Saturday, October 03, 2009

It's All About Life

There was a homecoming of sorts when we went to Corinth for treatment yesterday. A new face occupied the chair of my beloved Ava, receptionist extradornairre' and my special Christian sister. She now has added responsibilities and an office of her own. The chairs in the infusion room had been rearranged and organized with a table between every two--nice touch. Jerry, the head nurse had a new hair do, but the same efficient, smiling presence. On the table by my chair was a book paying tribute to oncology nurses. As I thumbed through it, I couldn't help but think about the oncology nurses who have touched my life, especially Terri in Roseville who we credit with saving it in 2006. God has given special gifts to these nurses!

In the lab I only had to weigh--ugh--and have vitals done. My weight was eight pounds more than it had been in Memphis on Monday and the blood pressure much lower. Is it better to have a more ideal blood pressure or weigh that much more? I had asked the nurses Monday to leave my port accessed so as to avoid another stick and the tape had blistered my skin. Why didn't I remember that from hospital stays? It felt so good to get the tape off and the blisters soothed.
I settled in my infusion chair, with Tom by my side, went through the pre-meds and read yet another set of information sheets on the two new drugs.

Legally, manufacturers have to list any and all possible side effects--I know that. After all, this is my sixth time to begin treatment for cancer and I am married to a lawyer. Still, it is a bit disconcerting to read about all the possibilities and to learn that things you might have been told were not problems, are in the realm of possibility. For instance, because I'm the driver in the family, I always ask if there will be in problems in my driving myself. No problem. Possible side effect read: drowsiness; avoid any activity that requires alertness, such as driving. On the drive home I struggled several times to stay focused--could have been the drug, could have been the overall effects of the day. I repeat: clots, compromised blood counts, etc. can be life threatening, but so is cancer!

So far this morning, all is well. A few precautionary pills have been taken and I've begun the seemingly endless glasses of water I'm required to drink. One of the pre-meds I take causes sleeping problems the first couple of nights after infusion. Last night was no exception, so I got up and did some sermon work. They told me my arm would be sore from my flu shot and it's not--guess I'm a tough old bird. Time will tell about the other "possibilities."

Tomorrow as we begin stewardship focus at Humboldt, I am preaching on remembering, based on Deuteronomy 8:1-10. It fits with the overall slogan for the month: Because He gave - - - We Give. In my first year in seminary I did an indepth study of this passage, complete with translation, word studies, commentary, and sermon outline. It has come in handy. God called the Israelites to be careful to be obedient to His commands and to remember how He led them all the way in the wilderness. Isn't it amazing how appropriate the passage is for us to remember God's leading as we prepare to make our annual pledges? Isn't it amazing how appropriate it is for me as I begin treatment again? Isn't it amazing how appropriate it is as we celebrate Worldwide Communion Sunday? The Holy Spirit has definitely been at work in this preparation! Tomorrow I'll focus on just the first three verses, then after a guest preacher next week, will pick up the remembering thread for the rest of the focus. Read the passage and you too will be reminded of God' deliverance, God's constant provision and God's promise for blessing. We are called to obey, to remember and to respond!

Pastor Margaret

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