How Do You Handle Disappointment?

How do you handle disappointment? If you are a woman, retail therapy might help. New shoes anyone? Perhaps a triple dip of Double Chocolate Fudge ice cream – nah, a whole half gallon. Soaking in a hot tub? That might work. What about drinking? Drowning your sorrows always helps, doesn’t it? Violence? Add another hole in the drywall. Throw something? Of course, if hitting the wall isn’t satisfying, hitting someone might be better.

So I’m facing disappointment. The CT Scan from Wednesday shows little or no change from previous CT Scans. We were hoping for a 50% reduction in node mass. That is the target to begin the Stem Cell Transplant process. We were so hoping that we could begin that process next month. So what am I to do? How do I respond? I’ve tried SOME – the less severe – of the above suggestions. Trust me, they don’t work; they only make things worse.

The plan, now, is to wait for the MD Anderson doctors to suggest treatment changes. That will come on Wednesday. My local oncologist, Dr. Kota, is bowing to their wisdom and experience. Truthfully, it is in the hands of the transplant doctor, Dr. Khouri. He is the one who set the standard. It is his call. The only thing that is obvious is that R-CHOP has not worked and will not work. We are in a state of flux until then. Please pray for us. All of us: Melanie, me, Dr. Kota and her team, the MD Anderson team, our family.

So, how am I handling disappointment? I’m doing the same thing I have done for years. I’m putting everything in the hands of my heavenly Father. Jeremiah said, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11) [1] He has plans for me. I don’t have a clue as to what they are. I never have. I won’t until they happen. That is the way I have lived for years. I will continue living that way. In this case, Father really does know best.

You are probably wondering how I feel. I’m OK. No, really, I’m OK. I knew that the progression (or, more accurately, regression) of the nodes was not as vigorous as with previous treatments. I suspected that the 50% reduction was not going to happen. I had even looked at the CT Scan pictures (yes, I cheated and looked before the doctors did, since I have a copy of the scans to take with me to MD Anderson). From what I had learned from Dr. Kadia on our last visit, I suspected that the nodes were nearly the same size. Yes, I’m disappointed, but not crushed. I would really like this all to be over. But it’s not. It won’t be. And the process is continuing on God’s schedule, not mine, not Dr. Kota’s, not Dr. Khouri’s. God’s schedule. His timing is impeccable, perfect, always correct, never early, never late.

I am at peace. I will continue on trusting in God, honestly smiling, reading, writing, and sharing my story.


[1] New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (Je 29:11). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

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