Monday, April 20, 2015

Ramblings After My First Chemo Treatment

Saturday was such a good day after my first chemo treatment, that I was not prepared for Sunday. I lay around the entire day and felt pretty awful. It was discouraging after feeling so good on the day of chemo and the day after. Today, I feel better, and I have a little perspective. I think without the bad days, I wouldn’t appreciate the good ones as much. Today, I am more thankful than ever that I have a bit of energy, and my stomach doesn’t ache. Today, I don’t feel as fragile, and I now know that when those bad days come, they won’t keep me down.

On to my confession for the day . . . one thing I’m struggling with right now is receiving help. I honestly do not like it. It makes me feel like a burden, and it makes me feel weak. Many of you have offered help and really, really want to do something for me. I’m much more comfortable being on your side of things, and I much prefer it. Just like you, I mean it when I offer, and it is not a burden to me to help someone in need. It’s a blessing when that person accepts my offer! So, why am I struggling so much?

Pride is the bottom line. I think we all think we need to feel like we can do things on our own, but in times like these, I’m painfully aware that it’s not the case. God’s children are all dependent on each other. He designed it that way; we are one body. I think that is one of the many reasons the Bible says to not neglect gathering with other believers and that we are to do good and share what we have. We need each other for encouragement and sometimes tangible help. When we act like we don’t, we rob each other of the blessing of being in true relationship. And if I don’t receive help from you, how will you ever feel free to receive help from me when you need it? I must let go of my pride.

Unfortunately, I don’t really know what help I need right now. I want to keep life as normal as possible for my family and continue normal tasks as I can, but I also don’t want to overdo it when I think I have energy, only to come crashing down the next day. Transportation for the kids to and from school when I’ve needed it and food have been the most tangible things that have helped. Not having to worry about the safety of my kids while I’m at appointments or whether there will be food to eat when they get home are huge deals! My amazing husband is always ready to grab something at the store and grill it, but it’s been so wonderful for us to be able to warm something from the freezer or eat a snack someone sent for breakfast. Until now, I never realized what a huge deal that could be.

Unexpected cards, little gifts and gestures, texts that don’t even require a reply, and flowers have lifted my spirits so often during this time. I wouldn’t have thought of them as needs, but they’ve carried me through some dark days.

Encouraging comments on the various sites I’ve posted on and reminders of God’s character and His Word have lifted me from moments of depression.

One more confession . . . while I do trust in God’s love and the goodness of His plan for my life and my family, I do have down times. I don’t want to give the impression that I am some superwoman of faith. I am just a pilgrim on a journey and the strength you think you see in me is not in MY faith but in my God. Most days, my faith is “as small as a mustard seed,” but my God is much bigger and stronger than that. He is allowing me to go through this to see just how great my need for Him is and to conform me more to the image of His Son, and He will hopefully use me to comfort others with the comfort that He has given to me along this journey. I’ve already received that type of comfort from some of you cancer survivors who have reached out to me, and it does give amazing hope on the dark days.

But the dark days do come, and the tears stream, and the self-pity rears its ugly head, and the fear grips, but the prayers of many carry me, and the strength of my God prevails. Ultimately, my biggest need is to rest in Him. I am needy. He meets my every need, often using His people. Thank you for letting me need you!


  1. Beautiful post. So true. Much love and prayers. :)

  2. Ahhh, so very poignant and true. Pride--what a hindrance to the very help we need. I am so thankful you are putting words to your journey, Donna, it is a blessing to me. I have thought so many times of the weeping when you saw the infusion chair. It has just made me feel so normal...even though I am not on a cancer journey. I am so thankful that you have said how hard it is to receive help. It is hard. The journey is imperfect. God is so kind to surround us with what we need on those dark days and to know that He really is there in the darkest and deepest of troubles.

    1. Thank you for your words of encouragement, sweet friend! I am finding writing to be cathartic for me, and if anyone else can feel anything from it, that's a bonus blessing for me! I am so thankful I feel God's presence and strength through His Word and the people He has put in my life. He knew exactly what I needed. I so appreciate your following my journey and praying faithfully for my family. We miss your precious family and would love to see you again sometime soon!