How was your week?…

I’ve had a pretty good week. I don’t know what yours was like, but I hope and pray it was swell. Hopefully at least a small amount of fortune smiled upon you… I’m now saving 15 bucks a month on car insurance(!!)……

My first love isn’t worth the money she demands to run again. I’ll surely miss the foam particles I used to scrape off my butt each time I got out, along with all the times my gasoline or entire car decided to just shut off while we were together. In honor of her, I spent 20 minutes gathering photos to make a collage of our precious times together (although most of them are only found in the deep halls of my memory)

All the fantastical places we’ve been together, wonderful memories made together, smiling faces and beautiful scenery seen together will be missed, snff, snff. 1994 Infiniti G20, R.I.P.

Plus, on top of my 15 bucks, my sister told me it’s cool for couples to only have one car. “It’s all the rage,” she said – her and her husband have even considered it for themselves!

I couldn’t help but contain the smile her words triggered, as a familiar voice ran through my head  “Easy, I’ve already looked into it for myself”

While that was a great start to my week, it got even better on Tuesday when I flew to Las Vegas to receive my Avastin infusion and try and figure out why I’d had a seizure that left me unconscious the week before (see Don’t Get Sold…). Unfortunately, my tumor has continued to grow  since my third surgery.

In two months, 1 or 2 milimeters has ballooned into 1.5 centimeters. I could feel the thoughts of the radiology techs I’ve befriended at Pueblo Medical Imaging: “He’s in a mess.” However, I consider myself blessed, as my tumor grew from O mm to a mangled 4-6 cm in just 2.5 months following my second surgery. It’s only been doubling ever couple of weeks, instead of tripling or quadrupling (math friends-help me out!) Fortunately, I have a back-up plan.

The only problem is that it involves turning my pretty little non-toxic cancer fighting world upside down. It involves losing all the beautifully upward-heading blood tests I’ve been receiving since starting all my juicing, cleansing, chelating, and detoxing.  It involves 1,800 milligrams of toxic chemotherapy spread over 5 days, every month.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to quit all my juices or the double-daily routine I have of pouring 4 cups of coffee down(up? my colon . These natural therapies are more crucial now than ever. It’s just that the last time I did Temodar chemo cycles, I have fond memories of nausea, hair-loss, vomiting, insomnia, as well as platelet and white-blood cell counts as low 64 and 2.1. Normal is 150-450 and 4.3-10.8, respectively.

I’m making plans to avoid those hassles, and extremely thankful I only encountered a few of them on my first cycle. In fact, I’m quite shocked that my nausea has been this mild compared to previous chemo cycles. Last night was night number 5, which is usually accompanied by midnight & day-after vomiting, extreme nausea, etc.

However, God has been good to me, and even shocked me when I tried a suggestion I picked up at the ‘All About Jesus’ seminar we’ve been attending at our church. The speaker, Lee Venden, has enlightened me on all sorts of things, and suggested the “Test Me in this” sort of approach Malachi 3:6 says about tithing to be applied to bible study and prayer with Christ. I’ve seen that less money with God’s blessing goes much farther than a measly 10% more without God’s blessing, so why wouldn’t this work with sleep?

I figured I’d give it a shot last night. Two nights ago I got up at 10:30 a.m. because of my nausea-induced lack of sleep. I told God last night to wake me up whenever He was ready to spend time with me. I tossed a bit a and woke up a few times due to nausea, but slept much more soundly overall. When I woke up feeling somewhat rested I looked over at the clock,

5:30 AM!?! Are you serious?!? Come on God! I just finished night #5 of chemotherapy and am probably about to throw-up!” A quick survey of my stomach, brain, and overall condition revealed that the nausea felt just hours earlier was totally gone, and I was clearly wide-awake…no more sleep for me even if I wanted it!

