Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Unchanging

"The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him."  Lamentations 3:25

I went to the hospital today not knowing what to expect, so I prepared for every contingency.  I half expected to meet with Dr. F and hear that the chemo was not working so I should go home.  I was ready to hear that the chemo had at least stabilized the cancer, so I packed my usual chemo gear (soft blanket, purple socks, Seinfeld DVD, phone charger) in case it went on as scheduled.  I made sure that Mom was ready to take notes and that Hubby had his questions waiting. 

There is no way I could have been prepared for what happened in today's appointment.

"A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time."  Titus 1:2

A solemn Dr. F waved a handful of papers in my general direction, but neither of us bothered to read them.  We both already knew that they contained the discouraging news of the unchanging cancer in my body.  The cancer that stubbornly remains, refusing to be affected by any poison or toxin, and defiantly growing back when temporarily removed.  The cancer that, it seems, is there to stay.

With gentle words and tears in his eyes, the good doctor recommended that I return to MD Anderson as soon as possible.  Sweet Nurse Allyson had already begun working on setting up an appointment for me there.  Dr. F said that, obviously, the chemotherapy had not done what we had hoped: to eradicate the cancer.  It is highly unlikely that any chemotherapy drug will.  We are wasting precious time. Radiation therapy may be an option, but if I do it, any future surgery will be out of the question.

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul."  Psalm 143:8

He went on to say that another surgery may be an option.  The procedure would essentially mean removing any and all "stuff" that is left in my abdomen area. Details are sketchy to my untrained mind, but I understand enough to know that it would be a huge risk, and even if it is successful, would require a radical life change...definitely not what I want to do.

I went on this afternoon to the infusion room for a round of chemo.  While it is not shrinking the cancer, it may be stabilizing it enough to satisfy Dr. F until I can get to MDA.  The Human Q-Tip was racing around, and there was a gentleman several cubicles over who completely disregarded the TV volume rule.  Everyone on the second floor could hear his Spanish soap opera.  I spent most of my time there feeling like an outsider looking in.  I was thinking to myself, "Don't these people know that I AM DYING?!?  But they are still just acting like everything is normal...tending to patients and watching television and filling prescriptions, and my whole world was just shattered.  Again."

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.  Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."  Psalm 73:17

A lot of things changed today.  I went to the hospital this morning feeling cautious, but still hopeful.  Tonight, hope is hard to find.  Time is a precious commodity.  If I do nothing--if the option for chemotherapy is taken away and I choose to not go forward with surgery, in a matter of months the cancer can grow in such a way that I will be in an emergency situation that I will not survive.  I was surprised today.  In all the scenarios I imagined, it never occurred to me that my doctor would say, "I can't do anything else for you.  We have exhausted all of our resources" without actually saying it.

"I the Lord do not change.  So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed."  Malachi 3:6

God wasn't surprised today.  He knew.  He has known all along.  Tonight, while my heart is breaking all over again, He knows what lies ahead.  He knows what my choices are.  He knows the number of the days of my life and how many breaths I have left to take.  I don't feel like rejoicing tonight.  I am not lifting my voice in song or raising my hands in worship.  What I am doing is telling Him how I feel.  How I need more time with my little cowboys.  How I hated the tears in my mom's eyes and the look on my husband's face in that doctor's office today.  I am shaking my proverbial fist toward the heavens and asking WHY???  But I am also soaking up the Truth.  I can find comfort in knowing that while my little world is changing faster than I can keep up with, God is unchanging.  Today, yesterday, forever.  He promised to remain exactly the same.  I believe Him.  I don't understand Him, but I believe Him.

"There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." Proverbs 23:18

37 comments:

Amanda Herrold said...

I wish there were magic words to say, but there aren't. Please know how many people are praying for you and how many lives you have touched. You are so strong!! So many people pulling for you! Sending prayers for discernment, wisdom and direction your way...oh and HOPE..asking God to return hope to you.

Anonymous said...

Praying always and humbled by your complete trust in almighty God. My ove to you and your family.
Terri Witt

Anonymous said...

Praying Romans 15:13 over you whatever may come: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Bonnie

Casey D. said...

Your faith is strong... without it all would be lost. God will give you the right amount of days. His plan is perfect. God bless you and your family.

Casey D. said...

Your faith is strong... without it all would be lost. God will give you the right amount of days. His plan is perfect. God bless you and your family.

