Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Looking To The Guide

Going through cancer is very frightening.  Lots of unfamiliar territory.  Sometimes the journey may take years with lots of trips and turns.  I know my journey became absolutely chaotic when I was undergoing chemotherapy.  My nausea was so severe that I ended up being hospitalized five times with dehydration. I was also anemic.  I tried to work as much as I could but it was difficult being hospitalized so much.  A couple of times I went to work even when I felt extremely bad and ultimately was admitted to the hospital FROM work.  On one occasion, I went into a patient's room and felt like I was going to pass out.  Now that would have been impressive!  Nevertheless, I ran outside the room and told my coworker how I felt.  She graciously took over the work while I went to the emergency room and was subsequently admitted to the hospital.
In addition to nausea, I learned how bad chemotherapy is from a fatigue standpoint.  I have never felt so tired in my life.  I felt I was like a cigarette butt being ground in an ashtray.  Grounding, pounding, unrelentless.  Furthermore, the tiredness never seemed to get much better.  I was always tired, always felt bad.  Every task that I performed, whether working around the house or going to work, required significant effort on my part.  It wasn't until the chemotherapy ended that my energy level improved significantly a couple of weeks later.

However, I don't write about these matters to get sympathy.  I also hope that the reason I wrote my book was not to get sympathy.  No, not at all.  Having gone through cancer, I feel I have much to share about getting through it from a personal standpoint.  Things that worked, things that didn't.  In other words, I want to be a guide to anyone going through cancer.

Perhaps the greatest guide in hard times  is the Lord God Himself.  Isaiah 58:11 proclaims, "...the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail."  Wow!  Great promise...great comfort.

A wise old hymn writer, William Williams, also looked to God as his guide.  Consider the precious  words of this hymn, "Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah".

"Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,
pilgrim through this barren land. 
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
hold me with thy powerful hand. 
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me till I want no more;
feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain,
whence the healing stream doth flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through. 
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
be thou still my strength and shield;
be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death and hell's destruction,
land me safe on Canaan's side. 
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee;
I will ever give to thee."

Don't try to make it through life on your own.  Look to the guide.  "For such is God, our God forever and ever;  He will guide us until death" (Psalms 48:14).

1 comment:

  1. Davy, I have been reading through a few of your posts, and I appreciate all the effort you go through to write them.

    I was happy to see a familiar hymn quoted here, so I found a recording and thought I'd share it: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/music/2008/10?lang=eng&session=5&song=1&media=video

    This post in particular reminded me of a favorite verse of mine from the 40th chapter of the Book of Isaiah, which reads:

    28 ¶Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

    29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

    30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:

    31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.