Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Praying for Peace

“My peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” - John 14:27

Johnny had another chemo yesterday and this time has been an especially rocky road. I now have to roll him into Mayo in a wheelchair. He is simply too weak to walk far. He weighed in at 153 pounds with his tennis shoes on. His constant state of nausea is uncontrollable. It prevents him from being able to eat hardly anything. The doctor did prescribe a patch for nausea that has just been approved for release on the market.

I picked it up today at the drugstore. They had to order it. I had to ask the pharmacist to repeat himself when he told me it cost $400 and only lasts 5 days. The insurance paid for part of it and left us with a $135 balance. Is it me or are the drug companies out of control?

You can do the math and figure our expense if we have to keep him on this non-stop. Not that money is an issue at all when it comes to doing whatever it takes for his comfort and pain, but I feel like the drug companies prey upon the helpless, because they know we will sell the shirt off our back to help ones we love in distress. I confess that this is a real challenge to my peace.

However, all I can do is to keep my eyes on the Lord and keep his WORD planted in me that tells me to not let my heart be troubled. There is no other choice. Well, there is but I have to hold myself back from letting my protective instincts rear their ugly head when my family is threatened or taken advantage of when they are vulnerable. If I was not a Christian I could seriously hurt somebody. You know what they say about “hell hath no fury like a woman’s wrath!”

And so I bite my tongue as I watch over Johnny suffering in anguish, his body wasting away from his robust 215-220 pounds that he used to be to a frail, bony shell of a man. Today he never got out of bed. I had to reassure him it was alright to just release the need to do anything but try to heal. I knew he’d never make it back up the steps today if he went downstairs. Not today. So he just sighed with relief and surrendered to it and slept all day.

On the way out of Mayo yesterday, as I rolled him down the hall he suddenly flailed his arms in desperation. A wave of nausea hit him suddenly. By the grace of God we were passing a trash can and I threw everything off his lap trying to secure the wheelchair quickly so he could step out safely. He stumbled to the can puking on the way, but managed to grab the can quickly. It was the end of the day and not many people were around. But the few people that passed, stopped to help us and a volunteer brought us a cup of water and a bag in case we had another incident on the way home.

Now he is struggling with being able to reach the bathroom in time when those “gotta go” moments hit. We had to take measures to protect his clothes and the bed. I also need to buy a shower chair now to help him when he bathes. He didn’t protest at all when I mentioned it. I did get him to eat a popsicle today and take a few sips of Gatorade and water.

The good news is that by the end of the day he said he didn’t feel nausea. Hallelujah on that note. I told him maybe if he can get a good night’s sleep his appetite might be restored some tomorrow and that would help him to eat more and regain some strength in general.

Whew! Thank God the Lord is my shepherd and walking with us through this current valley! I can’t imagine going this alone without Him. I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. My prayer tonight is that He will also give Johnny some strength to make it day by day. Johnny never complains. I hope he will rally and be able to watch the Gator game on Thursday. The past week of football marathons really gave him something to look forward to each day.

It’s past midnight now and my eyes are blinking as I write. I just checked on him again and his voice sounds better. I’ve been doing laundry all day and taking down the Christmas tree. I am hoping that “tomorrow will be another day” filled with hope and resurrection.

Though I am tired I will recite Psalm 91 out loud as I fall asleep and continue to thank God for all the good in our lives knowing that, though there are tough times, they never last – but tough cookies do! Our trials always lead to blessings. Our hope is alive and well that God the Father is in control. I will continuously praise the Lord no matter what. His faithfulness is my shield and buckler. Goodnight God! Blessings to all. We covet your prayers.

In His Love,



Jen Harris said...

Oh Rene, I am praying for strength for Johnny and for you and Scarlett as well. I am sorry that Johnny is having a hard time with his treatment. I love you guys.

Anonymous said...

Good morning. I've been reading and praying through your journey. I'm the person that saw you and Johnny at Mayo yesterday. I so wanted to say hello and tell you what a witness you and your family are. I've enjoyed talking to Scarlett and she herself gives us all someone to look up to in allowing herself to let the world see her walk with Christ.
I was thinking as I was reading this and wondered if they'd ever prescribed Johnny Zofran. I had a girlfriend that was on it and it was the only thing that helped her nausea. The only downfall is the expense. I don't know if it is covered by insurance or not. It's a thought though.
I continue to pray for your family and be amazed at the strength and humble attitude ya'll all seem to carry. It's a blessing and such a honor to be a part of it through reading your blog.
Many prayers and much hope,
Jenny Bright