Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Endurance - Half way through radiation

We've hit the next milestone. Day 14 of 28 radiation treatments.  Half way through this next phase of treatment and nearing the end of the medical fight against this beast. The arsenal of conventional medicine almost exhausted: surgery, chemo, radiation and then 2 final reconstruction surgeries waiting.

10 months in...... and the fatigue is taking its toll.

To say I am tired, would be inadequate.

Radiation has brought forth a fatigue that permeates my everyday. I wake with it. I walk around with it. I carry it to treatment and then it carries me home.

Within the last couple of days, the remaining energy seems to have evaporated leaving behind an overall loss of strength. It isn't a sleepy tired. It is a "just want to lay down and do nothing" kind of feeling.

And if you know me, that is so not me.

This past Sunday, while I was at church, a sweet friend came up to me to say hi and see how I was doing. She was quite intuitive, as she hugged me and saw something in me signaling my fragility. She grabbed my hand and asked if I was all right. In that moment, I wasn't. My body was worn. The free radicals from the radiation cursing through my body causing my body to wave the white flag of surrender. And the tears gently fell across my cheeks as she hugged me tighter whispering a prayer in my ear.

The strength from the hand of the Almighty ushered in through a faithful saint. Just when I needed it. He was there, and she became the vessel of His power.

Here I lay in bed tonight. After retreating here throughout the day.  And I opened my Bible searching for His Words to comfort me and once again, today, give me the strength I need to press on in Him.

To endure. To withstand. To continue on.

Not just putting my head down and plowing through, but truly resting in Him.

I'm struggling with that right now, the resting solely in Him part. As I wake up late, my time spent with Him is shorter, not always first in the morning, as the children seem to quickly rise up with needs and questions. The daily duties and responsibilities pressing in, as I watch the clock knowing that I must leave the house within a few short hours to make the trek to my daily radiation treatments. A few hours gone from each day. Just the daily coming and going has become exhausting.

And then when I get home, my body cries out for rest. All I want to do is crawl into bed.

But the activity around me often calls louder than my body's cries for rest and so those are pushed down, as the needs around me are met.

14 more days to go. It seems like forever.

And so tonight, as I looked to His Word for nourishment and strength.  He brought me to Hebrews 12.

There I read of running this race of faith with endurance.  A race that has been "set before me," by Christ. Even that resonates within my soul. He has set this journey before me and He is there guiding me, sustaining me and strengthening me.

"....Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us,
 and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1

 - characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith 
and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings

-a patient, steadfast waiting for, enduring, perseverance

These aren't new words to me. My eyes have beheld them many times before.

And we see the key to endurance in verse 2:

"looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross..."

What hit me in a new way tonight was the start of verse 3:

"For consider Him who endured...."

Herein lies the solution.

Considering Him, when often what I want to do is "consider ME."

But what I often fail to think, is that Christ did in fact consider Me and that is why He endured.

Christ endured.

He endured the cross knowing that there was purpose and there would be fruit. For without the cross there would be no salvation. Without the cross there would be no forgiveness. Without the cross there would be no eternal life.

Christ knew. And so with joy He endured the pain. The scourging. The shame. The torture.  The physical exhaustion. He knew that journey from Bethlehem to Calvary had been set before Him by the loving hand of His Father. With purpose.

Our journeys are no different.

And so refreshed from the life giving words of Christ, I endure because in enduring there is purpose and there will be fruit.

My eyes will be directed to Him. Seeking daily His purpose. Seeking daily His strength. Seeking daily His peace. Seeking Him.

Knowing that this breast cancer journey has been set before me by His loving hand.

The physical fatigue is real. And God sees it and understands it. And by His grace He will bring me through it.

I celebrate today that another leg of the journey is almost complete. One step closer today....to the finish line.

Thanks again, for coming along with me on this journey.

Much love,


JillAileenJones said...

Just praying dear friend-when I read your blog-I often wonder how you make it day to day-I mean I know how but even so we are human and I know myself it would be hard some days to face the day.
Praying for a strength that passes all understanding for you these next 14 days!!! Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us-your strength is amazing-the light that shines through you of Jesus even more amazing-you glow with the love of Jesus!
Just rest in Him-I am approaching the throne tonight on your behalf-praising Him for what I know and believe He is going to do through your life and your testimony.
Love ya

Jill - FNA Photography said...

Prayers being lifted up for you as this final phase comes to an end. Trusting God to carry you with His grace through every step of the way! Praising Him that no matter what your eyes and heart come back to Him daily!

Praying for you to rest in Him completely! Knowing He who begun this good work in you is NOT finished!

Much love in Him alone!
PS Be safe tomorrow if you must go out!

Sara said...

Oh Stacy... I do remember the exhaustion of the radiation for Greg as well. I will be praying that the Lord would help you to find a good balance that works for these next few weeks in balancing the needs of the family and the needs of your body as well. The Lord will give your kiddos what they need as well even when you can't. I will be praying for an extra measure of the Lord's grace and strength to persevere through these last 2 weeks.

You can do it friend with His help!!
I love how he ministered to you through His word as well as through His children who come along side of you.

Praying Stacy!

babyrndeb said...

praying for renewed strength for you today as you rest in Him.
You are almost through with this portion of the journey...

Jenny said...

I am praying for you RIGHT NOW!!! Praying for energy, praying for strength, praying for wisdom, and praying for HEALING!!!! Bless you my friend!!! Hugs!

Debbie said...

