I woke up today feeling quite refreshed after a good night sleep. I brushed my teeth and headed downstairs where the three little bears were all snuggled on the couch watching a show. Jamie was in the kitchen making breakfast, I mean, she was juicing and I sat down in front of my desk to read the morning news. Jamie wanted me to call one of our doctors today and see if I could start any of my treatments early. I had also sent in my most recent blood results so they could compare them to the last tests. It has been tough having to wait throughout this whole process. We still don’t have an exact date on when I will be starting my chemo but we don’t want to wait too long. I gave the clinic a call and left a message for our doctor. A little later, our doctor returned the call and informed me she had a look at my most recent blood results and was a little concerned by some of the numbers. She had note that the cancer seems to be growing and becoming a little more aggressive. Now I won’t be starting chemo still for nearly a month but I will be starting Vitamin C treatments. She wants to be aggressive with treating the cancer, so in the meantime while we wait for chemo to begin, we will do whatever it takes. I have my first treatment today beginning at 3PM and then another one on Friday. At this time, I would really appreciate your prayers. This wasn’t the news I was hoping for this morning, but it is what it is.
Today was a pretty big day in our journey. I visited the BC Cancer Clinic in Vancouver for my PET Scan. For those who don’t know what a PET Scan is or does this is what I found on Google to help explain it: Positron emission tomography (PET) uses small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers, a special camera and a computer to help evaluate your organ and tissue functions. By identifying body changes at the cellular level, PET may detect the early onset of disease before it is evident on other imaging tests. For this trip I wasn’t alone. Our Pastor texted last night and said he wanted to drive me down into the city. It was nice driving into Vancouver with him and chatting about life, church, and a lot of other topics. It was such an enjoyable car ride. We arrived at the clinic earlier than we thought as the traffic was quite light. We parked the car and headed towards the entrance of the building. I wasn’t too sure what to expect. The nurses in Abbotsford didn’t tell me much about my PET scan, so I thought we would be there no longer than a hour. I signed in at the front desk and took a seat in the hallway. About 20 minutes I heard my name being called, so I jumped up and headed towards the middle aged woman holding the clipboard. She came out into the hallway to inform Blake about the process. It was going to take nearly 2 hours for the scan to be completed. What? 2 hours. I wasn’t expecting that. Well, there wasn’t too much I could do, so I gathered my belongings and followed her through the large yellow door. I was told to change into my hospital gown and then was directed to a dimly lit room which I was told I was going to be spending the next hour or so while they pumped my body with radioactive material. I sat in the large, beige reclining chair and the nurse administered the radioactive material into my body through an IV. Once the process was over, I was to recline in the chair for the next 45 minutes while it entered my blood stream. What I enjoyed about this whole process was the incredibly warm blankets they put over my entire body while I sat there waiting. I don’t know if there is a greater feeling than having warm blankets placed on your body. I think I fell asleep immediately. I put on my music and closed my eyes. The next thing I knew, it was time to have my scan. The nurse led me from my room to a room down the hall with this enormous machine starring me right in the face. I followed their instructions and laid down on the table connected to the imaging machine. The nurse again placed warm blankets on my body and instructed me to lay still for the next 26 minutes while they took pictures of my body. This process seemed like it took forever. Twenty six minutes actually felt like an hour. My nose began to itch and my legs were growing restless. I just wanted off and this whole experience to be over with. Finally, the machine stopped. I sat up and was told to get dressed. I was done! Now the waiting game begins. My results will not be in until next Thursday, but I will have to wait even longer than that because my next doctor’s appointment isn’t until the 17th of September. So, until then, we will remain positive and believe for a good report.
