Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Update #65

Anyone want to guess what I heard today?

Ding. Ding. Ding.  
You got it: wait and see.
For at least a week, more likely for four weeks.

My tumor markers continue to be above normal (as they have been for many months), but are up slightly from last time.  My scans showed slight disease progression, but only in one area of my bones.  The rest of my scans showed that all other bone lesions are stable and that no other organs appear to be affected.  Because the new lesion on my bone is so small and because this is the first time my markers have gone up since switching to this treatment, the PA felt that it's too early to make a treatment change.  However, since my doctor is out of the office for a family emergency, she wants to consult with her via phone or with the other MD to make sure they agree.  Given how my Dr. has made decisions in the past, I think she will agree.  

If she does agree, I will continue on with this treatment and will go back again for blood work on January 8th.  

Phew.  A "yee-haw" and a "yikes" all in one.  
Mixed bag results are both so fabulous and so not-so-fabulous, aren't they?   

Thanks for your prayers.  How I am grateful for you.  For all the ways you stand in the gap for, and encourage, and love my family and me. You are so important to me.
If I'm not back in touch beforehand, have a wonderful Christmas…

Love to you,

BTW - sounds like the "loudest vs. deepest desire" stuff has made an impact on more than just me.  I appreciate the many emails/posts/messages you've sent about it.  Good stuff. Thanks, Tim Keller! :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Update #64

Guess where I get to go tomorrow? 
Yep; That Place. 

I've spent the better part of the past three months with my Tuesday morning bible study girls studying Mark and using Tim Keller's Jesus the King as a commentary.  It has been a fabulous study, perhaps my favorite.  And, although I could probably provide you with a month's worth of great new learnings from Scripture or insightful quotes from Keller's book, there is one that has been bouncing in my brain and my heart for the past few weeks that is fitting to share tonight.

Keller states, "Often what seem to be our deepest desires are really just our loudest desires."
[You may need to read that again and spend a second processing it. I know I did!]

Unfortunately – because it's bedtime in the Rush household and the kiddos need me to put them to bed – I can't give you the full context for this quote, other than to say Keller makes it after witnessing Christ's prayerful wrestling with, and then surrendering to, God the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22), just hours before He is betrayed, arrested, put on trial and sentenced to death on a cross. 

What it means is this:  Often the thing that we think we most desire is really only that which is screaming the loudest in our minds, our bodies, our circumstances, our hearts.  

For me, the loudest desire is to be free and clear of cancer forever on earth. It's to be told my cancer is gone. It's to have a body that doesn't ache and hurt to the touch. It's being able to run and feel the wind on my skin and the sun on my face.  Those are honest and good desires. 

But those aren't my deepest desires. 

My deepest desire isn't to be free of cancer.  
It isn't to have a fully functioning body.
It isn't even to run.

My deepest desires are all about living fully as a daughter of The King - wherever He has placed me, and with whatever He has put before me, for whatever reasons He has.  My deepest desires are about being joyfully and peacefully obedient to Him, with a deep sense that He is always as He promises to be: loving, good, powerful, and present.  And with a deep knowing that He is at work here and now and that He will, one day, set all things right. 

Loudest versus deepest. 
It's a pretty big concept. 
And, I'm sure it's not just me who relates to it.

I bet you, too, have some pretty loud desires.  Things that are shouting at you and tempting you to believe that, with their satisfaction, you will be complete and whole.  A spouse who treasures you.  A child who makes better choices. A boss who esteems you.  A job that fits you.  A checkbook that doesn't look so meager.  A womb that isn't empty when you don't want it to be.   

Yet I bet, if asked, I bet you too would realize that those loudest desires may not really be your deepest ones.  I bet you'd realize that, while they're loud, they won't rescue you.  They're loud, but they won't fully satisfy you. They're loud, but they won't fill you with forever purpose and with overflowing hope and joy.  

Hmm…loudest vs. deepest.  

How I need to hold fast to this when I walk into Roswell tomorrow at 9 AM and hear the results of my scans.  
Because this road is not easy.
Feeling like this isn't easy.
Being there isn't easy.
And even remembering that my loudest desires aren't my deepest desires isn't easy. 

So I guess that's my request from you all on this beautifully snowy night in Buffalo, NY…I would love your prayers for Chad and me as we head to Roswell.  That the loudest desires for a cancer-free body would be realized (remember #6 prayer from a few months ago!), yet even more so, that we would fully trust and obey and go forward in joy, peace, and rest no matter what we hear.   

Thanks, friends.
Sleep well.

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace…" Isaiah 55:12