Waiting in the Pit

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“I waited patiently for the Lord;

he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear the Lord

and put their trust in him.”

-Psalm 40:1-3 NIV

 

This Psalm has meant a lot to Elizabeth and me recently for many reasons.

As I write this, I am currently receiving a chemo infusion. I wanted to give a update on my health as of Thursday, July 21. Sometimes I don’t give it quite as straightforwardly as I’d like. So here it is…

How am I doing?

I would say I’m doing well, though I am very much still facing the mud and mire of treatment, meanwhile hoping for the Lord to bring me to a more solid place (Psalm 40:2). This week marks my ninth round of chemo. My treatment involves a three pronged approach: Cisplatin chemo, Keytruda immunotherapy along with the drug Cabozantin. I get chemo every week, Keytruda once every three weeks and I take the Cabo pill every day. I nickname the drug Cabo for short, but a lot of times people think of the destination Cabo San Lucas in Mexico—you know, the party place. But this drug is anything but a party.

What side effects am I experiencing from the treatment?

I’m getting normal side effects from chemo—fatigue and nausea, though they are usually rather predictable, lasting for about 3.5 days afterwards and managed well with medication. I have yet to miss a meal! The best news lately is that I am getting virtually no side effects from Cabo, other than a slight amount of additional fatigue. Doctors warned me that this drug would probably be the worst part of my treatment, with potential side effects including mouth sores, debilitating nausea and vomiting. But about five weeks into it, these simply have not happened. I know that lots of people have been praying for me—certainly the Lord is hearing these prayers. Thank you so much.

How am I feeling over all?

I’m feeling surprisingly well and have had a decent amount of energy. As a result, I have been able to start getting more work done (usually on Monday-Wednesday) which has done me well sanity-wise. Elizabeth and I also ordered cruiser bikes today. I found a killer deal online, and there’s a bike path that runs along the Sioux River just a block away from our house. I feel blessed to be doing as well as I am.

How is the treatment going?

I honestly don’t know. Some of my labs, including the numbers on my liver show that they have been improving, but nobody has really told me definitely where I’m at. I know the Lord is certainly able to heal me, however that will look. Whether he does or not is up to him—I just want to praise and believe in his goodness regardless.

What’s next?       

In about six weeks, my doctor will have me get some scans to see what kind of progress the treatment is making. I expect that the treatment will continue on after that, but for how long and to what extent, I have no idea.

 

Lately, I’ve been encouraged by a song from U2, one of my favorite bands of all time. The song is called 40, and is based on Psalm 40. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XzHlySYR_Y We continue to look to God for our sure footing and to be the song in our mouth.

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