I had my PICC put in this afternoon. The whole procedure itself took all of maybe 10 minutes. But I had to be there at noon. Procedure was scheduled for 1:00. I didn’t go back until about 1:30 and was back out at 2:15. The waiting and prep time was the worst. I wasn’t expecting to have to put a hospital gown on and do that whole bit. The process of just getting prepped was crazy. I kept saying “If you are about to poke a needle in me I need to hold someone’s hand” and he would say, “the doctor isn’t in here so I won’t be sticking you with anything”. Next time I requested a hand he said, “still no doctor”. Ha! He just kept messing with my arm strapping this, wrapping that, saying this will be cold, this will be tight, doing a sonogram, the whole thing. I was breathing hard needless to say.
They told me the numbing shot would feel like a bee sting. But it was nothing. (Remember I’ve had so many biopsies on much more sensitive areas – I know bee sting and that was no bee sting). It felt a little strange when they were putting the line in. I learned you don’t have nerve endings on veins – thought that was interesting. The doctor was a little strange. Told me, “Your arm and veins are tiny – I’ll give it a shot”. Umm – that did not give me confidence. Then he asked if I was going on vacation anytime soon and I told him about our trip to T&C. He said, “Oh, I have a funny story about going there. I was snorkling and came up on an eight foot shark.” Dude! Just shut up! My heart rate is going up and my anxiety rising with every word you say.
I am prayerful that the PICC will make tomorrow’s chemo infusion (which is at 9:45 in the morning) much shorter in time and much less painful. Won’t need to get poked at all tomorrow!! They can even do my blood-work through the PICC so that’s wonderful! Please join me in praying that tomorrow will go much smoother because of today’s procedure.
We are officially over the hump (HA! I just thought of those ‘Geico Hump Day’ commercials. If you have no idea what I’m talking about click here! Ha! That made me laugh. And can I just say a disclaimer – in no way am I supporting Geico – my dad is still the best State Farm agent in the world!) OK…Back on track….we are officially over the hump of chemo. After tomorrow we only have one chemo left! (I say “we” because I feel very much not alone in all of this and know that ‘Team AJ’ is with me!)
If all you wanted to read was an update on me, then you can stop reading, but if you are interested in a few more of my thoughts – feel free to keep reading or come back and read later…
There were a couple things I wanted to mention and while I’m feeling good I thought I would just…well…mention them.
1. I have received a lot questions regarding my ‘prayer requests’ in my updates. Whether it be, “I didn’t know you could pray so specifically” to “How do you pray?” or “How should I pray?”. First, let me say I am no master at prayer. I’m actually reading a book on prayer currently called Fervent by: Priscilla Shiver. (I linked the book title to Amazon – there is also a version not specific for women called The Battle Plan for Prayer.) If you saw the movie War Room awhile back – she was the main actress. Anyway, I have loved her book and really like her ‘methods’ if you will. But I personally like the acronym she gives in her book with PRAY:
- P=Praise: Showing gratitude and being thankful for who God is and what he’s already done in your life.
- R=Repentance: Allowing space for Him to claim your heart and hearts of those you love. Asking for the courage to trust, and turn, and walk His way.
- A=Ask: Making your requests be known.
- Y=Yes: This one may not make sense at first glance. 1 Corinthians 1:20 says, “All of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding ‘Yes!'” So accentuate your prayers with His own words from Scripture, His promises to you that correspond to your need. She gives lots of options in her book, but you could even go back and pray some of the verses I have mentioned in my posts. (i.e. Proverbs 16:9, 1 Timothy 1:12, Psalm 66:12, Psalm 55:22, Isaiah 41:10, 2 Timothy 1:7-8).
Also, just to note regarding praying specifically, look at Phillipians 4:6 in the AMP version, “Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” I think He wants us to be specific and personal. If you have ever heard me pray out loud there isn’t much formality to my prayers – I’ll greet him like my friend because, well, He is. I usually don’t say ‘Dear Heavenly Father’. I’ll say “Hey God”, or “What up Jesus”, or “Spirit I need some help here”. Just my thoughts.
2. I have received some questions regarding how to read your Bible. Again I am no expert and try to read my Bible consistently (outside of church or my CBS Bible study), but I miss days, even weeks. I’m not perfect with it. But I have found different Bibles have helped me in different seasons of my life. The Life Application Study Bible I loved in high school and college and even reference some of it’s study guides today. The KeyWord Study Bible I used a lot in college when I was wanting to know more of the meanings of the Greek and Hebrew words. I like jumping to different Bible versions to read the same verse and get more meaning. (I’ve thought about getting a Parallel Bible where there are different versions next to each other on the page.) You will notice I’ve done that in times I’ve referenced verses in my posts. I find the Amplified Version (AMP) or the New Living Translation (NLT) and sometimes even The Message (MSG) help bring new meaning to some verses I’m reading. But if I’m reading just to read I usually stick to the New International Version (NIV) which is probably most popular. Although the Bible I’m using right now is the NLT Study Bible.
As far as what to read or where to start reading. I would start in a gospel book: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John because you will be reading about the life of Jesus. Typically people (whoever ‘people’ are) say to start with John. Reading a chapter in Proverbs a day (there are 31 chapters) and just repeating that every month you would gain incredible wisdom. Or you could read a Psalm a day and you would read through the book twice in a year. But really, you could read in John, reading the commentary and notes to gain insight and background context from start to finish. What I do is read until something hits me. When I think “I don’t want to keep reading because I want to think about what that verse is saying” then sometimes I’ll pray about it. Sometimes I’ll highlight it on the Bible app on my phone (which you have to download if you don’t have – it’s amazing) and then just read it different times throughout the day. Sometimes, I’ll write the verse in my journal. Or I’ll look it up in different versions and see what words are different and what else it could mean. Then I’ll start where I left off the next day. Another practice that lots of my friends do is just rewriting the Bible. That sounds daunting when I say it that way. There is a blog my friends and I found that we have started over the last month: Click Here. She comes out with a new Scripture Writing plan each month. She offers a women, Spanish, and men version and they are on different topics each month and a few verses (no more than 10 min. of time) each day. This month is on Forgiveness.
So there are some ideas for you. As always, whether it is about my cancer journey, prayer, the Bible, or anything else feel free to leave a comment or just respond to this email.
Hope you are enjoying your first week of June!