Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Christina had her first radiation yesterday. It went well but I’ll let her tell you about that later. It was the first of 33 treatments.
Our prayer requests continue along the lines of:
Dear Lord, please
- help us to see your hand and your many blessings and your assignments for us as we walk through this journey of faith.
- kill all the cancer cells
- protect all the good cells, including pituitary gland and hair follicles:)
- let Christina experience minimal brain swelling so she can stay off the “tumor pill” and stay free of headaches
- allow Christina to function at a somewhat normal energy level.
She experienced no nausea which means she probably won’t be experiencing any. Most other side effects kick in at about the 2 week mark, except the pituitary gland damage which shows up at about the year mark.
Yesterday, Christina did have her first headache since surgery but she said it is not the “tumor pressure” kind–just a normal behind the eyes kind. There is always a wave of concern over those kind of things. Last Saturday I woke up with a vague awareness that I was feeling sorry for Christina and wondering how I could have a family dinner without her present. I asked the Lord to help me through that. I knew something was not quite right in my heart but I couldn’t identify the source.
I turned to I Peter, chapter 1 and started reading. By the time I was through the first 9 verses, my heart was full of joy and TRUTH. Each phrase of this passage could be talked about for days. If this was the only passage in the Bible, it would be enough to get us through these lives we are asked to live. I love and long for the eternal perspective of life not the perspective that says, “this is all there is to life.” So, I’m just going to type it out starting with the end of verse 2 and let it speak volumes to your own hearts.
I Peter 1:2b-9
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
These have come so that your faith–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”
After spending time looking carefully at all the great truth, I felt my heart swing to that beautiful place of knowing that God understands my heart, He knows what He is doing, and I can rest in Him. I have been studying the book of Daniel with my women’s Bible study. I echo the words of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah as they speak to King Nebuchadnezzar about their God. “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
I know that our great God could heal Christina in one moment and perhaps already has. He is capable and able. But if He does not, I will not despair or be offended or have a shattered faith. My only goal in this life is to glorify God–in life or in death. He knows what is best and He knows what He is doing. My heart rests secure and strong in Him (shielded by God’s power).
I send my love to all of you,
P.S. For you scientific sorts, Christina FISH report came back. She has the important chromosome codeletion that points to a more well-behaved oligo tumor. It doesn’t have an effect on the astero part of her tumor. It’s quite entertaining to listen to the doctors say that this is good, kind of, but doesn’t really tell us much, because each brain tumor is so individual and of course, we don’t know how Christina’s tumor will respond because, well, it’s probably two tumors, and she does have some overexpressed cells, etc, etc, etc. I’m just glad I know the God of the universe, the creator of Christina’s brain, who knows every cell of her body and knows exactly what it will do.
By the time you get this I will have already had my second radiation treatment. Yesterday went just fine and it was nice to get a picture for what the next 6 weeks will be looking like. The actual radiation part is really short. They shoot at my brain in four separate directions (fields), and each of the four “zaps” as I like to call them only last 5-8ish seconds. It’s all the positioning between each zap that really takes up the bulk of the time. I decided I like the fact that I can hear exactly when each field is getting zapped because I can pray super specifically for my cells
in real time. God is most definitely not limited to our silly time lines here on earth… but it’s kind of exhilarating to pray so specifically in the moment.
So here’s a fun little picture for you to give you an idea of what each session looks like:
Imagine me laying on the table, strapped down in my amazing mask, everyone has left the room hiding behind the foot thick walls (don’t worry I wore my extra thick underwear today:) and the first zap begins…my prayers go a little something like this….”Lord please protect my good brain cells! Die cancer cells die!!!!! Hold on little hair follicles, don’t let go!!! Lord keep them strong!” The therapists then come back in and reposition me, then leave again (still no lead vest:) the second zap begins… “Lord make the cancer cells die!!! Diiiiiiiiiiiiiieee” …. third zap…”Go God! Go brain, stay strong yeehaw!” Fourth zap…”Jesus protect my brain and hair!!! Let them all come back again and heal well!! Diiiiie cancer!!!!!”
It’s like I have my own cheerleading prayer squad! It’s actually very fun and makes me laugh at myself. I unfortunately can’t pray any of this out loud because the mask fits tight and presses my lips together and it would just sound like zombie moaning (and I guess it would look like it too), and that would be bad because they would think I was in trouble or pain and come running in to stop treatment. All in all it’s a relatively quick and painless experience, it’s just the after effects that we’ll have to wait and see about.
God continues to surround me with his perfect peace. I am met every day with the temptation to start worrying about… well, anything and everything (over analyzing new symptoms, reliving old headaches, fear of the unknown, burdening loved ones… the list goes on) but again I am reminded that to live in the midst of this trial requires daily surrender on my part. Like I mentioned in my last update, every day I have to lay down every single burden, every single worry, everything that I am tempted to hang onto….. and “cut the rope” so to speak, to lay it at Jesus’ feet:) Please pray for me as I continue to do this and pray my heart remains thankful, trusting, free and absolutely full of joy. I am certainly joyful now and so so thankful for all of you. God bless each and every one of you. May his face shine so brightly on you today. I love you all.
Christina (the masked warrior)
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