I have not had the words to write. I would begin and find myself quiet. The past couple of weeks have been a struggle and I have been physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. I want to thank you for all of the encouragement and prayers that our family continues to receive. Daily, I am reminded of God's goodness and love through all of you. Your words and kindness are truly a blessing on the difficult days.
After radiation I began my taper of steroids and I seemed to do well at first but then about two weeks ago I began to struggle more with my daily activities and by that weekend I was unable to get out of bed and ended up calling the on call physician. My steroids were increased to get me through the weekend which helped with the symptoms I was experiencing but it took days for me to improve and feel rested. After talking with my nurses and doctor they decided to bring me in for my MRI last Wednesday. I know many of you were praying for me that day and I thank you. The MRI scans were discussed with us and were as expected. They looked worse due to the radiation treatment but will become my new baseline. The affected area on the scan was larger and at this point you cannot tell what is swelling, the tumor, or dead tissue. My steroids were adjusted again because of the scans and I'm back to my original dose but will taper more slowly. I will begin chemo again within the next week or so and this will be taken at home. My dose will be double what I was taking before and the main side effects are fatigue and nausea. I will take the chemo 5 days and then have 23 days off. That cycle continues for 6 months. I am scheduled for another MRI in one month to check the progress of the tumor and the swelling. I am trying to take one day at a time as my left side is still numb and limits my ability to do things. It is a struggle to do simple tasks which sometimes can become frustrating. I have started my occupational therapy which has been helpful but also has made me more aware of my weaknesses. I think the hardest part has been trying to find the balance of priorities for what I spend the energy I do have on. It is not possible for me to do everything I did before and I have to be realistic about what I am capable of doing.
There have been many times in my life where I am full of uncertainty. When I don't know the direction I need to go or what decisions to make. There have been times where the pain seems too great and I have no more strength. It is so easy to get caught up in life and in the things that don't really matter. Whether, they are things that have happened in the past, the details of the day, or thoughts of the future and what tomorrow may bring. In all of that thinking I lose sight of God and what He has already done for me and what He is doing now. There are times where I am completely depleted and I feel as though I have been cut back to where I can only grow and be shaped through my trials and suffering. This is definitely one of those times in my life. Throughout the past couple of weeks I have really been struggling. There are times where I just don't know what to do. In those times I seek and find comfort in God alone. Some nights are long and I lie awake reading God's word and praying but sometimes I don't even know what to pray but God knows my heart and He has always been there for me. O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth; from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you! (Psalms 71:5, 6 NLT). I am so thankful He cares for me. In all things He cares for me and He cares for you. I am so thankful for God's Word which I read and wait for Him to answer. I wait expectantly for Him to reveal to me what He wants me to know. Throughout my life I have found so much comfort, direction, and peace through reading the Bible because God speaks to us directly through it. In the past couple of months I have been overwhelmed with how God has spoken to me directly through His Word I just need to listen for His voice. Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalms 62:5-8 NLT)
During the struggles we face God will give us what we need. We just need to ask and wait. It is impossible for us to go through the trials we face perfectly, always trusting, always confident, and always hopeful. That is what we want but it is a journey and we learn along the way. I'm so thankful that we can draw close to our loving God and find comfort. I'm thankful that He will not abandon us and will strengthen us in our weakness. He will give us what we need and during the quiet times we can wait expectantly and praise Him when He answers. Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. Praise his glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen! (Psalms 72:18, 19 NLT)
Today I am so thankful to be celebrating fourteen years of marriage to Josh and to know through the past couple of months I have had the support of my husband, my best friend! He has been my constant and my shoulder to cry on. He has been by my side every step of the way. His example of faith has been encouraging to me and we have cried together, laughed together, and prayed together. We have had long and meaningful conversations together and we have had fun and silly ones too. We love doing ministry together and we have spent time serving together as God leads us. God knew that I needed Josh. He put us together and he knew everything we would face together. We committed our lives to each other in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I was thinking about the song Micah, Curtis, and Tom performed at our wedding. The words are beautiful and I hope they encourage you!
Eternity by Brian Doerksen
I will be yours, you will be mine
Together in eternity
Our hearts of love will be entwined
Together in eternity
Forever in eternity
No more tears of pain in our eyes
No more fear or shame
For we will be with you
Yes, we will be with you
We will worship, we will worship you forever