Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29: A Perfect Fall Day

It is gorgeous out today.

The nurse told me to drink lots of fluids and make sure I get caffeine because she thinks that even the disorientation and fogginess I get when I sit up is from low spinal fluid rather than the effects of the Cytarabine. I don't agree, but I'm taking her advice anyway.

So my wife volunteered to go down to the gas station at the bottom of the hill, where I have a card for free coffee after 5 purchases, and get some of their great coffee. She decided to get some exercise and walk there in 35o weather.

When she got back, she was not frozen; she was sweating. She said it was a labor of love, as she hadn't realized just how steep the hill back is.

My daytime bed. Lounging on the couch can be doctor's orders!
So we're having breakfast and letting the sun shine in the window. The next few days, at least in Nashville, are supposed to have perfect fall weather: down near freezing at night, clear skies, and low 60's during the day. I understand from reading my sister's Facebook page that Nashville, NC is not so lucky as Nashville, TN. She said Mother Nature thinks it's winter out there already.

Yeah, the mountains of east Tennessee and North Carolina are beautiful, but they can bring the winter early.

Yesterday I was in the hospital getting checked up. The nurse was not relaxed. I was definitely off. When I was in college, I would have paid money to feel the way I was feeling, but I'm older and wiser now. I like being able to think straight. I was a stupid college student, though I suspect a lot of you can relate.

The nurse thought I was anxious. I couldn't help her. I was in a fog.

They ended up giving me fluids for an hour and letting me lay down. I slept almost the whole time and felt much better.

Today feels better than yesterday, which felt better than the day before, though I'm still at the height of chemotherapy. That's encouraging, especially since I'm having hemorrhoid issues again.

Sorry for bringing up a subject like that again, but it's a common topic among chemotherapy recipients. I'm pretty sure my doctors told me that's an uncommon side effect, but I've have three other chemotherapy patients tell me it was a major problem for them.

It's funny the conversations you end up in. "Yes, ma'am, there is blood; it's this much; it's at this time; it's this color." It's truly disgusting and inappropriate for polite society, but if you're ever going to get cancer, you better be prepared to talk about things you never wanted to talk about before.

Last year's Halloween party at Rose Creek Village. Photo by John Fagan.
Keep in mind, I also have a PSA reading of 13.3, up from 4.0 last year, so there's worry that I may have prostate cancer, too. If I thought conversations about "stool" and "bowel movements" were awkward, you should hear some of the questions they ask about prostate cancer. And young men, if you don't know how they check for prostate enlargement, you don't want to know. Now that's awkward!

It's payback for the fact that we don't have to birth babies.

Ok, so I'm just chatting today. Here's my motivational thought for the day. The Bible says that the heaven of heavens belongs to the Lord, but the earth he has given to the sons of men (Ps. 115:16). We can hold onto our possession of earth and be subject to the ways and sways of the ticking clock of the universe, or we can turn our lives over to God in trust. That's why it's said that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose.

I pray for the peace of all who cross my path, and may my life be full of service to them, but it's good to put your life in the Creator's hands and to grant him control. I fully believe that everything that's happening to me is what is supposed to happen, and that God intends it for my good. This is not just okay; it's God's highest for me and for those around me.

Someone asked me if I have been able to "count it joy" in the trials that I'm in. Of course I have! I don't like pain, and I like confusion even less, but I fully believe that this is God's best, that I am his child, and that he is for me. In fact, I believe he is for me more than I ever have in my life before.

Yeah, I'm glad.

Jesus' death still transforms those who come to God through him, despite the fact that churches rarely teach people how to "know him, the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings." The falling away rate is terrible, and false conversions abound. Nonetheless, there is no denying the incredible power of true conversions in the lives of those who really put their lives into the hands of God.


  1. What a great blog. Full of peace....I love that feeling...minus the hemroids :) . Looking forward to running the half marathon in your honor and for the cause of leukemia. Love you lots! Your my hero.
    Love, mala

  2. I hope to be there, Mala. This last round of chemo delayed things enough to provide a probable break before the transplant.