|Our grandaughter Annie likes to help Papi take his treatments.|
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Anchoring myself in hope.
Anchoring myself in hope.
This is technically Terence’s blogspot, but Terence & I do everything together, so he doesn’t think twice when I write. So here I am. I love doing this. Who doesn’t like to put their feelings to paper? For me, it helps me cope.
So, here we are. Into week 2 into the extended Phase 1 TOK-001 trial. So many new things to cope with. For starters nausea has overcome Terence and it knocks him outa’ the game for an entire day. He takes TOK-001 treatments daily, and now with his adjusted diet, his body is quickly absorbing the medicine (that’s good!) to the degree that it’s equivalent of increasing the dosage 10 fold! That’s huge. No wonder he’s getting sick! Poor guy!
Our next step is to take Dr. M. up on his suggestion for a nausea prescription (Terence thought he didn’t need it). At least maybe we can have dinner together again???
I think there are 2 types of cancer patients. A victor and a victim. Cancer victors face pain and suffering even potential death with a certain kind of confidence . Not arrogance, but a quiet kind of confidence.
That would be Terence.
I think the secret to that is knowing how to cope with all of the emotions that accompany a cancer diagnosis. Fear. Terror. Grief. Self pity. Guilt. Depression. Lonliness. Denial. Low self esteem.
Trust me, Terence & I deal with all of those emotions-sometimes on a daily basis, they come right out of thin air, like a gut punch- one after another. These can be powerful emotions that can escalate into full blown panic if I don’t keep them in check and remind myself of the Hope we have in Christ.
I have to admit, I struggled sorely with this last week, and panic ran amuck. That doesn’t happen very often in our house, but last Friday it certainly did. Mind you, we have been dealing with advanced medical directives, legal medical issues & the uncertainty of a clinical trial and life and death itself. My fearful thoughts ran unchecked and I became anxious about living without Terence. Terence had left on a 3 day fishing retreat (I missed him tremendously, and was weirdly afraid I wouldn’t see him again!)- and by the time he returned, I was in a full blown panic mode!
The dam broke and once I started crying I couldn’t stop. He still had his fishy smelling clothes on and I fell into his arms weeping deeply. Whimpering like a puppy separated from it’s mother, I begged, “please don't die”. I cried and cried.
And kept crying. After awhile, I suggested to him that it was okay if he went to take a shower, which he did. When he came out, I was still crying. I was crying when I made his dinner and still shedding tears when I put the dishes away. He seemed so helpless, he couldn’t comfort me. I felt sorry for him. He kept saying, “Honey, I am sorry I have cancer, we’ll fight this together” (which made me feel worse because he was comforting me!). All I could say was, “Please don’t die, please don’t leave me. Tell me you’ll be okay, Please”. Terror literally gripped me. I was a mess.
I failed to anchor myself in hope and I fell apart.
Hope. Hope. Hope. Without hope, cancer becomes an unbeatable foe, a giant that will terrorize you and your family.
Hope reduces the disease, the treatments and day-to day-living to a ‘do-able’ size.
Our hope is in Christ and in times of despair, He promises to never leave us or forsake us.
I will never be alone.
As for Terence he always finds ways to encourage himself in the Lord and finds ways to encourage the rest of our family!!
He anchors himself daily, and refuses to allow despair overcome him. He may sleep a lot and grimace in pain, but he never wallows. He constantly reminds me "Sherry, Jesus is your Hope. He lives in you. Don't ever forget that".
Whew. And that is ONE day in our week.
Thank God Terence is a victor.