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

I’m Not Home Yet! September 1, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — awilmeth @ 11:31 AM

The title of my last blog (I Get to Go Home Now) apparently caused a bit of concern for some people. I thought I should give everyone a medical update so you know where things stand. 😉
In June, my chemo treatments were causing many undesired side effects that were making it hard for me to even function normally when I did have energy. I actually looked and felt like I was on hard chemo again. Then, my cancer began to grow again, showing this chemo had become ineffective against the cancer. A change in plans was necessary once again.
At the end of June, I began on my new chemo regimen, Gemzar in combination with Herceptin. For the recommended cycle, I receive Herceptin every week, and Gemzar is on a 2 weeks on, 1 week off cycle. The very first week of treatment the cancer tumors and lesions we can see and feel responded and began shrinking! My side effects were minimal at first, but it did knock my white blood cell count and my platelets down pretty good. Along with my shot to boost my counts, I had to take a week off from the Gemzar until my counts came back up.
Then in July due to some conferences and meetings we attended, along with some fun family time, I had to miss another week of Gemzar. In that 1 week off of treatment, the cancer began to grow slightly. Thankfully, the next dose of Gemzar knocked it back down again and the cancer has been shrinking ever since! My side effects do continue to increase the longer I am on this drug. I continue to need shots to boost my counts back up every time I receive Gemzar, and my energy continues to decrease. I am very thankful that I do not struggle with the digestive issues I was having previously. Will you rejoice with me in God’s strength, provision, and healing? Will you pray with me that I will continue to tolerate the chemo well and that it will continue to control and shrink my cancer? Pray also that I can manage my time and energy wisely to accomplish what God is doing in and through me.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the Women of Faith Loved Tour and was greatly encouraged and refreshed. During one session, Building 429 put on an amazing concert for us! My favorite part was hearing the story behind their song “Where I Belong.” I have always loved this song and it’s message. Now I find it was inspired by a fellow breast cancer fighter and her words in one of her most difficult times, “Take this world and give me Jesus!”
The truth is that my cancer could turn at any time and God could call me home. I’ve had to face that possibility and decide whether I will trust God and rest in His promises or turn away to someone or something else in this world. As I look back and see all God has done in my life, the miracles He’s done for me, the strength & peace He has given, the hope & joy He puts in my heart, I can relate to the disciples’ answer in John 6. When Jesus asked the disciples if they wanted to go away too, Peter responded, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” No other person or thing in this world can give me the grace, strength, joy, peace, and hope I need for this journey. So I whole-heartedly agree, “Take this world and give me Jesus!” While His plan may not be what I would want, I know that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”‭‭ (Romans‬ ‭8:28) Even in the midst of a difficult battle with cancer, I can testify that God always keeps His promises! I hope that you have taken the opportunity to consider that this life is fragile and things can change in a moment for anyone, even you. Where will you turn in your most difficult hour?
BUT, as the song also says, “All I know is I’m not home yet!” God is still unfolding His perfect plan for my life. While I do look forward to going home someday, I do not want to waste the time He has blessed me with on this earth. I get to live each day with my wonderful family and friends and neighbors right where God has placed me. I am His ambassador to aid and help others right here who need God’s precious hope and unexplainable peace and joy in their lives. This is my prayer for each of you reading this today:
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:13‬)
Are you living your life in view of eternity? Do you place your trust and hope in God for your eternal salvation? “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved!” (Acts‬ ‭16:31‬) Do you live each day redeeming the time you have, using your talents and time to love God and love others? I challenge you to take a look at what you are spending your time and gifts doing. Is God directing you to make any changes to use your time and resources more wisely in ways that will have an eternal impact? Don’t wait! We don’t know when the day and hour will come when it will be our turn to say, “I get to go home now.”


3 Responses to “I’m Not Home Yet!”

  1. Shawn Rittmiller Says:

    I always love to read your encouragements. Hallelujah!

    His Servant and Yours,

    Pastor Shawn Rittmiller Park Lane Baptist Church 5550 N. 60th Avenue Omaha, NE 68104 Ch: 402.571.6375 C: 402.957.5331

    On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 11:31 AM, In Christ Alone: My Journey through Breast

  2. Your faith and testimony has taught me and many others, I’m sure, how to totally depend on God’s mercy. You will never know how many people you have impacted with that tenacity of boldly believing in our Great God’s power and love. Thank you for sharing.
    Love in Christ, Yolanda Calderon, California

  3. Candace Huff Says:

    I think of you often and admire your faith and strength knowing it to be God given in it’s power and beauty. I too add my prayers and feel sure in the knowledge that your family is chosen and blessed by God. I have learned to accept the Lord’s will and watch his plan unfold. Each day is a blessing for all of us and more so for some. You make me humble.

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