I smiled to myself all through my devotions as I thought of a God who loves me enough to desperately plead for my attention, and bless me when I give it to Him! This early wake-up should not have surprised me, however, as I’ve got dozens of similar stories from the last few years of my life. One I’d forgotten about until last night was October 16, 2008. I selfishly told God that if He gave me another sale that month I’d give Him the entire commission on top of regular tithe.

I was having a stellar few weeks with $129,100 of timeshare sales under my belt since Oct. 1st. God humbled me and I blanked for two weeks, but on October 30 I sold Essam Asali, of Jeddha, Saudia Arabia, a $17,900 every-other-year one bedroom. Planet Hollywood  Towers by Westgate isn’t cheap!

In my eight months of selling timeshare, this was the ONLY single male, and the ONLY middle-eastern person I EVER sold! Most resorts won’t even tour single males: they are impossible to sell! Logan and I had a heyday  going through ADRA’s gift catalogue as we picked out  goats, agricultural supplies, medicine, and christmas gifts for impoverished people in third-world countries. I don’t think “Test me in this” was meant to apply to an abundance God might give you. I should have given God more from my commission on $129,000, but He blessed my selfishness, nevertheless.

Now, about my week. On Wednesday, I found myself lying on the floor around 4:15 p.m. with my pants unbuttoned, in case the aura and racing heart beat I was experiencing culminated into a seizure while I was home alone. I’ll stick some valuum syringe up my behind any day to avoid the terrifying convulsions and other dangers of having a seizure. Lucky for me, the ativan tablets I put under my tongue staved off anything more serious than my wife rushing home from work early.

Friday was Temodar night number two, and someone forgot to tell me insomnia was on the calendar as well. Tossing in bed for four or five hours through gastric distress and seizurish-feeling brain impulses has a way of making one question whether or not it’s worth it to keep fighting.

The soft touch of your beautiful wife’s hand against your back has a way of reversing those thoughts and knowing exactly why you’re fighting, even if it doesn’t help you fall asleep.

Lying on a towel soaked in your colon’s unholdable used coffee has a way of subtly inviting this question back into your head. Remembering why you are desperately fighting shock-waves of peristalsis for the whole 12 minutes often escorts the question back out.

Knowing that multiple people post my posts to their FB walls or sites, which culminated in over 2,000 hits since last Monday lets me know people care and are praying, which adds more meaning to this life that can sometimes feel useless when its spent primarily in the kitchen or bathroom.

Remembering a promise I made on August 17, 2008 as well as defending a precious spark that was graciously given me sometime around March, 1985  are the two main centurions guarding this question from my mental corridor.

And while learning to live with a semi-constant terror of having no control over your body isn’t the funnest way to go through

This too shall pass” , and the when and how of that statement isn’t up to me. Besides, learning to live with myself being the one in ultimate control sounds much more terrifying.

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7 Responses to “How was your week?…”

  1. allison harper Says:

    Great blog, Daniel. As usual. Thanks for sharing. Love, Mom

  2. I have been on my face praying for you. I am sorry you have to deal with the side effects of Temodar. My mom failed Avastin alone and she is now on Temodar every 3 weeks along with Avastin and she is holding steady. I’ll continue to pray for you. Thank you for making this blog public. You probably have no idea what a positive impact you have on people.

  3. Daniel thank you for your blogs. I continue to be inspired by your blogs. You are stronger and wiser than I will ever be and I am so, so proud to call you my brother…keep writing kiddo…you’re doing great work. PS: I had a good laugh about the 1 car situation.

  4. Thank you for sharing with all of us. You are very good with words. We are all praying constantly for you and Logan. You are very special to us, and we love you heaps. We are trying to figure out when we can plan a trip to visit you guys. It’s been too long since we’ve seen you. Much love!!

  5. cara mcclung Says:

    thankyou daniel!

  6. Adrienne Vernon Suarez Says:

    Thanks for sharing. It’s a good reminder to keep trusting God, even when things are out of our control. Praying for you and Logan…

  7. sharlene carman Says:

    Daniel,
    I am so very proud of u. Our family prays for u daily.

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