Yesterday was my next to the last Sunday to preach in my current capacity at Humboldt. These days are bittersweet! I am ready for a break, but so sad to be leaving a people whom we have come to love very much. They have encouraged me in ministry and supported me with love and advice when Tom was so sick. They only thought I was sent there for them! In reality God knew I would need what they had to offer and put me in their midst.
Yesterday was hard because of the winding down, but it was also hard because I had a hard time walking and standing, a result of the medicine I was taking, I believe. While I was preaching, I heard my voice, but it was completely lifeless--no enthusiasm. I hoped that no one would notice, but I know they did. I thought I had figured out the side effect schedule, but found out I was wrong. The bone pain in my back usually comes five to seven days after a treatment and it did. Only this time it was accompanied by waves of nausea. That meant taking pain meds and anti-nausea meds which I found don't mix well. Fortunately, I wasn't being judged on my preaching--I would have failed. I didn't do God's word justice.
In the days preceding my entering the hospital with pneumonia in 2006, I didn't leave our room except to go to the doctor. Tom would ask me if I'd like to come downstairs or if I felt like going down. I usually replied that I could go down; it was going back up that gave me problems. That's how I feel now. After so long and so much chemo, the body begins to resist and signal that it's time to stop. Is that what's happening or do I need to keep pushing? Tom's back went out on him in the night last Wednesday and he's spent a lot of time in the bed and on pain killers. The pain and the medication intefere with his congitive processes and I am reminded of how much he needs me. At times like this I get a little angry at illness. Our retirement was to have been picture perfect with lots of time for travel, grandchildren and just being together. Tonight I'm a bit angry at the whole situation; I hate seeing such a strong, intelligent, compassionate man being stripped of his most endearing attritbutes; I hate making plans and having to forego them because I don't have energy to perform. Then I ask:
Where would I be without the strong arm of God to support me? Where would I be without the trust I have in God's everlasting care? Where would I be if I had no faith and had to depend on myself? Please pray for strength of heart and energy for my body. You have been such a help and I'm grateful for each of you.