*Dawn Elizabeth* said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
*Dawn Elizabeth* said...

Allyson, I will continue to pray for you & your family.
I shared this song with some friends this week , I hope it can help comfort you. Hugs & prayers

Whom Shall I fear? (God of angel armies) -Chris Tomlin

http://youtu.be/qOkImV2cJDg

-D.Ramkissoon

B Hayes said...

I'm with you - I don't understand Him, but I too believe Him. Praying for you and your family.
Betty H

Anonymous said...

(deep breath in, slow sigh) Amen.

Anonymous said...

My prayers are continuously with you and your family. Your strength, humor and unfailing faith in God is admirable beyond words. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you travel through this difficult journey. I know that the road is hard, but how wonderful to know that you are not walking it alone. He is with you, as are the prayers of those you know, and those you don't.

Shannon said...

Still praying....

Shannon said...

Still praying....

Jenny said...

Praying for you, your family, and your doctors. Your strength is so inspiring. I pray you feel His arms wrapped so tightly around you tonight. <3

Jenny said...

Praying for you, your family, and your doctors. Your strength is so inspiring. I pray you feel His arms wrapped so tightly around you tonight. <3

Anonymous said...

That's ok. We'll hope for you. You are so loved, so prayed for and undeniably cherished. Thank you for letting us get a glimpse of such great faith. You're an inspiration.

Melissa, Skye, and Aimee Taylor

Anonymous said...

No words - just prayers.

Anonymous said...

Prayers...for healing. For peace that passes all understanding. For you to physically feel Gods great love for you.

Anonymous said...

Allyson,
Our FBCL First Woman's prayer team has been lifting you up in prayer. Please take comfort that we will pray that God restores your hope and I pray he holds you close tonight in his arms as you try and get some rest. We will continue to pray that God will heal you and bless you and your family.

Casey Bailey

Melynda said...

This morning, I was praying for you during my long drive. The radio was off, but this song kept running through my head. We sang it on Sunday in church, and I am guessing it is bringing you comfort, too.

You are God alone
From before time began
You were on Your throne
Your are God alone
And right now
In the good times and bad
You are on Your throne
You are God alone

Unchangeable
Unshakable
Unstoppable
That's what You are

Anonymous said...

God's Powerful Grace & Poweful PEACE be around you, & in you!!!! Praying for His comfort for all of you. Blessings
Pamela Cummings

Karen Morgan said...

I found you through a friend who posted you on FB. I am so moved by your honest words and painful story. Your faith is amazing to me as I fear the "human" in me might take over and anger would prevail. I'm glad I found you and I will continue to pray for you and your precious family.

Karen Morgan said...

I found you through a friend who posted you on FB. I am so moved by your honest words and painful story. Your faith is amazing to me as I fear the "human" in me might take over and anger would prevail. I'm glad I found you and I will continue to pray for you and your precious family.

Anonymous said...

Found your post on FB through a friend's page.

Beautifully written. I will lift you and your family up in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Allyson,
My heart is heavy for you and the boys. My spirit is rejoycing knowing that God is with you no matter what road this life takes us down. I am praying for you today more than ever. I love you and your family.
H. Potter

b-dod said...

You're my friend and I miss you. I wish I could express my concern with you in person. Dee and I, with girls, will continue to pray for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

I have never met you but have read your blog and continue to lift you and your entire family up in prayer.
Praying for peace and healing in your life and body. God be with you every step of this journey.

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 66:9
"Do I bring to the moment of birth
and not give delivery?” says the Lord.
“Do I close up the womb
when I bring to delivery?” says your God.
God's child you are Blessed to have Jesus Christ as your Savior!Stay at rest in Him knowing that He has everything under control!Praying for you, Beautiful one!

Anonymous said...

Most of us who say we want the Lord to use our lives for his glory have an unspoken tag-line to that statement. What we REALLY mean is, "Take my life, I'm yours, where you lead me, I will follow. **BUT DON'T touch my finances, health, family, job, plans, etc. while you are doing it**!" But not you, Sweet Allyson. Despite your difficult journey, you continue to faithfully praise the Lord and bring glory to His name. I've never seen a faith like yours, and it is an incredible thing to witness. May the Lord bless you and keep you as you continue to bless those in your midst.

Liz said...

I wish there were words, but there aren't. Praying!

Jamie said...

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Jennifer Evans said...

I continue to pray for you and your family. Thankful that you know our Healer.

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