In spite of life’s difficulties, there is much for which we can give thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving Week
For me this year Thanksgiving Week ran from 20 -26 November.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!”
1 Chronicles 16:34 (ESV)
On Friday I met with my oncologist, who said I had passed my blood test and I may have my chemo infusion on Monday. That will be my last infusion of chemo! I am done, . . .
. . . well not exactly. Generally, it takes me 17 or 18 days to recover fully from the treatment and some of the side effects have accumulated with time and will take quite a bit longer.
Most of the taste and digestion type effects recover more quickly.
My eyes and nose continue to leak 24/7.
It has become tiring to walk up a flight of stairs. I have not been ‘in bed tired’, but I have been ‘I can’t walk around the block tired’. I am looking forward to recovering some day-to-day, do what needs doing strength.
Finally, who knows when/if I will get hair back, though Karen says she sees signs of ‘new grass growing’.
I am thankful, I have stayed ‘on schedule’. From the beginning the last dose of chemo, was to be the Monday of Thanksgiving Week, if I stayed on schedule, which is not common.
I am also thankful for the results to date. Because my cancer has spread beyond the prostate, surgery and radiation are not useful options. I will be on hormone therapy for the foreseeable future. Chemo at the start improves the hormone therapy results and prognosis. The goal is to get my PSA low and keep it there. If/when it starts to rise there are other drugs. Well, at last check my PSA was 0.11.
“…behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:20b (ESV)
During this entire time I have counted upon the Lord to fulfill this promise. I am thankful for His presence and faithfulness. Guess what – I have not been faithful this whole time, but He has been faithful. He has been present in ways I do not know. But I have felt Him in the prayers of fellow Christians, in the devotions I have read and heard, in the Bible Study Fellowship studies I have done, and when I pray.
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
Matthew 25:37-40 (ESV)
I am thankful for all the people who cared for me.
Karen has hung in there and then when I get to sleep, she spends her nights think about me and my care. To detail all she has done would be difficult. This December 23rd will be 48 years together, so 50th year you’re not far away!
Thankfully, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have done what they science recommends and have worked to keep me comfortable and encouraged.
Those of you who have read earlier posts or are on Facebook know that Jessica and Joel have pitched to help, doing fall yard clean-up, canning, and ‘snow moat’ digging to mention a few things.
Jillian and Jacob are six and four respectively, surely the little children haven’t done anything. You don’t know the little children. They are full of love. Jillian gave me a nickname, “fuzzy.” Even though there are days, I have felt grumpier, they keep coming back, and they have reminded me what joy is.
“unless you turn and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3b (ESV)
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
I could go on, this journey is not over, but the tale of my chemo probably is.
Did you see seven things that are good? I did not count.
If you would like more information, just to talk, or someone to pray, reply to this blog, get in touch at 719-260-7883, text to 719-660-5622, or e-mail email@example.com.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
(All verse quoted are ESV.)
Copyright Gerald Givens
Gerald Givens is a retired USAF Lieutenant Colonel (1969-1991) and contract satellite engineer/program manager (1991-2011). He was born on 16 March 1945, and blessed to be baptized in April 1945, and married to his lovely wife, Karen, on 23 December 1967. He has served HCLC as Lay Minister and member of the Board of Directors. For many years he served with Karen and a third grade and kindergarten Sunday School teacher. Recently he has led numerous Financial Peace University classes and co-chaired with Karen the Holy Cross Momentum emphasis,”SOAR” which was intended to bring Biblically based financial management training to the broader Holy Cross community.