Saturday, January 28, 2006

Medical update

It’s been two weeks since I last reported on what’s going on with me health wise. Physically, nothing has really changed. I've had all the tests and now wait to see the pulmonologist Thursday. Emotionally, though there's been a shift. I've been really struggling with the whole issue of Cytoxan versus CellCept. I call my nephrologist in Boise to get his opinion on this. My nephrologist here in Berkeley, Dr. Yao, from the beginning as has wanted to use Cytoxan. Two years ago, I went into kidney failure and CellCept have worked well to put it in remission, along with high doses of steroids. To me, it made more sense to go back on the CellCept. I was very concerned about the potentially harsh Side effects of Cytoxan and would much rather deal with the milder ones of CellCept.

I finally heard back from him in the form of voicemail. I heard him say that he thought the CellCept would be OK. I e-mailed my nephrologist here in Berkeley, telling her of my strong preference for CellCept. She e-mailed the me back that she had talked with my nephrologist in Boise, and he said that he actually would have used Cytoxan except I preferred CellCept. She expressed concern that the CellCept would not work as well as previously since I have protein in my urine.

I was surprised that my reaction to her e-mail. I felt peace. Both of my nephrologists first choice of treatment was Cytoxan. I could understand Dr. Yao's reasoning. So I will go with the Cytoxan therapy, if my pulmonologist doesn't see any contraindications.

This is a really heavy decision, And also an exquisite opportunity to walk in trust with God. I'm not sure where this will all lead. I do know that wherever it leads God will be there, and Mary and Jesus walk with me on the way. I don't know how this will affect my academic studies.I just have a strong sense to start the semester and deal with things as they come out. I really believe that sickness is a teacher, not a punishment.Frankly, I rather have a different teacher, but this is the one God has given me. In here and become really Anglican, for I also believe that God does not inflict people with illnesses. Yet I say God has given me this illness as a teacher. The theology gets messy here. I see the contradiction. I haven't worked us all out in a nice neat package. I hope that as I walk this path, I will find better words to express this exquisite difficult and grace filled mystery.

So stay tuned. I will be writing more on this, but I'm going to switch topics in my next post. I want to respond to my brother's comments about Brokeback Mountain (look on the Monday, January 09, 2006 post) and then an earlier comment he had on Angels in America.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Howdy, Sis!

Yoou know, a week ago I was feeling really stressed out due to certain pressures on me personally (including the need to either move or straighten things out regarding my current living space). I confess, I was sort of having a pity party. But our Heavenly Father shook me out of the blues with a gorgeous sunset on Saturday and a clear view of a waxing new crescent moon on Monday thru Wednesday. (The waxing crescent moon is an important symbol in the ritual of Lambda Chi Alpah.)

I had seen this particular posting of yours, but felt I didn't want to read more about your health issues at present, so I passed it over. Just now I've actually READ it. I mean read and tho't it over, contemplated it! I honestly had NOTHING to complain about a week ago, compared to you! And wow! there is hardly a note of complaint herein, just you expressing your feelings honestly, and these include wanting to trust the Lord completely. You go, girl!

Here is a helpful consideration (perhaps) about your "messy theology" conundrum. I, too, believe that God does not cause illnesses (except in a very few rare cases). Rather, I believe that He ALLOWS or PERMITS them to happen, resulting from the individual's own choices, the influencing choices of others or even genetic defects over which one has no control. (After all, which human ever got to CHOOSE her or his biological parents?) No, the Sovereign and always good Lord God and Daddy ("Abba" in Jesus' Aramaic language) lets things happen -- still under His control! -- and each one of us had the choice to work WITH the Lord to overcome these things.

And sometimes, it turns out to not be in His sovereign plan for one to ever come out of the illness. Roger Bennett, pianist formerly for the Cathedral Quartet and now for Legacy Five, has battled leukemia since the early 1990s. Early on he went into remission (seemingly total remission) for several months, but then the cancer came back in an even more vigorous form. Why does God not totally remove this pernicious disease from Roger? I don't know, but it may have something to do with 1) teaching Roger and/or us prayer warriors to patiently trust Him NO MATTER WHAT, or 2) to prompt Roger to write some beautiful songs (and some reflective instrumental music) that are born from his suffering.

What advice can I give you? Nothing, not even which med treatment to choose. (God forbid that I even start dow the road of medical advice for ANYONE!) All I can say to you is, I am praying for you and praying specifically reference the lupus, and that were I in your shoes (and I've been in similar shoes, don't forget), I would seek the guiding hand of the Lord, trusting that Hs is right beside me thru it all. Thru it all! God never promised anyone that when they came to Him He would remove all suffering; indeed, Paul asserts that Christ-like suffering is the way of life for the Christian. HOWEVER, God DID say that He would walk thru the suffering with us. In Isaiah 43:2 the Lord promises that he will pass thru the flood waters with us and we shall not be drowned; we shall pass thru the fire and not get burnt! And Sister dear, did you know that 365 times in the Bible, God or the earthly Jesus or and angel (messenger) says, "Fear not!" or "Don't be afraid!" That's one for each day of the year! P.t.L.!

May these words comfort you and lift you up as you go thru this valley of lupus.

Tu hermano,
Glen Alan