Those of us with CIDP are gifted with the encouragement of our scheduled IVIG treatment which helps gain energy, release muscle pain…and for me, gets my life back. Some of my friends I've meet through the Facebook community that also have CIDP refer to this IVIG treatment as “liquid gold.” I've heard other patients here refer to the anti-nausea chemo stuff as “Chemo Candy.” It's the one thing, the only thing that really promises to make you feel better and get your life back.
For me, IVIG was a bit more too…I soon learned that this time was a break, somewhat, from my fast-paced reality of ministry and family. It was the time I could spend digesting thoughts that really, don't get much time to go anywhere…and that's how this blog started.
Now I've transferred from IVIG to chemo…and today is my third day. I slept like a rock last night and I think I made it past the sickness for this morning, so I'm feeling really good and I wanted to digest a thought with you. This thought was first shared with me through the CIDP group on Facebook. I remember reading it and then going about my other needed tasks. Today, I Got to my chair and this lady was talking on her Bluetooth headset, right outside of my area and after a pause I heard her say this phrase:
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
I don't get anti-nausea meds with this round of treatment, so I see these thoughts as a sort of “Chemo Candy” that keeps me focused and going in the right direction.
Though I've been on Facebook a little today, I haven't tried researching this phrase to get the background story…but I'm sure there is one there.
When I first really started thinking about this concept, I was somewhat disturbed. I almost muttered back, “Yeah right…come say that to the people here in this place hooked up to tubes and ivs…I'm sure you would find some disagreement there.”
But maybe not. There is a sharp difference in pain and suffering.
PAIN is usually referred to distress that someone else or something has CAUSED YOU.
SUFFERING is described as distress YOU have brought upon yourself, usually due to YOUR REACTION TO PAIN.
Hmmmm…..interesting thought now isn't it?
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
Pain is not avoidable. People will disappoint us. Sickness will impact us. People can physically and emotionally damage us. Cancer, brain tumors and CIDP…these are all real and all have pain associated that impacts my life every single day. Regardless how hard you try or how tough you may try to appear, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE PAIN. Welcome to brutal reality…enjoy the ride.
Suffering, our personal reaction to the unavoidable pain in our lives…now, that is something that can be controlled by our choosing. People will hurt us, but it's our choice to hold a grudge. Sickness overtakes our physical and emotional well-being, but it's our choice as to what hold it has on our relationship with God…it's OUR choice to how it impacts our family and friends.
God works THROUGH our PAIN to EASE our SUFFERING.
Sin is a part of our world, thank you Adam and Eve. Thanks to sin, we have pain. Thanks to pain we have quick over-the-counter medications, self-help books, apps that diagnose our illness….the list goes on. Our society does a great job at trying to cover-up the initial pain, without addressing the suffering. We are quick to point out when something bad has hurt us, but not so quick to detect when we bring suffering to ourselves.
That's where Gods grace enters reminding you that you will never walk alone with Him. That one day every tear will be wiped away from your eyes and there will be no more pain, no more death, no more sickness. God is the only One who can offer this promise and sent Christ to seal the deal. Not only did He promise Heaven, but He promised to be with us here in this life, meeting our needs and making our minds and hearts like His. Therefore, when PAIN comes, we can choose to trust in God for guidance and knowing this pain is only temporary.
I've caught myself suffering lately. I get into this mindset, especially during treatment days, I forget that this pain is only temporary. I start thinking that this chapter of my life will never end. I get the results of scans and judge Gods presence by the result…not purposefully, but I admit that the thought is there. I've caught myself multiple times going, “God, what are You doing? Just take the tumors away so I can move on to more important things.” I suffer when I watch my youngest run to the door after me when I leave for treatment. I suffer when I try to answer Josh's tough questions about my sickness. I question God, I throw myself a pitty party and I shut down. Do I have a right to act like this? Truthfully, yes…but where does all of this negativity get me in the end? I turn bitter, I can't help my family and I'm unable to really do anything for anyone. That's not the life I want to live and that's not the freedom in Christ life God has destined me to live.
The point here is this…Pain is inevitable. Suffering (or your response to life's pain) is YOUR option. Choose wisely. the world is watching and you only live once.
Give your PAIN UP to Him so He can SHINE THROUGH YOU!!!!
(Done just in time…where is that U of L guy from yesterday….)