Thanks so much for your ongoing support, love and prayers for us as we sojourn through this challenging and difficult time in our life. I know that many of you are awaiting an update on my fight…
Here’s the latest and some of my musings about it:
As many of you know, I spent most of September and October having to start and stop my treatment because my liver was not tolerating my ‘big gun’ meds. By November, it was evident that my liver was maxed out and it became necessary to indefinitely suspend treatment. I have been off drugs for close to 4 weeks now and there has been little improvement in my condition.
Last week it appeared that my liver was recovering and so I was hopeful that we would be able to move forward with some form of treatment by week’s end. However, the latest results show that my liver is once again under high distress and very unstable. I am seeing my specialist tomorrow and I suspect that this continued inflammation will mean that treatment will continue to be a no go.
Even once my liver stabilizes, I will not be able to go back on my ‘big gun’ meds. However, we do still have several other treatment options to pursue. We are considering trying a less aggressive oral regime. As well, my specialist has referred me to an infectious disease doctor in the hopes that I can be started on IV meds. However, that is a high risk option with all sorts of potential complications and all with no guarantee that it will have the curative affect we so desire. And, of course, IV treatment is reliant on the outcome of my Provincial and/or American test results – the results of which are still pending as I write this. (I know that many of you are praying for these specific test results and we appreciate your prayers!)
The past 10 weeks have probably been the darkest time in my journey to date. Without a doubt, it has been the most physically grueling time to endure ...and emotionally I have struggled with feelings of total despair and hopelessness. It has been scary and overwhelming to realize that my deteriorating condition can no longer be blamed on side effects or “herxing”. It is evident that I am now at a crossroads in my fight against Lyme disease.
Psalm 143 (The Message) has been my heart's cry...
"Listen to this prayer of mine, God! Pay attention to what I’m asking. Answer me – you’re famous for your answers! Do what’s right for me.
The enemy hunted me down; he kicked me and stomped me within an inch of my life. He put me in a black hole, buried me like a corpse in that dungeon. I sat there in despair, my spirit draining away, my heart heavy, like lead. I remembered the old days, went over all that you’ve done, pondered the ways you’ve worked. I stretch out my hands to you as thirsty for you as a desert is thirsty for rain.
Hurry with your answer, God! I’m nearly at the end of my rope. Don’t turn away, don’t ignore me! That would be certain death. Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting in you. Point out the road I must travel. I’m all ears, all eyes before you. Save me from my enemies. You’re my only hope! Lead me by your blessed spirit into cleared and level pasture land."
Medically speaking, things look bleak; the fight feels so futile and a cure seems to remain frustratingly elusive. It was one thing to endure the grueling and horrific effects of treatment when I felt that the outcome was having the desired curative effect but to feel as though the past 8 months of treatment have gotten me no closer to health is a crushing blow. This reality has forced me to face and wrestle with some very tough questions.
Ultimately, I believe that God is sovereign over the outcome and I continue to Trust Him. However, as of late, I have struggled to understand and accept that God’s timing in all of this is perfect. My illness and subsequent battle with it has been an incredibly long ordeal for my whole family. It is difficult to understand why this must go on so long. The loss of my ability to participate in my kid’s lives on a daily and consistent basis is a cavernous hole in my soul and I grieve it deeply. And it is so very difficult to see the toll that my illness has on my husband. While I am busy being sick, he is busy being both mother and father, chef, chauffeur and chief toilet bowl cleaner all the while trying to balance the challenge of full time ministry.
In a lot of ways, we have gone beyond survival mode and just do our best to exist through the challenges of each day. Yet, in so many ways, the intensity of our struggle helps us to recognize our total need for God. The all-consuming nature of my illness is presenting us with the unique opportunity to bear witness to His immeasurable power and love. I suppose it is only human to long for or expect that life should come to us exempt of pain and struggle. The reality is that life is full of challenges and difficulties. I suppose, when it comes down to it, I am grateful that I can help my children navigate this reality secure in the knowledge that God is here in the midst of it with us.
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you are between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end – because I am God, your personal God. I paid a huge price for you: That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you!” - Isaiah 43:1-3
And even if our circumstances seem to deny his existence and despite how we may feel, He has promised to never leave us or abandon us…
"So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6
And that our trust and hope in Him is not misplaced…
"Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it. And without any question that oath is binding. God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls." - Hebrews 6:16-19
So while I persevere at this crossroads, waiting for His leading, waiting for His healing, I have a choice to make…I can question God’s timing, doubt His promises and fall into total despair or I can choose to trust God, believe what he has promised me and place my hope in him and prepare to be amazed at how he works.
I choose to trust.
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don't try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he's the one who will keep you on track.
Don't assume that you know it all.
Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!
I claim that and believe it. Whether my healing comes through further medical intervention or divine means, I believe that it will happen. In fact, I believe that it has already begun, it’s just a matter of time until I see and experience it.
Thx once again for your continued support and encouragement...it is so appreciated.