I finished my second round of the new immunosuppresive med (Rituxan, it's actually another chemo med but not as harsh as the one I needed the port for). My next round isn't until August. So far, I haven't noticed any improvement and we're actually have trouble getting some of my lupus symptoms stabilized. Extreme fatigue, finger/toe/hip joint inflammation/pain, face rash, and fevers. We've upped the dosage of one med and added a super strong anti-inflammatory med that used to work well for me. And then there's my head.
Ah, my head.
So there is definite progress. The pain has reached a tolerable steady state and peaks when I try to read or focus intensely on something (like painting or sewing or writing). I am able to read for about 20 minutes before the head pain is a bit much for me. My eyes get blurry too, so I just have to rest and both the pain and the eyesight get better, so that's good.
I broke a sweat trying to figure out how to hang some pictures on the wall today. Literally sweating and head pain galore. It's a gallery wall. And I can't figure out how to lay out the frames.
Oh the number of things I still take for granted, even after previous trials where I thought I learned not to take them for granted.
I've had a few days recently where I am oh so aware of how broken my body is. Chemo did a doozy on me (major hair loss, skin issues.) One night as I stood applying a "grow your hair back faster" spray and three different lotions to help with after effects of chemo and high dose prednisone, I just started crying. I am so broken. My body is so broken.
This second "but" is a "but God," you know, the best kind of "but." Easter Sunday I sat in the side room at church (the worship music is still too loud for my head) and I heard one of the men reading from Isaiah 53. I pulled it up on my Kindle (yay big text size!) and read along and did a "whoa, repeat that again" on verse 5.
"But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed."
Healed. I am healed. I'm living in a "already, not yet" form of body. It's going to 100% healed someday because He's already done the work.
God loved me so much that He sent His son to die for me so that I can have eternal life...in a brand new, no blemishes, no swollen joints no rashy skin, or eye-blurring head pain, body.
This, His wounds, the stripes made by whips, this makes it worth it. It makes each day doable. Because the healing has already taken place. Both my heart and my sin, and my body.
So as I make baby steps in increasing my capability for house chores and exercise and fun outdoor things, as I discipline myself to set down the book and give my brain a rest, as I work with my team of docs to find the right cocktail of meds to get me on the right path to continue to regain my previous abilities and capabilities, I can handle the setbacks, the rough days or nights, the disappointed hopes, the not met yet goals, the challenges of hanging frames in a way that pleases the eye. I can handle them because He is able to the uttermost to help, heal, comfort, provide, and sustain me. And to day by day make me more like Him. And then when we see the improvement, the progress, the carefully arranged picture frames, we (and hopefully you) will see Him in all of those.
By His wounds, His stripes. I am healed. Oh, what a happy, happy day.