Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Reporting from the real Jane

The Way I See It #259

"People say, oh I could never do that! But when you meet cancer patients you understand the bravery and spirit those people show each and every day. Their struggles and spirit motivate you to test the limits of your endurance to cross that finish line. You'll be surprised at what you can do."

-John Kellenyi, eight-time marathoner and leading fund raiser with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training.

Interestingly, this was on a Starbuck's cup filled with a latte (the last one I drank several weeks ago). My sister-in-law had not read the cup when she got the coffees.

I always maintained that I would never do chemotherapy if I got cancer again (I had lymphoma in 1975). And here I am, 15 months of chemotherapy later, wiped out and barely able to eat. It is amazing what we will do to survive. I don't think we're instantly brave or strong. It's the determination to go on, to feel we're "finished" with our task on earth that brings those strengths out of us. Not everyone is called upon to use them, but I believe everyone possesses them. No one can say "I'll never do that" or even "you should do this or that" because you just don't know until you're walking through these tremendously hard decisions yourself. And nobody knows but yourself when it's time to relinquish the fight, not out of cowardice, but perhaps from some eventual inner knowing that, in the grander scheme, it's time to cross that finish line that God has set before you.

These last several weeks have been the hardest yet. I've layed in bed thinking that I cannot do this much longer. What good is treatment if it's making you so miserable that you can't do any more than wander from the couch to the bed. And especially when treatment isn't making a difference. All this time, the treatments have only served to stave off the inevitable. And that is the real issue. They never told me this would be cured. When the cancer broke through to my lung area, I definately turned a corner, physically and emotionally.

We're not sure yet as to if these last few treatments have made a difference. I was supposed to get 16, I didn't even make it through 4 complete ones. I will have a PET scan this Friday and we'll see. For now, we are taking a "chemo holiday," and at this point, I'm not sure if I want another drop of the stuff. The doctor talked about going back on the same treatment I had last year, as we are running out of options. I think I pretty much gave him a blank stare.

At this point, I honestly can't say that I'll do more chemo, unless they come up with some miracle drug. I'm so burnt out from it. And oddly, I feel a sense of freedom. If I can have a few good months with my family, share another summer, savor the beauty of God's creation here on this earth, smell the sea, feel the coolness of the mountains, sit in a boat on a lake, even just watch the birds come and go from our bird feeder... this will be time well spent.

Pray with me, dear friends, for wisdom and peace, for the rest of my days to be as pain free as possible. Pray for my dear family, for comfort, for security, for peace that passes understanding.

I will let you know scan results probably next Monday.


PS: I am not checking any video attachments or web stuff that is sent to my computer. My computer is slow and these things take a long time to open. If you need to send this type of mail, please send to Doug's computer via his blogsite. Thanks! Love you all!!


chia said...

Love you, Jane.. praying for you and your family always...



Anonymous said...

Dear Jane:
I think you, Doug, and your family are extremely brave. To determine what you want to do, put your priorities in order,and make a pro and con list. No matter what decision you make, God is with you, and whatever decision you decide, just do it. I will keep putting your name in for healing, and Doug's name in to give him peace and comfort. That is what I do when I go to my church each week. I wish you the best, and I wish you to be pain free, have strength to enjoy life, and your family, and I wish you peace. Love and Prayers, Regina

Anonymous said...

(from Becky Hiller)
Hi Jane, I have been praying for you so hard and so long. I have cried out to God on your behalf. I do not know what is the wise thing to do. I only know what MY selfish person wants. I see the wonderful wise being you are and want to be around you and learn from you for a very long time...
Since I am feeding Erin baby food, I was wondering if baby rice cereal or other plain baby foods would feel good on your stomach. They are supposed to be only one food, supposed to be chemical free and maybe you could eat them? Baby barley or oatmeal, too. What about plain rice? Does that feel good on your tummy? I hope these are helpful ideas for you. (Although I bet others have given you these ideas already!) :)
I will keep praying for you and Doug and the kids.
I am still stuck on begging God to heal you. I sure miss seeing you and talking with you.
I had such a vivid dream about you and Doug recently. (Hence the phone messages.)
I love you and will continue to pray for you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jane,
I miss seeing you. You are in my prayers always! I really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and feelings. And I agree with you 100%. When I come by I will bring our whale watching pictures! See you soon.
Lisa Herder

Anonymous said...

We are still praying for you and your family. Thanks for keeping us all posted on what is going on.

Anonymous said...


If you find peace in your decisions, then you know it's a God-thing! I'm praying for you and your family and I know He's working through you. Here's to sunshine and happy birds!

Cindy Killip