Phase Two

Relive My Teenage Years??

Started the next round of chemotherapy today. It’s actually two different drugs that work together on the type of tumor I have. There is a list of side effects but, according to the Tall Guy (pharmacist at the Oncology Center), one of the most common side effects he sees is … acne. Seriously? Of all the things to relive from my teenage years, zits would not be on that list. In any event, the hope and prayer is the same; that the tumor would be reduced in size and removed. If it happens miraculously or in a more mundane manner, the praise would still be His.

One thing that has changed over the last few weeks is the pain level. I’ve always had a dull ache since January or so. On a scale of 1-10, it ranked a 1 for the most part. These past few weeks, however, the pain has increased to 3 and 4 every day. Where I once took pain medication on an ‘as needed’ basis, it’s now a nightly occurrence so that I can get some sleep. I’m trying not to take any medication during the day but I’ve noticed that trying to deal with the pain without meds makes me … irritable. Can joy be found in the midst of pain? My head says yes but my gut groans and rolls and stirs, sending sharp reminders that sometimes cause me to double-over and I have to catch my breath. It’s a new normal because the old normal seems to be fading quickly from my memory.

Baby Eva Update

Thank you so much for praying for my little granddaughter. She had her first x-ray and consult last week and the doctor explained what could happen. An operation is the key to separating the plates but he wouldn’t want to do that until Eva was at least 9 months old (that would be ‘nine’ JoAnn) . He doesn’t believe she’s in any immediate danger but would want to monitor her closely. My son and daughter-in-law will be getting a second opinion in July from a well-known surgeon in the area for this particular procedure. Baby Eva is clearly oblivious to all of this and seems to like being held and having her brother try to figure out who she is. Gail and Kristyn got a chance to see her over the weekend while I stayed home (see paragraph above). She seems alert and very active. And, of course, very beautiful.

Surely God has his hand in all of this. As we continue to move along this path, I’m thankful for your prayers, generosity and grace. I think I like Rick Warren’s idea that life isn’t really hills and valleys but kind of like two rails on a railroad track. No matter how good things are, there are bad things to work on. And no matter how bad things get, there are good things to thank God for. Eva seems to already have a handle on this insight; maybe I need to grab hold of it.

In the Palm of His Hand,
Rod Bayron

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