I have been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and, on this site, I will provide updates as I have them. I will also treasure messages of encouragement and promises of prayer. I am trusting the words of Juliana of Norwich:
God did not say: You will not be troubled, you will not be belabored, you will not be disquieted; but he said: You will not be overcome. God wants us to pay attention to those words and always be strong in faithful trust, in well-being and in woe, for he loves us and delights in us, so he wishes us to love him and delight in him and trust greatly in him, and all will be well.. . . [The Lord says most comfortingly]: I may make all things well, and I can make all things well, and I shall make all things well, and I will make all things well; and you will see yourself that every kind of thing will be well.
Last Thursday, I had another infusion of a Zometa, the drug which prevents and treats the bone damage which Multiple Myeloma can cause and which seems to have some effect on the cancer itself. As happened a month ago, when I had the first infusion of this drug, I had about four days of flu-like pain and fatigue. This past Monday, I went to Duke to see my transplant oncologist for a three month post-transplant checkup. I am doing well in most ways, but some of my blood counts were lower than is optimal for starting the oral chemotherapy which was scheduled to begin this week. It's likely that I will add that drug to my treatment regimen in a couple of weeks, after my counts have had a chance to recover.
No one is alarmed by the counts or the delay. Fluctuating counts are not uncommon this soon after transplant; and, overall, the trend of my recovery is toward increasing health and vitality. I am very grateful.
I am also aware that I have to do what I can to support my recovery. For the most part, that means getting more rest. It has been important to me to be back at work. I love our church, and I knew that my resignation would mean that my remaining time as pastor would go by quickly. By my own choices, I have, for the most part, resumed my pre-transplant pace and patterns--not my wisest choices. Apparently, the transplant didn't replace my Type-A temperament and deeply-grooved workaholic habits, anymore than it made me an extravert instead of an introvert!
So, "Frank" (my nickname for Multiple Myeloma) is teaching me yet again: he is demanding that I live and work within more reasonable and sustainable limits. I am a remedial student at best, but I know it matters that I "get it" in ways I haven't in the past. I will get tutoring from Jesus, a decidedly better teacher than Frank, who said: "Come to me all you labor and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls." Real rest is about far more than not working; it is about letting the will and way of Jesus shape our living so that it is in harmony with his wisdom, compassion, and peace.
One of Jesus' better students, Julian of Norwich said: "We seek rest where there is no rest and therefore are uneasy. God is the True Rest who wants to be known. God finds pleasure in being our true resting place.”