O what needless pain we bear

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

I’ve sung this hymn probably hundreds of times but last Sunday I “got it.”

I try very hard to give all my sins and griefs to God to bear. I can do very little about my situation and so it just makes sense to let the One who can do something carry everything.

I love that line. “O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear.”

I had an endoscopic biopsy this past month in preparation for the new treatment trial. It’s actually a pretty cool procedure. They shoved a camera down my throat and started poking at my liver through my stomach to get a piece of one of my liver lesions. Maybe I am getting so used to procedures and hospitals, but I was completely at peace with it. When the doctor asked me if I had any questions I asked how they close the hole in my stomach after using it to access my liver (it closes on its own). 

This week my grief did increase a little bit as on Monday I was informed that the computer randomly decided that I would not be in one of the trial arms that receive the potentially life-lengthening trial drugs. Instead I will be part of the standard care arm. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I had about a 66% chance of being in one of the trial drug arms.

Before the randomization process I thought long and hard about what it would mean if I was or was not selected for the trial. If I was selected for both drugs does that mean that it must be God’s will for me to live? But by that logic, if I received standard of care would it mean that it’s God’s will for me to die? Or maybe God’s will is to make my healing more dramatic, without the use of these fancy new drugs? Interesting thoughts but quite inconclusive.

We now know that God’s will for me was to receive the standard of care. That certainly is not a death sentence! I will still be receiving drugs that can extend my life a little longer. While not very comforting, I have to think that my part in this study may help to prove that the trial drugs do indeed help colorectal patients and eventually these drugs may become the standard of care for others who may need the extra time on earth to hear about Jesus. It’s hard to be that unselfish but I’m trying.

On the plus side, this means I will only need to be at the hospital one day every two weeks instead of two days. While they call this arm the Standard of Care arm, I will technically be getting a little bit better treatment as there is an additional drug that I wouldn’t have had easy access to without this trial (it’s complicated to explain). I am also looking forward to being rash free and possibly diarrhea free as well.

Due to switching treatments I also had a little time off from treatment which Leanne and I used to ditch the kids and take a quick trip down to Florida to visit the Kennedy Space Center and Universal Studios.

I gained about 10 pounds since I started my chemo break. I’ve also been exercising a little more than usual to prep for my Florida trip (16km of walking in Universal). I am physically and mentally ready to fight for my life.

Whenever those angry thoughts against that mean old randomizing computer enter my head, I just remember that wonderful song and pray. While it may have been easier with those extra trial drugs, this way, not dying will be potentially more dramatic and more of a challenge. And I like a good challenge especially when I can carry everything to God in prayer.