Metaphorical Mountain Climbing
|image source: tylerwedell.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/|
The past week or so has been a good one health-wise. Energy levels have been up and I have been feeling more like my normal self.
Tuesday last week saw me at the hospital in the morning having my CT scan so the doctors could monitor the progress of my treatment. Then at school in the afternoon as a 'guest' at our end of year speech day.
Many boxes were packed and then amidst the heavy rain on Saturday, our damp possessions were packed into a van and put in storage. A huge thank you to everyone who came to lend a hand - we could not have done it without you. We have now moved in with my in-laws as we wait for the purchase of our new house to go through. If you pray, praying for this process to go through without hindrance and for it to be completed sooner rather than later will be appreciated.
Tuesday this week I was back in hospital again to find out the results of the CT scan during a clinic with my consultant. The good news is the tumours have reduced in size. The bad news is they have not reduced enough. The doctors are not willing to say there has been a 'good' response.
This means there was some discussion about the possibility of my chemotherapy cocktail changing from R-CHOP to R-Bendamustine. However the consultants had a meeting with the experts at Addenbrookes Hospital today and 3-D measuring was done of my scan. It turns out that the reduction in tumour size is right on the cusp of being 50% so they are happy for me to remain on the R-CHOP treatment - this is good news!
When the doctor told us the not-so-positive result (which now turns out to be fairly positive) my wife smiled! This was not the reaction he was expecting and he gave her a bit of a funny look back. The thing is we both know that God is up to something. This journey is not an easy one. In fact, if we do come across an easy section I am sure we will both be rather suspicious. It came as no surprise that there is yet another twist in the tale.
If you have ever been mountain climbing before, the experience is similar. You are tired, your muscles are aching. All you want to do is get to the top. Mainly so you can have a rest, but also because it will mean you have achieved your objective - you have endured and overcome the obstacles and have reached the end. Looking up, you see what you think is the summit. You convince yourself that in just a little while you will have made it to the top. But as you approach it, more of the mountain rises up behind it! It is not the summit at all, there is still a long way to go!
However I am convinced that I will reach the top of this particular mountain! I do not believe I am going to die - yet. God has got too much still for me to do. I have got too much life left to live. But I've still got a mountain to climb - and I've not reached the summit yet. The good thing is I am not climbing alone. I am supported by a great network of friends and family around the world who are praying for me and supporting me. And when the storm clouds roll in and the visibility on the mountainside fades to nothing; when the climb gets tough and when my body just wants to give up. This is when I become more aware of my climbing companion. He is always there - showing me which way to turn; providing comfort to salve my injuries. I am securely tied to Him who is on the other end of my safety rope; He is one step ahead, further up, hammering in the clampons to the rock face to keep me secure. I am not alone, Jesus is with me!