I’ve just passed six months of daily chemo. That’s eight tablets a day, four with breakfast and four with dinner, seven days a week, totalling 1456 tablets. A friend recently shared with me that my silence on social media had made her anxious that perhaps I wasn’t doing too well. So I figured that it was time for an update.
Health-wise, I’m doing pretty well, thanks. The chemo seems to be doing a good job of shrinking and keeping the cancer in check. My last scans showed no observable changes. No change is good with this treatment strategy. It means that the drugs are stopping the cancer from progressing. And probably better than that.
I’ve grown use to most of the side-effects. Seems I’m now allergic to sunlight! The drugs make me burn very quickly and I’ve had to invest in hats, long sleeve shirts, and carrying a small pack of sunscreen with me. This has been kind of weird for someone who has just moved to the beach! I’ve been experiencing fluid retention, swelling to the feet, and muscle myalgia, especially in my legs. I’ve put on weight, gained the alectinib belly, and felt rather bloated a lot of the time. Chemo brain has returned and I find myself forgetting things, but what’s really bad is that chemo brain has returned and I find myself forgetting things. My resting heart rate has dropped over 20bpm to the rate of an elite athlete—except I’m not. When it gets really low (mid 40s) I find myself feeling totally smashed. Fatigue is a big issue for me now. But, I’m alive, getting on with life, and the cancer has been dealt a blow for now. Thank you God.
2020 marks a lot of changes and they’re not fully worked out as yet. Technically, I’m unemployed at present. My work with FIEC has finished and I’m waiting for our local church to work out a firm offer for me to pastor with them. My plan is to work with Salt Community Church at Bonny Hills, and run for President of the US in my spare time. (Did I say that chemo brain makes me think weird thoughts?) I’d love to keep active in ministry, take up opportunities for sharing the good news of Jesus, speak on Hope Beyond Cure, and perhaps move into doing some mentoring/coaching of pastors.
I’ve got a few personal goals. Trying to lose 10 kilos—4.8 so far in 2020. Getting back into writing. Travelling the Great Ocean Road with Fiona—in a couple of weeks time. Taking regular days off—something I’ve struggled with the past 3 years. Our son, Marcus, is studying in Indonesia, so we’d also like to pay him a visit sometime this year. I’ve got a few more goals, but I’m not overly ambitious. Mostly, I want to love God, love my family, love my church, love my friends, and share the love of God with others. I’m not awesome at it, but I know God works through my weakness and failures to bring about his good purposes.