Monday, October 11, 2010

Short-Sighted Name Choice for the Blog

When I first set this blog up last spring, it made sense at the time to use the web address "".  I don't remember what I was thinking at the time, but it's clear this journey is going to progress well in to 2011.  I won't change the blog address...we'll just have to deal with the obsolete date.  I thought I'd take a moment here to update you on the next phases of this long process.

Surgery was a little over a month ago, on Sept 9.  I have a post-op appointment with the surgeon on Oct 12.  I hope he'll be as optimistic on that day as he was just after surgery.  He seemed happy that the tumor was accessible with moderate tissue removal and that the prognosis was positive.  I guess it was a good day for both of us, except that he went home that night and I began a five-night stay in the hospital.

I meet with the oncologist (cancer doctor) on Oct 14 where I'll get more info on round two of chemo, then I'll start chemo treatments on the 15th.  The first round of chemo in July was rather simple; I took a handful of pills each day with virtually no side effects.  I don't expect that to be the case this time.  The plan is for me to have four chemo sessions, one every two weeks, from mid-October through mid-November.  I'll have a month break, and then there will be a follow up surgery (not nearly as invasive as the first) to put all the plumbing back where God intended.  After another month's rest, there will be a third (final?!) round of chemo, identical to the Oct-Nov treatments.

So my best guess is that if everything goes as we hope, all the chemos and surgeries will be completed around Easter 2011.  There will still be some rehab after that and it will take a while to get my strength back fully.  Looks like the "2010" in the web address was a bit short-sighted.

One of the more difficult things to deal with during this process (of the many embarrassing, humiliating, and difficult things to deal with) has been fear.  A week after I had been initially released from the hospital, I had a very painful intestinal obstruction that put me back in the hospital.  Fear of another obstruction has been like the "Sword of Damocles" hanging over my head for the past three weeks.  Since I feel "full" soon after starting to eat, I have been eating far less and have dropped about 12 pounds.  I'm getting back on the Gatorade, eating more yogurt and starting to eat high protein bars during the day to reverse the weight loss.

Dealing with the weight loss is one thing; dealing with the fear is something else altogether.  My only defense has been to pray every time I feel the fear coming.  During an especially difficult time for Charlene and me about 20 years ago, the Lord gave us Joshua 1:9,

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

I've had to hold on to that verse with the assurance that the God who made this body is fully capable of either preventing or allowing the things that cause me fear, and that if I do have another setback, it's because there's something I need to experience and learn through the process.  That sounds really heroic, but you should not be impressed with me.  I've found it's easy to have faith when faith is all you have.

1 comment:

  1. Bill, you are a great and good man. I am so happy to pray for you for God's grace and healing strength.
    Dr. Bill