As many of you know, I’ve been given the option of continuing with my treatments as is (every 3 weeks), starting to space them out, or stop them completely. I’ve come to the decision to stop them completely for the time being. It’s a little crazy to think that I’ve been receiving chemo treatments every three weeks since Febraury 2014. That is a long time! I’m ready to close this chapter in my life and on June 30th, I will be heading to Penn for what I hope is my last treatment ever.
To stop treatments is not my first choice and it’s not something I’m 100% comfortable with yet, but I know without a doubt that this is the right decision.
What made me choose this? There are a lot of factors but it boils down to wanting to be obedient to God’s will. I must note here that this DOES NOT go against any medical recommendations from my oncologist. I’m not deciding this out of the blue and I’m certainly not against treatments or doctors or medicine or any of that. In fact, I very much see the importance of and advocate for good medical care. This is not a choice everyone in my shoes must face and I certainly wouldn’t look down on someone who chooses to continue. In my mind, that makes the most sense anyway! But I’ve had two clear PET scans recently and so this was brought up as an option. This was a choice I didn’t want to make, you may recall. I tried to make my oncologist choose for me and then I tried to make my husband choose for me. Neither one took the bait so I was left to the task. I’m very glad I blogged about it (I almost didn’t) but once people were praying for me, it was literally the next morning that God gave me the overwhelming and indisputable answer. I was to stop chemo.
I realized as I read Matthew 16:21-23 on Friday morning that I was Peter. Peter was trying to protect Jesus from His demise, but Jesus was not having any of that! Jesus says, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God but the things of men.” How rude, right?! I’ve been perpetually offended by this verse, literally for a few weeks now. How could Jesus say that? Then I realized that I was offended because I was doing the very thing that Jesus was condemning Peter for, I just hadn’t realized it yet. I was focusing on the world from a human perspective and so I was unable to discern the will of God. I was solely concerned about self-preservations and was leaving God out of the equation. I was trying to cling to the chemo as a safety net in case God didn’t come through. I’m not proud of that, but once I realized that that was what I was doing, I knew which choice I was going to make. There were other things He used to get through to me, but I don’t want to bore you!
I don’t think it would be dishonoring to God had I chosen to continue. But once I let Him in on the decision making, He made my choice clear and suddenly the one option I had confidently crossed off my list became my top choice. This is the riskiest option and I’m not a risk taker. But I am convinced beyond any doubt that God is behind me in this decision and will sustain us and provide for us just as He has since day 1.
This is not to prove a point.
This is not to look like I have this amazing faith and I’m so awesome.
This is not to test God or to force His hand into my complete physical healing.
This is not to look brave or courageous (trust me, I am anything but!)
This isn’t for attention.
This is not anything but obedience. It’s me looking up to God and saying, “I trust you, Father, in where you’re leading me.” His will be done. Not mine. Do I believe that? Is that what I really want? Then I need to show Him by doing this. I have already experienced His miraculous healing in the fact that I’m still here. So why would I need a safety net now? Now’s the time to walk on the water: eyes fixed on Jesus, not the storm.
I will continue to follow the advice of my medical team, should the cancer come back and they want me to restart the Keytruda, I will. I will continue getting scans as necessary and seeing my oncologist when needed. I have a lot of very complex thoughts and feelings about this and I’m not sure it all came out adequately in this post so I want to be very clear: medicine, doctors, scans, tests, all of it is good. I would not be making this choice if it hadn’t been presented to me. I trust that God has put me into great medical hands in my oncologist.
But I also trust that at this point in my personal journey, His grace really, truly is sufficient for me.
And now life can be a little less this:
And a whole lot more of this: