Free translation – What’s Next – Life after Chemotherapy

Thanks God I finished my chemotherapy treatment. I will share later some details of God’s tender loving care for us during these past months. Many people have been asking what‘s the next step. Well… I’m learning that the treatment of metastatic breast cancer (Stage IV) is a little bit different. The goal is to control the disease and at the same time to maintain the quality of life of patients. So, this varies from person to person. Even when I finished this cycle of chemotherapy I will continue indefinitely with other therapies. In my case, I’ll be receiving targeted therapies which are also administered by infusion as the chemotherapy drugs. Every few months I will have physical exams and tests to see if the cancer is responding to the treatment or if the cancer is progressing and I need to switch to a different drug. Other therapies such as radiation or surgery are also available.

What is my greatest crisis with this new reality?
I feel that my life has a big asterisk with a footnote that states: “subject to change”. For someone like me who love planning this is a crisis of major proportions. But, my life (and everyone else’s life) already had that asterisk before the cancer diagnosis. James 4:14-16 (NIV) states: “you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” There is nothing wrong with planning for the future but we need a heart that is completely aware of our total dependence on God. What we think of our plans and our life matters; and we may glorify God with it or not. We depend on God for the extraordinary things and for ordinary ones too.

What is my greatest source of comfort?

I don’t need to have it all figured out. It’s okay to not have it all together. It’s okay if I just don’t know how to handle this situation. I always knew that Christ died in my place; he died as a substitute for sinners. But I recently began to realize in a more profound way that he also lived a perfect life in my place. This has become a great source of comfort. There are days when I don’t carry my cross as I should. There are days when I don’t know and don’t want to live with metastatic breast cancer. We all have something we just don’t know how to handle. But we can always approach God’s throne of grace with confidence and receive mercy and find grace (Hebrews 4:16) because Christ lived perfectly on our behalf. He was tempted in every way just as we are yet he didn’t sin.  That’s why he is able to empathize with our weaknesses. There is grace for our good days and there is grace for the bad days too.

What is my greatest challenge?

To let God’s promises for the future influence my present. At the tomb of Lazarus (John 11: 21-26):

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

Marta looked forward to God’s promises for the future but she was not able to find immediate relief. Not only because the tomb and the bad odor of death (because Lazarus had been there four days by Jesus’s arrival) were so distracting,  but because she still didn’t understand who Jesus was. Therefore, before revealing his power Jesus revealed himself and said: “I am”. Jesus let her know that he was not only able to ask the Father for resurrection and life for Lazarus, but that he was all those things indeed. He was the champion over death; he was the Messiah; he was the life that Lazarus being dead needed and also the life that Marta being alive needed so badly. Is not enough to know what God can do in the future; is not enough to see the power of God revealed. What we need is the “I Am”, who overcame sin and death, to be revealed to us today. We need the “I am” to influence our “here and now” even if we are facing the “grave and the bad odor of death.”

Thanks for lifting us in prayer and for your extravagant love during these past months. Our hope is in the Lord. You can follow me on Instagram (@becksparrilla) or Twitter (@beckyparrilla).

All rights reserved. Rebecca Parrilla July/2015

One thought on “Free translation – What’s Next – Life after Chemotherapy

  1. Brenda Saldana says:

    Becky, with confidence and Godly assurance I can say that I know sharing your thoughts here has been the therapy and the infusion that God has used to carry you through and the best treatment to maintain you healthy and strong is the testimony and words of encouragement you give others. The first day of the month I joined a 21 Day of Prayer Challenge that was started by a church that I love and each day, I have consciously prayed with greater fervor for specific areas of my life, for my family, our country, the church and others. I have been keenly aware and careful not to miss the opportunities to bless others. This day my prayer is for you beloved. I look forward reading more about your journey and look forward meeting you soon!


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