Updates on Wayne

It has been a while since I shared with you any news about Wayne.  As you may remember from previous posts, he is my Sunday School teacher and deacon in our church.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer several months ago and has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments since then.

His radiation treatments are completed as are his first round of chemotherapy.   He is currently taking his second round which began about three ago.  He seems to be feeling better and is even gaining back some of the weight he had lost.  Low white cell and platelet counts are a problem and have delayed some of his treatments.

He hasn’t had any new scans since this round of chemo has begun so we don’t know what the cancer is doing, but we are praying that it is shrinking and that Wayne will be restored to health.

He continues to teach Sunday School, sing in the church choir and is even helping to build the new addition to our church.  We are so grateful that he feels well enough to do those things

Wayne and his wife, Glynn, are such an inspiration and blessing to each of us.  We pray for God’s hand to continue to be on them, comforting, strengthening, guiding, and protecting them as they travel down this very difficult path.

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The Pendulum Swing of Emotions

Think of the swing of a pendulum. Its swing in one direction is equal or almost equal to the swing in the other. Our emotions during a time of crisis such as a terminal illness swing back and forth from despair to elation, depending on the events of the moment.

Last week when Wayne and Glynn were facing a series of scans and tests which would show whether or not Wayne’s pancreatic cancer was responding to the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. They were scared, nervous, emotional, worried, and any other negative emotion you can name. The morning they left to go to Dallas to have these tests run, Wayne looked bad. He was weak. He was pale. His eyes filled and overflowed with tears frequently.

Once they received the results of the tests and learned that the cancer had not spread, their pendulum of emotions swung back to the other side. The degree to which they were worried corresponded directly to the degree to which they were excited. The next time I saw Wayne, he had a big smile on his face. He no longer looked pale and he was about to eat a big plate of food.

Whenever you are in the midst of physical trauma such as this, your emotions will experience the same trauma. You may be very sad, filled with despair and without hope, and then something positive will happen. It doesn’t have to be something big. It may be a small as one meal that tasted good, or a test that came back with good results or at least no bad results. Then your emotions will ‘latch on’ to that one positive thing, and immediately swing to the other side of the pendulum.

I remember thinking about my emotions when my parents were sick. At that time I compared my emotions to a roller coaster ride which is not an inaccurate description. I remember saying that I had experienced every emotion you could name while Mother and Daddy were sick, especially during the 3 months when Daddy was in the hospital, with Mother also being in the hospital 5 weeks during that time. It was horrible.

Once we understand that these emotions will be there, we can not fight them, but instead seek to control them. It was during those times that I had ‘scheduled cries’, moments when I could let my sadness, despair, frustration, anger, hopelessness, rise to the top of my mind and heart and flow out the tear ducts in my eyes. By giving my emotions space to be in control for a while, then once I finished crying, I could then control my emotions, for a while at least.

Your emotions are going to be part of what you are enduring. You are going to feel everything you are going to feel on both sides of the pendulum. You can’t stop it. Instead you should expect it and accept it. Then you can control it.

And oh, yes, get all the ‘mileage’ you can out of good news. Yep. Let the good news carry you as far as possible. Smile. Laugh. Tell it to everyone.

Updates on Wayne

As mentioned in a previous post, Wayne was to return to Dallas, Baylor Medical Center, I believe, to under tests which will determine whether or not his pancreatic cancer is responding to chemotherapy and radiation. Wayne’s anxiety level would be ‘off the charts’ if measured.  They were both very fearful that they would not receive good news.

Well, their drive back home was more like a flight.  They were ‘off the ground’ with excitement and were praising the Lord all the way home.  The tests results showed that the cancer had not spread at all, which was a real concern given the nature of the tumor.  The doctors were unable to determine whether or no the tumor itself had actually shrunk, indicating that it had responded to the chemo and radiation, because of swelling of the tissue around due to radiation.

Wayne and Glynn were elated that the cancer had not spread and felt like that was an answer to prayer.  I agree with them totally.  The doctors have given Wayne hope for a normal life at least for a while ,and  when you are walking down the path of terminal cancer or illness, you make the most of any good news you get!

We are excited and thankful for God’s Presence in Wayne and Glynn’s lives.  We are all stronger because of it.