Yesterday wasn’t one of my finest days. It was a day filled with filling out paper work and bombarded by negative thoughts. My day didn’t start off too bad, I went to morning prayer which was quite encouraging as people prayed for me and our family. It is always encouraging when people pray for you because you sense and experience the genuine love, care and concern people have for you. More than that, people are praying to God on your behalf can be quite humbling. I had some errands I needed to run after that which are not always fun, especially when they involve your mode of transportation. Every thing seemed fine most of the day until I decided to look at our bank account. How many enjoy doing that? Let me preface what I am about to say by saying this: please don’t feel sorry for us. When I had logged onto our online banking one of our accounts was in the negative. That’s never fun. Now there was a reason for this negative number that was unexpected. Have you ever look at your bank account and seen a negative number? Frustrating, right? Well, this frustration then snowballed into another frustration as I have been waiting for some forms to be filled out but when I received them there were not filled out properly. Frustrating! After spending some time on the phone (I don’t do this well) I received some clarity and now have to go back and have the paper work updated. Now I don’t want to bore you too much but my day didn’t end there. After spending more time on the phone with our bank on another issue I was told I had more paper work to fill out. Are you kidding me? Let’s just say I was about done with phone calls, errands and paperwork. I was done. I didn’t want to hold a pen any longer. I didn’t want to look at another piece of paper. I wish I could say everything was fine after putting everything down but it wasn’t. I was left alone with my own thoughts. Do you ever struggle with your thought life? Do you think about things too much that are outside your control? I do at times. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. My mind began to race in a thousand different directions and I didn’t know how to shut them off. My mind filled with fear, insecurities, and what ifs? They were so loud, I just wanted them to stop. I went downstairs into my office and sat on my couch and prayed. For me, I pray by initiating a conversation. I remember praying something like this yesterday:
Jesus, I am overwhelmed and frustrated right now and I don’t want to feel this way. I’m asking that You grant me peace right now. I’m scared and I don’t know what is going to happen but I know You do. I trust that You are good and that You are in control. I hand over all my concerns, fears and insecurities.
I sat in my basement for nearly 20 minutes just sitting there. I didn’t hear an audible voice, the room didn’t begin to shake or anything like that, but my mind wasn’t racing any longer. I seemed lighter. God had answered my prayer. He gave me peace in the midst of my temporary storm. I think that is critical for all of us to understand, all of us face storms in one form or another but we need to understand they will pass.
Thanks for reading…
Today I had to go to what they call a Chemo Class. The purpose of this class is to inform those who are about to undergo chemo what to expect and what to watch out for. I spent two hours with 6 complete strangers all with similar stories. Each person was at least 65 years or older. It is still difficult at times to wrap my mind around how young I am compared to those I come across at the cancer clinic. We all gathered in a conference room as a oncology nurse shared her presentation about chemo and its potential side affects. There was a lot of information covered in our two hours. Nothing really earth shattering, but I was surprised by the lack of conversation around nutrition and even a natural approach to treatment. Conventional oncologists will in no way given any credit or validity to naturopathic approach to the treatment of cancer. To me, this is sad and wrong. So many people just accept what the oncologists say and don’t do enough research about what’s out there for treatment. For us as a family, we will do anything and everything we can and exhaust all our resources to make sure I am getting the best care for my diagnosis. Our hope as we walk this out is that we would have the opportunity to share with others our experiences. We definitely don’t know everything but what we do know we want to share it. I have a PET Scan scheduled for this Friday morning and my PORT will be put in not until October 1. I am told chemo will begin the next day. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
There is a story in the Bible found in Acts 3 I have been reading lately and giving some thought to. I wanted to share it with you and some of the things that have stood out to me.
Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”
Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man’s feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.
There is so much to this story but I won’t have the time to write about all of it. I do want to mention one thing though that has stood out to me while reading this story a few times over the week end. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be in his position. Being lame from birth. Now you need to understand that the word lame here doesn’t mean the same thing that you may think it means. Being lame means: crippled or disabled in a limb, or otherwise injured so as to be unsound and impaired in strength; as a lame arm or leg, or a person lame in one leg. Could you imagine having to relay on people everyday to carry you around and in this mans case to be placed strategically so he could beg. I would imagine that he suffered a little with insecurity and maybe even he was angry at God for allowing him to be born this way. Anyways, the point I want to make is how he looked at the two other man and expected to receive some money. Obviously he had come to a place of acceptance of being lame although I am sure he desired to be made whole. What astounds me about this story is he didn’t receive what he was expecting. He was hoping for a little scratch from these two guys and what he received was not what he expected. Healing!
In some ways, I identify with this guy. Friends of ours recently started a GoFundMe page on our behalf. We have been blown away by the generosity of friends, family and even complete strangers. It has been overwhelming all the support we have been shown these past few weeks. Here we have been ‘asking for money; but my expectation is that God will heal me. Now you may not agree but I truly believe God heals. Yes, you are correct in your thinking that if God does heal why isn’t everyone who is suffering through something right now healed? Honestly, I don’t know why. Why did God allow my birth mom to die of Stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 56 and my mom Pat die of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma at the age of 59? No idea. Why did God allow a young father/husband to die in his early 30’s of leukemia? Again, no idea. It’s not my job or right to know these things because I am not God. I could go on and on of stories of why we would question the reality of God and why He doesn’t heal. For me, I know God exists and I know God heals. I am living proof that God heals. There is no way someone can overcome a 10 year hard core addiction on their own. There is just no possible way. I know of many others who have been healed physically, emotionally and spiritually and I am expecting that I will be healed of this diagnosis. Why wouldn’t I?