Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I'm running to Your arms

I was watching Passion 2012 livestream today. Kristian Stanfill sang this song, Forever Reign.  I had been wondering how I would title this post. His song gave me the title. And this one by him, Always.

I did see my Birmingham doctor for a follow-up after stopping the clinical trial. I also told him I had been having pain at the surgery site with referred pain to my ear and jaw. He said it could be from scar tissue but could also be a recurrence. He scheduled a CT scan and a biopsy for December 7 with the follow-up visit on December 13.

We didn’t get good news—at all. There is a large tumor at the base of my tongue in the same area as before. There is also a suspicious spot on my voice box just below that. The type of surgery to remove these places is extremely radical. We had a choice of choosing such a radical surgery that would be life altering in itself or choosing quality of life. We chose quality of life. He said there was the possibility of chemo that might shrink the tumors or finding pain management to deal with what I have. Dr. M referred to this cancer as islands. He said he and Dr. H have been removing islands, only for another island to pop up somewhere else. 

This was my Max Lucado devotional just a few days before this appointment: 

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.”  Isaiah 43:2-3 NASB
"God knows what is best.  No struggle will come your way apart from his purpose, presence, and permission.  What encouragement this brings!  You are never the victim of nature or the prey of fate.  Chance is eliminated.  You are more than a weather vane whipped about by the winds of fortune.  Would God truly abandon you to the whims of drug-crazed thieves, greedy corporate raiders, or evil leaders?  Perish the thought!

We live beneath the protective palm of a sovereign King who superintends every circumstance of our lives and delights in doing us good.

Nothing comes your way that has not first passed through the filter of his love."

 I was not totally surprised by anything the doctor told us. I had to ask myself and to God: “How do you want me to die?” As my daughter's pastor who has battled pancreatic cancer in the last 3 years said in one of his messages, “Cancer will never have the last word in my life. God will.” I believe that. I might die from an incurable cancer, but it will only be if and when God says so.

Today we met with my oncologist.  He agreed that he probably would not choose the surgery either if it was him.  The options of chemo: The first one he would choose would be hard on a healthy person.  The second one wouldn’t be as hard but would still affect my quality of life.  I chose no chemo.  He said he could begin with pain management.  I had hoped for a patch, but he said it wouldn’t work for me since I’m so thin.  So he started me on another couple of prescriptions to try.  He suggested we go ahead and establish a relationship with hospice.  He wasn’t trying to imply anything by doing that but just knew they can already be helpful to my needs even at an early point.  So the hospice organization we chose will be contacting us.  I was so glad to know God had gone before us, everything went smoothly, and it was going to be okay.  We as a family still have a lot to process, but God has clearly shown He will not leave us to flounder by ourselves. He will be with us every step of the way.

Tammy Trent's Twitter post tonight:  "God has mapped out the path B4 U. He is fully aware of every detail & is committed 2 walk beside U as a guide & comforter so UR never alone"