Lord, I'm tired.
I have fought this Monster for a long time. Seven years. Nearly the entirety of my Baby's life. I have had surgeries. I've been hospitalized multiple times. I have done chemotherapy...five times. I lost my hair, my eyebrows, and my eyelashes. I've given up my dignity and my spirit has been crushed. I endured radiation as long as I could. My skin has been burnt to a crisp. I've traveled the country, made countless appointments, and researched until my eyes were crossed.
Lord, I'm so alone.
No one understands--really understands--what it feels like to be me. I have an army of friends and family who have walked with me and stood in the gap for me. But nobody fully can understand the fear of laying on that CT scan table over and over again, month after month, year after year. No one else can really identify with that feeling I get in my stomach while I wait for the phone to ring with news--that is always bad. No one sees the way people look at me with pity or worse, look at my children. No one but me can read the precious cards that come in the mail that all say, "I am praying for healing,"...and then wonder why God isn't answering that prayer.
Lord, the dark is creeping in, it's creeping up to swallow me.
God and I, we've stayed up a lot of nights together. Seven years equals a lot of insomnia. There have been nights where I've cried, nights where I've begged, and nights when I've tried to ignore Him altogether. (That never worked out great for me.) We've had days, when I've been alone in bed, and I could literally feel the disease--the darkness--moving closer.
I think I'll stop, rest here awhile.
I had an appointment with Dr. F this week. I was very clear as I explained to him how I have been suffering. I told him how radiation has made me SO UNBELIEVABLY SICK, and how I feel like I made a deal with the devil by agreeing to do it. I am weak, and crazy tired. I calmly listed out the symptoms I am experiencing, and then sat back, swiped at the frustrated tears falling down my cheeks, and listened as my entire life changed...again.
It is time, he said.
And this is all that I can say right now.
I am sick because of the progression of the disease. I have used up all of the treatment options, and there is simply nothing else to do. He is recommending that we start looking at hospice. He doesn't suggest that for patients unless he can estimate that the remaining time left to live is six months (or less).
Lord, didn't you see me crying?
I was barely aware of the tears that persistently fell. I hung on every word that Nurse Allyson spoke about hospice: where to look, what to ask about, how it works. I nearly missed my sweet Dr. F, out of the corner of my eye, reach for the Kleenex box. It took me a moment to figure out that he was crying, too.
And didn't you hear me call your name?
It ended with Dr. F just asking me to let him know what I decide. When I give the green light, he and Nurse Allyson will go to the ends of the earth to help me find the right people, get the right meds, and be as comfortable as possible. They both hugged me, and I walked out of there, stunned.
Of course, nothing that he said was a real surprise. I think I felt it in my body long before I heard the words. There is simply a bit of shock value to hearing someone verbalize such absolutes.
Wasn't it you I gave my heart to?
Six months. Or less.
I wish you'd remember where you sat it down.
There is still the idea of the clinical trial at MD Anderson. It is Dr. F's belief (and I have no reason to doubt him) that the trial would not result in any significant extension or quality of life for me.
There are decisions to make. Many hard decisions.
And this is all that I can say right now.
And this is all that I can give.
And this is all that I can say right now,
And this is all that I can give, that's my everything.
I've walked with Jesus for a long, long time. I don't claim to know everything, or to understand why he does what he does. Not by a long shot. As the darkness creeps closer, I have to dig deep to get back to what I do know is Truth:
1) God loves me.
2) God will take care of me.
3) God is always in control.
These are The Three Things that I have taught my boys. The four of us have recited them over and over again until we were red in the face and they were rolling their eyes at me. But The Three Things have never been more important than they are now.
This is all that I can say right now.
"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 73:23-26
Yes, that's my everything.