Day 16 & 17
Issels Treatment Days
Having taken extra strong anti-diarrhea pills Glen woke up Monday morning having to get up during the night only a few times. That was a blessing. Monday night’s sleep for Glen was different. He had treatment as usual for both days yet on an extreme lack of sleep because of a bowel that oozes continually he is in pain. We really need a bidet toilet because this is way worse than a baby bum rash. He is in pain – plain and simple pain. Tuesday’s treatments were difficult with running to the bathroom, yet at times not being able to get there because of being stuck in places like a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.
Monday we had another chat with Dr. Kim, the MD at the clinic. He is very kind and really trying to help Glen through this. As his bowels are basically controlling Glen’s every hour as well as mine in many ways, Dr. Kim prescribed steroids for short-term use. The inflammation in his body is aggravating everything – the bowels, the cancer… Inflammation is often a pre-cursor to cancer so it has to go down. It has no choice! We are really hoping it helps both the cancer markers go down and the bowels to smarten up! Next week Dr. Kim suggested that Glen try a type of chemotherapy that is non-toxic and extremely expensive but that we would wait until Glen does more blood work early next week. Ugh… Fortunately previous clients have donated some of this medication back to the center for other patients to use so Glen would get it for free at least for now. Yet we need to get those cancer markers down. The true test will be the blood cancer markers. Dr. Kim relayed to us that if those pills work we would know within a week. Apparently there’s none of the nasty chemo side effects so at this point yes, we are willing to try those pills. We are also really praying that what we are doing with the vaccines and the many treatments here at the Issels Clinic in Santa Barbara is making Glen’s immune system kick into action with his natural killer cells doing what they are supposed to do – kill the invading cancer cells!
In the meantime I am struggling with a sore back, neck and shoulders causing my head to really ache. I booked a Thai massage and sadly it was too much for me. I had ninety minutes of extremely deep tissue massage with her hands, elbows, feet (yes she stepped on me just like in the movies!). By the time I left the massage place I felt like I had lifted weights for about three hours straight and no one could touch my shoulders at all without me wincing. Oops.
Today I had a blessing. I was talking with Joanna, our wonderful host here at the Casita. Her heart is clearly with us. She said, “Oh you should try a lymphatic treatment!”
“Oh, I’ve had that before,” I responded. “It was laser light therapy and it made me so dizzy I could barely stand for a week.”
“This is different,” she said. “It’s with wands. I’ll see if my person can give you a complimentary treatment.”
Then today she texted me that my treatment was arranged with Katya who would use, I believe, what is called a “Lymph star wand” on me. Katya, from Russia originally, was very gentle. She used the “lymph star” on me and gave a very gentle lymphatic massage. As I understand it, the Lymph star helps decrease inflammation and speeds up the flow of water in your body. It was wonderful and after my evening treatment I feel very relaxed (though my muscles are still hurting from yesterday’s work over but way better than they were!). The “complimentary” treatment actually meant that Joanna paid for me to go! I am blown away by someone who I barely know blessing me so wonderfully – first with a symphony and now with that lovely treatment. Wow!
I was also able to break away from the clinic to “see” a few clients via Messenger video. I’m finding my way around enough to venture to a few more places and getting “home” and back to the clinic without getting lost! A win!
It is absolutely beyond a doubt heart wrenching to see my man go through this. This is really hard – and that is an understatement. To see someone who is beyond positive most of the time struggle so many hours of the day living in his own personal hell is not fair. I know that life is not fair. I have heard it said that God is not fair. God is just. There is a difference. It makes me think about Job and how he lost everything – his wife, children, fortune, livestock, health – everything. He lost it all because God allowed it to prove to Satan that Job was a righteous man of God. Job did prevail through all those atrocities. It wasn’t about anything that Job had done wrong. It wasn’t that he had hidden motives or agendas. Job was simply a righteous man and Satan dislikes those types of people and targets them. In the end Job got back everything plus more. I still have questions about Job though. He got a new wife and kids yet there must have been grief around losing the first love of his life and kids that I’m thinking he loved dearly. Those questions are not answered. Through it all I know that God loves Job dearly and God recompensed him for all that was lost. Job came out stronger and with thicker walls of God’s protection in the end.
Glen is a righteous man. I believe that I have heard from God that this is being allowed for God’s glory and that all will be recompensed. Growing strong always comes at a cost. When we gain muscles, it hurts. If we sit around we atrophy and our muscles die. The trials that we were promised happen for a reason – to force us out of atrophy and neutrality in order to build our spiritual muscles. When we refuse to grow from our trials we stay not only in atrophy and neutrality, we die. Glen is fighting this with his all. I am cheering him on as are many others who love him. He can’t believe how loved he is. This amazes me yet doesn’t surprise me. Glen is loved because he is loveable. He is kind, compassionate and a really good man because he chooses right attitudes most of the time. Of course when he doesn’t choose a right attitude I’m on his case in a gentle way as a good wife would be! And when I’m not in the right attitude he is on my case in a good and challenging way. We hate to be challenged. We chafe at challenges yet they are good for us. It’s sad really, yet true. God is challenging us. I plan to rise to the challenge along with Glen. When he is not rising to the challenge of flexing those muscles I will hold up his arms and lift those weights with him. May God our Healer flow through him with resurrection healing power to grow my man even stronger than he was before. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. (Philippians 4:8)