The Dog Days of Cancer

I really want to give Facebook a rest for a while. I’ve felt this way for a while now. Really, the only thing keeping my Facebook account active is this website (Facebook is the primary way that I publicize these updates). I feel responsible to keep my friends and family (and even many people that I do not know) up to date on my wife’s battle with breast cancer. Why? Because there are so many that have been praying for us. If you are one of those people…if you are one of those who have been praying for us…THANK YOU! Seriously, it means the world to us. Your prayers have been, I believe, a matter of life and death.

I apologize for updating so infrequently. Most of the time when I think of writing an update, I feel there is little worth saying. One distinctive of the fight against cancer is its monotony. Don’t get me wrong. It is traumatic. It is difficult. But it is constant. It is consistently uncomfortable. Consistently inconsistent. Carmen feels differently each day. One day brings fatigue and the next soreness. The acute trauma of the diagnosis and surgery has long since passed and we are now in the daily grind phase of the trial.

The third greatest day of the year (behind Christmas and Easter, of course) is Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. It is coming soon! To craft an analogy using our national pastime, we are currently in the “dog days of summer” with treatment. See, the baseball season is long (162 games). Around the middle of the summer, it gets monotonous, with each team plugging away day after day, looking for more wins than losses, hoping to make it to the sweet relief of the playoffs, which comes with the probably even sweeter relief of autumn. Here we sit in the dog days, notching more little victories than losses, awaiting the final scans that will tell us if the cancer has tucked its tail and rescinded into remission or not. The playoffs, so to speak.

To stop torturing you with analogies from our world’s greatest sport (I apologize if that offends…it is an empirical fact that baseball is the best sport ever…take it up with God), I will now use plain English.

Carmen with the chemotherapy nurses at Physicians East in Greenville, NC.
Carmen with the chemotherapy nurses at Physicians East in Greenville, NC.

Carmen completed chemotherapy early on December 31, 2013. She finished early because she was experienced neuropathy, a constant annoyance featuring tingling and numbness in her extremities. The doctor thought it better to end the treatments early than to allow the neuropathy to progress. So, God was gracious to us in that regard. She recently began receiving radiation therapy here in the Outer Banks. To the praise of God’s glorious grace, we have been assigned another talented, Jesus-loving physician for this stage of the game. Carmen will have six weeks of intensive radiation therapy (five days per week) in total and is set to finish the first week of April. After that is over, Carmen will undergo the necessary scans which will tell us if she has been healed from cancer. We believe she already has been, but these scans will tell us for sure.

Carmen and her oncologist, the wonderful and talented Dr. Heather White (http://achristianoncologist.com)
Carmen and her oncologist, the wonderful and talented Dr. Heather White (http://achristianoncologist.com)

I came across a couple of verses this morning that describes how I have felt thus far in our journey through cancer. In this passage, David describes his attitude when facing trails in his life:

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD.
– 
Psalm 27:13-14 (NASB)

Now, I am not saying that I have not despaired at all. That is flatly untrue. I have spent my portion of time in despair during this process. We both have. But we have struggled to not allow despair to become a pattern in our lives…to not allow despair to consume our hearts. We have prayed for and believed God to show His goodness in the land of the living. Indeed, He has! He has been so good to us. He has given us hope even in our moments of despair. He has rallied His troops, the Church, to pray incessantly on our behalf. He has minimized side effects and suffering. He has brought joy in our marriage and He has shown us that we can trust in Him.

So, my friend…what are you facing? Is it difficult? Are you in the acute stages of a trial? Or are you just grinding out the dog days of a difficult situation? In either case, DO NOT DESPAIR! Believe that God will show His goodness in the land of the living! Allow your heart to trust and take courage in God. Wait for the LORD. He will respond.

————————————————————————————-

Thank you so much for reading and for praying for us. In particular, please pray for continued favor as Carmen undergoes radiation therapy. And please, please pray that those scans come back clear in April!

After a few days of posting this update on my Facebook page, I am going to take some time off from FB. I will reactivate my account in April long enough to publicize the results of the tests. But I am planning to keep myself free from the snare that is our world’s largest social media platform in the coming months.

– AW

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One thought on “The Dog Days of Cancer

  1. Andrew, I just wanted to comment on “The Dog Days of Cancer.” You gave voice to many things I felt when I was going through my own battle with cancer. It made me realize how much the Lord has done for me. Will I ever be able to thank him enough, probably not, but I keep trying. Your note about neuropathy was of interest to me. I did not experience it until several months after my chemo and surgery. My hands and feet all lost feeling. Much of it has come back, and they tell me that it may all come back, I’m just leaving it up to God. Thanks for bringing back memories of God’s work. Yours in Christ, Chris

    Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 15:24:05 +0000 To: seaman6400@hotmail.com

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