I woke this morning with great hopes that my ANC (absolute neutrophil count) would have risen. You see, of the 4 lab numbers I keep track, the ANC is the primary deciding factor, in letting me go home. My white blood cell count, and the ANC, bottom out after the chemo does it’s damage, good damage. With them so low, I’m quite able to get sick, that’s why I’m in the hospital during that time.
So, I also track several other numbers, because they are also good indicators of my status. And over the past few days, there has been an upward trend. This got my hopes up! I let myself get excited, and even couldn’t go right to sleep last night, thinking of how today would go.
But, I woke to hear the news that my ANC is still basically zero. 😦
Then I got sad. Seriously, I was really upset. I began to cry, in sadness and in a little desperation. I’m just so sick of being in the hospital.
So I put on a playlist of hymns. A friend recently recommended a new-to-me artist, Chelsea Moon, and I picked up two of her hymn albums. I found myself really enjoying the time of worship, just listening to these wonderful old songs. A few touched me, and then it rolled over to Abide With Me. (I recently posted about this song, and this recording is by MP Jones.)
Wow. I now believe that Abide With Me must be the cancer hymn. I sat there in tears, being blessed and encouraged. I caught myself singing along, in my broken, yet-to-fully-heal voice, actually kinda loud. At the end of this post I’ll include the lyrics. The words are more relevant to me now, than ever before. I will forever recommend it as appropriate for a person going through cancer treatment.
“Abide with Me” by Henry Francis Lyte, written in 1847.
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.