It wasn't until later this morning that I became aware of today's date. Today is June 6th. Usually, unless it is a birthday or anniversary, dates are not too important to us. Most of the time, days simply slip past us, one right after the other. June 6th is neither my birthday, anniversary or the birthday or anniversary of a family member or a friend and yet I remember it.
Six years ago, I awakened to feelings of both dread and excitement. I was filled with excitement because it was my last day of dose-dense chemotherapy. Oh how I had longed for that day. I counted the days and then the hours until my suffering would be over. My hair would finally grow back and my skin would get back to normal. The tiny scratch across my hand which hadgrown to be nearly half and inch wide and looked like a three year old had constructed the scab would finally heal properly after nearly four months.I wouldn't have to endure day-long infusions or bone pain any longer. Well... not much longer. You see, it wasn't over yet. I still had to get through today and that was the problem. I dreaded what I was facing.
It doesn't take long for your body to learn that when you go to a certain thing on a certain day, bad things happen to it. Remember Pavlov and his dogs? Well, it is true for the cancer patient who undergoes chemo as well. Even as you are walking out to your car, you can feel your body screaming, "NOOOOOOOO! Do NOT go there! Do NOT go to that place. RUN!" Do you know what? I wanted to do exactly that. I wanted to run so far away that no one could ever bother me again but I knew I couldn't. I had to do this, no matter how painful it was, no matter how much it hurt me. I had to do it.
At the clinic, my doctor, his nurse, the chemo nurses, the office staff greeted me with smiles on their faces. "Today is the day. Today is your last chemo infusion!"
Resisting the urge to run, I took a deep breath. Today was my last day but I had to get through this day which was Friday. The good news for me was since I did not have to have any more chemo treatments, I would not have to get a Neulasta shot tomorrow. That was good news because Neulasta and I do not get along and some of the pain I experienced during chemo was due to Neulasta.
As I prepared for my last chemo infusion, I realized that while it would be over late that afternoon, I would still have to through the next weeks of side-effects (I didn't feel the effects of my chemo drugs until Sunday afternoon).It wouldn't be the end of treatment. I would face radiation treatments in July and August but the finish line was definitely up ahead.
Six years have passed since my last chemo infusion. When I think back to that time, my heart is full of thanksgiving just like it was then. The prize awaited me but I had to still get through the day. I got through it.
There will come a day when we will no longer endure any pain, suffering, loss or grief. We will no longer face any hardships or have our hearts broken. We will never face loneliness, ridicule or rejection. All of that will be over and we will claim our prize but first... we must still get through the day and we can do so through Christ.
[q][b]The prize awaited me but I had to still get through the day.[/b] [/q]
This is a wonderful testimony of how God helped you to persevere; an excellent analogy that so appropriately aligns with the scripture that reads:
[quote][b]I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. [/b] [KJV] Philippians 3: 14[/quote]
Recalling important "occasions" like this, I believe, are critical to the deepening of our gratitude; for surely this was no easy assignment for you, as noted in your "tags." But, by the grace of God, you kept your eye on the prize, and the wonderful testimonies that have come from how God has helped you regarding these health issues have blessed countless numbers of people.
Thank you for sharing this most important day with us, K .
Happy Thanksgiving, I suppose might be the most appropriate response!
I love how, in the midst of all you were going through, you remember the smiles on the faces of the staff.
You really are an exemplary for giving thanks in everything.
Thank you so much for sharing this blog.
You are the prize and your faith and trust in God through Christ Jesus our lord has strengthened and encouraged us all onward in our own races ...Thank You!