(Previously published August 27, 2010)
That was the title of the Psalm that God spoke to my heart early Thursday morning as I sat with Him on the front porch, before my 1st day of chemo would begin. My heart was heavy and anticipation of the day was flooding through my mind. I don't remember how my eyes were brought to Psalm 121, as I began in Matthew 24, but God knew that is what my restless heart needed to hear and so He brought me there.
As the Psalm is so aptly titled, "God the Help of Those Who Seek Him", my heart was spurned on as I read each word.
"I will lift up my eyes to the hills-
From whence comes my help?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is your keeper;
The LORD is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day
Nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve you from all evil;
He shall preserve your soul.
The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in
From this time forth, and even forevermore."
As God always does, when I seek Him, He is to be found; waiting, with a heart filled with love, wanting to speak so intimately to the places of my heart that only He can see. And He met me in my quiet, deepest moments as I cried out to Him. He is my helper, my keeper and the one who preserves me...as I lift my eyes to Him alone. He never sleeps. He provides me shade from this trial and He will not allow my feet to be moved from Him. I held onto each of those promises throughout the day.
It's funny how we build up in our minds what we think the day will look like (at least I do...I guess it is the planner in me and the walls of defense that I think I can set up for protection.) And in the end, God always writes the chapters more beautifully than we ever could think or imagine as we trust in Him. I am continually reminded that everything comes back to our choices...who do we put our trust in- God or man?
Barclay and I walked in the Cancer Center doors a bit late (not an appointment I was gunning to get to early), and as I slowly stepped inside, my eyes were greeted by the loving eyes of my best friend, Beth. She and I had spoken on the phone the night before, but I had no idea she was going to come. What a welcomed sign in a place I really didn't want to be. She said, even if she wasn't allowed to stay, she just wanted to be there for me. I thought only one other person could assist me....but as I asked at the desk, they said, supporters are encouraged to come. I was thrilled. She stayed with me and Barclay through the infusion bringing laughter, comfort and friendship. May we all be so lucky to each have a Beth in this world.
The room that yesterday felt dark and filled with death...became a room filled with God's bright light filtering through the windows, extinguishing the darkness. Laughter graced our ears, and filled our hearts, and hope spread through me. Hope for each other person walking this same cancer road, hope for tomorrow, hope in a God who helps us as we seek Him.
My new home for the next 16 weeks.....
God surrounded me with the most lovely nurses all day....one who was also a believer in Jesus Christ. Kelly was another nurse who I had learned of through my friend, Hillary, a breast cancer survivor. Hillary has been such a source of encouragement along this path (as have each of you!). As Kelly saw me, she told me she had a gift for me left from Hillary. A party bag was handed to me filled with magazines, gum, and snack food to help pass my time. My heart was once again overcome with thanksgiving and praise.
Here the Adriamycin is being pushed through my port line. The Cytoxan then goes in as a drip, for about 45 minutes. Kelly was doing the pushing, but declined a picture....she said next time she'll be ready to be posted on the blog! She was another bright light on a dim day.
And here's my sweet friend and sister in the Lord, Beth. I love you, Beth! Thanks for walking so intimately beside me, once again.
And my precious husband, soul-mate and rock, second only to Christ, Barclay. He completes me. I love him more than life itself and pray God gives us many, many more years together.
We finished up around 12:30 or so. As the day wore on, I became pretty nauseous and tired. I think part of that was just the anticipation leading up to the day, but spent a few hours in bed that afternoon feeling pretty wiped out. The nausea lingered through the evening and is with me again this morning. Nothing too severe, but there nonetheless. My doctor has me on a tight schedule of anti-nausea meds, but may see if there is one more we can add in. I have to go back in today to get a shot of Neulasta which is suppose to help boost my blood counts, but is also can give you pretty bad bone pain while it works on the bone marrow. I'm praying against that pain, but knowing that God will bring me through that, too. One day at a time....
Thanks so much for praying for me and my family as we continue on this journey. Thank you for all of your comments here, your emails , cards and phone calls. I'm so sorry I can't respond to each of you personally, but know that I am thanking God for each of you and pray that He rewards and blesses you in ways I never could.