For the past two days I’ve been reading The Boys in the Boat, a wonderful book about an American rowing team’s quest for Gold in the 1936 Olympics. Last night I came across something that really resonated with me. The book talks about George Pocock, a world-famous builder of racing shells, and his discovery that cedar was the perfect wood for his shells because of its liveliness and tendency to spring forward: “To Pocock, this unflagging resilience – this readiness to bounce back, to keep coming, to persist in the face of resistance – was the magic in cedar, the unseen force that imparted life to the shell.”
The book chronicles the life of Joe Rantz, a man who demonstrated the same kind of resilience as the cedar in Pocock’s racing shells. I’m only about halfway through, but I’m already amazed at all the obstacles Rantz overcame in life and am inspired by his iron will and gentle spirit.
The book also reminded me of my own struggles. I often say that in this battle against cancer I feel like one of those boxing toys that you knock to the ground and it pops back up. Like the cedar, there’s something in me that helps me bounce back and keep going even in the face of resistance. That resiliency is a gift from God, some of it coming at birth as part of my temperament and some of it coming as a result of the work of the Holy Spirit in me. I read in a devotional earlier this week that wisdom is gained through pain. I think resiliency also is borne out of pain.
All continues to go well on the health front. I saw the acupuncturist on the Saturday after my infusion, and my energy levels have been much better since seeing her. I still lose my voice if I push myself too hard and I have a hard time handling the heat when I’m not in the pool, but I can’t complain. I know that I’m doing far better than most chemo patients, and for that I am grateful.
On Tuesday, I go in for a chest X-ray to see if the tumor is shrinking. That’s one good thing about my recent episode of coughing up blood. After I had an X-ray to make sure my lungs were okay, we discovered that my tumor shows up on a simple X-ray, making it possible to monitor its size without another scan. An X-ray gives us the flexibility to go ahead and see how treatment is working instead of waiting the whole summer before doing a scan. Knowing that chemo is basically poison to most of my body, I’m happy for anything that can possibly lower the number of chemo rounds I endure.
I’ll see Dr. Antonucci right after the X-ray, so by this time next week I should have some idea of how the treatment is working and hopefully a game plan for where we go from here. Obviously, I’m hoping for good news that the tumor continues to shrink, but regardless of the outcome I feel well prepared to do whatever it takes to keep going after this beast.
Finally, thanks again for praying and caring. I continue to run into people every week who say they are praying for me, and that means the world to me. Your prayers carry me through each day and help me cross each hurdle.
Thankful for an ability to bounce back,