It has been a crazy week of side effects to meds. Not only did I have the reaction I mentioned earlier this week, yesterday when they started my chemo drug, I immediately got a tight chest and difficulty breathing. They anticipated this possibility, and took care of it immediately. I take Benadryl that makes me sleepy and steroids that fill me with energy. Radiation burns my throat inside and out. On and on. The point is this – I am so busy dealing with side effects, sometimes I almost forget I’ve got cancer. The little beast that is slowing being put to death in my throat seems like the least of my problems. I don’t feel it. It is just there. I actually go days without thinking about the tumor!
It is easy to get caught up in the day to day stuff of life that we lose the big picture. Often the real enemy is invisible. The Apostle Paul wrote: For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6.12) Paul endured plenty of “flesh and blood” battles in his life. In another place he wrote: Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. (2 Corinthians 11.24-27) So he knew about day to day trials and troubles. Yet, he also wrote: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3.21)
In other words, Paul never took his eye off the big prize. He stayed focused on the goal. He realized that what was happening today is part of a bigger picture. How about you? Do you get so caught up in the day to day, that you lose sight of what is truly important? Or, are you one of those people who sets big goals and works towards those goals? I truly believe that the “big goal” people do much better at dealing with the small stuff, than the people who make the small stuff the big stuff.
My side effects are the small stuff. They try to occupy my mind. But they are all part of a bigger picture. I’m nearing the middle point of my treatments, and I guarantee I am having a better day than the beast is! He got his rear end fried this morning with radiation, making it impossible for him to have babies, now he is getting ready to receive the chemo that will add insult to injury. When the beast is finally gone, my side effects will go away too. Looking forward to that!