Chemo is Brutal

We have had long days of chemo. Last Friday was a 14-hour day at Cedars and today will probably be about ten hours. The reaction to the chemo is harsh. When we know that a chemo day is coming, when we are driving to the hospital, when we are waiting for the inevitable, we do our best to keep things positive and focus on God’s goodness and mercy. We talk about other things and wait patiently for God’s plan to be accomplished. We are praying through it all that God uses the chemo (or any other means He chooses) to chase the leukemia cells away. Right now, this is what we must do. We completely believe that God can use whatever means He chooses.

On the days between chemo treatments, Dave does his best to get out of bed for short stints of time, but his body is completely whacked. He is saving his energy for loving on those grandbabies and hanging out with his kids. They are his best medicine and they bring life and laughter to his days. His mind and his heart are constantly thinking about and praying for the church, the work of God at IHC, and the people there that he loves so much. He is very hopeful to be back with you soon.

It’s pretty bad when we are sitting right next to each other, but we’re communicating through text or email. Ha! That’s what happened with us today. (Admit it, you’ve done it, too!) I didn’t see his email until halfway thru the chemo treatment when Dave’s body was suffering from uncontrollable shaking and extreme nausea. I looked down at my phone and saw his email to me. Here’s what it said:

For we have no power to face this vast army (cancer) that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. This is what the Lord says to you: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army (cancer). For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:12, 15

That’s where Dave’s heart and mind are at today in the midst of this treatment, doing battle with this leukemia with the power of God. I believe that is a stronger and more powerful message than he could ever give on a Sunday in church. In the middle of the fight for his life, where we don’t know what to do and we have no power, Dave is keeping his eyes on God and His power. The battle is God’s and we don’t have to be afraid or discouraged.

Let Dave’s message speak strongly into your life circumstance today. I know there are others who need that perspective in their life right now. You may not be battling leukemia, but if you are in the middle of a battle of any kind, we encourage you to turn to God. It may be a relational struggle that is hurtful and overwhelming. It may be a battle with addiction that is so powerful that you are tempted to give up. It may be the fear of financial devastation. Whatever your vast army is today, we challenge you to apply that verse in 2 Chronicles. Don’t try to face the battle on your own. Let the battle be God’s and live in a way that He can do His work. Live with Him and for Him, surrendering your life in obedience to Him so that He can fight the battle.

That’s what we are living and learning today.

We love you and appreciate all of your prayers. We will move forward in the power of God’s healing because of your prayers. Thank you! 

Carol Stoecklein