Monday, October 11, 2010

One step closer

I sometimes wish there were more hours in the day.....but these days those hours might be spent sleeping.

That's where I've been the last couple of days. Going to bed early and rising later than I should share. So not like me, but coming to terms with the new and hopefully temporary "me."

Treatment on Wednesday went well. Well, as good as chemo can go. Surely not my favorite place to be, but God uses that time to open my eyes to so much pain and suffering around us. To fill me with compassion unlike I've known before. To see those chairs filled week after week causes my heart to ache for each person God puts before my eyes. I've had the privilege to hear from some of their hearts as our paths cross in the chemo lounge (as I call it.) It is my privilege to usher their name up unto the Lord, or sometimes just their God knows their names intimately. Their faces are forever etched upon my heart and mind.

My sweet friend and ministry right hand, Adrianne, came to treatment with me, as Barclay was only able to stay for a bit. There was a slight bump in the road as we waited for my blood work to come back. Each treatment is contingent on good blood counts, as chemo goes to work not only on the bad cells, but also the good. My hemoglobin came back low. I am running around a 10 and normal is 12-16. That would explain my overall fatigue. I have found recently that even after sleeping a full night, I wake up tired.

They were still able to give me my treatment, but now will be watching my blood counts weekly versus every 2 weeks. As of now, my oncologist isn't doing anything to help elevate the levels. I see Dr. Bazzan (Integrative MD) on Wednesday and will talk more with him about what I can do to help bring the numbers up. Ultimately, I know that God can raise these levels, so can I ask you to pray that God raises them as only He can?

The post-treatment days went according to the previous weeks. Wednesday night I was met with extreme fatigue and nausea. I crawled into bed around 7Pm that night. Thursday, I felt a bit run down, but able to function throughout the day. Precious friends offered to help with the children that day. After Thursday morning Bible Study, the older boys went for a playdate and Faith and Jed went for an overnight with other friends. They were all thrilled to have the afternoon off from school. I headed back to the Cancer Center for my Neulasta shot and then home to find this waiting for me.

Dinner had been brought in and was tucked away in our fridge with the overflow welcoming me on our kitchen island. This huge mum and pumpkin the topping on the cake. To say that we have been showered upon by the love of many is an understatement. My heart cannot encompass the generosity, love, and true beauty that we have experienced through friends and the body of Christ. We have been the recipients of God's love in action. Thank you seems inadequate but all that I have right now. I can't wait to shower His love back on each of you in the years to come.

And then set beside this bounty was yet another token of God's provision and His hands this side of heaven...While driving home from the Cancer Center, I had called a friend to ask her how to cook beans. With low hemoglobin, beans are a good source of iron, especially since I have limited my intake of red meat. Her beans rock! After asking her what I needed, she offered to make me a batch of black-eyed peas. Well, she sure was speedy and had not only made the beans, but had run them to my house, sitting them in the midst of the bounty and greeting me upon arrival. And yes, they were yummy. Still eating them over brown rice.

The fatigue really hits me by late in the afternoon. I made my way to bed early on Thursday, slept until 8:30 Friday morning. Friday was the hardest. As my body fights against the chemo, it is like fighting a nasty flu. My body has trouble regulating its temperature, my eyes feel hot, my muscles ache and a general run-down feeling sets in deeply. All of this, on top of nausea that lays as an undertone upon the body. I laid low all day Friday.

And then Saturday, and new day dawned. We were off to football, once again. The body pushes through the drugs, and the light begins to show through the clouds. Energy comes in small bursts and life begins to feel manageable again. A sigh and thankful heart that another round is behind me. One step closer.

My body is tired, but my heart faints not, for the God of the universe is sustaining me daily. He continually meets me in my weakness and shows me His greatness. He reminds me that I am "kept by the power of God through faith." (1 Peter 1:5) He is holding me so tightly in His grip. There is no other place I'd rather be.

Back in August, God spoke this verse to my heart in my quiet time. He has brought it before me again, a reminder of His sustaining power....

