In Christ Alone: Our Journey through and after Breast Cancer

a 37-year old, christian, mother of four, missionary/pastor's wife and her families story

Change January 29, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — awilmeth @ 6:00 AM

Change. Why is it so hard? For me I think it is the fear of the unknown. I like my control. I like to know how things are going to go. At least partially. I like to plan and be prepared for what is coming.
I also like routine. I like my rut and would rather stay in my rut than forge a new route. I find something I like and stick with it. I don’t particularly like to try new things, because I might not like them. I eat the same breakfast every single morning. My husband will tell you that for every restaurant we frequent, I have a “usual” order that I will get every time we go there. I always set my grocery list up so I can follow the same path through the store every time. These things are all routine. Unchanging.
(Unless, of course, we run out of oatmeal, a restaurant replaces their menu items with new ones, or a store moves its items around. 😉 )
In life, change is inevitable. And a lot of times it is forced upon us. We cannot stop it. We cannot make it wait until we are ready. But change does not have to be a bad thing or even a hard thing.
If I could truly control everything, there would be no need to trust. In reality, I can’t truly stop anything from changing. Life itself is so very fragile. It can all change in the blink of an eye. But in a world where nothing is truly permanent or unchangeable, there is one thing that is unchanging: God and His promises never change. I am so thankful that when everything in my world is changing, I can still stand on my Solid Rock that will not move.
My battle with cancer has been the source of many changes in my life over the past nearly four years. Just when we get used to a new “normal”, cancer rears its ugly head and our battle tactics must change again. We are redirected and have to adjust. We have learned the value of being flexible and trusting that God knew this change was coming. He is the One that will give us the strength to continue each day, each hour, each minute in this battle. He has a plan and a purpose for each struggle and each triumph. Looking back, we can see His hand at work in the challenges we have faced, in the connections that we have made, and in the miracles and answers to our prayers we have experienced. We ourselves have grown and changed so much!
So what is this new change, you may be wondering? Well, once again, my cancer has built up a tolerance to my current chemo regimen. I began getting sores on the lumps and bumps of cancer on my chest. They continually and slowly got worse over about a four week period. My oncologist shared his concern that this may be a sign of the cancer tolerating the chemo and beginning to break down my skin. Then over just a few days, the sores got much worse and we noticed the larger tumors begin to grow again. This prompted the need for a new battle tactic. I am so thankful for the many options that are available, and the hope that a change could help us find the drug that will kill my type of cancer! So last week I began a chemotherapy called Halaven.
With new chemo comes new side effects, so I have been adjusting to these new side effects over the past week. I am thankful they have not been severe, but a change nonetheless. Fatigue is always a struggle, and I continue to need nearly daily naps to keep up. Some other “new” side effects from this past week have been nausea, headaches, joint aches, and nose bleeds. My blood counts continue to be effected, causing quite a drop in my white blood cell counts this week. I will be getting two Neupogen shots to boost my white blood cell production, which have the side effects of more headaches and joint aches. But these are all manageable side effects requiring some changes in my routine and planning, more trips to the doctor’s office, and a good dose of patience. God has definitely taught me to be a flexible and patient patient! 🙂
But let’s not get distracted by all the side effects, and miss the main point! Along with all these side effects and changes come results. This is the part we cannot control or predict. It requires faith and hope.
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego’s reply to the king as they faced the fiery furnace shows true faith in our All-Powerful God:
“Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.'” (‭Daniel‬ ‭3‬:‭16-18‬ NASB)
I know my God is able to deliver me from cancer, but even if He does not, I will praise Him!
Will this new battle tactic succeed or fail in beating the cancer? Will the cancer respond to this treatment or fight its way through? Ultimately we don’t know God’s full plan at this point, but we are cautiously optimistic we are winning this battle! The results so far? In just a week, this new chemo has shown signs of shrinking my various cancerous lumps, bumps, and tumors! Praise the Lord for His goodness! Whatever the coming weeks’ events hold for us in this battle, we will trust God and stand firm on the hope we have in Him.


3 Responses to “Change”

  1. Chuck and Connie Says:

    Thank you. I read your blog first thing this morning and what a great devotional to start my day with. I appreciate it.

    Then I went to “my Daily Bread” the devotional I usually start my day with and wanted to share that with you.

    “It says “Thank you Lord, for bringing me this far and to this place. I leave the rest — my future – in those same hands and say Thank You. Psalm 121:2 “My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”.

    These both remind me that even if my day is on overload with things that need immediate attention and are life changing, I know that My Help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth.

    I hope that your day goes well.



    From: In Christ Alone: My Journey through Breast Cancer [] Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2015 6:15 AM To: Subject: [New post] Change

    awilmeth posted: “Change. Why is it so hard? For me I think it is the fear of the unknown. I like my control. I like to know how things are going to go. At least partially. I like to plan and be prepared for what is coming. I also like routine. I like my rut and would rat”

  2. Judy Swope-Connie Pitcher's mom at Slater Baptist Church Says:

    Amy, There are times when the right words are so hard to find, except the Word of God, straight from His throne. Psm. 18:28-32. For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD, my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have fun through a troop;and by my God I have leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried; he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God, save the LORD? Or who is a rock, save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and machete my way perfect.
    Continuing in prayer for you and your family.

  3. Jenna Chapman Says:

    Amy, I posted this on the “change” entry, but it didn’t show up. Sorry if you saw it and are reading it again. Your words are so encouraging, so well-spoken. You are a courageous warrior, my precious friend. I know I haven’t been a great card sender, but I have been at prayer for you and will continue to do so. When I read your blog, the few times I get to (life’s busy homeschooling & loving on my 6), I am so encouraged. It makes me hurt for you deeply and for Eric, but yet I know your strength is in the Lord and He is using you mightily. This verse came to mind tonight as I read your latest posting. I’m sure it’s one you know well. Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (NKJV) You are a living breathing, in-the-flesh example of this verse, Amy. You may not always feel like it, but you are a shining example to others and the only explanation for this evident hope and peace that you have is our Mighty God who is the only One who can give that kind of perfect hope and peace. I only pray that I can learn to persevere better and to gain the godly character I need to have–my trials are different than yours, but nonetheless they are to make me grow and are perfectly designed by the Creator to mold me into the person He wants me to be. As He has been refining you in a hot, hot fire, Amy, you are “coming forth as gold.” The beautiful gold in you is shining so brightly that I am standing in awe of it and of our Lord who’s doing it. I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 years since that night you called me to let me know you had cancer. You are a warrior wearing golden armor, sweet, Amy–battle on and know I am lifting you up through my prayers and love. I only wish I was closer to help ease your life a little more. A heart full of love, Jenna Chapman

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