Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Complaining


I hesitate to complain, but I've been depressed lately. I want this whole cancer thing to end, but it doesn't. It just goes on and on and on.

I'm still really fatigued, and it frustrates me. I'm so tired, I just want to stay home in bed and watch tv all day. Of course, with three little kids, that's not an option.
My feet hurt like crazy. From what I can tell, it feels a lot like arthritis. I thought is was an injury. But the doctors have concluded that it is a side effect of tamoxifen (the oral meds I have to take for another four years). Although I have avoided the menopause-type side effects, I'm experiencing the common bone and joint pain associated with that drug.
I also recently experienced lymphedema. It has been over a year since my surgery and I thought I was out of the woods. The Saturday after Thanksgiving I woke up with a swollen hand, and sausage fingers. Once again, I hoped it was an injury. But the doctors said it is indeed lymphedema: swelling due to the removal of lymph nodes. It's ugly and uncomfortable.
I try not to let these setbacks get to me, but they do.
I want to feel healthy and be able to function at a normal level. I'm tired of being exhausted and feeling 30 years older than I am.

I find myself giving in to discouragement. With that, my faith is weakened. I feed my flesh with the food of self-pity. And that opens the door to all kinds of evil thoughts and unbelief. My heart grows cold.

[Therefore beware] brethren, take care, lest there be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to cleave to, trust in, and rely on Him], leading you to turn away and desert or stand aloof from the living God...
~Hebrews 3:12 (AMP)

These are the moments when it is important to have friends, to be a part of the beautiful body of Christ.
And it is important to be honest with those friends.
Friends who will come alongside you,
who will encourage and uplift,
who will warn and rebuke,
who will help align your thoughts with the word of God,
and who will "wrestle in prayer for you." (Colossians 4:12)

But instead warn (admonish, urge, and encourage) one another every day, as long as it is called Today, that none of you may be hardened [into settled rebellion] by the deceitfulness of sin [by the fraudulence, the stratagem, the trickery which the delusive glamor of his sin may play on him].  
~Hebrews 3:13 (AMP)

Thankfully, I am blessed with many of those types of friends, who remind me where to put my hope and where to find my strength and joy.
The picture posted above is the most cheerful bouquet of flowers I have ever seen. They arrived at my house today, from a dear friend who knew I was feeling down.

4 comments:

  1. Stephanie, take heed of Joshua's words to the people, "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Usually the enemy will try to use discouragement against people as a last resort aware that great breakthrough is right around the corner. You go girl!

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  2. I have watched you from afar and been constantly amazed at your fortitude and graciousness you have had through this battle, since I too had the same battle. A person expects to return back to "normal" the instant they are done with the chemo and/or radiation. My doctor shared with me such wise words when I became discouraged because I wasn't returning to what my "normal" had been. "We all have certain milepost in our lives; such as marriage, the birth of a child, death of a spouse, or cancer, that forever changes what our normal is".

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  3. Anonymous, well said. That's exactly how I feel. Wish I knew who you were...thanks for posting. :)

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  4. Greetings from Wordwise Hymns. It was Lina Sandell Berg's wonderful hymn "Day by Day," in your side bar, that caught my eye, as I posted an article on it yesterday. You share some good insights in your post. My wife suffers from depression and other chronic health problems. God's supply of daily grace is so important.

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