Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Door #3 - Radiation

Last week, December 8th to be exact, door #3 of treatment stood before me.

The door read: RADIATION

No sooner had chemo ended one week before, and here we were traveling quickly to the next phase of treatment.

I wasn't really ready. I just wanted to stand still for a bit and rest. Wait. Savor the moments of chemo being over and bit by bit my body returning to normal.

But the door stood there ajar. Waiting for me to cross the threshold.

9:00AM, consultation with Dr. S.

Months prior, Barclay and I had met with two different Radiation Oncologists. We heard all the statistics.  Why radiation was needed for my cancer. You see, when the mastectomy was done back in July, I had two positive lymph nodes that held cancer and In situ cancer (DCIS) was found .3mm from my chest wall. It was the chest wall issue that caused the doctor's concern and necessitated my need for radiation.

So we prayed. We sought the Lord on this matter, asking Him to show us His way. To bring all into agreement, if this is what we were to do.

We had talked to two other Radiation Oncologists, my Integrative doctor and my Medical Oncologist. All agreed.

And whereas, I really didn't want to proceed down this passageway.....I knew that is where my feet needed to travel.

But I was uneasy about my doctor. We hadn't met yet and it was so important for me to click with her. To feel comfortable in her hands. I knew she was well respected, but also knew that I didn't want to be a numbers and figures on a chart, as I had felt when meeting other doctors. I need my doctors to see me as a woman, with a family facing a disease. So far, God has given that to me, and more.

Wednesday morning came, as the dates on the calendars always do. I awoke early and spent some time in prayer and reading my Bible. I knew this morning, I needed protection...God's protection and His divine Truths to wash over me calming my restless heart. Refocusing my attention on Him and off the hours that laid ahead.

I am constantly aware that without Him I am weak and misguided. That left to myself, I am without peace and direction. Without strength. Without hope.

He is my everything. And He has the answers that I don't have. He calms the storm that begins rising within me.

"And Peter answered Him and said, 'Lord, if it is You, command me to come to you on the water.' So He said, "Come." And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!' And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him...." Matthew 14:28-31

My eyes need to be fixed on Him....everyday. Every hour. Every minute.

And so that morning, I fixed my eyes on Him. Seeking His shelter and His peace.

He is faithful leading me in His Word to exactly what I needed to hear deep in my heart.

He lead me to Psalm 108.

And I read....

"I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples, And I will sing your praises to You among the nations.....that Your beloved may be delivered, save with Your right hand, and hear me.....Give us (me) help from trouble, For the help of man is useless. Through God we (I) will do valiantly, For it is  He who shall tread down our (my) enemies." 

He again showed me that He is fighting this enemy....cancer. He is my help. He is my deliverer. Through Him I will do mighty things.....and He will take down this enemy. His way, in His time. All I need to do is stand strong in Him, each and every day and wait on the Lord.

I know I sound like a broken record.....but really....in God is victory and strength. He takes down strongholds and parts the sea. He takes down the giants and desires us to live abundantly in Him.

So I choose Him over everything else.

I stood confident in Him as I walked through the Radiation door.

And He showed Himself strong.

From the receptionist, to the nurse to the Radiation Oncologist......more than I could have asked for.

They were all lovely. They were gentle with me. They were kind. They made me laugh. And the conversation with Dr. S wasn't focused on statistics and percentages of recurrence. She focused on me. Where I began, where I had gone these last 8 months, and why we were seated in front of her that day. And whereas she agreed, that radiation is needed, she ended with saying...."Stacy, ultimately you can choose if this is what is best for you."

No forcing. No medical muscles flexed to intimidate.

A choice.

And isn't that what everything comes down to....choices. Will we chose Him? Will we walk in His love and His strength? Will be rest in His peace?

That morning as I chose to start with Him. Stay with Him and be lead by Him.....He held me tightly.

And so we walk through this door....Beginning in January, I will go through 28 days of radiation therapy. 5 days a week. Targeting my right side from my clavicle to just under my rib cage.

Until then, I have appointments to set up the specs for my radiation. A custom mold made of me for the radiation table. Imaging to target the radiation in the right spots. And then on we go...ready.

And so, with peace and confidence in God alone,  I walk through the next door trusting that God has gone before me.

And as I walk this cancer journey, I am learning more and more that rest is not the absence of trials and difficulty.....rest is the presence of God.

Are you resting in Him today, no matter where He has you?


Much love,
Stacy

19 comments:

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

I was just thinking of you and then came back to my dashboard to find this post. God is good keeping you close to my heart and prayers.

Know that we will be praying for you through this next door and journey!

God will continue to meet you - He will NOT foresake you or leave you! He is with you always. No disease or any other thing can separate you of the love of God in Christ Jesus!

Keeping my heart and mind and eyes solely focused on Him!
Rejoicing for His constant provision for our every need!

Much love,
Jill

Ginny Marie said...

And just when I thought your treatment was over, I read this post! I will be praying that the radiation kills any of those nasty cancer cells that might be lingering. I never had radiation, so I don't know what it's like. Keep up the good fight with God and your family at your side! I'll be thinking about you, especially in January.

Sara said...

Stacy, I love your new peach fuzz:) I will continue to pray for you as you walk through this new phase of radiation. I remember when Greg and I had just started dating and he was doing his radiation for Hodgkins. That was 18 years ago... crazy. Thank you for the sweet reminder to continue to rest in Him... even you mentioning on my blog about your high blood pressure during pregnancies reassured me for some reason.

