One complete round of phase 3 chemo complete. My hair is falling out. My energy is decreasing. My mouth is becoming sensitive. My eyes are burning. I don’t have to spend nights in the hospital with these treatments though, so life is good!
I went to my hairdresser today to have it shaved off…for the 3rd time. We are both believing this is the last time, and from here on out, she’ll be helping me figure out how to wear my hair at every stage of growth. Growth=to increase in size or substance. That has definitely happened. At each loss of hair there has been more growth. Of faith. Of hope. Of holding onto something that can not die or be taken away. “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 Growth is always happening. Because if growth is not happening, then death is occurring in it’s place. The question then is…what is growing? Or what are you allowing to die?
It hurt more this time. Maybe because it was the 3rd time. Maybe because I had started to look like Gollum (no really). Maybe because it was the ripping off of a bandaid from a wound that hadn’t yet healed.
A smile here, because I know that growth is happening, even in the dying of the hair follicles on my head, growth is happening. Clara (my oldest) told me today that back when I had hair, her hair wasn’t curly yet. We both have brown hair, so she said that I lost my hair and gave her my curls, and so now her hair is curly. That’s a pretty worthy cause I think.
Chemo attacks the cells that are most rapidly growing. That’s why hair almost always goes. They are rapidly growing cells within the body. As is cancer. When cancer cells start replicating, they don’t follow the rules that God created all of our other cells to follow. Healthy cells know when their work is done and go through a process of programmed cell death, allowing new cells to take their place and continue the purpose they were created for. Healthy cells also stick together. They know which cells to cling to in order for their purpose to be fulfilled and for the advancement of the body. Cancer cells don’t follow the same checks and balances system. They divide uncontrollably, spreading and damaging surrounding tissues. They do not know when to stop replicating and often break off and start growing somewhere else in the body. Independent.
As I read in “The Broken Way” by Ann Voskamp recently…“in our human bodies, the cells that only benefit themselves are known as cancer. Cancer is what refuses to die to self.”
BOOM! I don’t know if that truth bomb hit you as hard as it hit me. So if the ground didn’t shake beneath you, read it again.
Cancer refuses to die to self. It also refuses to stick together, to link up with other “cells” for the betterment of the body. When we refuse to die to self, we are being a cancer within the body of Christ. Within our families. Within our selves.
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. -John12:24-25-
Life comes through the process of dying. So if we are constantly trying to avoid dying to ourselves, in reality we are killing ourselves with a slow and painful death. Be life. Give your life to see other’s lives flourish and abound. He gave His life for us. The only adequate response is for us to give ours in return.
The girls are in swimming lessons, John Mark is about to turn 2, Robby is crushing it in school, and daily I am seeking to die more to myself….so that we can all GROW.