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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Cowles

Coronavirus; chemo start; still safe

The United Kingdom, which is the size of Oregon, now has 460 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 387 are in England, which is the size of Alabama. Will chemo still continue? Yes. The cancer I have is aggressive, and the first chemo is scheduled for 23 March, which will be just short of six weeks post-hysterectomy. It’s an all-day process with bloodwork, then anti-nausea drugs in an IV, including a massive dose of steroids, then the chemo for several hours. I’ve felt like running from it. It feels too recent. The memories of what I saw mom go through in the 7 trips I made to be with her in her cancer journey and the things I heard about from a distance are too fresh. I’ve had a real phobia of the chemo. I don’t want anything to do with it, humanly speaking. But God has shown me that chemo is a gift. “What??!!” I thought. It’s his gift of life to me. Either to prolong my life or to kill the cancer cells and give me a much longer life. But either way, it’s His gift. I’m still learning about this, but I trust Him. My times, my days, including my number of days, are in His hands. This whole process is also His gift to me to re-evaluate, re-prioritize. To trust in Him ALONE. I’ve been so helped by some sermons by Tim Keller. Like ‘Praying Our Fears”:

Am I still safe? Absolutely. I’m not running from Him. I’m not rebelling. I’m still in His grip, His grace. (The sculpture picture came up today on my Facebook feed from 3 yrs ago when I was at a Christian centre in Wales.) We’re in a fallen world, where disease can hit anyone. But I have Him, and I am profoundly grateful. Am I scared? Definitely. But I am confident in Him, leaning on Him, and finding Him totally sufficient.

Chemotherapy will be every 21 days, though it could be delayed if my bloodwork is not sufficient. There are six sessions in total. I have a series of blood tests to determine my kidney function level next Monday, the 16th, when I see the chemotherapy doctor. This is what will at least partially determine the amount of chemotherapy I will be given. Please pray for God’s will in all of it. And pray that we would be protected from the coronavirus, as getting it when my immune system is devastated by chemotherapy, would, humanly speaking, be disastrous. And don’t forget to praise God for all that He has done and all that He is going to do. I think it’s really important to thank and praise Him before we even know the answer or the outcome. Thank you for standing with us, for caring, for lifting us before the throne.

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