Praying for the Lord to continue to strengthen you and heal you!
Sara

Miss JRenae said...

Hello Stacy...I stumbled across your blog-thru a mutual blog friend. I am a 5year survivor of stage III of bc diagnosed at age 27...I would LOVE to share some little tid bits with you. If you could email me:
missjrenae22@gmail.com
I would love to email you.
God Bless you and Keep you strong..."He" truly is amazing!!! :) Hugs to YOU!!! -Jamie from Arizona

Diana said...

Stacy, you remain in my thoughts and prayers. You continue to bless us all!

LisaShaw said...

Beautiful sister, God is indeed with you and is your REST. He is your Peace and He is your Healer. He is with you all those 28 days, 5 days per week in January just as He is with you now.

My friend, I've grown to absolutely adore you and love you and it happened very swiftly for your heart for Jesus and the embracing of HIM in this difficult season is a testimony of your faith in Him and His love for you!

Stand firm and know that during those 28 days I will be one of the ones praying for you and with you.

I'd love to pass my # to you and IF you feel led to ever call for me to pray for you (you don't have to talk about anything...I'll just pray and love on you), I'd love to...ANYTIME!

Love you.

Debbie said...

I was glad to hear this update as I was wondering when the radiation will begin. I will pray for you DILIGENTLY every day that you receive the radiation. I have watched others go through similiar circumstances and how my heart sings to know that you have the Lord as you go through your journey and just aches for those who don't. It is such a hard road and without Him I don't know how they make it. You are such an inspiration. ENJOY your holidays...Nothing EVER separates us from the love of Christ...praise God. HUGS, Debbie

Jenny said...

Again...your post was just what I needed to read. A gentle reminder to rest in Him! I will be praying for you as you walk through those days of radiation! Hugs to you!

Melissa said...

Praying with you and for you! I thank God for you and the example that you set of faith in Him.

Rachel said...

Stacy,

You are a sweet and endearing friend. I cannot even begin to thank you for your words, for sharing your story and for your faith. And, through it all, you ministered to me. Thank you.

Todd, my husband, went through radiation for 28 days as well. Every day. We got to know the staff at the radiation oncology clinic, we had a special parking spot, and more. It was a trying time, and yet the Lord blessed us greatly through those days.

Due to the scatter radiation, Todd was fairly weak. He had radiation to the two chain of lymph nodes running from your kidneys. He also was nauseous. His radiation oncologist told him to eat blackberries as they offset the nausea. We found that the meds to counteract nausea made him iller, and yet, the blackberries helped. Hopefully you can find a store bursting with blackberries.

Todd went through his radiation in January as well. Interesting how dates match up.

Praying for you. So much.

And congrats on the peach fuzz. It's lovely.

God's richest and fullest blessings to you.

Rachel

Kari said...

Dear Stacy,

You never sound like a broken record! Ever! You sound like a steadfast and faithful woman - a woman who walks her talk! A woman who teaches others that there is no other way but through Him.

You have such a gift for sharing from your life just what my heart and mind need to learn and be reminded of! Thank you for that!

O.K. radiation now. My prayers and thoughts are all over you as you enter this stage of your journey.

I am praying for your full recovery and that while you are recovering you are as comfortable as possible.

I am also praying for your family.

And last but not least I am thanking God for putting people like you on this earth. You are truly one of His angels!

Love,

Kari

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Hugs and prayers on this next step of you journey! You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
Thanks for the reminder of resting in him...an adult child's struggle has been gripping at me and it is a choice...I have to choose to rest in Him and the work He is doing in their live.
Blessings...have an awesome weekend!!

The Montgomerys said...

Thank you for this post!!!! I am praying for you Stacy during this new phase! I am sending you love & prayers!
God Bless!!!!!!!!
Mon

lisasmith said...

That's a beautiful word. Rest.

Just think 28 treatments and done! Radiation is not fun but it does move quickly. :) Enjoy your Christmas!!

Yolanda said...

I pray for you each morning on the way to work.

A multi-dimensional life said...

You are constantly in my prayers, Stacy! My husband and I pray for you every night, but often throughout the day, you come to mind and not only to I pray for you, but I thank God for placing you in my life. You have such a gift of communication and I am always blessed by your words.
May the holy spirit comfort you as you take this next step, beautiful princess, daughter of the King!
Love, Lorraine

Anonymous said...

I too, have breast cancer and finished my last chemo on 12/26/08 I found your blog just days ago and am slowly reading it. I had a double mastectomy, AC 4 rounds, am taking Femara since I had estrogen positive cancer and there is never an end to this, which I realize more each day. I don't like it but I know that God is with me and in control of my life and whatever happens, he will continue to be there. One thing that helped me was a verse, Psalm 20:7, "Some trust in horses and chariots but I will trust in the name of the Lord my God". May that verse comfort you, too!
Dee

He & Me + 3 said...

You are in my prayers and I do think of you so often. Thank you for always sharing your heart and for keeping us in the details.
Hugs,
MImi

Darlene said...

Oh, Stacy,
How you follow after Him! The only way to have peace in a storm!! I love how you said it here.
I so often do not know what to say as I look in on your pain, but every post I read, I just want you to know that we are faithfully praying for you.
love,
Darlene

Merry Christmas, sweet friend.