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.

IMG_4676I’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.

10 thoughts on “1456”

  1. 1456 – that’s a lot of tablets. Maybe it’s not quite so many if you forgot to take them on a few occasions. But perhaps you forgot that you forgot to take them.

    Thank you for the update. It is timely. I, too, have been asked several times in recent weeks “How’s David doing?” As you are aware, there are many people that you do not know as well as those that you do know who continue to pray regularly for your well-being. I can refer them to this latest macarism.

    As your Dad, let me say that my heart rejoiced as I read your summary, not just of your physical condition, but of your reflections on the current status of the cancer, the treatment, the options for ministry, the priorities and the focus for 2020. There are times when the events and circumstances of our lives sweep us along so quickly that we may become confused as to our direction and purpose. As I read 1456, I see God at work, slowly perhaps, but enabling you to let go of some fields of life and endeavour, and re-ordering priorities for a new day and a new year and a new phase. No critique of the past intended – just God saying ‘Let’s re-shape things a bit’ . I recall several fork in the road occasions in several family journeys over past decades.

    And for those who support and pray, it’s an opportunity for us to do so in up to date ways.

    It was good to read of 4.8 kgs lost since New Year. I look forward to sharing some walks next week and perhaps shedding a kilo or two myself.

  2. Good to read your reflections. Thank you.
    I believe your Macarisms are one of the ways that your state of health has brought glory to God.
    While we would love to know that you have no cancer in your body, God has used you in spite of it.
    And I know you will have blessed many.

  3. Thanks Dave,
    We were also wondering how you are and now we know. Thanks also for a few Lol moments. Xx

  4. Just simply praying for you. Your honesty encourages what y how to pray, thanks Dave. And just do what u can! Love seeing y both at Salt.
    Blessings, BB.

  5. Good on you Macca. Down, but by no means out!
    You’re all very well for the state that you’re in! – a poem my mother used to love.
    Keep up the good work. God isn’t finished with you yet.
    God bless,
    Rewa Bate
    Coombs ACT

  6. Hello Dave;

    Your brain may be chemo fried but your spirit is so strong and clear. I know it’s really hard, yet you always rejoice in your blessings, no matter how small.

    Wonderful to read the comment from your dad. Lovely.

    Prayers for you always.

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