It’s been a challenging week, and the challenges look like they’re going to run through the weekend into Monday.
Last Monday my mother received her third treatment in the four-week cycle her doctor has devised for her. On Tuesday she received a shot to increase the white blood cells the treatment had depressed. That was all regular and expected. After that we thought we were to have a two-week rest from doctor’s appointments, chemo treatments, etc.
But on Wednesday she developed a severe back spasm in allergic reaction to the shot. I called the doctor who prescribed one Benadryl and two tablets of Vicodin every four hours. My mother, of course, didn’t want to take any of them, certainly not over a period of time, though she did. Not sure how clear her mind would be (recalling how unclear mine was when I’d taken Vicodin for my broken arm) I went over every 4 hours during the days to make sure she was doing okay and to see that the proper drugs were taken in the proper amounts at the proper times.
When it wasn’t better Friday I called again and spoke to the nurse who said the symptoms should abate over the weekend, since they rarely lasted longer than three or four days. She added that I should have my mother take two Benadryl and two Vicodin every four hours over the weekend. Despite my telling my mother this — multiple times over the weekend — she kept thinking she was only to take one of each, so if left to herself, that was what she did. And then complained the meds weren’t doing any good. She also kept forgetting to eat when she took the Vicodin and so got an upset stomach.
Things were beginning to improve ever so slightly Saturday night. Then this morning she awoke with a “terrible sore throat”. So I checked the chemo-drug information which told me to contact the doctor as soon as possible. I called the Oncology center and talked to the on call physician who told me to go look for white spots in her throat and if there were he’d call in an anti-yeast medication for her. So I looked. Hmmm. There were whitish areas, but they weren’t spots. Didn’t even look like “patches.” Certainly not like cottage cheese or “lesions,” as the internet articles described.
Having no real idea what I was looking for, I didn’t call him back. He said if it wasn’t better in the morning, we were to call the center again and she’d have to come in. I wasn’t sure, but it seemed he implied that the sore throat might also be a side effect of the shot. On the other hand, thrush is apparently common in those with cancer and when one has dry mouth and she has had a very dry mouth ever since taking the Benadryl. So… I have no idea.
This morning was particularly difficult and afterward I had to remind myself that I am not responsible for this. I did not cause it, I do not have the ability to make it go away, I don’t have the training to know what’s going on, I’m not a nurse, so it’s absurd to expect myself to do all this correctly. To think I have a clue.
Then less than two hours later in Bible Class, Pastor once again spoke directly to me (though unknowingly, of course). The lesson was on living in the peace and rest that should be ours thanks to having been reconciled to God. Thanks to the fact that God’s got everything under control and has already done all the work. He even spoke about medical things, just an offhand comment/illustration, but my goodness — exactly to my situation:
“One of the greatest problems we have is living in fear, worry and anxiety. Those things take away our rest. In fact, I found that I have felt the best these last few months when I decided to give up worrying about medical stuff: Did I eat the proper food? Take my medication? Am I doing the right thing? Should I even put this stuff in my body?”
That’s a quote from my notes which paraphrase to some degree, but boy was I excited. Exactly the things I’ve been dealing with in regard to my mother. Why is it so hard to remember… I don’t have to take control. I don’t have to solve the problem. It’s God’s problem. He knows exactly what’s going on, what is causing what, what He wants to happen and all the rest. I’m just a stupid sheep. Why would I even think that I could know all that, and more, that God would demand such a thing of me in order to solve the problem? No. He demands that I let Him solve the problem and I just can’t quite let go and do that. It seems right, it’s almost compulsive this insistance I have on trying to fix things…. How stupid. How… crazy.
But that’s the flesh: sick, unsound, deceitful…
I only have to stay in fellowship and if I’m not at rest, I’m not in fellowship. More than that, rest connotes confidence, so if I’m not at rest I’m not confident. In fact I’m disobeying God’s word, which says the only thing I’m to fear is not being at rest. He’s commanded me to STOP WORRYING AND TRUST HIM.
And really, that is not hard. You just do
So. I may not be home for a good part of tomorrow. Then again, I might. But seeing as I’ve already fallen out of the habit of get up at 7 and work til 9 on Sky, I think tomorrow I’ll shoot for doing at least an hour and a half of that before tackling the throat issue.
Living in the rest and peace that comes from understanding that you have been reconciled to God.
Romans 9-11 series: 2112-458
Taught on Jan 24, 2010