13 November 2013

Understanding Mercy

Today was Cycle 3 - Day 15 or the last treatment of Cycle three.  It was the first time ever that I got out of there in only four hours.  

But, today my blood work had a small glitch.  There was a component of my white cell count (Absolute Neutrophils) that were seriously low.  The normal "I'm not going through chemotherapy"  low is 2.2.  The "oh, we'll still give you chemo" low is 1.0. Today mine were 0.8.  This means that my body right now will have a seriously difficult time fighting off infections.  

But, since my red blood cell counts had improved from the transfusion I had last week, Dr. Lee decided to proceed with today's treatment.  However, if they are still really low or lower next week, I will have to go to the Cancer Center the day after each treatment for a shot that is supposed to boost my white blood counts. Ugh! Another appointment!  

I know this shot, from breast cancer.  It's a long needle with a much higher gauge and there is a lot of solution, and it burns like crazy!  It also produces side effects of its own.  But, the nurse said they came up with a version of the shot that doesn't seem have as intense of the bone pain  and headaches I had before (for 60% of the patients) because it doesn't stay in your system as long.  My fingers are crossed.  You know how my body always fights against the odds. :) 

On Monday, November 18th, I will have completed the first half of my treatments.  9 weeks down, 9 more to go.  It's a known fact, the second 9 weeks is where the women in the Japanese study started dropping out of the protocol because of the very things my body is starting to go through now.  Between the issues with my blood work and the increasing intensity of the side effects...

1. fatigue that interferes with the activities of daily living (ADL's)
2. Nausea and lack of appetite.
3. Sores in my mouth and throat
4. Increasing Neuropathy in my hands and feet. (Always very irritating and sometimes painful)
5. Constant nose bleeds through the night, and sometimes during the day.

...It will prove to become more and debilitating.  I don't want to ever go in and have Dr. Lee say the four words I dread the most at this time - "We have to stop."

I know that this treatment plan is MY BEST CHANCE!  I have to complete all 18 treatments without skipping a single week.  This is why my daily prayer is that my body will be able to withstand the treatment so that I can complete the series.  This is the "baby step" (as it were) to the more grand request for a complete and total remission.  

In short, I want to be cured.  Yes.  That is my daily petition to my Father in Heaven.  But, I also acknowledge that I know it is in His hands.  His merciful hands.  And lately, he is helping me understand that He will most assuredly be merciful and that only He knows what that really means, even more than I do.

All these thoughts of mercy make me think about my own ability to be merciful.  Am I a merciful person? Do I take that road when I feel I have been wrongly treated?  And, if I haven't been merciful to others, have I repented of this unkindness?  This action of showing, or more accurately being merciful.  

Note: (I reference a talk given by Elder Lynn G. Robbins.  I call it the "To Be Rather than to Do talk" - a life changing kind of talk.  It is actually titled "What Manner of Men Ought Ye to Be?"  I totally encourage you to click the link and take the 10 minutes to watch the talk. He talks much in relationship to raising children, but it most certainly can be extrapolated to relationships of all kinds.  Trust me! No matter what religion you are are aren't, you will be uplifted)

When the Savior gave began to teach what we call the Sermon on the Mount, he began which by teaching 10 statements which we collectively call The Beatitudes, he gave us the precise and simple rules for returning back to His heavenly kingdom.  In every scripture he either uses the word "are" or "be".  Both are from the *infinitve verb to be. It is beyond just an action word!  It is who you are, and therefore, the action is a natural consequence of who you are.  He didn't. Have to study much to come up with these ten instructions.  Because they describe him perfectly.  They are Christlike attributes. And this what he meant when he entreated us to "Follow me".  BE LIKE ME!

So, regarding mercy.  I am trying to be more merciful.  I think it encompasses a total attitude of forgiveness but without the lecture first.  It requires us to be patient and forgiving to others anytime they might show their faults.  I think it means that I have to stop being a Right Fighter.  This is an attribute I began developing in my family when I was quite a young girl.  And unfortunately, because I was an example of a right fighter as I raised my children, I taught some of them to behave the exact same way.

I now have to let it go (a to do) so that I can BE a merciful person.  No grudges allowed.  Let it go.  Free myself/yourself from the burden and sin of being the person who judges them - NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY MAY HAVE HURT YOU!

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Matthew 5:7

I want to be that person.  Because the blessing for being merciful that The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ tells us is that we will obtain mercy.  And who of us doesn't need that!  And only this week did I realize that it doesn't qualify when or who will be merciful to us.  I only thought it meant that it referred to the commandment that we had to forgive (part of being merciful) others or God would not forgive us of our own sins (thus showing His mercy). That it was only applicable to the Lord's gift of forgiveness to us when we sinned against His commandments. 

But, now, I am really thinking that it also means that as we become more merciful to everyone on earth, that we will find that others will also start showing and being merciful to us for our own shortcomings and offenses, when we slip and fail to be as Christlike as we should be. 

Who of us would not benefit from that kind of "karma"?  And really isn't karma just another religion's word for what we Christians call "the golden rule".   And I just read last week in the Book of Mormon this passage, which teaches us the same thing.  This is Alma teaching his son Corianton, who had been grossly disobedient to God's commandments.

14 Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly, judge righteously, and do good continually; and if ye do all these things then shall ye receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; ye shall have a righteous judgment restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.

15 For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored; therefore, the word restoration more fully condemneth the sinner, and justifieth him not at all.
 Alma 41:14-15

My dear friends, I hope you understand that I use these writings to help me and appreciate that you are coming along for the ride.  I think I mentioned in my last entry that I feel the desire and even the directive to use this "unusual opportunity" to learn more about Heavnely Father's ways. And, to learn more about myself, and try, try so very hard to learn to become more like the Supreme Exemplar, who is The Lord, Jesus Christ.  Otherwise, I will have a wasted opportunity.  Any of you who have had anything happen to you that requires you to face your own mortality might possibly understand.  Others, who are far ahead of me have already made the decision to more fully understand God's ways without this kind of stimulus.  I guess I need this situation to get me to become the person that I can and should be.  

Regardless of the outcome.

Thank you for your love and prayers and good thoughts and your incredible spirits.  I am sustained daily, and often hourly by them. I feel them. It is humbling to know that my name is uttered so often by the lips of family and friends and your children.  Prayers are said on the behalf of me and my family all over the world. 

"Pray.  He is there. Speak. He is listening.
You are His child, His love now surrounds you."
From the children's song "A Child's Prayer" LDS Children's Songbook

Regardless your age...we are All His children.  It is overwhelming this power; the Power *IS your love.

*is - also a word derived from the infinitive "to be" :)
I am
You are
He, she is
We, They are

OK, so it's an irregular verb. ;)

1 comment:

pyneszoo said...

You're right!! We all need to work on being merciful!! Great thoughts!!

Post a Comment