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  • Debbie Cowles

We need your prayers... plus a huge praise item!

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

Can I say how thankful I am for your prayers? We will never know the full picture until we get to heaven of what a difference your prayers make, but I’m sure it’s tremendous, and I am so grateful for each and every one. It was a very long chemo day on Monday, but it went well. I started out with a blood test and would have been sent home if it was not sufficient. So we had to wait over an hour on that and this will be the normal routine. It’s actually nice to do it all in one day, because that means one trip to Manchester each 3-week cycle instead of two. Plus less exposure to the “outside world”. We are strictly self-isolating (except for chemo appointments) because to get the coronavirus while on chemo with a highly-compromised immune system would be, humanly speaking, disastrous. The government regulations are for us as a vulnerable household to self-isolate for 12 weeks, but it may be longer depending on how much chemo I get. More about that later.

I was more peaceful going into chemo than I thought I would be. Much more peaceful than the day I had the hysterectomy. I have had large doses of steroids for three days and also another strong anti-nausea medicine. I have now finished the mandatory three days of medications. The only thing I have now is a different, third anti-nausea drug to take as and when needed. And I consider this a miracle… I have not been nauseated at all so far. Thank you, thank you for your prayers! I have a headache today and I’m exhausted. I’ve only slept 4 to 4 ½ hours each night since Monday, probably due to the steroid dose. So hopefully that will improve soon, though I often struggle with insomnia anyway. So I’m very tired and feel like I’ve climbed a mountain. But this is way, way better than terrible nausea.

One huge prayer request… Early last week, my oncologist warned us that, though it would be ideal if I had 6 chemotherapy sessions, each 21 days apart, finishing by July 6 at the earliest (depending on blood work each time), he had no idea if I would be able to have that many. The “powers that be” above him may decide it's too risky to continue with the patients’ immune systems being so compromised with the growing risk of coronavirus. Monday, he was much, much more serious about it and said it could change any week. That honestly made me very fearful. As scared as I have been of chemotherapy, I suddenly realised that I am much, much more fearful of the cancer not being eradicated and coming back with a vengeance. I have been praying a lot about it and giving it to the Lord, and even praising Him for whatever His will is regarding it, before I even know what His answer is. But I would certainly appreciate your prayers. I want to be at peace about this. I am asking Him for the number of chemotherapy sessions that my body needs. And of course this will affect many, many more cancer patients than just me!

I asked my chemo roommate if I could pray with her before I left and she gratefully accepted and seemed quite emotional when I finished. She is younger than me and went to the doctor with hip pain and ended up with a stage 4 ovarian cancer diagnosis and it's already in her lungs and liver. It was her first chemo session as well. It’s very sobering to realise I could have ended up just like that if I hadn’t had the prophylactic surgery in January. And if that 1st surgery had been scheduled for now, I’m sure it would have been cancelled. Praise God for His leading to have it in January. And please pray that any cancer left in me would be completely eradicated with whatever number of treatments I have.

It feels like a terrible time to have cancer and chemotherapy combined with the threat of coronavirus, but Steve reminded me that, humanly speaking, it was a terrible time for baby Moses to be born. And look at the unique way God preserved him and then used him in a mighty way.

Today, let’s try not to just focus on the news, the problems. Focus on God, His promises to never leave us, good music, beauty for our souls. Take time to feed your soul. One way we have done this is through daily local walks. We are not supposed to be driving now, but we live in a gorgeous area of the countryside and can walk right out of our door and never see anyone on our walks with the new stay-at-home regulations. (We live opposite a Scout camp which is now shut down.) Through yesterday we could still drive a few miles to get to new walking spots, but now we are not supposed to drive except for certain conditions. We had the most gloriously sunny, windstill day today. 62°F. It has been rainy, foggy, and cold for so much of the first quarter of this year, that this was a wonderful change. I spent a good deal of the day outside, enjoyed the hammock, and even had a specialist appointment by telephone outside. We had lunch at the picnic table.

‘Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand…before You…and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear….For we are powerless before [everything] coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.” …. Thus says the LORD to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed… for the battle is not yours but God’s…. ‘You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf...’ Do not fear or be dismayed... for the LORD is with you”

2 Chronicles 20: 9, 12, 15, 17

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