Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Fragrance of Christ

A week ago, on Friday, I had my first chemo treatment. My son drove me the two hours away, to spend over seven hours in the clinic and then, two hours to return back home. It was a long, long day. I insisted that my husband stay home because he's been so overwhelmed by all this and I could see the exhaustion on his face. To give him a day to himself was a gift I could give him.

It hit me last Sunday.  I felt achy and nauseous and all the things you think of when you hear the word, chemo. Then the pain started. Every bone in my body hurt but my feet, ankles and knees just hurt so bad - I can't even explain the pain. I have a high tolerance for pain because I've lived with it for so many years but this is nothing like I've ever experienced. The worst part? My pain medicine did not touch it one bit.

Monday I called my oncologist to find out what to do about this pain plus other issues I was having. They told me to go to the ER. Oh, how I didn't want to do that but it ended up being the best thing I could have done. I was so fortunate to get a PA that was so kind and understood chemo pain.  They got the nausea under control and then gave me two shots of morphine - which did absolutely nothing to alleviate the pain. They then decided to try Fentanyl and, immediately, my pain went down dramatically. Sweet relief! They had me stay until I was comfortable, then gave me one more shot before going home.

The pain has not completely gone away but, with the help of my doctor, I'm able to control it better. However, I am exhausted and weak. I'm not sure what I thought going into this but I wasn't prepared for how extremely weak I am. The doctor's prepare you, I believe, with what they think you can handle mentally. They told me side affects, but they didn't elaborate and I can understand why. It would be too overwhelming to think about.

However, through all this, God gives me splashes of joy that show me He has not forgotten me. This little girl above is by my side every moment. Her constant presence is a reminder that Jesus is the same - never leaving my side.

The loving, everyday service of my husband. His sacrificial attitude of taking care of me with kindness with never a hint of impatience. This reminds me of the sacrificial love of Jesus for me.

My youngest son's willingness to adjust his life and work schedule to be there for me. His thoughtfulness in bringing me things that he knows I enjoy. This reminds me of the way Jesus blesses me in ways, big and small.

My oldest son's trips to the store to pick up things I need so his dad didn't have to. This reminds me of Jesus providing exactly what we need.

The lovely cards I've received in the mail to cheer me. I have gotten one each and every day and it's hugely comforting to know you're thought of. This reminds me of the fact that Jesus never forgets me.

The packages I've received with gifts of encouragement and love. These have been a source of great happiness and comfort. They remind me of the wonderful gifts, great and small, that Jesus gives.

The prayers that have stormed the gates of heaven on my behalf. My family is praying and I hear from my friends and so many of you that you are praying for me. This reminds me that Jesus cares about our prayers and is listening intently.

I have smelled the sweet fragrance of Jesus through the love you have shown me through this really difficult time in my life. You have shown me glimpses of God through the sweet comments, cards, messages, and gifts you have sent. They always arrive at just the right time to encourage and strengthen me.  

My prayer request is, of course, for continued strength and comfort from God to not only survive, but to thrive, through this. That I would be a light for Jesus to others and praise Him continually. 

Thank you, dear ones, and God bless you.



  1. Praying for God’s strength for you and your family. Much love to you, precious Julie!

  2. So many things to thank God for, Julie. He is the author if iur life afterall. He knows what’s best for us. Praying for more grace for you to trust Him more as He comforts you through the pain along this journey.

  3. God bless you Julie and your very positive spirit. God bless little Mitzi.

  4. Dear, precious friend! I think of you SO often and continue to pray. I am SO sorry your pain has been so intense. OH, bless your dear heart, and may Jesus lay His healing hand on you SOON. You are such a blessing and just like it takes a crushing to release sweet fragrances, your time of intense bruising is drawing forth the sweetness of Christ in you. God be with you every second.

  5. Dear Julie,
    God is there every step of the way. It might not always feel like it but He is. I like the "Footprints in the Sand poem/picture" where when there is only one set of footprints it's God carrying us! Praying that you will get through this with less pain in the future. So sorry you have to endure the pain. Blessings, Elfriede


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