On May 31 I went in for my fourth maintenance chemo treatment. We got started a little late, but everything went really smoothly. They even took my blood from my port, which I was excited about because it meant one less needle-stick.
Pretty much from Tuesday afternoon until Friday morning I watched a lot of movies and slept. This can be so hard for me mentally because I’m a list-person, and I could see that list of all that needs to be accomplished, and I’m not doing any of it. But I know this rest is so important for my body to heal and to be ready to give 100 percent to the tasks on that list. Someone suggested that for those days I write a new list that says REST on it, so I can cross it off at the end of the day. Sounds silly, but helpful!
It has now been a week since chemo and I’m feeling good. I did battle with insomnia on Sunday night, and ask that you would again pray that I would sleep well this week. I struggled with this the last time I had chemo, about a week after the treatment. With help of some sleeping meds, I got a good night’s sleep last night and am ready for what the day might hold.
A few upcoming oncology dates: July 21 – PET scan (I prefer this scan because I don’t have to drink anything!!); August 9 – maintenance chemo #5
more aware of my need
I am a needy person! Sometimes it’s not until we are outside of our places of comfort and security that we realize how needy we can be. I have been in Vienna for about four months. And there have been many days in those four months that I felt like a two-year-old because my need delivered these emotions that I couldn’t help but wear on my face.
I recognize my need for being known, accepted and loved. It’s hard to be known when I can’t communicate who I really am in another language. It’s hard to be accepted when I stumble in learning the language and culture. And when you aren’t known or accepted then love can seem to be a far-distant dream.
This emptiness drives me to Skype my family and friends, to keep up on Facebook and try to hold so tightly to those people who love me, accept me and know me. These are the people I can simply “be” with. Not that communicating with them is wrong, but God wants me to stop striving to fill myself up and “feel better” and simply sit still and be in that empty space. He wants me to recognize that regardless of where I am, what I’m doing, who I’m surrounded by that no one on earth can ever fill that emptiness. He wants me to run to His arms. He wants me to bring Him everything (all of my questions, insecurities, tears, anxieties, struggles, dreams, expectations, etc.) and allow Him to fill every bit of emptiness with Himself. He already knows me, He accepts me because Jesus died in my place, and He loves me more than I can even comprehend.
“But may all who search for You be filled with joy and gladness in You. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, ‘The Lord is great!’ As for me, since I am poor and needy, let the Lord keep me in His thoughts. You are my helper and my Savior. O my God, do not delay” (Psalm 40:16-17).
There’s a song that the youth sang when I served at a church in Chicago. Such a great reminder to me to wait on God to fill me up instead of running in all of these other directions to “feel better” or even “feel full.” It’s called “Stay Empty by Aaron Niequist. Click here to listen to the song and read the lyrics: http://www.aaronniequist.com/music/stayempty.html
I’m headed out on Friday for a four day retreat with my church. This is a great opportunity to work on my German and get to know this community better. Please pray for me, my energy, my language learning, good sleep!!!, developing friendships and that God would truly be glorified in and through me as I spend time with this body of believers.
Thank you for journeying with me! Have a great week!