Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fear and Love

Deryl says........We went "chemo class" the other day. Which was informative and scary. As I have mentioned before, the thing about cancer is that the treatment is just as scary as the disease itself. So for those of you who don't understand how chemo works I will give you a brief and unscientific explanation. In essence they give you poison that kills the cancer cells in your body. It also kills a lot of the good cells in your body. The goal of chemo is to give you enough poison to kill the cancer but not enough to kill you or cause permanent damage. So we are really looking forward to that.
They also told us that Kelley's immune system would be severely depressed. So much so that we must keep everything in the house disinfected constantly, that Kelley should not touch things that are handled by many people such as a grocery cart, and if she gets a fever of 100.5 or more she needs to go to the emergency room immediately. If she has a fever of any kind we must call the doctor immediately as well. Good times.
To complete the trifecta of fun Kelley was informed that she would lose all of her hair somewhere between day 2 and day 20. We were already aware that she was going to lose her hair but hearing it so "matter of factually" from that nurse suddenly kind of struck the nail all the way in, so to speak. I don't care if Kelley is bald forever. I am not in love with her hair. But I do know that it is going to affect her emotionally. How could it not? I thought about what it would be like to lose all of my hair and the thought of it made me very uncomfortable. And I am a guy! We lose our hair all the time with no medical assistance whatsoever. But when a woman loses her hair it is like losing a part of her femininity. I think even more so than her breasts. And even though it will come back it is traumatic. This is what Kelley feared the most when we received this diagnosis. It pains me to see her in anguish over this and the many other concerns she has about this situation. But I have also witnessed her grow and let go of things that she never would have been able to let go of in the past. Just in the last few days her faith has grown. She has really embraced this "believing before seeing" concept she wrote about earlier.
So my biggest fear in all this is Kelley getting some type of infection while undergoing chemo and her emotional reaction to losing her hair. So I could use your prayers in that area. I am not much of a worrier so if I am worrying it is usually very serious.
During this time I have spent a lot of time contemplating love and specifically God's love. You could sit around and say why me in a situation like this or you can just trust in the love of God. Jesus said you can sum up the entire bible in the following statement - love God, love your neighbor, love yourself. Seems pretty simple in theory but in practice we make it difficult. I mean how do you love God? How do you demonstrate it? Well, I can try to communicate with Him through prayer, meditation, and contemplation. How is there love without communication right? Jesus said "if you love me you will obey my commands". But I don't see that as following all the commands of the bible. Many people try to do that without any real love in their heart. They do it out of fear. I think Jesus was really talking about when you hear him within. When he is trying to guide you through life. That little voice or tug in a certain direction that you can listen to or ignore it like I did with the vegetarian thing.

Another thing that came to me while I was contemplating this was that we could love God by simply choosing to see things different than we do now. My pastor was telling the story of Adam and Eve last Sunday. He said something that really stuck with me. What he said was that when God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden he said they could have everything in the Garden except this one thing. They could eat the fruit of every tree except one. It doesn't say how many trees they could choose to eat from but I imagine it was hundreds or even thousands. But someone pointed out this one thing that they could not have and all of a sudden that was all they could see. In that moment they could no longer see everything that was available to them. All of the abundance and good things God had given them was lost in their eyes. They saw the one thing they didn't have and said that thing will make my life better if only I could have it. Well you probably know the rest of the story. But what really stood out to me from that story was how that seems to be the source of the problem of most people. We get focused on how life will be so much better when we get this or that. My life will be better if I had more money, better health, a wife, a husband, a baby, etc. And we totally lose site of everything we have available to us now. Our family, our friends, our job, our life, our breath. If you are able to read this blog right now you can be grateful for a computer, internet access, your sight, not having cancer. There is so much to be thankful for in this moment right now.
If we can begin to see that God has provided every good thing in our life it will increase the love in our hearts. When we receive the money we need and instead of just seeing the money see the one who gave it to us and be thankful. Then our hearts will be full. We will begin to see more of the blessings in our lives. And the things that we lack and think we need will become less important.
Yes my wife has cancer. And yes I would prefer that she didn't. But I have my wife right now. And I don't know if that will always be the case. I am grateful to have found someone that I love so much and that loves me just as much. I have someone that treats me with love and respect and loves me in spite of my many flaws. And I have her right now. I could lose her tomorrow or 50 years from now but fretting about it today only diminishes the gratitude and love I could be feeling and sharing. We don't worry and love at the same time. We cannot feel fear and gratitude in the same moment. So at this moment I am choosing to see the good and thank God for it. That is one way I can love God. I hope this doesn't come across as preachy as I am writing this to myself more than anything else. But if it helps anyone else then that is a bonus.
I don't know if I would be spending all of this time thinking about God and His love if I was not in this situation. But it is changing me for the better.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this--it reminds me of the Next Step verse from a while back:
    "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out all fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us." 1 John 4:18-19
    This is something I have to remember daily- I am like Kelley in how I like things to be worked out and organized and going smoothly. You have both been so strong in this, it is an honor to pray for you and your family. Love you all so much! Cait