You know there are times in your life that you feel that getting on your knees and praising our wonderful God (in my closet that is) is not only needed but very appropriate. Today we are celebrating a milestone in my fight to beat this cancer. I finished chemo only with God's help. God is good and has carried me through the last 6 months of chemo and certainly through some of the hardest times in my life. Again, I'm going to be completely honest when I talk about this. The first four rounds not only challenged me physically and emotionally, but it tested my faith severely. I questioned God at times, and I was downright mad at him. After the first chemo and four day hospitalization, I didn't start off on the right foot with this chemo crap. I hated every minute of the first two months of chemo. The fourth round of the adriamyacin (red devil) and cytoxan took me down for the count. It was sooooo hard. I have never felt that miserable in my life. There were several times during those two weeks after that I sat in my bathroom at home by myself and pleaded with God for mercy. I thought several times that I would rather be in heaven than to feel as bad as I felt. I never want to feel that way again. I read in my devotional book today that trust comes natural to us during times in our life that things go smoothly, but it is in hard times that we have a hard time trusting God fully. I understand that firsthand. I felt like I pleaded so many times for just an inkling of relief to give me the strength to continue. I felt like I didn't get that when I wanted. In these moments, we are forced to decide whether we want to draw closer to him or continue down the road going further from him. These are the moments that define us as Christians when we choose to allow God to work out HIS plan (not ours) in HIS timing. I understand more now and realize that God used these moments in my life to break down some of my walls and to make me realize how much I need him every moment. He is faithful always and always wants what is best for us if we will just live for him. I have decided fully that I will trust God even in the storms because he ultimately has a bigger plan for my life than to just live like I had been living. He has turned my eyes to him through this journey, and I praise him for this so much. I will always be thankful for cancer. I know this sounds crazy, but without it I don't know where I would be. I wouldn't know God like I do now. I've also learned that if I focus on thanking him as often as possible for anything and everything, I focus way less on complaining about things. Remember your bad situations could always be worse, so thank God often. Remember to pray often too. I don't sleep as well as I used to, so I find my mind wondering at night about many things. I stop and try to remember not to worry about things, so I just start praying instead. I'm so not in control so why worry about things anyway. God has this and always will. Well, I'm on to radiation now. I meet with Dr. Stafford, my radiological oncologist, on Friday to get the plan. I hope to start radiation next week. I want to again thank each of you for all the support, e-mails, texts, cards, meals, calls, and words of encouragement you have given me. It has not only helped me take another step in this battle when I felt like I couldn't go on, but it makes me realize again how truly blessed I am. Today my sweet, sweet friends, family, and co-workers from all over the hospital came by at the end of my chemo for a surprise party. It was awesome. My hosptial room was jam packed, and I loved every minute. It brought a smile to my face and warmed my spirits. They brought me cake, a fruit basket, several gifts, cards, party hats, noise makers, balloons, and lots of cheer. I couldn't ask for more. I want to say a special thank you to my good friend Carey, the chemo nurse, that took amazing care of me during the last six months. She is an awesome nurse, and I will truly miss seeing her smiling face and talking and laughing with her. I thank God for her and all the nurses and doctors who God allowed to enter my life during these hard times. They are such a blessing. Well, I better hit the hay now after a great day. I hope I can go to bed after so much excitement today. Love y'all and please pray for my upcoming radiation that it will go smoothly and quickly and be effective in never allowing the cancer to come back. Let's kick cancer's butt!
My prayer tonight:
Thank you God for loving me and still wanting to be my father at times when I didn't deserve it. Thank you for forgiveness when I haven't trusted you fully, complained too much, or acted like a Christian should. For this I am truly sorry, but I'm thankful for the promise of forgiveness of these sins. Also, thank you for renewed hope and faith that you've given me that reminds me that you've already won this battle for me and that you are taking care of every need that I have. You've helped me through so much already with the chemo, and I pray for continued strength and guidance as I begin the radiation treatments soon. God you are AWESOME! Amen. Shayla