“The time has come,” the walrus said, “for you to start chemo. Like, immediately.”
That’s right, friends. I’m starting chemo next week. For real this time.
I must say, I’m confused. So when my platelets are at 1,954,000, the doctor wants to keep waiting. Then they go down to 1,800,000, and suddenly everyone’s a fearmonger. The nurse actually said that coming on July 3rd would be “too late.” Too late? Am I going to expire like a gallon of milk? “Well, if you had come on July 2nd we could have saved you, but the 3rd? Waaaaaaaay too late.” I really just don’t understand how we got from six months between appointments to three days making the difference between life and death, apparently.
I know I seem frustrated. I really am. These past few days have been so aggravating. I’ve made a million phone calls and argued with a dozen different nurses and receptionists. I’ve left messages that were evidently never passed on. I’ve repeated myself a hundred times. I had to have the cancer talk with my new boss, which was no fun at all. And I got to chat with a nurse who explained to me in the most condescending manner possible that I “do have a chronic condition,” that the medication I will be starting, “is actually a form of chemotherapy, it’s very serious,” and that I need to “have those hard conversations and learn to manage” my health issues. I mean, I thought that’s what I was doing for the past five years, but nope, guess not.
Aside from the chemo development, I’m adjusting to my new job, which I feel like I’m failing at in a spectacular manner. I’ve been sick on the weekends, so I haven’t been able to go to church. Because of my commute I can’t go to my small group anymore, and I really really miss that. There was one day this week when I looked in the bathroom mirror at work and realized that I had apparently been possessed by the spirit of an early 2000’s DCOM character when I got dressed that morning. It’s been a rough few weeks.
So it’s maybe not surprising that I couldn’t sleep the night I found out I would be starting chemo. But here was the blessing: for once, I had peace in my insomnia. Sure, I couldn’t go to sleep, and the all-too-short hours were counting down to when I had to get up again, but the Lord kept bringing His word to my mind:
“So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:1
(If I’m being strictly honest, the verse kept running through my head in the voice of Defender from G.T. and the Halo Express. But that only made things better. Childhood musical Bible memorization for the win!)
God is so good, friends. In the midst of the fear and the failure and the exhaustion and the blinding headaches, He lovingly reminded me (yet again; how gracious and patient He is!) that the strength I live by is not my own. God is upholding me and encouraging me daily. The next few days will in all likelihood be full of stress and uncertainty and a very difficult appointment with my doctor. But I am certain that God will continue to be with me, rescuing me from dismay and fear and despair.
He’s always been faithful to me.