I know I usually post upbeat, I’m doing great, chemo isn’t keeping me down type posts but not today. I usually don’t share when I’m having issues or share the extent but today I feel called to share. Perhaps someone out there needs to see deep into my struggle? I have to get over my misconception that sharing the depths of the struggle is attention-seeking because I assure you, I am not. I have covered the fatigue and nausea on and off for weeks with a smile and pushed through. The house was a mess because I didn’t have the energy to clean as much as I did and meals…haha! Everyone has been fed but most of the time it’s something basic, barely thrown together.
Today was the first time I responded truthfully when asked at church how I’m doing, “I’m here; it’s been a rough week.” Why do I always try to put on a happy face and gloss over the truth? Why am I so headstrong and unwilling to ask for help? You’d think I would have learned this lesson well. I did in Hawaii during my first round of chemo but I suppose I need to learn it again. Honestly, I felt convicted to share today because of the two sermons I heard today. The first was my Father-in-Love whom we listened to online, preaching about Job and his afflictions. The second was my pastor at our church preaching on 1 Peter 2 and our identity in Christ and as a family of believers, how our every day lives are meant to share the gospel and glorify God. This past week was rough.
Some of you may recall that when I was re-diagnosed 2 years ago and started on an oral chemotherapy, I ended up in the hospital because the chemo had given me uncontrollable diarrhea and my entire mucks lining in my stomach and GI system was basically gone. Unfortunately, the new chemo we added to my regimine is the active version of the oral chemo I was on and this week it again caused uncontrollable diarrhea two separate times but this time I knew what was happening so I didn’t end up in the hospital but I have been between the couch and toilet all weekend. It’s also been causing intermittent nausea for weeks, an anal fissure (sorry if that’s TMI), daily nosebleeds, sores on my scalp, sore dry hands, and sores in my mouth. My GI system is damaged again so all I’ve had by mouth for two days is aloe juice, water, protein shakes, and juice with chia seeds.
As I sat there, listening to my FIL talk about Job and others with afflictions, I could so strongly relate. Yesterday was a BAD day, a day where I thought, if this doesn’t get better, I don’t want to be alive. My mouth hurt, my scalp hurt, my entire insides hurt, my bottom end was on fire, and I was so hungry but couldn’t eat. I was in pain and so fatigued from a sleepless night and lack of nutrients that I couldn’t even get dressed. Despite all that, I knew that God still loves me, that he cares about my pain and suffering. I wasn’t alone…the Holy Spirit was with me, comforting me.
Not only that, today I realized I’ve run myself ragged when I have so many friends and family, our church body and beyond, who WANT to help, who WANT to be a blessing. By pretending “everything is awesome” I’m doing both myself and our family and friends a disservice. I need to be honest and swallow my pride about my struggles and allow God to use that to His glory. One of our church friends asked if we could benefit from a meal train….and I admitted we could. So many others have helped us with rides to chemo, watching our kiddos, donations, and so much more. I am so grateful for our friends and family who love us so well.
Another area we can use help is financially. My IV vitamin C treatments as well as upcoming HBOT treatments are all out of pocket. We are doing everything’s we can, pinching pennies, selling smoked cheese, selling crocheted items, doing a FB fundraiser, dog sitting through rover.com, trying to come up with it by ourselves. However, sometimes God works by providing when we can’t and will continue to trust His provision.
For anyone out there who can relate to my GI issues, I want to share the things that are helping me heal. Lily of the Desert makes a high quality pure aloe as well as a stomach formula that I’ve been using. The aloe and the herbs in the stomach formula help coat the GI lining and promote healing of it. Another helpful product is Throat Coat tea. It also has the herbs that heal that lining. For the diarrhea, apart from OTC anti-diarrhea meds, chia seeds soaked in water, juice, or aloe will help bind as well as give your body back much needed nutrients. I also ALWAYS put concentrace mineral drops in my water during chemo to bring my minerals back into balance, especially important when ones suffering from diarrhea. These mineral drops also help with the metallic taste chemo sometimes causes.
So, there you have it…how I am REALLY doing. How God continues to comfort during the lows, and hopefully some info to help others!