"The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, And he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness; You will sustain him on his sickbed." Psalm 41:2,3

Much love,


Mindy said...

Hi Stacy,
Half way there!! I haven't seen you for a bit but I check your blog and think of you everyday. I am so happy you are surrounded by love and blessings of friends and loved ones. The nurses at cch ask about you when I see them. Stay strong sister. Much love and prayers to you.

Debbie said...

Oh Stacy how my aches for all you are going through. I LOVE that you are being showered with love, and food, and care. I have experienced the low blood counts before. Once when I needed an emergency hystrerectomy and was losing soo much blood, and then after my double mastectomy as well. Not quite as bad with the mastectomy but enough that it is still very clear in my mind. Weakness and fatique is just sooo hard for me to bear. I will pray specifically for your counts to come back up. Your sweet spirit through all of this continues to be such an inspiration to me. Soooo glad so much of this is already behind you, and that you do begin to feel better as the days go by. Praying for you, Debbie

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Hi Stacy,

Once again a beautiful post filled with His bounty of love and grace!

Praising God for all the hands and feet that are taking care of your body and family now!

Much love and blessings!
PS I'll have to stop over so I can give you a hug!

Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen! What a wonderful promise. I pray His sustaining power over you as you go through the rest of your treatments. And may He remind you of His love through it all. Hang in there my sweet friend! God's not finished with you yet!

He & Me + 3 said...

Wishing as i read that I lived closer to help out. You are surrounded by so many that love you. What a blessing. praying for your levels to rise & for you to be strengthened in Him daily.

Sara said...

Praying for you right now Stacy. I am praising God with you for how He continually provides such great food, support, and provision through this all! That makes my heart so happy to see the body be Jesus' hands and feet to you:)

Will be praying for those counts to come up quickly:)

tab said...

Love you and praying for wisdom from Bazaan and miracles from God to raise those levles.

LisaShaw said...


I came by to say you were on my heart this morning and I lifted you to the LORD again.

His Hand is with you in this temporary but tender and I'm sure difficult, journey. May His strength, grace, comfort and healing power walk with you every step.

Hugs and love and I'm so glad the Lord allowed me to connect with you through my sweet friend Jill so that I could pray for you too.

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

So glad to read the report...I have been praying and so glad to see God has met you with such wonderful blessings. I am so glad you came home to such blessings.
I continue to lift you up and knowing that God is surrounding you with those who are lifting your arms during this battle.

So so sorry! Hugs sent your way!

Blessings and continued prayers for complete healing!!!

A multi-dimensional life said...

Stacy, my heart melts each time I read your beautiful posts! Thank you for the reminders of how tender God is toward us!
What a blessing to have such loving people in your life to rally around you and care for you and your family! His love surrounds you! You are half way through and handling each step of the way with courage and honor!
You are an amazing woman!
If you get a chance, please check out my current post regarding my dear friend in Austin who is finished with her treatment and doing great...she opened a salon in order to serve those who are going through treatment! She is also an inspiration!
My prayers for you continue!
Love and blessings to you! Lorraine

Anonymous said...

Darlene said...

Your courage and faith are nothing short of inspiration. Praying for you daily.

Kari said...

Stacy - You have been on my mind. You are always in my prayers. I want you to know that although I don't always post a comment, I am reading about your journey.

I find myself thinking about you a lot lately as I try and navigate my way through leading the Women's Retreat Team towards our weekend retreat in January. I long to pick your brain and get suggestions from you. Maybe one day we can exchange e-mail addresses?!

I always, always, always leave your blog with my heart full and my mind inspired!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

As I read about your days, I find myself trying to compare my responses to chemo. Days 4-7 were not good for me, and I hate the prednisone given those first 4 days. I'll head in for treatment #2 on Tuesday; not looking forward to the end of the week, but I hope that some of the mystery of it all have been alleviated and that I won't be so surprised by the responses of my body this time around.

If you'd ever like to talk sometime, I'll send you my number.

My heart and prayers are with you and with all of us who are pushing through the pain to receive our healing.

Thank God for his daily, sustaining hand of grace.