Sunday, August 29, 2010

I’m unfettered, set free!, or Who's in control?

8/28/2010 – I’m unfettered! I’m set free!
Yea!!!! I had my last chemotherapy treatment on 8/13 and I saw the doctor on 8/19. He said my red and white blood counts were normal, but my platelets are down to 115. I am to go back to him in a month and he will check my blood work. If it’s fine, I will start on a chemotherapy drug that I take orally. Dr. Joyce’s medical assistant said, “It will probably take a month to get approval from your insurance company for this drug.” The very next day, the drug company called and said they were ready to ship the drug and how do we want to pay our $30 copay!!!!! It’s not one that the local pharmacy keeps on hand; it has to come in the mail. Now there’s a miracle from God, getting the insurance company to approve an expensive new cancer drug in one day!!!!!!!!!! To make a long story short, the drug arrived at my house on Tuesday, 8/24, less than a week after the doctor had ordered it! It is sitting in my medicine cabinet right now.

I had my last radiation treatment this past Wednesday, 8/25. Dr. Dragun said she will give my body 8 weeks to recover from the inflammation and then will take another PET Scan. I will see her in her office right afterwards and we will look at it together. Wow, that’s neat! She will be seeing it for the first time and will explain the results to me right then and there!!

Someone asked me last month why I kept working while I was receiving my treatments, especially when it was so important to get lots of rest so my body could heal itself from the negative side effects. There were 2 reasons, equally important. The first one: if I had stopped my normal routine, I felt like I would have given cancer control over my life. NO WAY!!!!! It’s MY Life – If I want to work, I work; if I don’t want to work, I don’t. My supervisor’s wife was a breast cancer survivor, so he knew what I was going through. The clinic arranged my chemo treatments on Fridays, so I had the weekend to recuperate. I couldn’t work on Friday because my chemo treatment took 4 hours and I had to leave every day between 2:00 and 3:00 o’clock for radiation treatments. So I basically worked a 4-day week with shortened hours each day. I’ll admit there were days when I wanted to stay in bed, but I would tell myself, “Just 2 more days till my 3-day weekend” and I got through it.

The second reason: I love my job and I love the people I work with!!!! Many of them are already my prayer partners so I have lots of spiritual support there. There were times when I came to work filled with fear and doubt (before I realized the power of the Armor of God) and they would pass me in the halls, give me a hug and say, “You’re going to be fine.” Often they would quote a scripture that I really needed to hear that day at that time. In addition, several of them are Big-C survivors, many of whom also worked while receiving chemotherapy, so we have our own little Big-C support group. It’s a positive, fun place to be!!

My hair has thinned in front and on top but I still have enough around the sides and back to show like a fringe when I wear scarves and hats. I call it my “chemotherapy fringe benefit”. I am really enjoying decorating my hat to match my wardrobe! I went through my jewelry box and found necklaces, pins and long dangling earrings to wear. I have 2 angel lapel pins on the front of the brim, and a Ribbon of Truth pin on the side. These 2 pictures show my new look!

One of the first lessons God taught me in my garden was not to be tied to a doctor’s diagnosis. My lavender lantana plants were not tied to their containers, and I, like them could be a free spirit and go wherever I wanted to. When He taught me that, I thought, “Well, that’s a no-brainer, God, of course! I’m Your child, Your truth has set me free and I am free indeed!” Then He taught me the lesson about the mulch, how it is the Armor of God that keeps the negative thoughts and forces away. All doubt and fear melted out of my mind and I was filled with God’s inner peace, knowing that I was healed. For 4 months I had time to think about these lessons and internalize them and claim my healing. Then Dr. Dragun gave me the news that she could not give me a high enough dose of radiation to kill all the Big-C cells. There was a time when such news would have filled me with fear and doubt, but not now! I just said to myself, “That’s OK; God has cured me.” I guess our Heavenly Father knew that I needed 4 months to read, digest and come to believe His healing words! You can see from the “before and after” pictures how much the lantana have grown and sprawled out! That’s me – moving away from my diagnosis and getting on with my life!!!!! And look at the 4 o’clock plants in the cracks of the sidewalk! They are blooming! I’ve never seen one this small that bloomed! The 4 o’clocks on both sides of the sidewalk are growing so much that I will soon need a machete to get to the front door!!!!!

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