If you are on the Teal for Tarah Facebook page you already saw this picture of my 12th chemo treatment. The collage encompasses the sentiment I had with two days of chemo the week before. (Benjamin calls it my grump face). The photo also shows the port in my side through which I received chemo drugs, this method of chemo is called IP or Intro Penitential Chemotherapy, and although harder, they said it could double my life expectancy.
On a lighter note, the picture also displays Care Packs I have begun to put together and pass around the chemo room, which has become a calling and bright spot for me each time I go. What I did not realize when the pic was taken was how sick this cycle would make me (IP chemo can make you very sick sometimes.) Many know I ended up having to go to the emergency room Sunday, because I was violently ill for several days and unable to keep down even a sip of water.
Thanks to prayers and good caretakers I have begun to stabilize, and although I am weak and my stomach’s uneasy I can proudly say it has now been twenty-four hours since becoming sick. I do have chemo again today, but I am thankful that I have additional Care Packs to distribute, and I will be in the company of amazing caretakers and a God who goes before me.
The day of my last infusion, the one that made me so sick, my devotional challenged me to strive towards rejoicing in all of life’s circumstances, which doesn’t come easy as I’ve been scared of and dreading another chemo. As I pray I did discover, once I focused on my many blessings, it is easy to see so much I have to be grateful for; I have a home to rest in, a husband who loves me, family and friends who help and pray for me, a puppy to lay by my side, and although food does not sound good, I have plenty to help keep me strong! I have enough support to share with others, and much to rejoice about despite the circumstances. I am certainly not grateful for Cancer, but I can be thankful in the midst of the storm.
To close I’ll share a moment in my search for thankfulness and rejoicing in the midst of Cancer treatment. While I was in the hospital, sick from the chemo, I asked Ben to crawl into my hospital bed with me. Since I could talk very little, and not do much more then close my eyes and pray, I asked Ben him to tell me about things we could/would do when I was no longer so sick. Some of things he told me about were grand gestures, the picture of us sitting on a beach somewhere, and some were things we used to take for granted. The idea of cooking a meal together, or going to the store, watching a movie, or coming home from work to talk about the day. There is something about being sick that makes you really appreciate the life and blessings you have been given. I encourage you today to rejoice in your circumstances, rejoice in the blessings and moments we’re granted, thank God in Heaven who created them for you, and I commit to endeavoring to do the same even as I face my fifteenth round of chemo.