Last week, as I walked into the Allan Blair Cancer Center, tears rushed down my face as I told the receptionist that I was here for my first chemo treatment. I was weighed, measured and then a nurse walked me to where I would receive my treatment. As I sat down, about a half dozen elderly people were in the area across from where I was sitting. I felt their stares radiate off me as I began to cry even more. The nurse told me this is a normal reaction as she handed me a box of kleenex, I slowly gained my composure. She explained to me how the injection works and handed me the remote to the TV, but I wanted to tell her how healthy I was. I wanted to say, ‘I don’t smoke, I workout and stay in good shape, I’m probably 4 times younger than the lady you just finished helping out in the chemo chair next to me… this shouldn’t be me!’ But there I was, sitting there for the next five hours with an IV in my arm.
You can probably already tell, I care about what people think. I hate being the center of attention. After my treatment I headed straight for the barber shop and got my head shaved bald. So now my lack of hair is just another way to get those curious looks. My four brothers shaved their heads with me! All five of us, with shiny bald heads walked around the mall and suddenly I didn’t feel as weird or outcasted. I felt a giant boost of confidence. Brothers have the strangest relationship, we don’t say we love each other or hug all the time. But if anything came to attack me, I know I have 4 brothers standing beside me to fight with me. I believe my parents will smile knowing that all those years of my brothers and I fighting against each other was preparing us for the day where we could all fight this disease together. Cancer doesn’t stand a chance.
But even though I have an army with me battling, the side effects still took a big toll on me. I’ve never been so tired in my life, I have sores that make even eating more difficult, I have pains all over my body, my night sweats continue. Even while typing this my fingertips hurt from the peripheral neuropathy that is another side effect. How can I take four more months of this? I wish I could say I prayed and everything was better. I wish I could say Jesus came and took the pain away immediately, but He didn’t. I just laid on my couch crippled in fear, wondering if healing is part of His plan for me at all. But still, regardless if healing comes or not… I feel peace and even while lying in pain, I know Jesus will use this for His good.
Today has been a better day, I feel much more like myself and the side effects seem to have gone away for the time being. But anxiety loomed over my head in a major way as I had a meeting with an ENT doctor (Ears, Nose, Throat) today. They mentioned they saw inflammation in my mouth in my PET scan that led them to calling me in for a test. After receiving some freezing a scope was placed inside my nose and as they looked -it revealed that everything looks normal. I looked at my mom and said “Finally some good news”. Another bit of good news is that today I weighed in 6 pounds heavier than this time last week, which after losing 20+ lbs in the last few months is a very good sign. I hope to have many more moments like today where I leave the cancer center with tears of happiness rather than tears of sorrow.
You may be wondering why I’m so open and vulnerable when it comes to my blog. Sometimes I wonder that too. I’m starting to see that sometimes us a Christians get so lost in God’s good gifts that we forget the best gift. We plead for health, or an easy life or a high paying job, which are great things, but we easily forget that everyone can receive the ultimate gift. The gift of actually receiving Jesus as Saviour and the promise of eternal life. Those other gifts are given to some, but Jesus has died for all and has given a way for all to be with a Him in heaven one day. I believe my goal through this blog is to show even in the darkest of days, we as Christians can be a light to others. I love everyone taking the time to read this and when you love someone, you want to give them a good gift. My gift to you is this, take some time and search out Jesus for yourself, read the bible and pray that Jesus will show Himself to you. I believe He will just like He did to me many years ago. There is an old saying but something I think about a lot, “People don’t die for something they know is a lie”. Unfortunately, through this disease there is a potential I may die, but I’m confident that Jesus died for your sins and wants a relationship with you. Jesus has defeated death, death is dead!