Time out

I’ve been enjoying taking a break lately. A break from the harsh Canberra winter. A break from chemo. A break from writing. The break has been good. Relaxing, refreshing, rejuvenating. A change of routine. We’ve been holidaying on the Sunshine Coast in southeast Queensland. Walking on the beach, paddling the surf ski, fishing off the pontoon, reading Anh Do’s The Happiest Refuge, watching The Voice, eating out, sleeping in, time with family. Much to thank God for.

It’s now 9 weeks since my last dose of Alimta. My head has been clearer, my body has felt less sick, and I think my feet and hands have improved. The burning sensation and the pins and needles continue at night, but it’s less painful to walk during the day. I’ve been for many walks along the sand recently. To be honest, I’ve often felt reasonably well. Just weaker and less fit. Many times I’ve had to pinch myself. Do I really have cancer? Or is this just an awful dream, and I’m going to wake up from it soon?

At times I’ve been anxious about what this break means for the cancer. Is this just a calm before the storm? Is it growing, spreading, preparing for a new onslaught? Or has it been kept in check? I’ll need to wait for the next scan to find out. It’s hard not knowing. Sometimes I wish I had an instrument panel with dials and gauges on my chest. I could keep track of the cancer, differentiate the side effects, measure the neuropathy, and do my own blood tests without the need for needles. But… I’m a person… not a car!

Big decisions need to be made in the next week or so. Do I go back on the chemo? If so, what dose, so that the neuropathy doesn’t get worse? If not, will we be able to begin targeted treatment and get access to Crizotinib? If you have a minute to pray… I’d ask that you pray for wisdom for our oncologist; access to the Crizotinib (preferably at no cost); an end to the neuropathy; healing from the cancer; and for our stamina, patience, continued faith in God, hope for eternity, and love for others.

(first published in macarisms.com 29/7/12)

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