Friday, February 02, 2007

Lessons Learned

As I begin my fifth month of dealing with relapsed acute leukemia, I have garnered some lessons which I'd like to share.
1. One by one the things which I used to depend on have been taken away. Because of the RCA's change in insurance, I had to change doctors, medications, and hospital. My house is quiet and empty since my daughters went back to college, and my wife now works full time. Loneliness is a real challange. I believe that God is weaning me away from anything that is not Him.
2. The medical/insurance changes which were so upsetting ended up being to my advantage. I am now being treated at a hospital only 20 minutes away, and is one of the foremost facilities in the country. The transplant team does over 200 stem-cell transplants a year. Lesson learned: not all change is bad.
3. Hospital time is not normal time. Each day I drive to the hospital, making sure I get there on time (or early!), and I am greeted by procedures (go here, do this, pay this person), delays, etc. While the arsenic trioxide is entering my IV, time slows to a crawl.
4. No prayer is too small. I routinely ask God for parking places, painless IV insertions, light traffic on the highway.
5. Daily Bible reading in the morning calms my nerves, illuminates my mind, and fosters prayerful communion with the Lord. I am grateful to the St. James Devotional Guide I have been using. It provides order to my reading, and in the midst of all these changes and stresses order is good. It is also inexpensive ($14 a year).
6. Not leading worship is very hard.
7. God's mercy is new every morning. It arrives in varied and unexpected ways, but it arrives.


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