I'm baaack...that is the message I always text to my sisters when the chemo fog has cleared from my brain and I begin the waking up process. It always feels like I've taken a long trip but have no souvenirs or pictures or fun memories to validate. I have two and half days of chemo and by the afternoon of day three I am in the bed. I sleep for about four days. I vaguely remember people coming in and out. Mostly Steve, checking on me, bringing me water because I can't stand the taste of anything else. He tries various foods, some I eat, some I don't. Bless him.
I think of these days as 'jelly beans and Jesus' days.
The chemo, along with meds I take to help with side effects, leaves a taste in my mouth that compares to the "back side of a billy goat". No, I don't actually know what a back side of a billy goat tastes like, but I can imagine it is really bad and this taste is really bad...see how my brain works?
Anywho, the only thing that helps is jelly beans and lots of them. I wake up at all hours, day and night, reaching for the beans. Sometimes falling asleep again before finishing a handful. This antidote has produced some comical moments. Once, I was sure I had developed some horrible rash on my hand only to realize the candy coating had stained my hands as I slept. (Cancer patients get a little jumpy about strange rashes). The best happened when Gracie woke me up being very friendly with dog kisses all over my neck. It turns out she wasn't that happy to see me, she had found where I dropped the jelly beans the night before!
The candy may soothe my mouth, but Jesus is the only thing that can soothe my soul. Those days of sleep are very dark. Satan takes the opportunity to whisper lies of weakness, insufficiency and hopelessness. I pray for God to hold my thoughts captive, to not let Satan gain one inch. I have prayer warriors committed to pray the same when I am too weak. There are times when I repeat "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" or think of words to hymns I grew up singing.
On this day, the day of awakening, I feel light, full of joy and promise...maybe it is all the jelly bean sugar, but I believe it is Jesus guiding me out of the dark forest and into His light.
Dear friend, hold tight to Jesus' hand in the darkness. He is as close as a whisper.
Today I wish you the sweetness that only Jesus can give. Today, would you buy a bag of jelly beans? Today, would you share the sweetness of Jesus?