I came across this verse the night before my first chemotherapy treatment on October 24, 2000. I honestly don’t remember much about that night. Too much time has passed and most of that year was a blur of treatment and raising a 3-year-old and baby. I probably would not have even remembered this verse had I not written into the margin that the Lord lead me to it and dated it. I can assume I was filled with overwhelming fear. Fear of what the actual infusion would be like and how I’d deal with the side effects. Fear of what the future held for my little family.
Reading through my cancer journal reminded me that my first day of treatment wasn’t so bad. It did take 6 hours because of the experimental drug I was taking. I had to be pumped full of Benadryl before receiving the drug. Once the Benadryl was onboard the drug was administered at a very slow drip which was increased when I didn’t present any side effects. Unfortunately, within an hour I started to run a fever and break out in hives. The drug had to be stopped, more Benadryl administered and the drug started at a slower drip once again. My oncologist staid I was given enough Benadryl to knock out an elephant. I didn’t experience bad side effects from this drug other than feeling achy for a few days. What I was more fearful of was the chemotherapy.
The one thing I do remember from this day was the oncology nurse who took the time to talk to me about my fears over treatment and side effects. She encouraged me by letting me know that she was a breast cancer survivor and had been through treatment herself. She reminded me that there were some wonderful drugs to help with side effects nowadays. Above all, she told me I would get through it.
I did get through it. It wasn’t easy. I got sick within two hours of treatment instead of the next day which isn’t as common. The wonder nausea drug didn’t work on me but I was still able to use another one that got me through the difficult post treatment days. I lost my hair, gained weight, dealt with sleepless nights/agitation from the steroids and felt like I lost out on the first year of my youngest daughter’s life. BUT, I did survive.
Looking back I realize that I had no other choice but to go through treatment in order to extend my life. I had to trust that God had a plan and part of this plan was that I had to trust Him while walking though my cancer journey.
David wrote Psalm 56 while he was being attacked by his enemies and his life was being threatened. He was reminding himself to continue to trust God during this fearful time in his life. I pray that if you are facing a fearful time that you will remember to trust in the Lord. Do not take your eyes off of Him and trust that He will walk you through whatever you are facing.