Some of the cancer spots have grown by 80% in the last eight weeks. Progression of disease, as I said in the previous post, necessitates a decision about treatment or not. The treatment that has the highest response rate, 60%, would mean treatment every week three out of four weeks. The other two options only have a 25-30% response rate. One causes horrific problems in about one out of three patients. The other I need to learn more about.
These are some of my current thoughts, off the top of my head, and probably subject to change:
Whatever happened to dying naturally??? Why should I choose between the equal evils of a variety of treatments, all of which are just delaying the inevitable? Why is the inevitable, death, such a bad thing? Why do I want to stay on this earth with horrible chemo side effects when I could be in HEAVEN??? Isn’t Heaven supposed to be good? Why am I delaying eternal healing and freedom from suffering?
Am I making decisions for myself or for other people who are thinking about the issues from a totally different, or at least an a lot different, paradigm? What if their paradigm isn’t congruent with mine? What if they are basing their responses on their own fear of death, not realizing that death is the doorway to Heaven? Should I base my decisions on my paradigm or theirs? Ultimately, I need to do what I feel God is leading me to do, regardless of anyone else.
What IS God leading me to do????????????????????????????????
If I were to do the weekly treatment, I couldn’t keep working. Stopping work = taking the first step toward death. If I’m going to die, I want it to happen as quickly as God in His mercy will make it happen.
I don’t want to leave work I find very fulfilling and rewarding to live as an invalid, all the while knowing that eventually I’ll run out of treatments to try and my body will be so weak and destroyed that it will eventually give out, maybe in a much worse way than if I were to stop treatment now while my body is relatively healthy. Healthy, by the way, seems like an oxymoron for describing someone with cancer....
Why is it that the emphasis for so many people seems to be on being alive at all costs, regardless of physical condition and quality of life??
When do the stress and side effects of treatment outweigh the benefit? What is the benefit? Who gets to measure that? I think I do.
What if I stop treatment, let God keep me alive for as long as He wants, and enjoy the greatest quality of life possible for however long I have left and do the most good I can while I’m here, instead of becoming so weak and dilapidated and miserable from mouth sores and horrible skin problems ETC that I can’t do anything at all well?
And along these lines:
Am I finished with the work God has given me to do?
Should I use the medical interventions available or do they extend life unnecessarily?
How do I envision the rest of my life on weekly treatment if I can’t work?
Do I want to live without a purpose, and what defines purpose, my purpose?
What loose ends do I need to tie up?
A side note: December 29,2008 is the date of my very first medical appointments related to cancer. So, today is, as some people call it, my cancerversary...
On another side note, I read Psalm 27 this morning and am including it here, for obvious reasons...
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evil men advance against me
to devour my flesh,
when my enemies and my foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
O God my Savior.
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will receive me.
Teach me your way, O LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
breathing out violence.
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.