This is long overdue.
July was a real game changer with bad scans showing the spread of cancer in my brain. At the time we were watching my sweet cousin bravely battle his brain tumor. I was not feeling the bravery he displayed. It was a huge blow to have the Tarceva stop working so quickly. I had high hopes in that treatment.
We hit the year mark of my diagnoses early this month. It was very surreal to live out that week and reflect on what that week was like last year. I think the Christmas season will always bring a pang of the blow of that time.
I've also been reflecting on the changes in my expectations. My desire is still the same: healing. But living with cancer for years wouldn't be horrible either. I'll be honest, I want it gone. The worry, the fear, the scans, the pokes, the poison, the sickness, the tears. But I'm learning to be grateful. I'm grateful this horrible treatment has stalled the cancers growth, I'm grateful the coughing has lessened and I'm grateful that I get to celebrate another Christmas with my kids and my sweetie. Another year of memories to give them. And yes, I had another year with hair.
I didn't think I cared about that part but I do. That's the honest answer. It's really nice to go places and fake good health. I have also realized how beautiful it is for my kids to forget it at times and see me "looking healthy".
"Hope" has been our theme through this year. That word has changed for me in these 12 months. It means even more now. Romans 15:13 has been our close companion of strength and comfort. "May the God of all HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE as you trust in him so that you may overflow with HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit." I have always loved the word overflow in this version of the verse. It indicates that The Lord gives more than the just enough, he gives us an excessive amount of it. So much that it overflows.
My hope was in my healing. And I still hope and pray for that. But my hope is in something more. My hope is in heaven, and that God has eternal good to bring from my suffering and that of my
family's. I see a lot of good in my healing. But God see's the big picture. The good I see is temporal
but the good He see's is eternal. I may never see that good this side of heaven but trust that he has it covered. It's never been so hard to trust, but trust, I will!
God blessed us with good scans this week. It was beautiful to have this gift right before Christmas. To lay aside the fear for a little bit. The growth that the July scan showed has not recovered but the continued growth that each scan was showing stopped. Who knows for how long, but today, I'm grateful.
I'm also grateful for the precious man God gave me to love, and to love me. I get grumpy and tired, but he tirelessly steps in and lightens my load without complaint. We didn't sign up for this but when Lewis promised "in sickness and in health" ten years ago to God and me, he meant it. And he shows me everyday. He is a beautiful picture of what for better or for worse looks like. This year has been rough and HARD, it has been a year of growing. Growing closer to each other and closer to our Lord. The best part of my day is when we get to sit in front of the fire together with our cup of tea and our devotions, sharing our favorites with each other. I love this man, and pray for years with him.
My WBC is still not in a good place. They decided to treat me this week anyways in hopes that it will start going back up since we dropped the Carboplatin. Please keep us in your prayers for this and join us as we thank God for the good health he's given me in spite of my compromised immune system. It is simply by the grace of God that I haven't been sick yet. Another item of gratefullness.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and hope that you are struck this year by the miracle of God's grace and beauty of his love for you.