I was back at the Cancer Center yesterday. I have to get my port flushed regularly as long as I have it in, and it has to stay in until they are done doing regular scans, so for now, I’ll be visiting the Cancer Center every six weeks or so. It was very nice to walk in and know that I wasn’t going to have to have chemo poured into me, but otherwise it felt very much the same.
The nurse asked all the normal questions, and when she got to “any pain?” I told her about the joint pain. That changed everything. Suddenly I went from a simple port flush to an exam room, meeting with my oncologist, who wanted to ask lots of questions and poke everywhere and look in my mouth and eyes and run blood tests. That was a little scary, but at the end of it all she decided that there were no new lymph nodes that she could feel and the blood tests were good, still not back to normal, but progressing well, so she was satisfied. She believes that the joint pain is indeed post-chemo, and unfortunately, there isn’t much that can be done except treat it symptomatically while trying not to destroy my liver with pain meds on top of all the chemo meds. In other words, put up with it as much as possible.
However, the whole event was kind of a slap in the face for me. I have been telling myself not to be ridiculous, that it’s over-reacting when I start thinking that every symptom I get could mean that the cancer is coming back. I’m just being paranoid. And here, the first time my oncologist hears of a symptom, that is exactly her reaction. So maybe it’s not so paranoid.
It makes it a little harder to settle into the mindset that it’s all over, and time to go on with my life. I feel like I have to be diligent and watchful, like the cancer is going to try to sneak up on me if I’m not careful. To be really honest, it scared me. I don’t feel as safe as I did before I went to the hospital.
Time to remind myself again, time number eight thousand, two hundred and fourteen: My life is in God’s hands. I can trust him with it. He is the only one worthy of trust. He will take care of me and do what is best for me, whether that means easy circumstances or difficult ones.
Back to the verse that got me through everything at the very beginning, Isaiah 41:13:
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. NIV
Because I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you.’ MSG
I am the LORD your God. I am holding your hand, so don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. CEV
For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you. NLT