As I have thought and prayed about this day (chemo No.7), I've felt more at ease about what I might experience. Even though I'm in no way excited about getting infused with chemo today, it seems a little more bearable than it did the last time I posted. I know that this is a direct result of your prayers for comfort, peace and perseverance as I face these last, most difficult rounds of chemo. The familiar phrases of Thank You, Muchas Gracias, Merci, Danke Schoen do not even come close to expressing how thankful I am for your support for our family throughout these trying months.
Good News/ Things we are Thanking Jesus For!!!
I only have 2 rounds of chemo left!
After todays' infusion (+ my 2-weeks of chemo pills) I will only have one more round which is currently scheduled for April 11. Thank you JESUS for showing your awesome power and compassion as you have carried me through each of these. The ways that people have held us up in prayer serioulsy remind me of the way that Aaron and Hur supported Moses when God asked Moses to hold up his staff (in faith) throughout an entire battle against the Amaleks. Here is a quick look at this amazing partnership and faith that Moses, Aaron and Hur expierenced that day as Joshua was down on the ground fighting the battle.
I now have a CEA level of 2!
If you look back to some of our original posts you'll see that I was diagnosed with CEA that was the highest our doctors had ever seen. It is now 2! (Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is one of the markers used to follow patients with colorectal cancer during and after treatment. In this way CEA levels are used to see if the cancer is responding to treatment or to see if it has come back after treatment. People who do not have cancer have CEAs of 1-4.)
While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them. Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”
So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill. As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage.* Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up.** So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset.*** As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.*
Exodus 17: 8–13 (NLT)
So maybe it's the elementary teacher in me, but I love to differentiate things with COLOR! I'm a visual learner, and it just seems to help me to find the nuggets that I'm looking to learn from while I'm reading. So, please excuse my color-coded verses if you are a graphic designer like my dear artistic husband. 🙂 I just love that God used this simple physical arm-strength lesson to show us how much we need our friends, and how when we just obey his simple commands, even when they seem crazy, he will come through and take care of us. I'm sure that Moses thought that it was a little crazy, silly, even unnecessary for him to hold up the staff in order for his army to keep winning. But I love how this is a simple hands-on example of our need for God. By holding up his staff, he was actually giving God the glory for the success in battle. It was a simple thing for the soldiers on the ground to look up and see, and I can only imagine how it wowed them as they understood what was happening, and grew their view and understanding of God's personal provision for them.
Our Arms are Tired** You are our "Aarons" and "Hurs"!***
You are the ones holding up our hands:
- Your belief in our all-powerful, HEALING GOD & your reminders that he has a plan for us
- Your continual prayers on our behalf (we are especially thankful for these when we realize that we are too overwhelmed, tired or fuzzy-brained to pray)
- Encouraging cards and verses
- Friends cleaning our house, walking our dog
- Friends coming to visit me at the hospital & at home while I'm nauseous
- Financial gifts that blow us away and humble us
- Friends taking Josh out for FUN things like bike rides, coffee tasting and a good beer.
- Mount Hermon's support of Josh taking off time to be with me through surgery and chemo
- MH's amazingly generous offer to let Josh's mom stay in the cabin across the street for free so she can care for our kids
- My parents & Josh's mom's love and support through childcare, gifts, sacrificing their entire schedules & prayer.
- meals, encouraging gifts, vulnerable conversations
- Our precious Vintage Faith staff & volunteer family carrying The Vintage Kids Ministry while I have not had the strength
- Friends and family offering to watch our boys so that we can get out on a date!
I know that these parallels are not exact, but this story truly reminded me of our experience with you all, OUR AMAZING COMMUNITY. And just as The Israelites were victorious to "overwhelm the army of Amalek," not by any great military power, but by simple faith, I believe that God is transforming our battle with cancer into a victory over this disease and a crazy platform to share his love.