Saturday, February 9, 2008

Saturday Morning Post

It is Saturday morning, five days after my third round of chemotherapy. All in all, this round has not been too bad – except for three days of hiccups and two more days of heartburn. The hiccups are apparently a side effect of the nausea medication. The only effective way that I have discovered to get rid of hiccups – and I have experimented greatly – is to throw myself face-down on the bed or sofa and hold my breath. My wife worries about me when I do that – especially when I have to do it every half hour or so. As for the heartburn, it is probably the result of poor eating choices! I am fatigued, but having a good week.

It is not easy getting used to having a bald head. My daughter is still having difficulty looking at me! My scalp has been covered with thick brown hair for 45 years! My friend Frank has shaved his head in an act of solidarity (or perhaps an act of middle-age rebellion!). My friend Matt is thinking about it, but has not taken any action yet – as far as I know!

Last Friday, I had an MRI of the lower right leg to check the progress of the tumor. Next Thursday, we are driving to Lancaster to meet with the orthopedic oncologist who will be doing the surgery to remove the cancerous tissue and reconstruct the tibia. This surgery will probably be scheduled for mid-March.

My only outing this week, other than chemotherapy, was a trip down to Lehigh Valley for injections (to increase my blood counts) and blood work (to monitor Coumadin level – used to treat a blood clot in my lower right leg). I have spent most of my week reading the Bible, praying, doing crossword puzzles to keep my mind sharp, playing with my youngest son, helping my wife with craft projects, writing and answering e-mails, and napping. The importance of napping should never be underestimated!

Life continues to move on around me. Activities in which I was actively involved are going on without me. I am thankful that God has provided the means to see that all these things are being cared for completely. Students are learning and growing. Meetings are being conducted and decisions are being made. But I have to admit that it is humbling. And I miss being involved. God used me in those arenas when I was able to be used, but His sovereign plan continues to unfold now that I am not able to participate in those things.

As I think about the things that I cannot do right now, I remember that God has not put me on a shelf – He has simply given me a change of venue. He is using new circumstances, new surroundings, and new people to carry out his plan for my life – my growth in Christlikeness. And He has given me a new sphere of influence for His glory. I am still learning to operate in these new venues, to take advantage of the opportunities for growth, and to bring honor and glory to my God and Savior.

The clear message of Scripture is that we are called to speak out of a thankful heart of submission to God, in every circumstance and situation. Paul David Tripp, in War of Words

God continues to uphold me and my family by His Word and by the prayers and encouragement of His people. Each day I am reminded that He is in control and that I am His. For this, I rejoice and give thanks.

1 comment:

Michael Family Blessings said...

I don’t know what to say about the points you raised. I have undergone Family Blessings a lot of times now, so I guess I couldn’t put in a negative word or two. I do like how you got your views across. Good luck to you.