And now, it is May . . .
Actually I never intended to be away from my blog for this many weeks. Thank you to all who have sent cards and letters or called asking about my absence. To put it simply in the words I told a couple of friends the first of January: I encountered a couple of bumps in the road. And, as I added to one of those friends just tonight, some of those bumps became potholes. All the details are not necessary. I'll just say that a kidney problem developed, the tumor marker began to rise and the oncologist began talking about having to change the treatment regimen. Meanwhile, I had a few bouts of severe stomach pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting that increased in regularity and duration. Those culminated in my inability to keep anything down, dehydration, two hospital stays, a failed attempt to insert a stent to improve kidney function, discussion with a surgeon about a solution and a kink causing a blockage in my small intestine. I asked for specific prayers regarding my problems and, God who is always and ever faithful answered almost immediately. After several more uncomfortable days, the blockage was gone. The road back to "normalcy" has been steep and tiring as I have tried to resume eating and trying to gain strength for daily activities. Then Thursday, May 16, on my son's birthday, a more intensive chemotherapy was restarted. I am treated on day 1, day 8, day 15, rest a week, then begin another cycle. This past week we have spent wondering if my body was strong enough yet to take the drugs. Fortunately, my oncologist in Jackson made arrangements for me to treated at the Cancer Center in Hattiesburg and associated a former student of his to care for me here. I went today, found that my blood counts are holding steady and was given the second installment. It is indeed God's strength that is carrying me!
Once more family and friends are helping is every way possible. As from the beginning, these dear ones anticipate every need and are lovingly and thoughtfully caring for me. God has given me the best family and friends anywhere! I do admit how much I miss Tom right now, but rather than be sad that he's not here holding my hand, I think of all the times he was ever present as he loved and encouraged me. The ONE CONSTANT is the presence of God. I have never been more certain of God's care, his absolute power over this cancer. I continue to trust that care, that power and that grace.