Cancer is a challenge for the patient and for caregivers. I’ve been through extensive treatments for two different cancers and have some things to share. I pray that this will help you navigate through challenging times, whether cancer-related or not, and that you will be encouraged. Don’t waste your cancer or any other challenge.
Some updates and random thoughts as a follow up to Plot twist: I’ve got cancer.
The treatment process is going smoothly. I’ve finished two rounds of chemotherapy, with four more to go (one every 28 days). Mrs. Eternity Matters calls it Chemo Day Camp, because I show up with a cooler of food, a jacket and my laptop bag. I suppose it is the camp you settle for if you sign up too late for the basketball / volleyball / archery / etc. camps. They just set up the IV, then I can eat, use my laptop and phone or even take a nap. The nurses are super-friendly and great at explaining things.
After treatments I feel like I am ready for the All-Drug Olympics, as I have as many as 8-9 things flowing through my body at once: chemotherapy, immunotherapy, a steroid, Benadryl, Tylenol, anti-nausea, shingles prevention, uric acid prevention, Flintstones Chewable Vitamins, etc.
- Me: This first round of chemotherapy wasn’t bad. I feel pretty energetic!
- Also me: You forgot that they gave you a steroid in the chemo mix. The exhaustion will hit in a couple days.
- Me: D’oh!
Our main prayers have been for healing (I assume the tumor is being killed, and will have a mid-treatment scan next month to confirm progress), minimal side effects (answered!) and that we not waste any of the experience (answered!).
The challenge in something like this is to:
Strive to point to and glorify Jesus . . .
Matthew 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
. . . without photobombing him
Matthew 6:1 Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
I pray often that we will stay on the right side of that. I have had countless opportunities to live it out. In my flesh I know I’d be deeply scared throughout this, but by focusing on Jesus I can honestly say I’ve slept well every night — even in the early days when I knew I had cancer but had no idea about the severity or treatment plans. I’ve had friends note that the positive approach is “oozing” out of me. It isn’t like I’m trying to do it, it is just there. I’ve been able to share with believers and non-believers in all sorts of ways. I know it is 100% by the grace of God that we’ve lived what we believe, and that has made this process better regardless of the eventual outcome.
Many thanks to everyone who has offered prayers and encouragement to me and my family throughout this. You have no idea how much every comment meant.