Late last week I started noticing improvements in what I can do. Making it up the stairs at work is easier than it used to be. I think the swallowing is easier, particularly for liquids. I still have to use a lot of applesauce but it's easier to drink water anyway. Early last week I went to the doctor for my cough and it's not perfect yet but I'm coughing a lot less and sleeping through the night again. Last Friday I had a re-evaluation with my physical therapy at Hopedale. I improved in what I could do on that exam also, and they now rate me a 40% fall risk instead of 80%. My PT has changed to where I am just doing water therapy and doing it with Leann so we have more flexibility in what time of day we go, which helps a lot. The only downside is that Leann is a bit tougher of an instructor than the real ones were so I am a bit more worn out. But if feels really good to be in the therapy pool and it's a lot easier for me to try things when I don't have to worry about hitting the floor if I fall.
This week I have not felt many improvements, and I feel like things are pretty static as far as my abilities. For whatever reason I have felt more tired and spend most evenings napping in the chair. This weekend looks pretty slow as the kids have come down with pink eye and runny noses so I think we are pretty much home for the weekend.
We were really blessed with everyone's cooking for me the month of January. I think this was the first week that Leann had a chance to cook at all. Lots of good stuff for me to eat has been dropped off and we appreciate it.
This week I heard of a couple families who lost children to accidents of one sort or another. My heart goes out to them. I've said many times that it "appears I have less time" than others. It's only an appearance. None of us knows when our time on earth will end. Any of us could be taken in a moment of time. It's just a reminder to spend each day that God gives us here serving Him.
As far as prayer requests, please thank God with us that it has been somewhat easier walking and swallowing and pray that the improvements can continue. Thanks everyone for all the prayers & support we feel.
Derek & Leann
What I'm Learning from Cancer #12
Don’t have any buckets – you are probably wondering what I mean by “buckets”. It’s easier if I could draw, but let me try to illustrate in writing. What I mean is that we put the different facets of our life into buckets. We have a “work” bucket, a “family” bucket, a “spouse” bucket, a “spiritual” bucket. We try to separate and segment our life. I think it’s because it can be easier to analyze ourselves that way or something. And maybe this is just a problem for analytical people like engineers, but I don’t think so. An example: how many times at church do we hear “forget about the things of the week”? To some extent it is true, I should not be trying to complete a mechanical design in my head during church. But if my week was a struggle with a co-worker, a supplier or customer, or my wife, then I better not forget about my week as I come to church. I should be remembering my struggle and allowing God to work on my heart as it relates to my struggle. At work, how focused are we at getting the job done vs being attentive to the personal needs of our co-workers? We have gotten so busy that we don’t feel like we have the time to stop and talk with others.
So what I mean here is that we should not isolate our spiritual life into it’s own bucket. Our spiritual life should run across all facets of our life, and be intertwined with our work life, our family life, our marriage. If we put our spiritual life in a bucket, then we don’t focus on how we can help others. We tend to fall into the ditch on either side. Our “spiritual life” becomes arguments of deep theological questions, or agonizing over details of church tradition and custom. When we have our spiritual life threaded through the real lives of our family and friends, we are too busy helping others understand the reality of Christ’s instructions for our lives to waste time in trivial discussions.
Just for my own accountability, I want you all to know that if you see me being too busy, or selfish, or un-interested in others – you can stop me and tell me so. I really want to be more in tune to the needs of my family and others around me. I want to remember that the Bible applies to all situations, not just the ½ hour in the morning when I read it at my desk.