Saturday, April 4, 2015


I keep a collection of Bible verses saved as photos on my iPhone, for when I need some reassurance from God straight from His word.  I don't read the Bible much (my bad) but I like having quick and easy access to verses that apply to what I'm going through.  Recently, while lying in bed and restlessly trying to go to sleep for the night, the first one I flipped to when I was feeling particularly low was Philippians 4:6:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  I realized that in my state of depressive self-pity, I wasn't even praying any more!  And I definitely wasn't being thankful for all I've been given and continue to receive.  It was a wake-up call, and yet it provided me with quite a peaceful night's sleep that night.

Then there's this one, Isaiah 48:10:  See, I have refined you, though not as silver;  I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  Unfortunately, I can relate all too well to being tested in the furnace of affliction.  Nothing says furnace of affliction more than cancer, especially in my last few months.  The verse speaks to me, but also brings me to prayer:  Lord, please take me out of this furnace of affliction!

I mentioned previously that my coughing had improved slightly.  This has continued!  At my last visit with Dr. C (during my one week "off" between three-week chemo cycles,) she informed me that my liver enzymes, which had been extremely elevated and rising, had fallen dramatically.  My tumor marker was down some ... not much, but a decrease definitely beats its previous upward trajectory!  And, the chest x-ray done the following week showed less fluid than the previous study.  These were all very, very positive signs, and she was pleased!  However, I was feeling rather tired and was still having issues with appetite and weight loss, and now constipation to boot.  I was quite anemic and my platelets were dangerously low, a direct result of the chemotherapy attacking my bone marrow.  She explained that mine was probably a little slower to recover because it had been assaulted for so long and in so many ways.  She predicted that the platelets would not be sufficiently recovered by my next chemo cycle scheduled for the following week, and that I should take an additional week "off."  Two weeks off instead of one.  This turned out to be a Godsend!  I enjoyed being able to eat more during the extra time, and I was getting some energy back.

Honestly, I dreaded going back for that next cycle!  But objectively there were definite improvements that could only be attributed to this new chemo regimen (Carboplatin & Gemcitibine.)  So I pressed on to my 2nd cycle with renewed hope that this upturn would last.

This time, I was given two new anti-nausea medications to control the nausea & vomiting I experienced with my first cycle.  These were given at the same time as the chemo was administered and were to have "long-acting" qualities.  The result:  very little nausea, and no vomiting!  Victory!

The only recent hiccup was a bout of severe constipation.  And I do mean severe.  Nothing makes you more committed to drinking more and eating more fiber than constipation complicated by a fecal impaction.  Ok, enough said there.

Beginning a few days ago, I am feeling alive again!  I am able to eat mostly everything I want but am still dealing with some esophageal issues related to intake of non-soft foods, and also with some food aversions such as milk, meat and chicken.  I have not needed nausea meds.  I have more energy than I've had in a long time, and I've been able to increase my activity level a little.  I have even driven myself to a few places!  I'm calling it a miracle.  Yet another "God isn't finished with me yet" moment.  I'll be honest here.  I'm pretty sure I was dying.  I don't feel like that any more.  :)