Oh Stacy it does sound sooo hard. How happy I am for you that the Lord has been soo faithful and has met your needs soo well just as you need Him most. I love the verses you have tied to your journey, and they fit soo well. It probably does seem long to you that you STILL have two weeks to go. But it truly is a blink away...when you consider how long the road was when you started. It is almost over!! You have made it. The last two surgeries will bring wonderful results. ; ) I am still praying for you everyday and I will pray much more specifically now for strength to finish this race. What an inspriation you have been to me, and how I thank you for sharing your journey with us. HUGS! Debbie

JillAileenJones said...

Thanks for your comment about my snow day photos-it is a small world-I grew up in Bolivar NY right outside of Olean which most people from Syracuse have heard of.
How funny, yes it is hard to compete with those winters. I really don't miss them at all. This has been fun because we are all stuck inside and are having fun-like playing hooky ( hehe) but this will be enough for me-three days is long enough for me. lol
How are you feeling today?
Only 13 days left now.
Love ya

Susan said...

He alone is our strength and you so well stand in that and bring HIM glory and praise as you do :o)

Kari said...

Hi Stacy

I am thinking of you and praying for you as you finish radiation. My prayer is that you find rest in the Lord and that you may be filled with every ounce of strength that you need to make it through.


Cora from Hidden Riches said...

Oh, Stacy! My heart just goes out to you!!!!! As I read your post, I relived my days of radiation. . . It was so hard for me, and I can truly say I understand. I, too, felt those tears hot in my eyes and I just wanted to quit. But you know, the Lord DOES walk with us, gives us strength, and sees us through. And when there is no strength left, He carries us through. Eagle's wings!!!!! Another blogger prayed me through my cancer journey and constantly reminded me that He would strengthen me and cause me to rise with eagle's wings. I've added you to my prayers and will be praying for you daily!!!! So glad I found you today!

Ginny Marie said...

Oh, Stacey, I don't know how you do it! Just think, you are closer to the end of radiation than you are to the beginning. I'll keep you in my prayers, and wish there was more I could do!

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes yesterday! Coming from you, they mean so much!

A multi-dimensional life said...

Yes, one step closer! I'm so glad you are halfway through radiation!
My prayers for you continue and I give thanks for you! You continue to model just what true faith is and I know he beams with joy at your beautiful heart!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

As we take the time, despite the tiredness we know, to consider Him... rest comes to our weariness.

Thank you, Father, for your lap and your willingness to keep us close to your heart so that we might breathe in unison with You!

Praying God's sweet comfort be your portion this day. You will do this and do it victoriously!


Runner Mom said...

You are an amazing woman of God! You encourage each of us in your honesty and love for Him. Thank you!!If you are up to it, please visit my friend Elaine's blog from yesterday (Peace for the Journey). She is in a hard place right now. And, you get it!

Keeping you close to my heart!

Anonymous said...

Stacy, I'm new to your blog and I am so sorry for what you are going through. Words aren't enough. You have a beautiful family and a beautiful spirit. Be gentle with yourself, that's all God is asking of you right now is to rest quietly in his lap. Let him minister to you as he did to his apostles at the Last Supper. I will pray for you.

{darlene} said...

Oh, dear friend.
My prayer is that, as He did once for all, He will endure FOR you. And, at the moments that you feel too tired and weak, know that your friends are carving a hole in the roof, and we will bring you directly to the Lord.

Praying for you.


Crown of Beauty said...

I will never fully understand the journey you are on - yet please know that what you share has encouraged me, and many others, that's for sure.

Your beauty radiates and shines... yes in the midst of the darkness all around.

May God continue to give you the strength to endure.


Diana said...

Thought of you today as I re-read:
2 Cor. 4:8-10 "We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never aboundoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." Praying God's peace and strength for you TODAY!

Reflector of Light said...

Beloved Sister
My mom is currently back on chemo again, different concoction, but very tired. We rejoice with her if she is able to so simple things around the house and sometimes get out for a short ride. She is so sad that you are dealing with this as a mom... But you are such a trooper as God's grace is sustaining you, sustaining your family, sustaining us as well. Sometimes I feel as a loved one that I'm in a fog, and it's not even me going through the treatments. May the Lord continue to wrap His everlasting arms around you and your whole family. I'm so happy to read that you're half way. In the spring you will have much to celebrate. Hebrews has been an awesome book for me to be doing during this season. Learning much about the surrendered life, living by faith, and living moment by moment. May our Lord continue to give you a new song each morning that will sustain you throughout the day.

Love and hugs

Cathy said...

Stacy, wow I haven't been around and I apologize for this. I didn't have a clue! When were you diagnosed. I quickly tried to go back and see how long but didn't get that far. Praying for you sweet friend who prayed Annabel through so much! I will be back to check in on you.

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

Just a note to let you know I'm still praying for you every day! God is so faithful to His word, and he will not leave you or forsake you as you go through this time! I'm sure you are feeling the tiredness that goes with radiation. Another week has passed since your post. Almost done, girl! The finish line is in site!

Trisha said...

Your love for the Lord and your strong faith in His goodness to you and His strength is beautiful. May this last week of treatment pass quickly, and may you feel renewed and encouraged as you continue to fix your eyes on Him. Continuing to pray for you!

Child of God said...

Hi Stacey,
I am new here and you have gripped my heart. I will hold you up in prayer to our Lord. The love for Him shines through your writing, you are glorifying Him.

Keep looking up, He will carry you through.


Sara G said...

Praying for you!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

He is our strength and power. Sending hugs!!

lisasmith said...

Almost done!! The countdown to the end of the dailyness. You are so full of grace. And, do NOT feel guilty for lying down & doing nothing for a bit. You will have those days but you will also have days that you feel GREAT!! I live those days!! And I love you sweet sister.