Today has been a wild day for me. I did not sleep well and woke up feeling very uncomfortable. I had to go to the doctor's office to do lab work and by the time I got there I had thrown up several times. I proved it in the waiting room. I am pretty sure that did not lighten the mood for all the chemo patients. That is my excuse for the delay in posting this update.
In times like this I can't help but to relate to biblical stories the experiences that we have. I think God really does give us stories and examples that relate to current situations. This morning I began the update and included a reference to my favorite Bible story. I think technically to be a good Christian it is suppose to be either the Christmas or Easter story but it is not. It is the story of David and Goliath. I have yet to repent for that. However, I didn't want to be too hokie or get 'to religious' on people so I second guessed it this morning and sat the computer aside to go vomit. Fast forward about 3-4 hours and I was in bad shape at the doctors office. I was dehydrated so they could not find a vein to put the IV in so that I could get some nausea medicine and fluids. Three veins collapsed, I was about to faint, one nurse had my face in her hands and kept saying, 'Heather, stay with me, come back' and Andrew looked terrified. In the middle of all that, suddenly a third nurse came in the room exclaiming, 'Hey! How we doing today?!?' in the sweetest way. On her scrubs were all these yellow chicks and little quotes like 'chicks rule' and 'chicks are cool' and randomly 'david and goliath'. All I could focus on in that several second moment were the words david and goliath. She left the room just as suddenly as she came and I really thought I must have hallucinated or made that up. So after everything settled down I asked the main nurse if that was real. They sent the lady in and we told her just what I have said here on this blog and she agreed to allow Andrew to take a photo of her shirt so I have proof I didn't make this up. I take that as a sign that it was meant for me to relate this to David and Goliath. Plus I have Cancer now so I am pretty sure you get a pass for everything. Whatever you want, you can just say -sorry people, Cancer, shrug your shoulders. Am I right?
And now for building of a giant:
We met with the oncologist yesterday. I really must say we have an exceptional doctor. He spent two hours with us going over a vast amount of information. We so appreciated the patience he exhibited in relaying all of this.
When people hear cancer I think most of us would associate it most closely with death. There are so many variables. The last few days I have been focusing on collecting enough information to choose my treatment. It seems a little impossible and overwhelming because there is so much to think through!
There are still some questions as to what exactly the origin is and how this cancer is spreading.
We are going to do a 3 phase CT scan on Friday evening. This one will be slightly different than the first and will provide a clearer photo of the areas that are harder to see or biopsy. We will also have an MRI done to make sure that there is nothing in my head. I am pretty sure Andrew would verify that there is not.
The Dr. will take that scan before a conference of some of the nations leading cancer doctors and liver surgeons on Tuesday for them all to evaluate.
The Dr. thinks it is stage 4. His recommendation based on what he knows right now is that I take chemo to hopefully shrink the areas of cancer. The likelihood of it being effective is about 50%. If the cancer were not responsive to chemo, the average life expectancy would be approximately 4 months to 2 years. However, all things are relative and it is rare for someone my age to have this issue so the statistics could be somewhat different for me.
If the cancer is responsive to it and it shrank to a size the surgeons would agree to operate, then we would remove the areas of cancer through surgery. I would go on to live life with a funky looking liver and a scar the size of the great state of California. The Giant appears larger with each step.
He spoke with us about other clinics where we could get second opinions. We are looking into other options as well. We want to make an informed decision and while chemo/surgery is currently the frontrunner option, we are still checking out the options.
The Phillistines were some Bad A people. They came out against the army of the Isrealites for 40 days. Each army on a designated hill for a showdown. As if that wasn't enough, they had a certain seasoned warrior that was around 11 feet tall who was equipped with the best weapons and to top it off he had a shield bearer who would walk before him so that he could be protected from you while he attacked.
Each day that massive man would walk to the front of the Philistine line and look out across the valley to the Israelites and shout for someone, anyone, to fight him.
I have often wondered what this must have looked like. Did the Israelites just start looking around at each other, and run? Did they just stare in disbelief? How did this end every day these 40 times? How embarrassing!
I do believe God allowed those forty days because he was building up the giant. He was showing what seemed to be an impossibility and bringing to light the disbelief of his people. He had shown himself to fight impossible battles plenty of times at this point and the fact that the Israelites army had no courage or belief is such a load of bull. But don't we all do that constantly?
In the background there is another story unfolding. A man named Jessie had 8 sons. Three were there on the hill with the Israelite army. One, the youngest, was a sheep herder and was busy fighting lions and bears to save the sheep. Jessie asks him to go and take food to the brothers on the battle field. When he got there he heard the armies lining up and the giant come forward to make his daily speech about sending a champion to fight him. David was appalled at this and then he volunteered. His brothers were furious with him. They thought he was just being conceited.
But the thing I love about David and that I would love to implement in my life is that he wasn't volunteering because he had assessed the giant and himself to see who was stronger. He didn't stand around thinking about the statistics and likelihood of scars or wounds or even death. He knew God. That was all that mattered. God is absolutely stronger and more powerful that giants and cancer.
I am never going to be able to paraphrase the best part so I just attached it here.
2 Samuel 17
ISN'T THAT SO FANTASTIC!!!
One stone! He didn't even need the other four.
I would like to be like David with such belief that a miracle can be accomplished through this situation. I may have to wait out a 40 day wait period of God building a giant so that it is very obvious that it is in fact Him who saves me. At some point I have not decided yet, I will ask that everyone who knows and is willing, will fast. On that day, we will see what the Lord will do. When we come against this in the name of the Lord Almighty, I pray for there to be a moment where 'the whole world will know that there is a God in Isreal who saves'.