"How was the first week of radiation?"
I think that I got asked that at least 20 times this morning at church. Which leads me to believe, some of you out in blog land might be wondering the same thing.
The short answer...it could've been better and it could've been worse.
I started receiving treatment on Wednesday due to a scheduling error. Treatment takes about 10-15 minutes each day. It's the equivalent of getting an x-ray. Very noninvasive, quick, and easy. Then I have to figure out what to do with the rest of my day.
Actually I have quite a bit to do. I usually do my personal quiet time before or after treatment, depending on what time zone I'm still operating in. Then I am able to keep up with about 70-80% of my work duties from the hotel. Sometime I'll take a picture of my desk. It includes a hotel bed with files scattered all over a lap top on one side, a phone on the other, and me in the middle.
When I'm not working on camp stuff Kendra and I are really trying to use this time to make progress on writing a book. This is a grueling process because you may not believe this, but I hate to write. :)
There's a certain amount of time taken up from walking back and forth to the hospital, not feeling well, or working out in the gym at the hotel.
So surprise, surprise: I manage to stay pretty busy.
However, this week was a little tougher than I expected. Physically the side effects of nausea, fatigue, and funkiness seemed to hit in the afternoons then dissipate later. This left me foggy, irritable, and overall a little out of it. The symptoms were more than I expected and less than the doctors described.
Being away from Kendra and Colton was tough. We have "Facetime" on our phones so we can do a video conference. This was great and allowed me to see and talk to Colton as he doesn't do a regular phone yet. However after the first day of this, he ran around constantly grabbing Kendra's phone yelling "daddy, daddy, daddy". He gets pretty upset when we hang up or he is told he can't call me right away.
This is a constant reminder to Kendra that I'm not around. Even if she is busy enough to forget, or focused on something else, Colton reminds her right away. It was tougher to be away from them than I expected. I didn't think it would be fun, but we've spent time away and it's not a big deal. However I think the gravity of our circumstances, coupled with not feeling well and loneliness made it more difficult.
So tomorrow I head back to start week two. Kendra and I are hopeful and excited that this treatment might lead to cancer shrinking or being killed, and possibly even hearing that beautiful word, "remission".
Throughout all of this, it's easy to wonder why God has allowed certain steps to take place. Why did we wait to do radiation until after a year, why does it take nine weeks, why were there the ups and downs we experienced during chemo?
Sometimes it doesn't make a lot of sense in the moment. I spoke with a farmer today who has lost 90% of his crop in the last two weeks. His wife and I talked about how looking forward it doesn't always make sense, but looking backward it's obvious God has been faithful to guide and protect us.
Instead of wondering why about our circumstances, maybe we need to start asking God "what"?
What would you have me to do while I'm here? Who would you like me to serve? What would you like me to learn? How can I honor you?
When we stop doubting God's perfect will, He'll call us to be obedient.
Where God guides, he provides.
Please pray for my family this week. Pray for peace, energy, healing, and most importantly that we would be obedient to where God is leading us!
And don't worry, I'll let you guys know if I start experiencing side effects such as the ability to fly, shoot webs from my hands, or xray vision. :)