Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Change of Plans

So, I get up early, eat a good breakfast, change the whole ileostomy (knowing I won't feel good for the next couple of days), pack my stuff to spend the day at the doctor's office, and head out the door. I'm feeling good, ready to get round 2 of chemo done and be one step closer to the end of treatment.

On the way Mark and I are discussing his message for COF this weekend and we start talking about the things we are struggling with and the things that God has been teaching us in the last few months. I tell him that God has been teaching me so many things but that the two things I keep coming back around to are 1. giving up control of my calendar and my life, and 2. controlling my thinking. 

I have such a drive to be "in control" of everything in my life. I tend to think that I can do everything myself. I especially love to make plans, organize my calendar, and and keep everything scheduled. Well, that part of my life has been totally blown out in the last 4 months! I am obviously not in control of anything. Still I find myself trying to plan and work it all out, only to be reminded every time that I am not in control of things right now. 

I have a very melancholy personality and often in my life I have battled negative thinking. At times this negative thinking leads me to believe things that aren't true and act in ways that are not productive. I have found over the course of these last four months that my thought life is critical, and God wants me to learn to think and live in the truth, to keep my thoughts focused on Him and on His Word. This is a daily challenge.

These are the things that Mark and I discuss on the way to the doctor's office today. We arrive at 9:00, wait for almost an hour to be called back. I get my blood drawn and then go make myself comfortable in the infusion room. We wait longer to get my blood results back, and in the meantime, the nurse hooks up the IV line to my port and flushes the port. We're all ready to start infusing 6 hours of chemicals.

Then the nurse comes back and lets me know that unfortunately my white blood cell count did not come back up high enough for them to give me chemotherapy today. The doctor says I will have to wait until next week. I stare at her in disbelief as I hear "my plans" come crashing down once again. My first thought is that this means the treatments are going to last at least until the end of March now. I am in tears. I am so frustrated..."God, I had my plans!!" 

We get in the car to leave and the negative thinking begins...What did I do wrong? Did I not eat right? Did I not rest enough? I should have been able to prevent this! More tears.

And then the laughter comes. God must have been smiling as we drove to the doctor's office this morning, listening to our discussion and knowing what was going to happen to me today. OK, I hear you again. You are God, you are in control. I can let go and relax knowing you have it all planned out. And I will toss out the negative thoughts and hold onto your truth. Thank you for one more chance to see who you are.

So, the plan as of today (and we all know that can change at any given moment!) is that I will receive round 2 of chemo next Tuesday and Wednesday. The doctor will monitor my white blood cells after that treatment, hoping that they will rebound faster than they did with the first treatment. If they don't, then most likely they will add an injection of Neulasta to the following treatments to boost my blood marrow's production of blood cells. The doctor is trying to avoid the use of Neulasta because it is a powerful drug and can cause pain in the bones. 

The good news is I get another week to feel good! I will be avoiding crowds in an effort to keep from getting sick as my immune system works to increase my white blood cell production. If you see me at COF and I don't come hug you, that's why! And If you are not feeling well or have had illness in your family, I kindly ask you to please keep your distance for now!

I will be practicing living "out of control" this week and the art of taking every thought captive to Christ - again! What does God want you to practice this week?


  1. I just love you, Laura Shook. Enjoy your week!


  2. Have a wonderful week! We continue to pray for you. XOXO

  3. Laura,

    God does work in mysterious ways doesn't He? I think He was giving you one more week of "freedom" so to speak. Sooo, I know you will make the best of it. Continued prayers and good thoughts to you and your family.


  4. laura shook, it's always SUCH A JOY to read your postings. i come away feeling like i am on top of the world and have received some kind of giant revelation! what a gift for communication THE LORD has given you. thank you for sharing your heart.

    diane jones

  5. Dear Laura,
    We are so alike it scares me! No wonder we have been friends for so long! Learning the same lesson as you are. Free falling feeling out of control. I am a Neulasta expert LOL so call if you want to know the first hand experience. Love you Laura. Let's keep leaning and living "out of control"

  6. I would of been utterly devastated to be sent home! What a crash, like running head on into a brick wall of disappointment!

    And yet....

    ...so it is in those times we get picked up and held by God...because when life goes as planned we never hit walls and can keep whistling our happy tunes without experiencing being held.

    Enjoy the week and hang in there and may your white blood cells RISE and multiply! :)

  7. I am thinking and praying for you Laura. When I hear the song "He Is With You" by Mandisa I always think of you. I am not battling cancer but I am battling a rebellious teenager and that song helps me cope when I am at the end of my rope!


  8. Well,the good news is, God has plans too!
    For I know the plans, I have FOR YOU, to give you a future and a hope!!!!!!! Jeremiah 29:11

    Just catching up on the blog entries after being crazy at school this week, but I am always praying for you!