetie and know my prayers are with you and yours each and every day :)

Loren said...

He knows every detail Lisa....the big ones and yet the very small ones as well. He has the road ahead provided for & prepared and will walk with you every step of the way. I have to be honest, watching Dad go through Chemo ~ you hit the nail on the head when you said "horrors of chemo". I know he would still be here today if he hadn't done that dreaded chemo. So when I heard that you didn't need it I was rejoicing! IT.IS.SO.HARD.ON.YOUR.BODY! And everything else!
You are young, you are strong, AND most IMPORTANTLY the Lord is with you. He will take you through radiation and I BELIEVE you will be EVEN STRONGER on the other side of this radiation treatment!
There is no right or wrong way to deal with all that is coming at you Lisa but I have to say you have dealt with EVERYTHING....Cancer, House, Kids, Treatment plans, everyday life, with such Grace, Dignity and Strength it is amazing! I know God gets the glory but you my dear are doing the work one day at a time so beautifully!
Love you

kim said...

Your blog entry was very inspirational and so true of the cancer journey. I will be praying for you when you meet with the radiologists. When I lost my hair from chemo, the verse you quoted, became a life verse. I actually went to a park and threw out my hair knowing and believing some lucky bird was going to have a blond highlighted nest for its little ones! Blessings!

ps...You go girl with the poofy hair--I did hear the other day that the "big hair of the 80's" is making a come back. (smile, smile)

Gigi said...

Thank you for ministering to ME today though your words...I needed to hear them, be reminded of their truth! God bless you!

GrandmaK said...

God is not only ministering to you he is also ministering through you!! Thanks be to God!!! Cathy

Ketty said...

You are so right Lisa, sometimes I even forget our Father is in control of everything. Thank you very much for writing those words, I really appreciate them today.

Love, from far away

sunshine said...

I LOVE the poofy hair plain...takes me back to the '80's! Thank you for continuing to inspire me during your amazingly difficult struggles. I'm proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lisa,

Please refrain from vacuuming your closet. It makes me feel inadequate.


Deborah said...

Hey Lisa, I'm glad you don't need any chemo. That is great news. Now I'm praying that radiation will go well if they decide to do it. Penny is starting chemo again at the end of the month but no more radiation will be allowed. Cancer stinks.
Oh, I received my ribbon yesterday!
I'm going to put it on my car.
I'm glad you found your bead :)

Tea With Tiffany said...

You are in my prayers. Believing for perfect peace for you. I'm sorry for the roller coaster. I have no words. I know God sees you and smiles. hugs

B His Girl said...

I love how the Lord let you know He has everything in His hands. Praying for the radiation to do its job so this can be totally behind you. You are loved Lisa! Keep walking. B