This morning I got to sleep in without a guilty conscience. I still woke at 9am out of habit, but I just rolled over and went right back to sleep for another hour. I have had things on my list to get done but at the moment, I permitted myself the extra rest. I woke up the second time thinking it was a great morning, because it was.
See, I had no forced reason to get out of bed at 9am. I don’t have to watch the time or record my times in which I take chemo. No more labs, no more excess of orange juice in the refrigerator, no more syringes. In other words: I ended the Sirolimus chemotherapy. Yesterday. Finished–almost five months. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” I started chemo in July in blind faith; I am ending it in the same.
This may not make sense to you; it may seem either that I have given up on treatments or that I am turning into a rebel. Neither is the case, but I have come to some decisions about my health, what I am currently doing as far as treatments and appointments and most important–what I want to be doing while I am still able to on my own.
My MRI results showed stable, or “no changes” that they can decipher. This is always a sigh of relief. However, this time it was a tad aggravating–if the results are stable then what on earth is going on that we cannot see? I suggested that they start putting some of the research funds/efforts towards a 3-D MRI machine. Maybe I am too much a Star Wars fan, but I think that would be awesome and more helpful in these situations as then we could see the tumors closer and at different angles.
So if my MRI was stable, then why did I end chemo? It is no surprise to my family (nor my doctor either.) I knew I would be ending chemo at the last appointment on October 22nd; the timing was not right for the discussion as well as I had decided to go the full two months again and wanted the MRI anyway, regardless of the results. I also see now the new lessons of faith that went hand in hand with the physical changes that have occurred since our trip to Wisconsin. These have shaped the path of where I stand now in my decisions and trust in God.
I ended chemo, because there comes a point in time where you ask, “Is this benefitting me?” I know you can’t ask this for all situations but I did in this case. The chemo may or may not have been keeping them tumors stable, but because the side effects in my body have increased at a fast rate, I don’t think tumor size is the issue…more what we cannot see, in which I did not see chemo helping. It actually was starting to frustrate me more than anything. I see this also with my AFO braces. I know–I just blogged my “I am a champion” post, but again, it was pre-Wisconsin days.
I know my body is fading; I have excepted that fact through much tears and a broken spirit. After Wisconsin, I just gave up on life. I saw no hope. As that week ended and I restarted my times of reading the Word, I kept returning to His burning question: “Do you trust me?” Trust. It is what I desire most from my doctors, family and myself that I know my body: I am the one living with the disease, experience the changes, and know when I need different. If I desire that in my own life, how much more God desires it from me: He created my body, died and rose again so my temporary pain would become eternal life, and meets my needs so that I can continue to live. And that is why I made some decisions: I am done dwelling on the past and trying to fix the future. I just want to live to the fullest in the present.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. ~Psalm 16:11