As most of our friends have seen via social media, we were able to find an affordable, super cool place to live so that we would be closer to doctors and internet/phone service. We are so grateful for the month my (Crystal) parents allowed us to retreat at the lake house, it is one of the most peace-filled places I’ve been. Thank you mom & dad!
In the last 2 weeks Cory has had a few appointments with his primary care physician and they have determined that in regards to cancer, his blood work looks really, really good. At this time we will be in a “watchful waiting” mode which means he will have blood work and CT scans done regularly. This is a good thing. Frustrating at times because it feels like we can’t “do” anything. BUT, this is not true. We have seen the Lord use good nutrition and naturopathic supplements to kick his cancer to the curb and we believe this can happen again. So, where does this leave us? His stomach pain is still occurring but has lessened a bit. He has adjusted some medication and we are hopeful it will help. His exhaustion is on going, however, in all his blood work they discovered that his testosterone levels are very low and likely the cause of this. So they began testosterone replacement therapy last week.
In an effort to be transparent, I need to tell you that I am both happy they found this to be the cause of his fatigue and very upset at the course of treatment. We love Cory’s primary care doctor, he’s very good, yet I am learning that even great doctors just do not know the ins and outs of every aliment. After asking questions about the effects of the testosterone therapy and possible long term ramifications, we were assured that it was the best course of action and the side effects minimal. Cory started treatment that day. Even though Cory is the more scholastic one of us, I like having information and seek to understand whatever we are facing. I’m the resident researcher of sickness and web MD. Of course I looked up testosterone replacement therapy side effects as soon as I got home just to make sure we knew what they were. Every single article I found said the same thing, “it causes either temporary (while having treatment) or complete infertility.” I was ANGRY. While we are not even sure we can have another biological child, to have the possibility taken away without having the correct information is so frustrating. I specifically asked questions about side effects and long term issues and we were not given this very important information that is pretty commonly known. We may have still continued with treatment even knowing this information but we also might have found a doctor who specializes in these issues to see what all our options were. I just want us to be able to make informed decisions. When we have information it gives us some sense of control when so much has felt out of sorts.
Did you catch that? “I want to feel like we have control.” While writing this God is working in my heart. He is reminding me that my desire to control circumstances is reflective of my heart wanting to depend on ourselves rather than him. This desire for control leads me to try and manipulate everything in my life so that it is, happy, healthy, in order and looks like we have it all together. We don’t. Some days (yesterday) I am a complete mess and throw a pity party, struggling to trust in the ONE who holds ALL things in his hands. wether I am happy or not. To be completely honest I probably need to reread this even more on my days I feel completely happy and in control of everything because the idea that all things should go according to my little plan and limited foresight is a lie. Satan is crafty and he is actively trying to dupe people into thinking life should be easy, carefree, struggle free, pinterest perfect, sunshine and romance. This is not reality. Do we have glorious days in the the sunshine? Absolutely! I just had a moment watching my toddler maul her daddy with love and all is right in my little world. These daddy/daughter moments are sweet grace straight from Jesus, but so are the “your cancer is back” days and the “I’m not sure how we’re going to pay these bills” days. God is working ALL things together for our GOOD. Notice it says our good, not our happiness or comfort. It is good for me to have moments and days where life feels heavy and out of my hands, it makes me trip my way to Jesus. It is good for me to have mundane, repetitive, cleaning up toddler mess days because they push me to Jesus. It is good for me to have wonderful, exciting, “spiritual high” days because they move me to thank Jesus. So, my good means that I start to look more and more like Jesus, not that I am happier but that I would be conformed into His image. Do you know what Jesus looks like? Not the cleaned up, vending machine Jesus who gives you want you want. Do you know Jesus who cast aside his title, comfort, and pride and dwelt among sinful people? Do you know Jesus who willingly laid his life down so that the scum of the earth could be redeemed? This is what those who follow Jesus are to look like: people who set aside their own glory and then invite others to share in it. Yeah, I’m glad “He’s still workin’ on me, to make me what I ought to be.” There is a lot of work to do to chisel me into the image of Jesus.
Maybe we aren’t supposed to have another biological child and we will adopt sooner rather than later, maybe we will conceive a miracle baby while on therapy. Maybe we will be a family of 3 and host exchange students from all over the world. I don’t know what the outcome of this particular situation will be but I know that this is for our good and in Him we have everything we need.
“And we 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
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” -Phillipians 2:5-8
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” -Romans 8:16-17