“Is Cheryl Schatz still alive?” some have asked. It has been far too long since I updated my On the Path blog. I am still alive, and I am still on the path, although I have suffered through a time of spiritual abuse. I am doing very well physically, and there is no sign of the return of cancer. The one spot that I had on my spine is smaller, and I am considered stable. My last chemotherapy infusion was two and a half years ago and that trial is becoming a distant memory. I still have side effects from the chemo and the anti-estrogen medication, however, I am doing very well and thankful to be alive. There still have been challenges in my life, and I needed to step back for a time to heal emotionally. Two things happened in the last year that I never expected would ever happen in my lifetime. …
It has been a long while since I updated my “On the Path” blog. I have been SO busy, it has been difficult to make the time to post something. But it is time to post an update about where I am after cancer treatment. This post will have some updated pictures.
Where I am “growing” stronger after post cancer treatment
My hands are healing after carpal tunnel surgery. I am taking liquid glucosamine twice a day (double the dose) and that helps a lot with the residual pain from the anti-estrogen medication. My right hand isn’t fully back to normal, but it is doing much better. I still need more strength, and I am still tender, but I am getting closer to being pain-free. My left hand (which was operated on first) is not doing as well. My left hand is much weaker, and I still have daily discomfort/mild pain in the left wrist and up my arm. It is so much better taking the liquid glucosamine and if I forget a dose, I have a lot more pain. I am trusting that in another six months I will be pain-free.
The arthritis-like symptoms in my legs are so much better, and I no longer feel like I am 80 years old! I am growing stronger and growing younger after the effects of chemo and the on-going anti-cancer medication. Praise the Lord!
I have grown strong enough to handle full-time ministry work again! I am so happy to be back into video editing and writing scripts. This is what I was called to do.
Where I am “growing” younger
My hair is finally going back to “nearly” normal. …
This time of year gives cause for me to reflect on the faithfulness of Jesus. While I have met “Christians” who practice unfaithfulness, Jesus has never let me down. I wrote a comparison between the FIRST Adam and the LAST Adam in 2010 and I thought it might be a blessing and an encouragement to someone today. I am reposting this from my WIM blog.
The Path of the LAST Adam
The path of the last Adam was a path that took Him from Heaven to earth, from the earth to the grave and from the grave to resurrection power on display as our Lord, Savior, and King. But a study in contrast with the first Adam shows us the stark contrast to the faithfulness that the last Adam offers us in the place of the failure that we have experienced with our first earthly father.
1. Sinless vs sinner
The LAST Adam was born sinless, and there was found no sin in Him.
1 John 3:5 (NASB) You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
The first Adam was created without sin, but he didn’t stay this way. The first Adam brought sin into the world through his disobedience.
Romans 5:12 (NASB) Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin…
Jesus as the LAST Adam freely chose to come to earth from Heaven and to live a sinless life by shunning evil and obeying the Father. The first Adam sinned through his free will, choosing to disobey his Father and choosing evil.
2. A witness to the truth vs silence
Jesus as the LAST Adam came to earth to testify to the truth.
John 18:37 (NASB) Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
It was thefailure of the first Adam to testify to the truth that started the process towards death and decay. Although Adam knew the truth, and he was not deceived at all, he would not testify to that truth when his wife was being deceived by the serpent.
1 Timothy 2:14 (NASB) And it was not Adam who was deceived…
I thought I was done with side effects since I finished chemotherapy, but I am learning that anything that is strong enough to wallop cancer will likely also cause side effects. I am now waiting for surgery because of the side effects from the pill that I was prescribed to keep me from having a recurrence of cancer.
The pill is called Femara or Letrozole. This tiny little pill is a nonsterooidal aromatase inhibitor (AI) and it is used to treat advanced breast cancer. It fights breast cancer by inactivating an enzyme called aromatase and in turn this prevents the enzyme from supplying estrogen to the cancers that are dependant on estrogen to grow and survive.
At first I didn’t have any side effects from the pill but within three months of starting the treatment I developed bumps around my wrists and then it progressed to pain. Three fingers in my left hand became numb and this numbness did not go away after waking in the morning. I was referred to a nerve specialist and her tests showed that I had nerve damage in my fingers from carpal tunnel syndrome. The nerves are already starting to die off so she recommends immediate surgery. My doctor also said that I had tendonitis in both my wrists and this is causing radiating pain up my arms. All of this is a known side effect of Femara. The nerve specialist has warned me that if I don’t have surgery soon, my thumb muscle could atrophy I could have permanent nerve damage in my hand. Lovely. …
This post is a long time coming and it is my desire that it will encourage someone who is suffering in silence. It will also help people to see that the strength that has come out in my posts is a true gift of God that has grown in the midst of darkness and betrayal. …
There are times that I am seeing life by looking at the edges rather than the whole. For example, rather than concentrate on the realty of cancer, and the daily fatigue, I am grateful that today I can walk. That is a precious gift. On Monday and Tuesday of this week my legs were so weak, I was shuffling, rather than walking. The nurse at the hospital told me that with the chemo-related leg weakness, I will need to hold on to stair railings and to be extra careful not to fall. Should I fall and break a leg, my treatment would be delayed until I healed. That would be bad news. So rather than expecting complete wholeness, I can be grateful for little things, like strength in my legs and the ability to walk. But I am also learning that there are spiritual edges to pay attention to. Not the whole picture, but what is highlighted for today. …
I can’t say enough about the support that my husband, Richard, has given me on this journey through cancer and chemotherapy.
We have cancer
The first time I heard my husband say this, I was surprised. But since he started expressing that “we” have cancer to our friends, relatives, as well as to me, my husband has followed through with his commitment to face cancer with me as a participant. He has been by my side when I was hospitalized. He even stayed with me in the hospital until 2 a.m. when my fever finally broke. He has been with me for every chemo infusion and each surgical procedure. He has been with me for every bump and turn on the road.
It also seems like my husband has experienced a lot of the same symptoms as I have experienced. When I experienced “chemo brain” (the inability to process more than one thought at a time, and the quick loss of memory), he was experiencing it right along with me. When I was tired and could hardly keep my eyes open, he too experienced tiredness and wanted to lay down beside me. I don’t blame my husband for experiencing tiredness as he went through many sleepless nights with me when I was unable to sleep. When I tossed and turned in bed, he would make sure I was okay. When I experienced excruciating pain and kept waking up to find my Tylenol or nerve pills for the chemo-related nerve damage in my legs, or when I was scrounging for Tums for the pain in my stomach, he was looking out for me. …
It is so frustrating. I have chemo brain. No, that doesn’t mean I have brain cancer; it is an annoying side effect from chemotherapy. Those who have had to endure chemo know about chemo brain when the general public is blissfully ignorant. It is a mental fog that makes it difficult to multi-task, makes concentrating difficult, causes trouble remembering names, dates and other events, causes trouble remembering common words, and makes everything take longer to accomplish as processing thoughts can be a challenge. I call this getting stuck in a thought and unable to process things happening around me. If I am in the middle of doing something and I am asked a question, I can get stuck and unable to answer as my mental processor limps along, looking for words in amongst the fog. It is SO annoying!
Last week I left a gas burner on my stove burning all day — twice! If I am distracted, I forget what I am doing, and often I never get back to finish. Did I say that chemo brain is annoying? I have asked my husband to please help me by checking what I do. In this state, I cannot be trusted to be normal.
Right now I am a week away from my next chemotherapy treatment, …