1/3/17 Today we begin, or end, depending on your point of view. It’s the beginning of treatments, prayerfully it’s the end of the insurance struggle.
I’ve noticed I’m withdrawn. I need to process my emotions, and I’m a little irritable. So, I’ll write. It helps.
Father, speak to me so my reality aligns with your greater truth.
In late November we made plans to spend New Years Eve with friends in Galveston. That was when we thought this would be the 2nd or 3rd week of treatment. As of Friday 12/30, my treatment plans were still being denied as experimental and treatments were moved back to January 3rd. (I will save my rant of disgust for another day. I am working on the forgiveness I need to be in a healthy place over it all.) I had two thoughts going through my head: 1. Getting on this plane is an act of faith that God is in control and will work all of this out. 2. A Chinese Proverb about luck.
1. Acts of Faith I got on my phone to Uber to the airport. My email dinged that I had a message. There was a notification to check my MDanderson app. When I popped it open, there were my treatment plans, starting January 10th! 12 days from now. So what do we do? The answer: Freak out, make phone calls, and finally pray… Go home or go to Houston? I heard in my heart, Go to Houston, it’s a step of faith. In truth, I felt irresponsible getting on a plane without a set plan. I felt like I was abandoning my family without knowing where I would land. I don’t do irresponsible. Yet, I kept hearing that this is a step of faith. And, we had friends waiting for us on the other end of the flight. We had, and I guess still have no promise that my insurance will pay for this treatment, but I have assurance that God is my provider. When I started writing, I didn’t have anything “spiritual ” or awe inspiring to say. It is only now that I am reminded of Abraham in the desert who was told to strike a rock for the dehydrated Israelites, of Gideon who sent most of his soldiers home and fought with trumpets and jars of clay. Steps of faith… I guess getting on a plane isn’t so crazy or brave. It is now that I am reminded that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1). (Thanks Papa for this reminder.)
So Monday, while I am spotting gators with lovely new friends in Missouri City, we get word that the saints at MD Anderson, who seem to always be working on my behalf, have worked it out to start Chemo Tuesday and Proton therapy on Wednesday night at 10:30 PM. This is when anxiety shows up. The fight over insurance, Christmas, and life have kept me distracted, but now I am in Houston. There are no kids to interrupt my thoughts. I guess no one is going to call and say, We had this all wrong. The tumor disappeared. We couldn’t find it on the last MRI. (At least they haven’t called yet.) This is just surreal, I mean really, there are moments that I just think, “This is crazy. I’m not sick. I run, I lift weights, my abs are flat for the first time in years… This is just so weird.” But, I guess this is happening.
Here I am sitting in the waiting room to start chemo…
okay, you aren’t going to believe this… I got a call from the guy sitting 20 feet away at the registration desk that I need to go to my Chemotherapy Oncologists office go sign papers. After a nice little walk back through the skywalks to elevator A, floor 10, I meet with nurses who explained the process and possible side effects of chemo. And they delay my treatment until tomorrow because it is more effective with the radiation. And I am reminded again that I am allowing my perceived circumstances to dictate my mood. And peace returns.
Reflections on the Chinese Proverb. I am continually being reminded that I am in the middle of the story. It’s almost impossible to know where you are in the middle of a journey. Getting frustrated with circumstances, specifically blaming God (or other people) for them, is like getting mad at the author of a book because the main character is in a bad way. You only see the authors brilliance and creativity and know how good he or she is when you keep reading / keep living. We must, I must be, careful not to put the bookmark in the book and stop reading because we don’t like a particular chapter.
CRAP! I hate when I step on my own toes when I preach or write… so here we go. Aetna, I forgive you for denying my treatments, repeatedly. What I needed you to do was pay so I can get to the business of healing, and you let me down. Law makers, I forgive you for creating a system where companies cannot do the right thing for fear of being sued. I want you to fix this problem, but I doubt you are aware it exists, so I forgive you. Katie, I forgive you for looking at the insurance company and lawmakers as your security. Father, please forgive me for making these things and even the medical professionals taking care of me the sources of my security and mood. I allowed these things to become idols. You alone are my provider. These things are just tools in your hands, as am I. I am so sorry. Help me to keep proper respective and to not make this mistake again. Thank you for showing it to me.
I plead the blood of Jesus over this sin. I break every legal hold of the enemy in the name of Jesus. I tell fear, doubt, and judgement to leave me now. Do not return. Holy Spirit, thank you for your cleansing grace and mercy. Fill me again with more faith, love, and kindness. I declare that God has made me a new creation through his son, Jesus, and he continues to make me into something more beautiful, more like him, and he will accomplish all his purposes in me. That is his promise!! Whoo, my spirit is jumping in praise. I love you, Lord.
In other news… I think Beautiful Surrender will be my theme album for this season. Jamming out to You Came right now. The Things I Wish I Were Told When I Was Diagnosed With Cancer is a great article. And I have got to write a blog about the many, many people who have showed up at just the right time in the last few weeks…