March 2011

*I’m getting better at this digital pen toy – the one that turns handwriting to digital text – so have less of an excuse for being lazy, and not putting something up here regularly.*

As much as I’d love to provide you all with an inspiring, optimistic reflection of the past few weeks (and month in genera1), I think you deserve honesty more than a pretty façade.

I’ll just tell you right out, it’s been a frustrating, discouraging time lately though I know God has things under control, it’s often hard to see through the rain. And, let me tell you, it’s been raining. Not enough to take away all of my fight, but definitely enough to cause the fatigue to set in.

When I last left you I had discovered that my brain was once again prone to temper tantrums, by way of seizures. Since then, I’ve had more, which was enough to convince my doctors that I shouldn’t be behind the wheel. Normally I take this type of advice with a grain of salt, as I’ve come to expect to hear the worst case scenario from my docs. They are surprised to hear that I’m still working (a point of disagreement that led to my being temporarily barred from working until I got one of my docs to agree that I could decide for myself day-to-day I was up to it). Once again, I can’t say enough about the school district I work for. They’ve been an incredible answer to prayer in the flexibility and care they show me. They have truly taken me in like family; I could work the next 3 yrs without pay and not balance the scales.

In addition, my hand & arm weakness are quite inconvenient though I can’t complain in that my dominant hand and arm handle the extra workload most of the time. Still, I’m gaining appreciation for having the abilities and mental/emotional faculties I do have in the midst of an all out battle with glioblastoma.

As a result of my now recurrent seizures, I’ve been cleared to work but not to drive. I’m not going to defy that one as working with risk of seizure only puts my own safety at risk (albeit mildly), whereas driving puts others at risk. As such, another freedom & lifestyle component is taken away. This has brought about many wonderful friends and family who are helping to bridge the gap.

But, like all things we take for granted good health, physical comforts in a wealthy nation, family & friends, it’s impossible To really understand how fundamental they are, not just to our lifestyles, but also our emotional health. Freedoms are comforting, though perhaps a false lead that lends us to the assumption that we can do it with our own two hands, so to speak.

Lately I’ve been reading through Psalm 119 (click here – if you’d like to read this excellent if quit long passage, the psalmist reflects on the notion of focusing one’s attentions toward God & His perfect plans, and not on our current afflictions. “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees (v. 71 NIV).”  For those of us who have learned to put our faith in God’s promise to walk alongside us in all we do its very reassuring to know that our suffering & struggles can be themselves tools by which we come to see God more clearly (or others seeing Him through us).

It’s always much easier to wallow in pity and try to turn every conversation into one that garners me pity.  But then I’d be missing all the amazing relationships in my life, and ways that God has provided in the midst of a trial I didn’t want, but am not being abandoned during.

While I find myself discouraged about losing my cherished freedoms and independence taken away bit by bit, and over less and less optimism from my docs, there are comforts to be had. It’s just hard to see them when all I’m focused on is me (a topic which, frankly, has grown a little old for me). As I said last time, sometimes the best gift a person in dire straits can receive is something else to focus on besides their pain.

Coming up is another month of Avastin treatments (the $ 10K a bag stuff), as well as letting my most recent chemo treatment (pills I took a few weeks ago) do its thing, until my next scan at the end of April. To say I’m a bit nervous about that scan is an understatement. We’ve going to learn a lot about how much fight Lump (my tumor) has in him. Please pray that I would best prepare for those results, and for optimal results. Thank you for your ongoing support.


**A proper health update will follow in the next post, tonight or tomorrow**

This  is a tricky one to write, but a topic I need to work out and start refining for an upcoming writing project, so bear with me, and please forgive my blunt honesty…

*People often ask of me, “Were you making that remark/writing that post about me?”  I usually tell them, “No,” as I don’t want to drag a small thing out into a big conversation that really doesn’t need to happen.  But this time, I’m going to be referring to pretty much everyone in my life, so the answer is, “Yes.  I am talking about you, but don’t even remotely hold any ill will for minor offenses; we’re all learning here, and I’m just hoping to enlighten a little bit from my unique perspective.”

Since my health ordeals of the past couple of years began,   the people in my life  have consistently demonstrated concern & care.  Unfortunately, this almost always comes in the form of the blanket statement,”Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”  Though seemingly grounded in the best intentions, I’ve come to find that it’s actually quite an unhelpful comment, and often a rather unintentionally selfish one. (more…)

 Once again, I am posting after too long an absence; I know many of you are checking in on this site quite frequently, and appreciate the concern & support more than I can adequately express…

I hope you can appreciate that it is draining enough to talk with such frequency as I do about my ongoing, ever changing health drama, and much more so to then write about it (particularly given my physical limitations these days. I think you understand, so will put that topic to rest). (more…)