In the final countdown!!
Carlos is doing as good as can be expected. Six more radiations and one more chemo! He is using the new mask (see story and pics here) and all looks good. He is starting to loose his hair around the back of his neck so his hair line is rather high. Something odd we noticed about that though is the gray hairs have gone first and left him chunks of wispy black. It’s from the radiation and he’s told it will grow back… eventually. He has noticed he hardly has any facial hair on the sides anymore, and despite my prayers to the contrary, his goatee has stayed in place. 😉 He’s maintained his weight much better this week, back to only losing half a pound a day.
We’re starting to talk about post treatment care and what that’s going to look like. He is constantly being reminded that when treatment stops, he won’t just feel better. The effects, both good (tumor shrinkage) and bad (throat pain, dry mouth, no taste buds, fatigue ect…) may even get worse before they get better. So although we’re excited to be near the end of the daily grind, we’re only about halfway through his feeling so lousy.
Meeting people in waiting rooms is one thing, it happens all the time. There is just something different about a cancer treatment waiting room though. We met a sweet couple, Larry and Judy (or maybe it’s Judi?) We chat every morning as our appointments overlap. He was being treated for a different type of cancer and they openly shared many of his challenges. Things you don’t just chat about in the grocery line ya know?! There’s this connection. Club members. Well, Larry got to ring the survivors bell last week. I think I cried more than Judy did watching him. I was overwhelmed with joy for them. His labs look good, showing no signs of cancer. He’s been cleared to take their long planned summer trip around the country with two of their grandchildren. They love the Lord and attend a nearby church and can’t wait to return to their various ministries there. They were such a bright spot in our morning routine and the few times our timing was off and we didn’t see them, I missed them. I was so excited they were given the answer to prayer they had so desired. I pray for many more joyful years for this sweet couple.
So people have been asking me a lot about how I’m doing. I ‘m good in the big picture. I have the help I need, and a list of people I can call on if I get in a pickle. I got to visit with an old friend, and although she is “older” 😉 I mean old as in we’ve been friends for over 20 years. It was so good to sit face to face with someone who knows me so well and knows all the events in my life that have led me to be right here. Sometimes it’s in those conversations that you find out how you’re really doing. I could feel the areas my heart felt light and the ones that made my heart ache as we talked. I won’t spill all that mess here, but I can say that I’m okay, my needs are met and although being a caregiver to two people in your home is taxing in every way, you can always do what I did and hire a housekeeper and not feel bad about it. 😉
Really though, Psalm 73:26… “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” My flesh and my heart have both failed me. Time and time again. I have had times of selfishness when I mope about all the ways this has affected me, (I know, ridiculous. I’m not the sick one.) I’ve had times of being so tired I choose to sleep over shower, or nap over eating. There have been times of loneliness that border on depression and at the same time, there are times of overwhelm that makes being alone the only thing I want. I’ve had frustration that makes me overly sensitive.
He keeps gently showing up. He reminds me of Philippians 4:8 “…Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” When I do that, when I stop focusing on me, or Carlos, or Stacey, or Robby, or CJ, or Michelle, Or Alexia and Andy… When I focus on the One who is all the good, I don’t have room for selfishness, moodiness, frustration, fear, anger. They don’t always move over gracefully, but He does move them.
Whatever your situation is, whatever is stealing your joy, you can choose where to look. Inward or upward. Rest in His hands. It’s so much more comfortable.